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#35973 - 09/06/10 08:16 AM Quantum theory and Reality.
socratus Offline
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Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 415
Quantum theory and Reality.
==========.
" Physicists have traditionally expected that science should give
an account of reality as it would be in our absence. . . . . . . . .
It cannot be that reality depends on our existence,
. . . . .
Philosophers call this view realism.
. . . the real world . . . must exist independently of us. It follows that
the terms by which science describes reality cannot involve in any
essential way what we choose to measure or not measure."
/ The trouble with physics. page 6 - 7.
Lee Smolin. /

It cannot be that reality depends on our existence and or on our measurement
What was before the man began its measure?
What was in the beginning ?
Socratus.

Quantum mechanics, at least in the form it was first proposed,
did not fit easily with realism. This is because the theory
presupposed a division of nature into two parts.
On one side of the division is the system to be observed. . . . . . .
.. . on the other side . . . .
/ The trouble with physics. page 7.
Lee Smolin. /

Quantum mechanics, at least in the form it was first proposed,
did not fit easily with realism. This is because the theory
presupposed a division of nature into two parts.
These two parts are Material and Vacuum worlds.
On one side of the Material system we can observe.
On the other side . . . . quantum theory tells us that the
Vacuum world exist even in our absence.
Can my opinion be right?
It is right because QED says when electron interacts with Vacuum all its parameters
became infinite. But this is forbidden by the law of energy conservation and transformation.
So, what is Vacuum?
It is new Physical Reality.
So, what is problem?
The problem is that we know the law of electron conservation,
but we don't know the law of electron transformation?
==========================.
Israel Socratus.

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#35980 - 09/06/10 11:11 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: socratus]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Socratus
What was before the man began its measure?
What was in the beginning ?


Perhaps quantum theory gives us a small window into infinity. It may not be meaningful to ask what happened before we started to measure things(i.e. to make observations). In infinity (=eternity) nothing can happen, because there can be no change. It could be that what we perceive as time, stretching back to the Big Bang, or whatever, is simply a feature of our limited perception.
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#36046 - 09/12/10 04:37 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Posts: 56

In the measurement process, a chain of events is created in which 'something out there' gets interfered with and through the mediation of scientific measuring instruments and indeed, our nervous system, a 'measurement' is deemed to have been made. In the absence of the forgoing how would 'reality be the same when undisturbed? In my view, we and all other living things are 'participants' in creating new patterns in nature, and if you think about it a little, this is really equivalent to saying that we, as a conscious part of the universe, is the universe redefining itself via consciousness.

The old question of whether a tree makes a sound in a forest when there are no 'ears' about seems pertinent here.

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#36055 - 09/13/10 11:37 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Socratus
It cannot be that reality depends on our existence,
. Were you asking, here, who/what did the observing before we were around to do it? If so, abacus9900's response to the question "how would 'reality be the same when undisturbed?" addresses the same point, but still does not answer the original question.

Originally Posted By: abacus9900
The old question of whether a tree makes a sound in a forest when there are no 'ears' about seems pertinent here
.

As long as one interprets the “no-ears” as meaning no creature capable of hearing, then the answer must be “no”. Sound waves are vibrations; they become sound only when interpreted by the appropriate auditory organs. No ears, no sound
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#36058 - 09/13/10 12:37 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:
Were you asking, here, who/what did the observing before we were around to do it? If so, abacus9900's response to the question "how would 'reality be the same when undisturbed?" addresses the same point, but still does not answer the original question.



It may be the case that reality does not have the same meaning for all observers. For example, could we really say that reality for, say, an earthworm is to be considered the same as it is for us? I don't think so and it seems to be closely related to the complexity of the observer. I'm not saying there is no reality in the absence of observers (more specifically us) but what kind of reality? It seems nonsense to me to assert that reality is always fixed and unchanging regardless of who or what is observing it, or, if you like, 'measuring' it.

Quote:


As long as one interprets the “no-ears” as meaning no creature capable of hearing, then the answer must be “no”. Sound waves are vibrations; they become sound only when interpreted by the appropriate auditory organs. No ears, no sound



Yes, sound waves are a form of energy, however, can we really say that sound waves alone, without interacting with the delicate structures of a human ear and the central nervous system, constitute sound?

The same energy, when interacting with a piece of rock, cannot be compared to the same 'experience' as a person has.

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#36076 - 09/14/10 12:28 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
kallog Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
we really say that reality for, say, an earthworm is to be considered the same as it is for us? I don't think so and

Sure, why not? We certainly each perceive reality differently but that doesn't change what it is. It just means we aren't all omniscient.


I used to have an idea about different realities a bit like Schrodinger's cat. When you have some random event, like an atomic decay, any 'stuff' that recieved information about that event would count as an observer, and would cause the wave function collapse for just that observer. Other 'observers' who had no information exchange with the first one, would experience their own version of reality - maybe one observer sees the dead cat an the other a living cat.

Well haha maybe it's not my idea at all but just Schrodinger's one. Tho my spin on it was that for two different observers to see different realities, they have to be unable to share information. Say the decay bumps a neighboring atom, that atom bumps its neighbors, etc. All those atoms have to experience the same reality. And if they're all part of the same macroscopic machine/lab/room then eventually they'll all communicate the event to each other, so they must all agree. If we ever try to seperate them, and take measurements from different observers. That act of reading the dials will communicate information between the two observers and force them to have agreed all along.

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#36098 - 09/14/10 05:36 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: kallog]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:


Tho my spin on it was that for two different observers to see different realities, they have to be unable to share information.



Well, there are animals that can sense certain information that humans cannot. Certain frequencies of light and sound aren't available to human senses but are to some animals. True, we can measure these frequencies but is that the same as really 'sharing' direct information?

Also, how could we possibly share scientific information with an earthworm? This is what I meant by different realities.


Edited by abacus9900 (09/14/10 05:38 PM)

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#36105 - 09/14/10 07:57 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
however, can we really say that sound waves alone, without interacting with the delicate structures of a human ear and the central nervous system, constitute sound?


I feel sure we cannot say that, but I would not agree that the human ear etc. is a necessity, there are plenty of other creatures that must be able to convert sound waves into sound.

This is a bit of a diversion, though, as is sharing information with earthworms. The central question seems to be something like this:

Is there an objective reality "out there", or is it all in the minds of observers? Whichever side of that fence one comes down on, one must land on a multitude of other questions.
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#36114 - 09/15/10 02:07 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Is there an objective reality "out there", or is it all in the minds of observers? Whichever side of that fence one comes down on, one must land on a multitude of other questions.

Bill, maybe you could rephrase your question as: "Is there a reality 'out there', or is there only (my) mind?". Does it make a difference to you? I think not. Either way you are aware of a self-consistent universe.
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#36119 - 09/15/10 08:20 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Posts: 56
Quote:
I feel sure we cannot say that, but I would not agree that the human ear etc. is a necessity, there are plenty of other creatures that must be able to convert sound waves into sound.



Yes, but all you're doing here is posing the question of whether living things with ears are a necessity for sound.
It seems to me it is a question of how 'simple' you want to make an 'observer' to test whether reality is very different for them in comparison to us and other higher animals.





Edited by abacus9900 (09/15/10 08:23 AM)

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#36120 - 09/15/10 08:29 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
abacus9900 Offline
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Registered: 09/12/10
Posts: 56
Quote:
Bill, maybe you could rephrase your question as: "Is there a reality 'out there', or is there only (my) mind?". Does it make a difference to you? I think not. Either way you are aware of a self-consistent universe.



I think the most reasonable position to take is that there is a reality out there but that we are compelled to interpret it in terms of our mental 'lens'; we have no choice. Our species has evolved over time to deal with the everyday world of 'big' objects and this is reflected in our psychological make-up. We use concepts in science which originate from our set of mental skills shaped by evolution but the problem is we will always be constrained by our limited ability to 'map' reality. Even maths is a kind of analogy, when you think about it.

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#36121 - 09/15/10 09:41 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
Yes, sound waves are a form of energy, however, can we really say that sound waves alone, without interacting with the delicate structures of a human ear and the central nervous system, constitute sound?

The same energy, when interacting with a piece of rock, cannot be compared to the same 'experience' as a person has.

Just a quick review this, for the sake of adding my two cents worth. Certain ranges of frequencies of compression and sheer waves, occurring in various transmitting media, can be detected by the auditory apparatus of living organisms. We call these waves 'sound waves' simply because when they are thus detected, they create a sensation that we call 'sound'. In the absence of suitable detection apparatus there is, of course, no perceived sound. In other words, in the absence of ears, or the equivalent, there is no sound, since sound is the subjective sensory interpretation of sound waves, not the actual waves themselves.

Originally Posted By: abacus9900
I think the most reasonable position to take is that there is a reality out there but that we are compelled to interpret it in terms of our mental 'lens'...

That's a conclusion hard to refute.
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"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#36123 - 09/15/10 11:05 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
maybe you could rephrase your question as: "Is there a reality 'out there', or is there only (my) mind?".


I deliberately avoided saying "my" mind, as I thought this might lead to a digression into solipsism.

Originally Posted By: abacus9900
Even maths is a kind of analogy, when you think about it.


This is a fact that is all too easily overlooked. Such is the power of maths that it is easy to mistake it for reality.
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#36129 - 09/15/10 02:20 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Posts: 56
Quote:

Originally Posted By: abacus9900
Even maths is a kind of analogy, when you think about it.


This is a fact that is all too easily overlooked. Such is the power of maths that it is easy to mistake it for reality.



Yes, if you think about it, where did maths originally come from? It came from attempts to keep track of things in our four dimension spacetime world. So, whatever kind of maths is employed with which to try to understand the quantum world it will be like using a spanner to loosen a screw; it is simply incompatible with the strange world of quantum mechanics. The fundamental problem is maths is a symbolic reflection of the way the mind works (OK, some very clever minds, I grant you) but, nevertheless, if you look upon maths and indeed language as a kind of 'mind stuff' then it will always be struggling to describe a world that might even exist in other dimensions. Who can experience other dimensions? Nobody that I know of!

