The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: In quantum mechanics, is the wave function just a predictive tool?  (Read 1580 times)

Offline Zowie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
So it seems to me that people have missed the point with QM. It is not saying that reality exists in multiple states until observed. The wavefunction is nothing more than a predictive tool- it says nothing of the nature of reality.

However, what QM is actually telling us, in specific the double slit experiment, is that the future already exists.

In the delayed choice experiment, how does the photon know that it is being measured after it has passed through the slits? Very simple. Just look at a Feynman diagram. The path and all interactions of a particle are already well defined. Similarly, you cannot trick a photon into behaving like a wave in the same way the uncertainty principle states we can't accurately measure the properties of a photon. The future photon already knows the path in the past that it must have taken to reach where it is now. Indeed, entanglement may be yet another example of this. Why do entangled particles behave the way they do? Well, the connection they share is one that, much like the photon in the double slit experiment, already possesses a future state which must be met via the interactions of the past.

Perhaps dark energy is a force from the future. We know something had to set the big bang in motion. We shouldn't think of it as an explosion- there was no sound. It was an expansion. Spacetime are inseparable. There was no time before the big bang as there was no space. Furthermore, we know time is not absolute and passes at a rate depending on the energy of any given system. It is a dimension- so it must be thought of as such, with future past and present values.

Like Einstein always believed, the universe is simple. Things happen for a reason. QM is in desperate need of updating to the 21st century. The notion that the future already exists may just well be the most important scientific discovery since Darwin came up with evolution. It doesn't matter if people don't like the connotations with free will, religion or happiness. If it's how the universe functions, we just have to deal with it. It is my understanding that organisms only possess a time bias because that is how evolution interacts with entropy- the collection of available states to survive unavailable states. So we collect energy in the present to survive the future and not vice versa, so our brain only has knowledge of the past and present.
« Last Edit: 01/09/2016 08:23:57 by chris »


 

Offline PmbPhy

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2760
  • Thanked: 38 times
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #1 on: 30/08/2016 14:51:28 »
Quote from: Zowie
So it seems to me that people have missed the point with QM. It is not saying that reality exists in multiple states until observed. The wavefunction is nothing more than a predictive tool- it says nothing of the nature of reality.
You're quite wrong. A physical state is not determined until a measurement is made. That is a fact of quantum mechanics. If you think otherwise then you don't understand quantum mechanics.

In any case this is not a question and therefore does not belong in this forum.
 

Offline Zowie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #2 on: 30/08/2016 17:16:39 »
Yes I understand the Copenhagen interpretation... I am just saying that it is very wrong.

And I would have gladly phrased the title as "Is QM being misinterpreted" or something along those lines if it would have appeased you. It doesn't really matter, does it? This is a thread about discussing the unsolved mysteries of QM. It is not a new theory, it is an interpretation. I could criticize some of the other threads in this subforum for being thinly veiled theories in the guise of a question. However, this is most certainly a discussion of the double slit experiment, entanglement, dark energy and everything else to do with QM.

Your response is exactly what is wrong with the field at the moment. Regurgitate what you have been taught and to hell with anybody who disagrees- No wait, if they don't agree-- they DON'T UNDERSTAND IT! Absolute nonsense.
 

Offline PhysBang

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 588
  • Thanked: 14 times
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #3 on: 30/08/2016 17:22:02 »
You're both wrong.

First, you're both presenting interpretations. Second, interpretations are not stalling any research into QM whatsoever.
 

Offline Zowie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #4 on: 30/08/2016 17:41:24 »
Why are people so quick to tell others that they are wrong without providing any argument whatsoever?

Maybe address my points and tell me why they are wrong? I prefer reason and logic to abject hostility.