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#36132 - 09/15/10 03:36 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
kallog Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
will always be struggling to describe a world that might even exist in other dimensions. Who can experience other dimensions? Nobody that I know of!


That's a perfect example of where math can easily describe things that our minds can't do directly. I don't think it's fair to say math is limited too much by our minds.

I think too many people say "oh it's just math you can use it to prove anything, it's not the real world".

But if the real world follows some mathematical description, then it doesn't matter what clever math tricks you use, you'll always still be describing the real world.

The problem comes when it turns out the real world never perfectly followed that mathematical description in the first place, and using extreme extrapolations led to big errors. But that's not a problem with math, it's a problem with not knowing the true behavior of nature in the first place.

One example might be black holes. They say, oh when you have very dense matter it's constrained from collapsing by the chemical bonds. Then if you make it denser it's bashes through them and is constrained again by nuclear forces, then you make it denser still it overcomes those and is now constrained by the Pauli exclusion principle or something. Then you increase the density more and it overcomes that but now there's nothing to constrain it so it collapses all the way to a singularity.

It may turn out that there really is something to catch it again and prevent a true singularity. If we find that, it'd be wrong to say "we were misled by out limited math". We would only have been misled by not knowing about that extra 'force' holding it apart.

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#36137 - 09/15/10 05:03 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: kallog]
abacus9900 Offline
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I'm no mathematician, but I do know some of them have made geometric models which are supposed to incorporate extra dimensions into them but nobody can actually 'see' extra dimensions - we evolved in a three dimensional world so our brains are designed that way. I think we would need a brain that existed in extra dimensions to appreciate them.

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#36139 - 09/15/10 09:37 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: k
I don't think it's fair to say math is limited too much by our minds.


In some ways this is true, but maths, as we use it, is a tool created by the human mind, and its use, if not its potential, is limited by our minds. It might be argued that because maths describes the universe so well, the universe must be mathematical, but this can be a circular argument. One could say that Constable's paintings depicted the Suffolk countryside extremely well, but I think it would require a particular degree of madness to extrapolate from that that the Suffolk countryside was composed of canvass and paint.

I accept that maths can be used to produce representations of more dimensions than our minds can readily visualise, so to that extent maths is not restricted by the limitations of our minds, but what we do with those representations, and how we interpret them is strictly limited by our mental capabilities.
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#36141 - 09/15/10 10:33 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Bill, I like to think of it as the universe that has attained consciousness (us) on a quest to define itself. I cannot offer any scientific validation of this but I feel that mind has a central role in the definition of reality. Roger Penrose has hinted at this but has been guarded about his views due to the negative reactions of the scientific establishment. I believe Roger has suggested a study of human consciousness as a legitimate field of study and I think this might be the way forward to gaining a deeper understanding of our relationship with 'reality.' Perhaps if and when we do attain a better knowledge of the ways our brain and mind work we might be in a better position to move on and reconcile our relationship with the universe.


Edited by abacus9900 (09/15/10 10:39 PM)

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#36142 - 09/15/10 10:54 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
redewenur Offline
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Yes, consciousness gives meaning to the cosmos.

So, abacus, are you saying that you believe the universe was programmed to attain consciousness for the specific purpose of defining itself? If it is a 'quest', then that requires a pre-existing intelligence/consciousness, right?
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#36144 - 09/15/10 11:07 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewnur
consciousness gives meaning to the cosmos.


Presumably this would indicate that there was consciousness in the cosmos before life as we know it appeared. Perhaps even the suggestion that the cosmos itself is a conscious entity.
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#36145 - 09/15/10 11:15 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
redewenur Offline
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Sorry, Bill, I edited just as you posted.

Yes, if abacus is right, I'd say that would have to be true.

It seems to me that in the absence of a consciousness, either pre-existing or evolved, a universe could have no meaning, direction or purpose.
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#36148 - 09/16/10 05:48 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
redewenur Offline
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- and focusing on the topic, perhaps science will reveal that consciousness has a fundamental and essential role in all physical processes, beyond that observed in the aforementioned experiments.
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#36149 - 09/16/10 08:39 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
abacus9900 Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
Yes, consciousness gives meaning to the cosmos.

So, abacus, are you saying that you believe the universe was programmed to attain consciousness for the specific purpose of defining itself? If it is a 'quest', then that requires a pre-existing intelligence/consciousness, right?



Not necessarily. The complexity of matter has reached a stage where it can think and reason, that is all.

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#36150 - 09/16/10 08:41 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
abacus9900 Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
Sorry, Bill, I edited just as you posted.

Yes, if abacus is right, I'd say that would have to be true.

It seems to me that in the absence of a consciousness, either pre-existing or evolved, a universe could have no meaning, direction or purpose.



Well, put is this way: How could a universe consisting of just dumb matter understand or be aware of itself?


Edited by abacus9900 (09/16/10 09:45 AM)

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#36151 - 09/16/10 08:47 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
abacus9900 Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
- and focusing on the topic, perhaps science will reveal that consciousness has a fundamental and essential role in all physical processes, beyond that observed in the aforementioned experiments.



Well, we need to remember that when human beings conduct experiments probing the incredibly small we are an unavoidable part of the situation. The traditional view of science is that the observer has no special significance in scientific experiments, however, any experimental results obtained represent the totality of any set-up because, as I mentioned in an earlier post, nature unobserved is not the same as nature observed.

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#36152 - 09/16/10 12:09 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
Originally Posted By: redewenur
Sorry, Bill, I edited just as you posted.

Yes, if abacus is right, I'd say that would have to be true.

It seems to me that in the absence of a consciousness, either pre-existing or evolved, a universe could have no meaning, direction or purpose.

Well, put is this way: How could a universe consisting of just dumb matter understand or be aware of itself?

It couldn't, of course, but would it matter? I mean, from the cosmic viewpoint, so what?

Originally Posted By: abacus9900
Well, we need to remember that when human beings conduct experiments probing the incredibly small we are an unavoidable part of the situation. The traditional view of science is that the observer has no special significance in scientific experiments, however, any experimental results obtained represent the totality of any set-up because, as I mentioned in an earlier post, nature unobserved is not the same as nature observed.

Yes, it's essential to emphasise that the significant factor in the mentioned experiments is not the physical presence of the experimenter, but the observing consciousness, capable of gaining information. That's the key - whether or not it happens to be the consciousness of the human beings conducting the experiment.
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#36153 - 09/16/10 12:29 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
nature unobserved is not the same as nature observed.


Surely we can only theorise about what "nature unobserved" might be like.

Even in an experiment such as the DS, only part of the experiment is unobserved. The outcome must always be observed, or the experiment is not conducted. Can we be sure that that outcome would have been the same had we not observed it?
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#36156 - 09/16/10 04:44 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:
It couldn't, of course, but would it matter? I mean, from the cosmic viewpoint, so what?



I think the crucial question here is: what universe?

Could the universe as we perceive it really be said to exist in any meaningful way in the absence of observers?



Quote:
Yes, it's essential to emphasise that the significant factor in the mentioned experiments is not the physical presence of the experimenter, but the observing consciousness, capable of gaining information. That's the key - whether or not it happens to be the consciousness of the human beings conducting the experiment.



Many, if not most physicists, would take the view that the result of the experiment would be the same regardless of whether there was a 'consciousness' present or not. They maintain that the device used to collect the data from the experiment is sufficient to produce the same result. You could arrange to have a computer that makes a random decision as whether to erase the 'which-path' information or not.

What do you think?

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#36157 - 09/16/10 04:46 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Originally Posted By: abacus9900
nature unobserved is not the same as nature observed.


Surely we can only theorise about what "nature unobserved" might be like.

Even in an experiment such as the DS, only part of the experiment is unobserved. The outcome must always be observed, or the experiment is not conducted. Can we be sure that that outcome would have been the same had we not observed it?



Would we have to have a human being acting as observer or could we use something else?

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#36158 - 09/16/10 05:58 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
Would we have to have a human being acting as observer or could we use something else?


This is the crux of the matter, isn't it? If we insist that the observer be human, then we are a step closer to saying that nothing existed before humans were around to do the observing.

On the other hand we might extend the role of observer to possible pre-human observers: God, Boltzmann brains, intelligent cosmos etc etc, but it all seems to reduce to what we believe.
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#36159 - 09/16/10 06:13 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
then that requires a pre-existing intelligence/consciousness, right?


Not necessarily pre-existing, if the cosmos is infinite, then the "intelligence/consciousness" has always been a feature of it.
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#36160 - 09/16/10 07:32 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Originally Posted By: abacus9900
Would we have to have a human being acting as observer or could we use something else?


This is the crux of the matter, isn't it? If we insist that the observer be human, then we are a step closer to saying that nothing existed before humans were around to do the observing.

On the other hand we might extend the role of observer to possible pre-human observers: God, Boltzmann brains, intelligent cosmos etc etc, but it all seems to reduce to what we believe.



You used the word 'intelligence' there.


If the experiment was performed and then all human life was suddenly wiped out would the meaning of the experiment any longer have any meaning? I can't persuade myself that it would. OK, you could automate the whole thing and, as mentioned, pre-program a computer to stand in for the experimenter and randomly erase/not erase info, but what would be about to interpret the results?

So, the question now becomes: does reality for it to exist need an agency to interpret it?

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#36162 - 09/16/10 09:50 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
You could arrange to have a computer that makes a random decision as whether to erase the 'which-path' information or not.

What do you think?
Originally Posted By: abacus9900
Would we have to have a human being acting as observer or could we use something else?

It doesn't seem to matter if there's a human observer on the scene, or whether the human obtains the information via a non-conscious system. Either way, the information becomes accessible to consciousness. The cat is out of the bag (or the box smile ) I wonder how the universe 'knows' that the cat is out of the bag!!!

Originally Posted By: abacus9900
Could the universe as we perceive it really be said to exist in any meaningful way in the absence of observers?
Originally Posted By: abacus9900
So, the question now becomes: does reality for it to exist need an agency to interpret it?

Originally Posted By: Bill S.
This is the crux of the matter, isn't it? If we insist that the observer be human, then we are a step closer to saying that nothing existed before humans were around to do the observing.

John Wheeler suggested something that more or less amounts to that: - that the act of observing 'creates history'. There are better explanations on the net. But, as you can imagine, his peers thought that was going too far.

I guess any consciousness capable of comprehending the observable event will suffice, be it in the form little green men or whatever.
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#36163 - 09/16/10 11:33 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
I wonder how the universe 'knows' that the cat is out of the bag!!!


If the "universe" is infinite it must "know" anything that is known by any conscious being.

Quote:
little green men
Shouldn't that be "little green people" in these days of PC?
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#36168 - 09/17/10 04:07 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Originally Posted By: redewenur
I wonder how the universe 'knows' that the cat is out of the bag!!!

If the "universe" is infinite it must "know" anything that is known by any conscious being.

Whether or not the universe is infinite, it can be said to possess knowledge in the sense that a fraction of it consists of conscious entities; but what's elusive is an explanation of how that part of the universe which is not comprised of conscious entities can know, or be aware of, anything at all - unless it has, in its entirety, a form of consciousness independent of those entities.

Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Originally Posted By: redewenur
little green men
Shouldn't that be "little green people" in these days of PC?

Oops
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#36171 - 09/17/10 07:22 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
kallog Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
explanation of how that part of the universe which is not comprised of conscious entities can know, or be aware of, anything at all - unless it has, in its entirety, a form of consciousness independent of those entities.


When the spell checker points out our mistakes we say "The computer knows it's spelt wrong" I think this is getting to the distinction between "knowing" and "having information". What's the difference? Obviously the universe is chock full of information about itself. Isn't that suffucient?


Originally Posted By: redewenur
little green men

I don't think there's the faintest shred of evidence to suggest that consciousness has any effect on reality, apart from the direct effects of us deciding to do things.

It sounds more like that philosophy of how do we know the world exists? We can only perceive things. We might be brains in jars with computers feeding our senses. Totally pointless thing to discuss because it's been thrashed to death and isn't scientific.




Edited by kallog (09/17/10 07:23 AM)

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#36173 - 09/17/10 08:12 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: kallog]
redewenur Offline
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"Totally pointless thing to discuss" etc, etc.

kallog, why be such a bore? I'm afraid you're developing an attitude signature

- which is a pity, since you make some interesting contributions.
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#36174 - 09/17/10 08:19 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:

It doesn't seem to matter if there's a human observer on the scene, or whether the human obtains the information via a non-conscious system. Either way, the information becomes accessible to consciousness. The cat is out of the bag (or the box smile ) I wonder how the universe 'knows' that the cat is out of the bag!!!




Yes, but the point I was making was if no human or any other comparable life form in the universe was ever able to examine the data, would such data have any meaning? If yes, then reality carries on without conscious observers; if no, reality needs conscious observers to exist.



Quote:
John Wheeler suggested something that more or less amounts to that: - that the act of observing 'creates history'. There are better explanations on the net. But, as you can imagine, his peers thought that was going too far.

I guess any consciousness capable of comprehending the observable event will suffice, be it in the form little green men or whatever.



Again, I am posing the question in the context of no intelligent observers. For example, how could scientific experiments of the kind we have been discussing be made in a universe of dumb matter? There would be no such thing as quantum mechanics, spacetime or anything else! It seems to be that for knowledge to increase you have to produce scientific experiments in order to improve scientific understand and effectively reveal new realities. Now, I accept that the potential for new knowledge is there, but you need consciousness in addition to that because consciousness has the ability to gain knowledge, hence, in my view reality consists of potential and consciousness.

You have to remember that our minds/brains are part of the universe, so it reduces to the universe studying itself and I think there exists a kind of 'feedback' effect where what happens is whatever input conscious observers put into matter produces some kind of 'response', which in turn produces a response from consciousness and so on. It's like a kind of 'dance' between mind and matter and I think this is what I would define as 'reality.'




Edited by abacus9900 (09/17/10 08:37 AM)

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#36175 - 09/17/10 08:33 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: kallog]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:

When the spell checker points out our mistakes we say "The computer knows it's spelt wrong" I think this is getting to the distinction between "knowing" and "having information". What's the difference? Obviously the universe is chock full of information about itself. Isn't that suffucient?



Back to the tree in the forest. When the tree falls, information is produced in the form of sound waves but what if there are no ears about to hear the sound? Can the information then be said to really exist?


Quote:
...apart from the direct effects of us deciding to do things.



Well, if you take that part out of the equation, what's left? Answer: Unobserved reality, and then you have to decide whether unobserved reality is equivalent to observed reality.



Quote:

It sounds more like that philosophy of how do we know the world exists? We can only perceive things. We might be brains in jars with computers feeding our senses. Totally pointless thing to discuss because it's been thrashed to death and isn't scientific.





I think science and philosophy have always been intertwined and without philosophy how would science know what to study? I don't think any unresolved question is pointless to discuss because if you take that road progress stops.




Edited by abacus9900 (09/17/10 08:38 AM)

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#36178 - 09/17/10 03:02 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Quote:
you're developing an attitude signature


If I keep bringing infinity into the picture, I suppose I shall develop some sort of signature.

Originally Posted By: redewenur
Whether or not the universe is infinite, it can be said to possess knowledge in the sense that a fraction of it consists of conscious entities; but what's elusive is an explanation of how that part of the universe which is not comprised of conscious entities can know, or be aware of, anything at all - unless it has, in its entirety, a form of consciousness independent of those entities.


If the cosmos is finite then fractions of it can possess knowledge that the rest does not possess. However, if it is infinite, the entire cosmos must possess the knowledge of every fraction. How does the cosmos know the outcome of a particular experiment? The experimenter knows, so the cosmos knows. Thus, the "form of consciousness" of the cosmos does not have to be "independent of those entities", in fact, it is entirely dependent on those entities.

I use "cosmos" rather than "Universe" to avoid diversions into the possibly demonstrably finite nature of the Unuverse.
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#36179 - 09/17/10 03:13 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
kallog Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
kallog, why be such a bore? I'm afraid you're developing an attitude signature

- which is a pity, since you make some interesting contributions.


I wasn't having a go at anyone. I've just seen so many discussions degenerate into things like that which can go nowhere. It's a bit like trying to deduce the color of the eyes of aliens living in another galaxy. I suppose if you enjoy philosophy then that could be fun too :P

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#36180 - 09/17/10 03:23 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
kallog Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
[quote]
I think science and philosophy have always been intertwined and without philosophy how would science know what to study? I don't think any unresolved question is pointless to discuss because if you take that road progress stops.


Absolutely. But the thrashed to death part means ordinary people without any special discoveries/etc. havn't got a hope.

It kind of irritates me that people are talking about conciousness as if there was any evidence it might be a special thing for the operation of entanglement experiments. It's as good as trying to figure out if God exists or not. Sure people try it all the time, and they all get the same result - nothing. That's why they invented FiLCHeRS, to keep us on productive or at least interesting paths.

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#36181 - 09/17/10 03:31 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: kallog]
abacus9900 Offline
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You don't think scientists should have wasted their time setting up experiments like this?

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#36182 - 09/17/10 04:00 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
kallog Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
You don't think scientists should have wasted their time setting up experiments like this?


No, that's not what I said.

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#36183 - 09/17/10 04:37 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
If the experiment was performed and then all human life was suddenly wiped out would the meaning of the experiment any longer have any meaning? I can't persuade myself that it would.


If one accepts that in this scenario the meaning is lost, would you re-establish the meaning in the future if beings capable of interpreting the meaning evolved and found the experimental results?

If reality depends on consciousness, do we say that reality is suspended during this interim period, or that reality continues because, somehow, the cosmos "knows" that the necessary level of consciousness will re-emerge?
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#36187 - 09/17/10 05:37 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Originally Posted By: abacus9900
If the experiment was performed and then all human life was suddenly wiped out would the meaning of the experiment any longer have any meaning? I can't persuade myself that it would.


If one accepts that in this scenario the meaning is lost, would you re-establish the meaning in the future if beings capable of interpreting the meaning evolved and found the experimental results?

If reality depends on consciousness, do we say that reality is suspended during this interim period, or that reality continues because, somehow, the cosmos "knows" that the necessary level of consciousness will re-emerge?



Impossible to say Bill, and if I gave an answer I would just be speculating.


Now, the Large Hadron Collider is up and running and, in time, might produce some results of experiments that provide information about various aspects of the universe. If this information is useful it might, one day, allow science to make great strides into gaining a much deeper insight into nature and reality but let us pretend that the LHC was never built, OK?


In this scenario science would not be able to progress because science needs to do experiments in order to gain knowledge. So, assuming at some point in the future (and I realize this is just an assumption) the whole nature of human civilization had been changed by the discoveries of the LHC in ways we can only speculate about would this not represent an alternate reality to the one in the scenario where the LHC never existed? In fact, it might be a drastically different alternate reality to the one without the LHC, not just more or less the same!

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#36189 - 09/17/10 05:45 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:

If reality depends on consciousness, do we say that reality is suspended during this interim period, or that reality continues because, somehow, the cosmos "knows" that the necessary level of consciousness will re-emerge?



It's difficult to say, but the way I would put it is that no information is lost because it is the potential of the universe in terms or producing consciousness, sooner or later, that ensures the universe itself 'evolves' to recover information. We are that part of the universe that is 'knowing' and this seems to be an inevitable development in universes like ours.

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#36190 - 09/17/10 07:52 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
In this scenario science would not be able to progress because science needs to do experiments in order to gain knowledge.