If you can't sufficiently refute my claims, I am not 'wrong'. How can one of a myriad of untestable interpretations be 'wrong' anyway? Surely you have just contradicted yourself? Predeterministic interpretation of QM is as much in agreement with observations provided by QM as any other interpretation. In fact, as I suggest, the problems it does have suddenly make sense. Perhaps try to understand the matter first before throwing your weight around?
« Last Edit: 30/08/2016 17:44:27 by Zowie »
 

Offline agyejy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 210
  • Thanked: 22 times
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #5 on: 30/08/2016 18:16:13 »
Why are people so quick to tell others that they are wrong without providing any argument whatsoever?

Maybe address my points and tell me why they are wrong? I prefer reason and logic to abject hostility.

If you can't sufficiently refute my claims, I am not 'wrong'. How can one of a myriad of untestable interpretations be 'wrong' anyway? Surely you have just contradicted yourself? Predeterministic interpretation of QM is as much in agreement with observations provided by QM as any other interpretation. In fact, as I suggest, the problems it does have suddenly make sense. Perhaps try to understand the matter first before throwing your weight around?

I suggest you look up Bell's inequalities and why they preclude either local hidden variables or determinism. Generalization of those inequalities suggest that even non-local hidden variables are out and that Quantum Mechanics is at least non-local and probably non-deterministic.

Also in any discussion it is your job to prove your point if you are stating something that goes against accepted knowledge. No one must prove you wrong.
 

Offline PhysBang

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 588
  • Thanked: 14 times
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #6 on: 30/08/2016 18:29:34 »
Why are people so quick to tell others that they are wrong without providing any argument whatsoever?

Maybe address my points and tell me why they are wrong? I prefer reason and logic to abject hostility.

If you can't sufficiently refute my claims, I am not 'wrong'. How can one of a myriad of untestable interpretations be 'wrong' anyway? Surely you have just contradicted yourself? Predeterministic interpretation of QM is as much in agreement with observations provided by QM as any other interpretation. In fact, as I suggest, the problems it does have suddenly make sense. Perhaps try to understand the matter first before throwing your weight around?
RiiiiiIIIiiiiiight.

Look, you have a favorite interpretation of QM, you gave it. You have provided no reasoning as to why it is a problem that other people do not adopt your favorite interpretation. As far as I can tell, you have an aesthetic preference that probably most people do not share.
 

Offline jeffreyH

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3913
  • Thanked: 52 times
  • The graviton sucks
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #7 on: 30/08/2016 20:38:21 »
Zowie you are trying to say that the universe is deterministic and ultimately predetermined. Probability itself can be used to refute your position. It boils down to a case of EPR versus Bell. Although I don't think Bell has plugged all the gaps the constraints are sufficient to rule out the majority of options. It will have to be someone very clever indeed to overturn current theory. It won't be with the argument you propose.
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4105
  • Thanked: 245 times
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #8 on: 30/08/2016 22:39:26 »
Quote from: Zowie
We shouldn't think of [the big bang] as an explosion- there was no sound.
Variations in the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) across the sky are commonly interpreted as representing variations in the density of matter at the time the photon last interacted with opaque matter.

Variations in the density of matter probably reflect random fluctuations present early in the expansion of the universe. These density fluctuations indicate pressure differences, which would have propagated through the matter of the early universe.

What is sound? Pressure differences that propagate through a medium. So I suggest that the big bang would have been accompanied by sound - and an overpressure that would have ripped your atomic nuclei apart!

Inflation Theory tries to explain why these density differences are as small as they are observed to be.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_microwave_background
 

Offline Zowie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #9 on: 31/08/2016 07:12:52 »
Whether or not the big bang was perceptibly loud is not really my argument here. It was flavor text. Care to address my points with double slit, dark energy, time before big bang, entanglement and biological time bias?
 

Offline PmbPhy

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2760
  • Thanked: 38 times
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #10 on: 01/09/2016 02:27:38 »
You're both wrong.