Scientists need to do experiments in order to progress something they call "science". It is difficult to imagine science as some objective thing that might be out there stagnating if there were no scientists.

This is a little bit like the exchange that Kallog and I had over the difference between mathematical facts and reality.
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#36194 - 09/18/10 08:18 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:


This is a little bit like the exchange that Kallog and I had over the difference between mathematical facts and reality.



Here, though, aren't you making a false dichotomy between maths and reality as if maths can never really be a part of reality? To me, what maths represents is 'observed' reality, so here, are we really talking about the difference between 'observed' and 'unobserved' reality and if we are, which is the 'real' reality?

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#36195 - 09/18/10 02:49 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
Here, though, aren't you making a false dichotomy between maths and reality as if maths can never really be a part of reality?


I have never thought of maths as being anything other than part of reality. You are probably aware that the main thrust of our discussion was the distinction between mathematical infinity and physical infinity, which will probably take "infinite time" to resolve.
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#36200 - 09/18/10 08:34 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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I just wonder if infinity is a useful concept.

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#36204 - 09/18/10 11:03 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
I just wonder if infinity is a useful concept


If you accept that there can never have been a time when there was absolutely nothing, then infinity is an indispensable concept; but perhaps you don't accept that.
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#36205 - 09/19/10 07:38 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
socratus Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900

I just wonder if infinity is a useful concept.

According to QED when electron interacts with
vacuum its parameters becomes infinite.
It is possible only when vacuum is itself an infinite space.
So, we can be wondered or not, but vacuum as infinite space exists.
Questions:
Can infinity be a useful conception?
Does vacuum ( with its infinite space) have any utility?
And if vacuum is an useful space then . . . .
How can electron be reborn from infinite vacuum?
============
S

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#36210 - 09/19/10 02:19 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: socratus]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: socratus
According to QED when electron interacts with
vacuum its parameters becomes infinite.


Are you saying that its parameters are finite, then they become infinite?

This may be mathematically possible, but I see no way in which any finite thing can become infinite. It may continue to increase endlessly, but there can never be a point at which an observer could say "that is now infinite".
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#36211 - 09/19/10 05:55 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
socratus Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Originally Posted By: socratus
According to QED when electron interacts with
vacuum its parameters becomes infinite.


Are you saying that its parameters are finite, then they become infinite?

This may be mathematically possible,
but I see no way in which any finite thing can become infinite.
It may continue to increase endlessly,
but there can never be a point at which
an observer could say "that is now infinite".

Parameters of electron are finite and then they become infinite.
Nobody knows that to do with infinite sizes and
therefore physicists have invented mathematical method –
‘a method of renormalization ‘, a method
‘ to sweep the dust under the carpet ‘ / Feynman./
#
Is it possible what electron in interaction with vacuum
becomes infinite? No, it is impossible. It is against
‘ The law of conservation and transformation energy ‘.
It is only from our human physical point of view the
electron’s parameters become infinite.
What it means?
It means that we cannot reach the vacuum’s condition T=0K
and we cannot reach the vacuum’s background energy and
we cannot reach vacuum’s density.
And we cannot reach the density of particles there.
Therefore we give them different names:
virtual, dark mass and dark energy, antiparticles, . . . etc
Different names . . . but all agree that in vacuum space
must be something . . .
#
So,
can we have finite particle – electron from infinite space?
Dirac said that we can have it.
How can this be?
Maybe Higgs boson will give answer.
================.
S

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#36212 - 09/19/10 05:58 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: socratus
but vacuum as infinite space exists.


Isn't it difficult (impossible?) to talk about infinity without constraining it within finite terminology. To convey our meaning we have to use terms like "infinite space" and "infinite time"; yet space and time are incompatible with infinity. We try to get our heads around the concept, but we will always be like flatlanders trying to describe a passing spider.
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#36215 - 09/20/10 05:41 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
socratus Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Originally Posted By: socratus
but vacuum as infinite space exists.

Isn't it difficult (impossible?) to talk about infinity
without constraining it within finite terminology.
To convey our meaning we have to use terms like
"infinite space" and "infinite time";
yet space and time are incompatible with infinity.
We try to get our heads around the concept,
but we will always be like flatlanders trying
to describe a passing spider.

Of course, to explain infinity we need finite terminology
#
We have two conception on space and time:
Newtonian and Minkowski.
The space around us is Newtonian –
Descartes coordinates plus time ( 3D+ time).
Minkowski space is negative 4 – dimensional,
( Pseudo – Euclidian space ).
This space is absolute different from Newtonian space
because there the time cannot be separated from the space.

Herman Minkowski said about this spacetime continuum:
“ Henceforth, space by itself, and time by itself,
are doomed to fade away into mere shadows,
and only a kind of union of the two will
preserve an independent reality.”
#
So, ‘ space by itself, and time by itself ‘
( it means Newtonian space and time) are shadows.
Why?
What ‘only a kind of union of the two’ is reality?
What does union of spacetime mean?
Why only this union of spacetims is real factor in Universe?
Nobody knows what Minkowski space really is,
nobody has answers to these questions.
Maybe because we cannot answer to these questions our
finite terminology, trying to explain infinity, doesn’t work.
===.
S.

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#36218 - 09/20/10 05:01 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: socratus]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: socratus
Nobody knows what Minkowski space really is,
nobody has answers to these questions.
Maybe because we cannot answer to these questions our
finite terminology, trying to explain infinity, doesn’t work.


This sounds more like dogma than science. Could it be that a scientist who is not able to explain a concept to a lay person does not really understand that concept?

I agree that trying to explain infinity in finite terminology does not work. There are plenty of examples of that on this Forum.
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#36222 - 09/21/10 04:12 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
socratus Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Originally Posted By: socratus
Nobody knows what Minkowski space really is,
nobody has answers to these questions.
Maybe because we cannot answer to these questions our
finite terminology, trying to explain infinity, doesn’t work.


This sounds more like dogma than science. Could it be that a scientist who is not able to explain a concept to a lay person does not really understand that concept?

I agree that trying to explain infinity in finite terminology does not work. There are plenty of examples of that on this Forum.

This sounds more like dogma than science.
???
Could it be that a scientist who is not able to explain a concept
to a lay person does not really understand that concept?
!!!
‘ The trouble with physics’
/ Lee Smolin /
==.

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#36223 - 09/21/10 05:11 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: socratus]
socratus Offline
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Space in SRT.
===.
Sometime Minkowski space is described as a ‘Light Cone’.
Nobody knows if this ‘ Light Cone’ really exist.
Sometime Minkowski space is described as a
‘ Pseudo – Euclidean space’.
Euclidean space is two dimensions space.
Pseudo – Euclidean space is negative two dimensions space.
Why is it negative?
Because Euclidean space has only two space dimensions.
It has not conception of time in its structure.
The Pseudo – Euclidean space is absolutely different.
Why?
Because physicists / mathematicians put negative time ( -t )
into Euclidean space and then named it ‘Pseudo – Euclidean space’.
Later this space was named as ‘negative Minkowski 4D spacetime’.
Where is this spacetime in the Nature, in the Universe?
Nobody gives exact and concrete answer.
===.
S

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#36224 - 09/21/10 06:12 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: socratus]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: socratus

Euclidean space is two dimensions space

That's misleading. Both 2D and 3D spaces can be Euclidean. 3D Euclidean space is the most useful way of modelling the world as we experience it, even though pseudo-Euclidean spaces (Minkowski space, in the case of SRT) provide scientists with a better understanding of the large scale universe.
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#36225 - 09/21/10 07:21 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Originally Posted By: abacus9900
I just wonder if infinity is a useful concept


If you accept that there can never have been a time when there was absolutely nothing, then infinity is an indispensable concept; but perhaps you don't accept that.



I don't know, many cosmologists consider that before the BB nothing existed and that space and time only got going after the BB.

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#36229 - 09/21/10 02:43 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: socratus]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: socratus
Nobody gives exact and concrete answer


Back to square 1! Is this because it is a mathematical concept that may or may not be relevant to reality; or because nobody actually knows?
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#36231 - 09/21/10 04:01 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:

Back to square 1! Is this because it is a mathematical concept that may or may not be relevant to reality; or because nobody actually knows?



You see, call me a fool, but having discussed and thought about the knowledge we gain through scientific discoveries for some time I have concluded that John Wheeler was onto something when he suggested that it is the questions we put to nature that 'shape' it. I cannot offer any solid, scientific testable evidence for this assertion but it is just a strong intuition I have formed over the years. It sounds crazy to suggest that we, Homo-Sapiens, can be the architects of reality, but I think that essentially we live in our own minds and as such have to 'model' reality in a way our brain's structures can handle.

This idea would explain why we have all the problems associated with infinity and what came before the big bang and indeed the queer world of quantum mechanics. In other word, there is no 'ready made' reality out there just waiting to be discovered in the manner a new country awaits discovery. No, it is as if our consciousness is somehow intrinsically involved in the fabric of reality. I don't know.

This, perhaps, could be the solution to your questions about infinity. Infinity only exists as an idea so no idea, no infinity! (Back to the falling tree in the forest again!).

Is this going too far?


Edited by abacus9900 (09/21/10 04:07 PM)

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#36232 - 09/21/10 05:12 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
It sounds crazy to suggest that we, Homo-Sapiens, can be the architects of reality


I'm not at all sure that it does sound crazy. One question we may have to accept that we will not answer, though, is: if we are the architects of reality, was there any reality before we were around to do our "architecting"? (I bet there's no such word).
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#36236 - 09/21/10 06:21 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:


...if we are the architects of reality, was there any reality before we were around to do our "architecting"? (I bet there's no such word).



The answer I would give would be that yes, 'unobserved' reality was about but, as I do not think myself that observed/unobserved reality are equivalent, due to the central role observers play, I would not say the reality we know of today could possibly be the same before we were around. One way to put it might be that the reality we take for granted today was 'hidden' before intelligent observers existed. It is all very well for people to say oh, but all the things that exist today would still have been around for millions or billions of years before we came on the scene, however, what meaning can this really have when it was all unexpressed at the time? Religion used to be the predominant way of explaining existence and reality and science did not count for much for many centuries so I guess times change and so does what we consider to be reality. Some serious physicists are suggesting not just one universe but a 'multiverse' consisting of innumerable different kinds of universes with their own laws of physics, so here we have an example of the evolving definition of reality into 'higher' realities emerging as a result of consciousness/matter interaction. In fact, one can visualize this process continuing until, perhaps, one day (if we keep evolving) we become godlike, in which case what what reality appear to be like then?




Edited by abacus9900 (09/21/10 06:29 PM)

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#36237 - 09/21/10 07:39 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus
times change and so does what we consider to be reality


Do we have to distinguish between "what we consider to be reality" and what reality might actually be? For example: when educated observers believed the Earth was surrounded by crystal spheres; was that just their subjective reality, or where the spheres actually there? The same question has to be asked of the ether.

Then again, what happens if different cultures believe different things, at the same time?

Quote:
In fact, one can visualize this process continuing until, perhaps, one day (if we keep evolving) we become godlike,

Enter the Omega Point!
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#36239 - 09/21/10 10:03 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:

Do we have to distinguish between "what we consider to be reality" and what reality might actually be? For example: when educated observers believed the Earth was surrounded by crystal spheres; was that just their subjective reality, or where the spheres actually there? The same question has to be asked of the ether.

Then again, what happens if different cultures believe different things, at the same time?



Well, what we do nowadays is to conduct scientific experiments, which is really asking questions of nature and, as I alluded to earlier, the questions we pose will determine what kind of answers we obtain, which leads to theories of what reality is. So, we can see that the kind of reality we experience today is science based, which is fine because science has achieved so much to alleviate suffering and made life much more bearable and enjoyable for many people, however, I have to wonder whether if science is pushed too far it kind of loses its effectiveness in attempting to underpin the deepest mysteries of life. Perhaps religious belief is more of an answer to the latter than science because the more questions science tries to answer, the more questions it throws up.

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#36241 - 09/21/10 10:53 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus
the questions we pose will determine what kind of answers we obtain, which leads to theories of what reality is.


This seems to fit well with at least some of quantum theory's "realities", but takes us no nearer to deciding if there is any sort of objective reality.

Quote:
So, we can see that the kind of reality we experience today is science based


So was the ether, but does that mean it existed until scientific investigation made it redundant?
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#36253 - 09/22/10 08:50 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:

This seems to fit well with at least some of quantum theory's "realities", but takes us no nearer to deciding if there is any sort of objective reality.



Isn't that in the eye of the beholder?

Quote:

So was the ether, but does that mean it existed until scientific investigation made it redundant?


The ether was more of an idea than a scientific fact. Experiment dispensed with it.

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#36254 - 09/22/10 10:05 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus
Isn't that in the eye of the beholder?


When you consider how many versions of quantum reality there may be, they are probably all in the eye of the beholder.

Are you saying that all "reality" is subjective?

Quote:
The ether was more of an idea than a scientific fact


What is a scientific "fact", and how does it differ from a widely accepted idea that might be dispensed with at any time?
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#36259 - 09/23/10 05:43 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
What is a scientific "fact", and how does it differ from a widely accepted idea that might be dispensed with at any time?

Try this:

Scientific facts are a tentative class of 'truth' (or widely accepted idea) verifiable by repeatable experiment/observation, and which - although they may turn out to accurately describe reality - usually prove to serve as approximate descriptions of reality, subject to modification.

A popular example of modified scientific truth/fact is the transition from Newton's 'rational mechanics' explanation of planetary motion to Einstein's General Relativity theory. The 'celestial mechanics' of Laplace and Newton provides a very accurate prediction of planetary motion, but GR correctly accounted for the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, which was "anomalous" according to Newton. GR may yet prove to be inaccurate. Scientists would no doubt welcome such a new scientific 'truth', as a landmark breakthough.
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#36260 - 09/23/10 10:41 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
Try this


I did...it seemed good...thanks.
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#36262 - 09/23/10 11:46 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
abacus9900 Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
Originally Posted By: Bill S.
What is a scientific "fact", and how does it differ from a widely accepted idea that might be dispensed with at any time?

Try this:

Scientific facts are a tentative class of 'truth' (or widely accepted idea) verifiable by repeatable experiment/observation, and which - although they may turn out to accurately describe reality - usually prove to serve as approximate descriptions of reality, subject to modification.

A popular example of modified scientific truth/fact is the transition from Newton's 'rational mechanics' explanation of planetary motion to Einstein's General Relativity theory. The 'celestial mechanics' of Laplace and Newton provides a very accurate prediction of planetary motion, but GR correctly accounted for the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, which was "anomalous" according to Newton. GR may yet prove to be inaccurate. Scientists would no doubt welcome such a new scientific 'truth', as a landmark breakthough.


Yes, but such facts do not come into existence without the aid of conscious intervention by people; this is the point I have been making, ie, 'observed' versus 'unobserved' reality.

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#36263 - 09/23/10 11:57 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:


When you consider how many versions of quantum reality there may be, they are probably all in the eye of the beholder.

Are you saying that all "reality" is subjective?



Yes, because we, or rather our minds, are an intrinsic part of reality creation. We use things like language and mathematics to describe reality (I'll discount emotions) to 'model' our experiences in terms of scientific observations, but such observations always involve us in interacting with and therefore disturbing nature. Again, we are back to 'observed' reality and 'unobserved' reality.

Quote:

What is a scientific "fact", and how does it differ from a widely accepted idea that might be dispensed with at any time?



A scientific fact is information that has been acquired through repeated experimentation that has be repeated to such an extent that it has become predictive. However, the question is, did such a scientific fact exist before somebody decided to 'model' it? It seems to me that the more one tills a particular furrow, in terms of asking nature questions, the deeper and more enduring the furrow becomes, eventually attaining the status of a scientific fact.

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#36269 - 09/23/10 09:11 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Wow, at least three of us agree, broadly, on the definition of a scientific "fact".

We seem to have a similar triumvirate agreement on the "different take on gravity" thread.

I hope this doesn't mean we are going soft!
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#36281 - 09/24/10 12:28 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Wow, at least three of us agree, broadly, on the definition of a scientific "fact".

We seem to have a similar triumvirate agreement on the "different take on gravity" thread.

I hope this doesn't mean we are going soft!



Well, Bill S, if I was to put it in a nutshell, I would say that any scientific experiment is an exercise in revealing the relationships between life and non-life. We are life contemplating non-life. The question, of course, is where does one end and one begin?


Edited by abacus9900 (09/24/10 12:33 PM)

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#36283 - 09/24/10 01:21 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
We are life contemplating non-life. The question, of course, is where does one end and one begin?


This begins to look more like philosophy than science, but QT does blur the boundaries there as well. For some time now I have felt that everything could make more sense if we live in an infinite cosmos in which everything is everything else. It's not easy to fit all the bits together, though. The danger is ending up trying to find evidence to justify an idea, rather than just looking at the evidence dispassionately.
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#36285 - 09/24/10 03:59 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
I would say that any scientific experiment is an exercise in revealing the relationships between life and non-life

I don't see how it applies to just "any scientific experiment". For example, adding salt to water to check for a change in boiling point - how does that apply? Can you elucidate?
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#36286 - 09/24/10 04:06 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:
For example, adding salt to water to check for a change in boiling point - how does that apply? Can you elucidate?



Well, just ask yourself who wants to know?

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#36287 - 09/24/10 04:12 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:
The danger is ending up trying to find evidence to justify an idea, rather than just looking at the evidence dispassionately.



You say dispassionately as if we had no input, but the fact is we are always going to be part of any experiment. It is absolutely impossible to completely separate observer from that which is observed; I'd go as far as to say it is an unwritten law.

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#36289 - 09/24/10 08:38 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
...the fact is we are always going to be part of any experiment. It is absolutely impossible to completely separate observer from that which is observed; I'd go as far as to say it is an unwritten law.

Sure, the experimenter/observer is part of the experimental process, and we've already covered some ground regarding the double-slit and its variations. But those are quantum events. Lets take a specific macro event: what, precisely, does observing a pot of boiling water reveal about "the relationships between life and non-life"?
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#36290 - 09/24/10 10:53 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
what, precisely, does observing a pot of boiling water reveal about "the relationships between life and non-life"?


It has been argued that in order for water to change from non-boiling to boiling it must undergo a phase change, and that a phase change is a quantum action which requires superposition. It would follow that this would not take place if the water was being observed; hence the old saying that a watched pot never boils.
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#36291 - 09/24/10 11:09 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
redewenur Offline
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Well I'll be phased! That explains why the milk boils over as soon as you take your eyes off it.
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#36293 - 09/25/10 06:45 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
redewenur Offline
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Joking aside, abacus, it would be helpful if you could support the idea with an explanation of exactly what is revealed, and how - preferably using the example I proposed, to keep things simple.
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#36294 - 09/25/10 06:01 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:

Sure, the experimenter/observer is part of the experimental process, and we've already covered some ground regarding the double-slit and its variations. But those are quantum events. Lets take a specific macro event: what, precisely, does observing a pot of boiling water reveal about "the relationships between life and non-life"?



What I am saying is that whether quantum events are being considered or macro events, it's all a question of interpretation . The one thing that all such 'events' have in common is that an interpretation is attached to all of them which is mediated through human consciousness. Personally, it is my view that the level of quantum 'events' has forced us to confront our input in relation to the 'experiences' we 'manufacture' in terms of scientific experiments. This is the reason why quantum mechanics has proved so elusive so far - because the impact of our 'interference' with the micro-world has a much larger effect than with ordinary, everyday objects. With the macro-world, our interrelationships do not appear to affect, to any significant degree, our relationships with them because everything seems stable and predictable; not so with the quantum world where making a measurement actually defines where a particular quantum object will probably appear. This happens on the large scale as well but because it is a much more predictable process than the sub-atomic world, we take it for granted that our relationships with big objects have no special significance. The everyday world of ordinary experience is also made of quantum objects, something we need to remember, and therefore, there exists a deep and mysterious 'connection' between the 'outer' world of familiar objects and an 'inner' world of our thoughts and ideas which are all mediated by the 'quantum connection' but how exactly, still remains a profound mystery. The discovery of the quantum world has changed that view drastically and shown us appearances are simply wrong.


Edited by abacus9900 (09/25/10 06:26 PM)

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#36295 - 09/25/10 06:04 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:
Joking aside, abacus, it would be helpful if you could support the idea with an explanation of exactly what is revealed, and how - preferably using the example I proposed, to keep things simple.



The problem is, we are increasingly finding, through scientific methods, that things are far from simple and I think the real answer is that the universe is far more subtle than we used to think.

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#36296 - 09/25/10 06:08 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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[quote]
Originally Posted By: redewenur


It has been argued that in order for water to change from non-boiling to boiling it must undergo a phase change, and that a phase change is a quantum action which requires superposition. It would follow that this would not take place if the water was being observed; hence the old saying that a watched pot never boils.



Well, let's say the water changed from non-boiling to boiling in the absence of any observers of any complexity. What agency would be there to interpret such a process? Interpretation is everything because interpretation is the means by which change can occur so no processes would be possible anywhere in the universe without interpretation.

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#36298 - 09/25/10 10:16 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
redewenur Offline
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Okay, I'm mulling over those interesting comments. By the way, the quote above was Bill. I disagree with your response though. I don't see any grounds for certainty that, in the absence of an interpreting entity, there are no processes (that nothing happens/nothing exists). I see that as philosophical speculation. I'm not saying it must be false. It might be true. By all means say something to convince me.
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#36304 - 09/26/10 09:13 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
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Quote:
I don't see any grounds for certainty that, in the absence of an interpreting entity, there are no processes (that nothing happens/nothing exists). I see that as philosophical speculation.



You see, in the absence of an interpreting entity, how can any process express itself? Once again, I come back to the falling tree in a forest. How can the changes that take place in the tree (changing position, changing acceleration, making sounds, etc.) be fully interpreted outside of an observing agency? Ok, you could say the air pressure and the energy involved in the acceleration of the tree falling and hitting the ground are in a sense 'observed' by the surrounding environment and the tree itself in registering changes in its state via its internal structures, but is that the same as the abstract idea of a tree falling in a forest? I think not, because any changes registered by the 'environment' are all unconnected so that the continuous process whereby a tree falls is not interpreted . It is the abstraction of changes (which is just another word for 'interpretation') that makes sense of reality so, ultimately, it it meaningless to insist on any test that will demonstrate this idea since any test must involve some kind of complex 'observer' in the first place. It's a kind of 'Catch 22' scenario. So, what I am arguing is that without intelligent observers, reality just consists of small, discrete unconnected changes that have no significance in relation to one one another. A kettle boiling can be thought of as a chain of small changes from cold to boiling water but remain a series of unconnected changes unless there is 'someone' or 'something' present to make an interpretation. We should also bear in mind that the scientific approach itself is founded on a particular philosophical approach, so there is no way you can exclude philosophical considerations from any form of human enquiry.


Edited by abacus9900 (09/26/10 09:25 AM)

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#36305 - 09/26/10 11:31 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
kallog Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus9900
tree falling in a forest? I think not, because any changes registered by the 'environment' are all unconnected so that the continuous process whereby a tree falls is not interpreted . It is the [i]abstraction


At first that all sounded silly, but it makes a whole lot of sense! We only call it a tree in the first place because we love to categorize things. Really each molecule is just going about its own motion, with a bit of gravity, a bit of forces from the neighbors, and not a care in the world if it's part of a falling tree or a sailing ship.

Similarly what motions of air particles count as sound? Thermal motion? We like to exclude that because it's not coherent, but sometimes it will be on very small scales.

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#36307 - 09/26/10 01:11 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: kallog]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: K
Similarly what motions of air particles count as sound?


Surely, motions of air particles are just motions of air particles. "Sound" is simply a label we stick on after the appropriate waves have been processed by auditory organs.
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#36308 - 09/26/10 01:22 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
redewenur Offline
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Yep, it's that simple. To save myself the trouble of thinking it out again, I'll past my earlier post:

Certain ranges of frequencies of compression and sheer waves, occurring in various transmitting media, can be detected by the auditory apparatus of living organisms. We call these waves 'sound waves' simply because when they are thus detected, they create a sensation that we call 'sound'. In the absence of suitable detection apparatus there is, of course, no perceived sound. In other words, in the absence of ears, or the equivalent, there is no sound, since sound is the subjective sensory interpretation of sound waves, not the actual waves themselves.
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#36309 - 09/26/10 01:35 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: abacus
Well, let's say the water changed from non-boiling to boiling in the absence of any observers of any complexity. What agency would be there to interpret such a process? Interpretation is everything because interpretation is the means by which change can occur so no processes would be possible anywhere in the universe without interpretation.


I am not happy with the assertion that “no processes would be possible anywhere in the universe without interpretation.” If no interpreter is present, there is no way of knowing what form the actual event might have taken, or whether or not it has occurred. The water might have changed from non-boiling to boiling in the absence of any observers, but if someone had observed the non-boiling water at an earlier point, then later observed the water boiling; then the process could only be inferred. Are you saying that the process of change would actually be different because there was no observer present?
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#36310 - 09/26/10 04:34 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
Originally Posted By: socratus

Euclidean space is two dimensions space

That's misleading.
Both 2D and 3D spaces can be Euclidean.
3D Euclidean space is the most useful way of modelling
the world as we experience it, even though
pseudo-Euclidean spaces (Minkowski space, in the case of SRT)
provide scientists with a better understanding of the
large scale universe.

Dimensions ! ?
==.
Euclidean space is a flat two dimensions space without
conception of time .
Put negative time ( -t ) into Euclidean flat two dimensions
space and it will be ‘Pseudo – Euclidean space’
Put negative time ( -t ) into Euclidean/ Descartes three
dimensions space and it will be ‘negative Minkowski
4D spacetime’
Add to (-4D) a new D and it will be Kaluza 5D space.
Add to 5D a new D and it will be 6D space.
Etc …11D . . Etc …26D . . . . to . . . .higher – super –
- extra dimensions. ( !)
The problem.
Every new dimension was taken from the heaven. (!)
Every new D needs new ‘ list of constants, which
were freely specifiable’ / The trouble with physics.
Page 119. Lee Smolin./, needs new ‘ extra particles –
- particles not seen in nature, / The trouble with physics.
Page 121. Lee Smolin / , needs new parameters.
#
What is next step?
a) some D must be freeze or hidden.
The real mechanism of the freeze is unknown.
‘ Unless there is some mysterious mechanism that
freezes the geometry of the extra dimensions . . . ‘
/Page 123. Lee Smolin /
b) some D must be wrapped or curled and ‘ there are
many different ways to curl them up’ / page 51, 119.
Lee Smolin / . But the real force (s ? ) of this process is
unknown.
#
What is result?
‘When you added more dimensions, or more twists
to the geometry, thing always got worse, not better’
/ page 52. Lee Smolin /
Why?
‘Indeed, the more dimensions you include, the higher
the price you pay for freezing their geometry.’
/ page 51. Lee Smolin /
( and also the higher the price you pay for curling
their geometry. My opinion.)
#
What is the situation?
‘ In fact, neither theory nor experiment offers any evidence
at all that extra dimensions exist’.
/ page XVI. Lee Smolin./
I think the higher – super – extra – dimensions are only
good mathematical toys, it is good mathematical training..
So.
Pecking order of the sciences:
Biologists answer only to Chemists.
Chemists answer only to Physicists.
Physicists answer only to Mathematicians.
Mathematicians answer only to God.
#
‘ I knew many physicists who were sure that supersymmetry
and the extra dimensions were there, waiting to be discovered’
/ Page 125. Lee Smolin./
Why?
My opinion.
/ Page 234./
‘ It was discovered in the 1980s that quantum gravity can be
precisely defined in a world with only two spatial dimensions.
We call this 2 + 1 quantum gravity, for two dimensions of space
and one of time’. / Lee Smolin./
#
So, what did they do?
At first they added one D and then one D more and more D
and later they began to hide these D and as conclusion (!)
we need only two D ( only 2D - !) and time (!) to explain
quantum gravity. (! ? !? )
I have no words.
====.
P.S.
What is ( 2D+ t) ?
In my peasant opinion ( 2D+ t ) is Euclidean flat two dimensions
space with positive time . Putting mass and electric charge
in this space we make step to understand the gravity.
===.
Israel Soctatus.
========================..

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#36311 - 09/26/10 06:29 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:
Are you saying that the process of change would actually be different because there was no observer present?



Exactly. The really tricky question, however, is: what constitutes an observer?

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#36312 - 09/26/10 06:33 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: socratus]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Socratus
It was discovered in the 1980s that quantum gravity can be precisely defined in a world with only two spatial dimensions.


As Smolin also points out: "We don't know whether it describes nature".

We experience 4D spacetime, and are physically restricted to that. Suggesting more, or even less! dimensions may be valuable mathematical expedients, but that is all they can be. It might make just as much sense to suggest that we live in an infinite cosmos, with one infinite dimension, and that our perception of differentiated dimensions is nothing other than the result of our strictly limited perspective. (Oh no! Here comes Bill with infinity again).
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#36313 - 09/26/10 07:00 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: redewenur
I'll past my earlier post:


I recall your post, I remember thinking it was an eloquent expansion of my own "No ears, no sound". Whoever asked the original question about the tree has a lot to answer for.

Originally Posted By: abacus
what constitutes an observer?


This can lead to all kinds of speculation. Can a worm in a thunder storm be said to be an observer of the storm? Are members of a visiting school party in a Lab really observers of an experiment, even if they do not understand what they are looking at? Etc, etc.

Then again, what constitutes an observation?
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#36318 - 09/27/10 08:28 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Quote:


This can lead to all kinds of speculation. Can a worm in a thunder storm be said to be an observer of the storm? Are members of a visiting school party in a Lab really observers of an experiment, even if they do not understand what they are looking at? Etc, etc.

Then again, what constitutes an observation?



Doesn't this all tell us that an observation is in the eye of the beholder and by implication, reality?

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#36325 - 09/28/10 04:17 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
socratus Offline
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Comment by leonardomenderes :
==.
Dimensions are interesting.
When you think about it, x,y, z
are interchangeable, depending on
your orientation. x, y, and z can
be replaced by a radius and two angles.

The "fourth dimension", time,
is completely different. It cannot
be traded with the others at all.

It seems that "extra dimensions" just
mean "things we cannot see", and are
mainly a mathematical convenience.
/ leonardomenderes /
#
Comment by Jonathan
==.
Well, how does one hope to create a true picture
of a tree from a shadow? Adding these supposed
hidden dimensions is an exercise in guessing.

The more you reduce the dimensionality
the less it has to do with reality
/ Jonathan /

====.

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#36326 - 09/28/10 05:13 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: socratus]
socratus Offline
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Comment by Danilo J Bonsignore
==.
Every new dimension is GENIUS.
What if you see each new dimension as orthogonal to all
other added Dimensions? What are we talking about?
[I do not want to clutter myself in this site so
I do not append to your thread]
/ Danilo J Bonsignore /
===.

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#36330 - 09/28/10 01:30 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: socratus]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: socratus
Well, how does one hope to create a true picture
of a tree from a shadow? Adding these supposed
hidden dimensions is an exercise in guessing.


So, if our Universe is the shadow, what chance do we have of creating a true picture of reality?
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#36351 - 09/29/10 07:47 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
socratus Offline
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SCIENTISTS PREDICT BREAK THROUGH ON STRING THEORY, DARK MATTER AND THE GOD PARTICLE OR SABOTAGE FROM THE FUTURE !
May 12, 2010, 9:59 am
Filed under: Science
http://godssecret.wordpress.com/2010/05/...rom-the-future/

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#36352 - 09/29/10 09:41 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
abacus9900 Offline
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Registered: 09/12/10
Posts: 56
Quote:


So, if our Universe is the shadow, what chance do we have of creating a true picture of reality?



Perhaps we can if we continually struggle to re-work our ideas. We are on a journey of discovery that may end in defeat or further development of the human species. I think myself it is evolution in action and the need to evolve in order to progress.

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#36399 - 10/03/10 04:01 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: abacus9900]
Bill S. Offline
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Loc: Essex, UK
Originally Posted By: abacus
Perhaps we can if we continually struggle to re-work our ideas.


I have just remarked in another thread that I have been writing down my thought for some time in order to try to avoid going round in circles. Your comment caused me to search out something I wrote with regard to the laws of physics, and their possible involvement in the genesis of the Universe, and therefore of reality as we perceive it. The use of "we", where "I" might seem more appropriate comes about because I tend to write my notes as though I were trying to explain a point to someone else.

"When we talk of the laws of physics, or any of the laws of nature for that matter, do we imply that these laws are a sort of “blue print” which nature has to follow in order to create our Universe as it was meant to be; or do we mean that scientists have studied the Universe and concluded that the way it is, and the way it behaves, can be specified within certain self-consistent parameters, and that they have then regarded the observed patterns as laws? If we accept the first interpretation, we are coming very close to the intelligent design argument that, ipso facto, implies an intelligent designer. If, on the other hand, the latter interpretation is taken as being correct, then the laws did not precede the Universe, they are simply codifications of the observed nature of the Universe, and therefore, not a physical part of it, they are dependent upon the Universe for their existence and cannot have preceded it in any way. Do we seem to be going round in circles? Perhaps we do, but the perturbing thought is that, if we are, it could just be that we are following the trends of modern cosmology."
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#36400 - 10/03/10 10:30 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
redewenur Offline
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Posts: 1840
Interesting, Bill. Let's look at that.

This:

"these laws are a sort of “blue print” which nature has to follow in order to create our Universe as it was meant to be."

- is a matter of belief.

This:

"scientists have studied the Universe and concluded that the way it is, and the way it behaves, can be specified within certain self-consistent parameters, and that they have then regarded the observed patterns as laws?"

- is a matter of fact.

"Do we seem to be going round in circles?"

- As long as we're discussing belief we can place the signposts any which way and so are likely to go round in circles.

I imagine the great majority of the world's billions are happy to state categorically that these so-called 'laws' had a law-maker, i.e. God. Maybe they're right. Or perhaps this whole shebang is a little toy put together by god-like entities for the amusement of their children. Isanagi and Isanami? Take your pick, there are an infinite (oh, that word again) number of options.
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"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#36401 - 10/04/10 01:00 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: socratus]
Bill S. Offline
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Registered: 08/20/10
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Loc: Essex, UK
Originally Posted By: socratus
Well, how does one hope to create a true picture of a tree from a shadow? Adding these supposed hidden dimensions is an exercise in guessing.


Interestingly, the idea that what we observe might be a shadow of a higher dimensional reality provides an instructive way of looking at the physical shortening of material objects with increasing speed. We are told that measuring rods, and all other objects are, in the frame of reference of an outside observer, shortened in the direction of motion, and that this shortening becomes significant as the speed of travel approaches “c”. If we assume that these measuring rods are on a spacecraft, the occupants of the craft would not observe the shortening; only observers in a F of R that was stationary relative to the craft would see it.

A fairly straightforward way to visualise how this apparently contradictory situation can arise is to try a simple experiment. Shine a light on a plain wall. Hold a twelve inch ruler (any length will do, but we will stick to twelve inches for this example) between the light source and the wall in such a way that the wall and ruler are parallel. The shadow of the ruler, which is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional object, is the same length as the ruler. Now, if you alter the angle of the ruler with respect to the wall, the ruler remains twelve inches long, but the shadow becomes shorter as you rotate the ruler. As the person holding the ruler, you will always be able to measure it as being twelve inches long. This puts you in the place of the on-board observer. Someone who could see only the shadow would measure it as being shorter, and her measurement would be accurate too, she would be in the position of the outside observer.

If you were a flatlander, the shadow would be all that you would ever be able to see, the shortening would be a reality in your frame of reference. All that your world would contain would be a line that was, somehow, able to vary its length. Only by reference to a higher dimensional world, one which was out of your reach, would you be able to find an explanation for the behaviour of this line.

This must, surely, point towards the possibility that relativistic effects could be explained with reference to higher dimensions.
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#36402 - 10/04/10 01:06 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
Bill S. Offline
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Loc: Essex, UK
Originally Posted By: redewenur
This:

"scientists have studied the Universe and concluded that the way it is, and the way it behaves, can be specified within certain self-consistent parameters, and that they have then regarded the observed patterns as laws?"

- is a matter of fact.


This does seem to remove the laws of physics from any causative role in the genesis of the Universe, or reality as we know it.
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#36406 - 10/04/10 11:05 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
redewenur Offline
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Posts: 1840
Originally Posted By: Bill S.
This does seem to remove the laws of physics from any causative role in the genesis of the Universe, or reality as we know it.

Yes, we are informed that the laws of physics as we know them could not have existed in the first instants of the Big Bang, when even gravity was absent. Why did these particular laws arise and not others? why do the physical constants have the values that they have? - anyone's guess. But their effect was to produce a universe filled with hydrogen and helium, and to gradually transform it into stars, space probes, computers and conscious stuff like us. One might well ask what stupendous power and intelligence set up the balance of these conditions with such awesome precision; but that's a question beyond the scope of science, which is confined to the study only of things subject to those conditions.
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"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#36408 - 10/04/10 01:25 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
Bill S. Offline
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Registered: 08/20/10
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Loc: Essex, UK
Originally Posted By: redewenur
One might well ask what stupendous power and intelligence set up the balance of these conditions with such awesome precision;


True. One might also toy with the idea that our Universe is just one in a long procession of evolving universes, and that "stars, space probes, computers and conscious stuff like us" did not arrive until conditions were just right.
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#36411 - 10/04/10 03:30 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
redewenur Offline
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Yes. Whichever way one looks at it, as a scientist or a theologian, it's a wonder that defies superlatives.
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"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#36412 - 10/04/10 03:37 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
One might also toy with the idea that our Universe is just one in a long procession of evolving universes, and that "stars, space probes, computers and conscious stuff like us" did not arrive until conditions were just right.

One might, yes - in which scenario one can see that there were a potential set of conditions waiting to be realized; and we might, in that case, ask why it should have been so. Whichever way one looks at it, as a scientist or a theologian, it's a wonder that defies superlatives.
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"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#36416 - 10/04/10 08:06 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
Bill S. Offline
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Registered: 08/20/10
Posts: 3570
Loc: Essex, UK
Originally Posted By: redenewur
in which scenario one can see that there were a potential set of conditions waiting to be realized;


The idea that anything might be "waiting" to be realized does tend to constrain reality to our limited dimensions.

If I recall correctly it was Paul Davies who made a very convincing argument along the lines that the bouncing universe idea would work only if absolutely nothing passed from one universe to the next. It is a long time since I read Davies’s book (I could find the ref if anyone is interested), but I remember it because he observed that one might just as well say that a succession of universes existed in parallel as in sequence. This struck me as being odd at first, but in trying to think my way through it I came up with some interesting thoughts, some of which had implications for our understanding of reality. I would be fascinated to hear what others think.

Time and space are, we are told, created anew with each universe. Time has no relevance outside the duration of each universe. Unless there is some form of continuity, which Davies argued that we had to abandon in order to avoid heat death, it makes no sense to talk of one universe following immediately after the other, or of there being a time gap, even the most unthinkably minute instant of time, between the universes, because there is no time between them, not just because one follows the other without a break, but because time cannot exist outside the Universe. It is easy to think that one major difference would be that if the universes existed in sequence there would have to be only one lot of matter and energy, whereas if they all existed at the same time there would have to be very much more matter and energy, perhaps an infinite amount. Undoubtedly, this is so, to some extent, but as we have already seen, if there is absolutely no contact between the universes, there is no way in which the contents of one can be said, necessarily, to be the same as the contents of another, so any discussion about what there would need to be in the way of matter and energy, if we think of many universes existing in parallel would be pure speculation. Furthermore, as time is one of the constituents of each universe, we cannot say if the time in one universe is the same as the time in another, nor can we say with any certainty that it is different. It seems, therefore, that we must regard each universe as existing in a timeless state that has much about it that suggests eternity, and, logically, it makes no sense to talk of things happening in any sort of sequence in eternity, everything must be considered as happening “now”. In the same way that we might reason that light, in a vacuum, travels in such a way that all of its travel is through space, and none through time, so that it is, effectively, everywhere at once, so we must reason that, in eternity everything happens at once. Time and space are simply the consequence of our limited view of reality.
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#36417 - 10/05/10 12:55 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
Marek
Unregistered


Taken from Sequel 3
http://www.visutech.net/peace365/index.asp?pageID=86

The Truth about Reality


When you see the world with His eyes

then you know God.



The Big Bang Theory commonly explained.


When I was still a teenager, in my fourteens, my father called me to his watch-making workshop, sat me down on the top of his lap swinging to the left and to the right along with the tick-tack’s sound of the grandfather clock’s pendulum coming from the furthest corner of the room, he said:

“Close your eyes my son and imagine, just imagine”,

“Imagine what?” I said,

“Imagine the world. Imagine the whole universe” he said calmly

“That would be difficult” I replied,

But when he pushed me out off of this earthly environment view into Space, helping me to create and build another view about surrounding me cosmos by adding into the imagined picture every part of the existing visible and invisible world; all existing planets, suns, moons, comets, stars, pulsars, quasars, galaxies and all possible imaginable objects of the all existing space between here and there, moving me away from the Solar system, further and further away, passing by all those visible objects and other, he ended me up somewhere where I have just passed the last, or I’d rather say the first star dust, somewhere a few …illiard light years away from our planet Earth, somewhere where I ended up in a deep-deep dark matter drifting away further and further somewhere where I could not see anything, somewhere where I could not hear anything, somewhere where I did not feel anything or any motion. There was a silence, just motionless silence, nothing else but darkness and silence. Inertia. Total inertia.

He kept me within this motionless stage for some time when with the same calm voice he asked the first question:

‘Imagine it? Are you?’

‘Yes’, I nodded,

‘…’

‘…’

‘Now my son’ he simply said, ‘Draw a straight line right across this image of yours, divide it into two pieces, into two halves. Not equal ones! There is nothing like equal halves existing in the entire universe. There is no single particle equal with another… not to mention about a half of the universe. Put one of the cut halves aside and the other half divide in the same manner into two (halves). Continue. Continue cutting remaining halves until it become so small that you have to use a magnifying glass to continue. Continue. Then when it becomes so small again that you have to use a microscope to continue, continue. Continue cutting until you have to use the most powerful electronic microscope on earth to continue. Continue. Continue until you have to only use the most powerful imaginary microscope to continue. Continue’, he said.

Then he asked:

‘When or will you ever be able to cut “the last half”? If anything like that “the last half” exist? There will be always a remaining half ready to be cut and divided into two indefinitely’, he added.

‘For some time the world of science is discovering what metaphysical and spiritual teachers have known for centuries. The physical world is not really composed of any matter at all; the basic component of it is a force or essence, which is called energy. Things appear to be solid and separate from each other where our physical senses normally perceive them. While on the atomic and subatomic level, a solid matter is a cluster of small particles. Particles within particle called sub-particles. Bosons, which are assumed to be massless. They were detected by high-energy experiments at the CERN laboratories in 1983. Weinberg, Salam, and Glashow shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for physics for their model, protons, and eventually photons which turn out to be just pure energy’, they said.

The speed of light may be the only constant in the universe. Everything else changes! Mr. Einstein observed that matter could be converted into energy just as energy was converted into matter (and anti-matter) when the universe was created. If everything changes, so the speed of light, too, is changeable.

As it was in 1989 scientists proposed this theory that there is no single sub-particle equal with another sub-particle in the entire universe, ‘Let’s apply this theory to an equation. Let’s try it on the equation of: E=MC2 ‘, he said.

An equation is a mathematical statement, expressed in symbols, that two things are the same (or equivalent). Equations are written with an equal sign ‘=’. Equations are often used to state the equality of two expressions containing one or more variables.

An equation contains left & right side.

When the left side of the equation is ‘E’ – one particle

the right side of the equation is ‘MC2’ – another particle,

logically speaking;

one particle = another particle

Above equation is untrue.

one sub-particle ≠ another sub-particle

Above equation might be or is true.

When the left side of equation is not equal ‘≠’ with the right side, then

E = MC2

Above equation is untrue,

Because and especially that there is a progress; power 2, then

E ≠ MC2

Above equation might be or is true.

When the left side is not equal with the right side of equation it must be then

smaller or greater, > or <.

Then the left side can be or is only < (smaller) because the progress is on the right side.

E < MC2

When variable mass symbol M is replaced by photon symbol &#934;

E < &#934;C2

Above equation might be or is true,

When the power ‘2’ is replaced by power to ‘3, 4, 5, 6, 7’…etc. or ‘&#8734;’ (to infinity) then the left side of the equation is definitely not equal with the right side because there is even greater progress, then

E < &#934;C&#8734; , then

e < &#934;C&#8734; .

‘e is a perfect half, rest of it is an illusion’, look at it he said,

‘all it is illusion’.

‘There are still some who believe that the speed of light may be the only constant in the whole universe, everything else changes. If everything changes so the speed of light does. Everything is energy. Energy is everything. Everything is a light/photon in the infinite speed of light’.

Einstein's statement that 'the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion' comes from a letter he wrote to the family of his lifelong friend Michele Besso on 21 March 1955, Einstein Archive, 7-245, published in The Quotable Einstein (Princeton University Press, 1996), p.61.



The Big Bang Theory commonly explained.

Just follow the sequence of opening of the Russian Doll, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matryoshka_doll and keep it opening to Infinity.


Marek Zielinski
Intiator of www.peace365.org

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#36425 - 10/05/10 01:16 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: ]
Bill S. Offline
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Registered: 08/20/10
Posts: 3570
Loc: Essex, UK
Marek; What can I say? you are lucky to have a father with such imagination. I trust that the mathematicians among us will render some of your equations more readily accessible to those of us who are confused by such things.

Much of your post requires thought, but as an initial impression I would say that Max Planck might have disagreed with the infinite divisibility of matter.

Originally Posted By: Marek
There are still some who believe that the speed of light may be the only constant in the whole universe, everything else changes. If everything changes so the speed of light does. Everything is energy. Energy is everything. Everything is a light/photon in the infinite speed of light’.


I feel that this statement contains a few assumptions that you have not justified. For example: can we be sure "everything changes". There are those who argue that change is an illusion.

Can you say how you arrive at the "infinite speed of light".
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#36426 - 10/05/10 01:51 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
Bill S. Offline
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Loc: Essex, UK
Kallog, where are you when your acerbic perspicacity is needed?
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#36537 - 10/23/10 03:39 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
Bill S. Offline
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Registered: 08/20/10
Posts: 3570
Loc: Essex, UK
The thread seems to have died - shame; could it be that I have that effect?

I can't let it pass without at least trying to stir up the infinity reference!

Quote:
Just follow the sequence of opening of the Russian Doll, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matryoshka_doll and keep it opening to Infinity.


How do you know when you have reached infinity??
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#36538 - 10/23/10 03:49 PM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
Bill S. Offline
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Registered: 08/20/10
Posts: 3570
Loc: Essex, UK
Originally Posted By: redewenur
why do the physical constants have the values that they have?


have you seen the current issue of New Scientist (23.10.10) Looks as though the physical constants might not be as constant as we think!
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#36541 - 10/25/10 01:31 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: Bill S.]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Yes, I have. What John Webb & Co. have put on the table can't just be ignored if, as reported, they have good data. As pointed out, while saying "I don't believe it" adequately expresses a lack of confidence in Webb's interpretation of the data, it does nothing to falsify it. Be that as it may, something so radical as to make nonsense of cosmic history will need to have a good deal more research behind it. String theorists might warm to the idea if it suggests those extra dimensions.
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"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#36544 - 10/26/10 04:11 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: redewenur]
KirbyGillis Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/11/10
Posts: 118
Loc: NJ
Good thread. I enjoyed it immensely.

I thought that this might be a good time to introduce myself since I tend to gravitate toward the same topics. Everyone on these threads seems to balance their knowledge base/ convictions with open mindedness and civility. I find it to be both rare and refreshing.

I’m sure that I will be tempted to chime in once in awhile but only if I’m welcomed.

I’m pleased to meet all of you.
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Good atmosphere and good conversation...that's the best.

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#36545 - 10/26/10 06:48 AM Re: Quantum theory and Reality. [Re: KirbyGillis]
Amaranth Rose II Offline

Superstar

Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 962
Loc: Southeast Nebraska, USA
Welcome to the Forum, KirbyGillis. We're a good bunch of people just having a good time debating whatever. You're welcome so long as you abide by the terms of use. Be civil, treat others with respect, and don't spam above all.

Cheers,

Amaranth
_________________________
If you don't care for reality, just wait a while; another will be along shortly. --A Rose


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