First, you're both presenting interpretations. Second, interpretations are not stalling any research into QM whatsoever.
You're the one who's wrong. What I just stated is, as Griffiths put it, the orthodox position. It means that before the position (momentum, energy etc. ) pf a particle is observed/measured it doesn't have a position. This is also known as the Copenhagen Interpretation. However its more than just an interpretation since it bears out under experiment. It's clear to me that you've been letting words fool you a great deal. I see it in a lot of what you post. In fact you get a lot of things wrong for someone who claims to know physics. And nobody on this forum would disagree with me.
 

Offline PhysBang

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 588
  • Thanked: 14 times
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #11 on: 01/09/2016 03:03:09 »
You're both wrong.

First, you're both presenting interpretations. Second, interpretations are not stalling any research into QM whatsoever.
You're the one who's wrong. What I just stated is, as Griffiths put it, the orthodox position.
Sure, call your interpretation, "the orthodox position," as if John Bell and the Bohmian interpretation never existed.

Quote
However its more than just an interpretation since it bears out under experiment.
It bears out assuming locality. If one is comfortable with non-local interactions, then one can have hidden variables determining things.

Quote
It's clear to me that you've been letting words fool you a great deal.
You mean I'm fooled for not trusting the attempt-to-persuade name that proponents of a given interpretation gave to their interpretation?
Quote
I see it in a lot of what you post. In fact you get a lot of things wrong for someone who claims to know physics. And nobody on this forum would disagree with me.
Just because I don't allow you to make your dogmatic claims without question doesn't mean that I'm wrong. You really worship a subset of physicists. I'm not saying that their position is wrong, I'm just saying that the conclusion is not as certain as you would like.

You're welcome, by the way.
 

Offline Zowie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #12 on: 02/09/2016 13:13:37 »
You're both wrong.

First, you're both presenting interpretations. Second, interpretations are not stalling any research into QM whatsoever.
You're the one who's wrong. What I just stated is, as Griffiths put it, the orthodox position. It means that before the position (momentum, energy etc. ) pf a particle is observed/measured it doesn't have a position. This is also known as the Copenhagen Interpretation. However its more than just an interpretation since it bears out under experiment. It's clear to me that you've been letting words fool you a great deal. I see it in a lot of what you post. In fact you get a lot of things wrong for someone who claims to know physics. And nobody on this forum would disagree with me.

Interacting with a particle to measure it changes its properties. That's the uncertainty principle. It doesn't prove that a particle is without position or momentum prior to observation, only that we can't know them. What bears out under experimentation exactly? Show how experiments prove the Copenhagen deserves any more appreciation than my interpretation of QM and I will happily yield.
 

Offline PmbPhy

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2760
  • Thanked: 38 times
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #13 on: 02/09/2016 14:01:59 »
Quote from: Zowie
Yes I understand the Copenhagen interpretation... I am just saying that it is very wrong.
What are you basing this assertion on? The Copenhagen interpretation is rooted in observation.

In any case this thread is in the wrong forum. If you're claiming that its wrong then this thread belongs in the "New Theories" forum, not this one. And I don't go to that forum much for good reason.
 

Offline Zowie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #14 on: 02/09/2016 14:52:28 »
Quote from: Zowie
Yes I understand the Copenhagen interpretation... I am just saying that it is very wrong.
What are you basing this assertion on? The Copenhagen interpretation is rooted in observation.

In any case this thread is in the wrong forum. If you're claiming that its wrong then this thread belongs in the "New Theories" forum, not this one. And I don't go to that forum much for good reason.

It's not a new theory though. It's an interpretation of QM. I am simply questioning why one interpretation is so popular and others are left completely in the dark.

New Theory sections of science forums are a mixed bag. Very rarely do I find anything sensible comes out of them. I'm sorry, but you cannot relegate this thread to nonsense simply because you have chosen to interpret the results of QM one way over another. What's more, the title has been renamed to fit the rules of the forum. What's missing is rational discussion of the subject matter instead of throwing a tantrum because somebody pulled you up on the implications of the uncertainty principle.
« Last Edit: 02/09/2016 15:01:38 by Zowie »
 

Offline jeffreyH

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3913
  • Thanked: 52 times
  • The graviton sucks
    • View Profile
A good place to start is to investigate Bertlmann's socks. I have posted on this before so a search of the forum may be useful as well.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinhold_Bertlmann
 

Offline PmbPhy

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2760
  • Thanked: 38 times
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #16 on: 03/09/2016 01:15:23 »
Quote from: Zowie
It's not a new theory though. It's an interpretation of QM. I am simply questioning why one interpretation is so popular and others are left completely in the dark.
It's because you're confusing interpretation with theory. While the Copenhagen interpretation is called an "interpretation" it's really much more than that. It has testable predictions to it and that's why its not always referred to as an interpretation.
 

Offline flr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 302
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #17 on: 05/09/2016 22:48:11 »
... the orthodox position .. It means that before the position (momentum, energy etc. ) of a particle is observed/measured it doesn't have a position.
Nonsense. How could one know that a particle 'doesn't have a position' before it is measured, if it actually hasn't been measured yet. 'Before' means it has not been done yet.

Quote

However its more than just an interpretation since it bears out under experiment.
They all do, that is why we have more than 1 interpretations: the experiment cannot rule them out.
 

Offline jeffreyH

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3913
  • Thanked: 52 times
  • The graviton sucks
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #18 on: 05/09/2016 23:53:56 »
... the orthodox position .. It means that before the position (momentum, energy etc. ) of a particle is observed/measured it doesn't have a position.
Nonsense. How could one know that a particle 'doesn't have a position' before it is measured, if it actually hasn't been measured yet. 'Before' means it has not been done yet.

Quote

However its more than just an interpretation since it bears out under experiment.
They all do, that is why we have more than 1 interpretations: the experiment cannot rule them out.

Position has to be measured with respect to a defined set of coordinates. Without this definition position has no meaning. So if the coordinates have not yet been defined the particle has no position. It does exist and definitely has a velocity. However we have no way of determining any properties.

 

Offline flr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 302
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
Quote
Position has to be measured with respect to a defined set of coordinates.

Why cannot use the laboratory frame which is well defined?
 

Offline PmbPhy

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2760
  • Thanked: 38 times
    • View Profile
Re: The problems with Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #20 on: 06/09/2016 15:06:56 »
Quote from: flr
Nonsense.
First off please note that its impolite to assert that what someone asserts is 'nonsense.' Please take the time to find other ways to express your beliefs. Otherwise I'll make sure never to respond to anything you post ever again. Thank you.

In the second place, it's far from being 'nonsense.' It's a well-tested and verified postulate.

Quote from: flr
How could one know that a particle 'doesn't have a position' before it is measured, if it actually hasn't been measured yet. 'Before' means it has not been done yet.
Experiments have been carried out which confirms this. Off the top of my head I can't recall the details of those experiments. Let me review the subject and I'll get back to you on this.

Quote

They all do, that is why we have more than 1 interpretations: the experiment cannot rule them out.
If you claim that they 'all do' then please post references to a journal article in which such an interpretation was tested and verified by experiment. I'll do the same. Please note that it may take some time to locate the publication of the experiments that I mentioned.

Quote from: flr
Why cannot use the laboratory frame which is well defined?
There's absolutely no reason why it can't be done. However that is precisely what Jeff was speaking of because the lab is actually a well-defined coordinate system.

Quote from: flr
However, what QM is actually telling us, in specific the double slit experiment, is that the future already exists.
That is incorrect in that it defies the meaning of exists since 'exists' is a time dependent concept.
« Last Edit: 06/09/2016 15:13:04 by PmbPhy »
 

Offline Bill S

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1802
  • Thanked: 11 times
    • View Profile
Quote from: Pete
That is incorrect in that it defies the meaning of exists since 'exists' is a time dependent concept.

That's an interesting comment, Pete.  I shall have to think about it a bit, but it seems to say that nothing could be eternal.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums