Christopher Fuchs is revolutionizing how we understand our quantum reality

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Christopher Fuchs is revolutionizing how we understand our quantum reality

Bryan Walsh

Quote:In this view, reality is not a pre-written script but a participatory drama, with each observer playing a crucial role in shaping their experience. As Fuchs put it in a lecture earlier this year, in QBism, “when I take an action on the world, something genuinely new comes out.”

This philosophical pivot has profound implications. It challenges long-held notions about the observer’s role in the physical universe, bridging the gap between consciousness and the physical world, a mystery that has long perplexed scientists and philosophers. Practically, it paves the way for innovative approaches in quantum computing and information science — two exciting fields that stand to have major impacts on the path of technological growth in the 21st century.

Fuchs’s approach has its critics. Some in the scientific community view QBism as a departure from the objective pursuit of understanding quantum mechanics, as if he had changed the rules in the middle of the game. But it’s precisely this disruption that underscores the significance of his work. QBism invites us to rethink our role in the cosmos, not as passive observers but as active participants. “The QBist vision is that of an unfinished universe, of a world that allows for genuine freedom, a world in which agents matter and participate in the making of reality,” writes Ruediger Schack, one of the co-founders of QBism.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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  • Typoz
(2023-11-30, 02:52 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Christopher Fuchs is revolutionizing how we understand our quantum reality

Bryan Walsh

I digged into what this is really about. https://www.physics.umb.edu/Research/QBi...qbism.html

A new mathematical framework for formulating QM starting from some alternative axioms (no mysticism here for those looking for 'woo').
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(2023-11-30, 03:33 PM)sbu Wrote: I digged into what this is really about. https://www.physics.umb.edu/Research/QBi...qbism.html

A new mathematical framework for formulating QM starting from some alternative axioms (no mysticism here for those looking for 'woo').

The article is quoting the Chris Fuchs and his associates who came up with QBism, so not even sure what your criticism is supposed to be about?

If the 'woo' you're worried about is non-conscious particles somehow producing consciousness in a Something-for-Nothing miracle of the materialist religion...I don't think you need to be worried as Fuchs, from what I've read, has seen through the materialist dogma. Wink
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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Just to add a little more context, this is from an Aeon article of a few years back:

Quote:A particularly cogent new version of the psi-epistemological position, called Quantum Bayesianism or QBism, raises this perspective to a higher level of specificity by taking the probabilities in quantum mechanics at face value. According to Fuchs, the leading proponent of QBism, the irreducible probabilities in quantum mechanics tell us that it’s really a theory about making bets on the world’s behaviour (via our measurements) and then updating our knowledge after those measurements are done. In this way, QBism points explicitly to our failure to include the observing subject that lies at the root of quantum weirdness. As Mermin wrote in the journal Nature: ‘QBism attributes the muddle at the foundations of quantum mechanics to our unacknowledged removal of the scientist from the science.’

Putting the perceiving subject back into physics would seem to undermine the whole materialist perspective. A theory of mind that depends on matter that depends on mind could not yield the solid ground so many materialists yearn for.
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
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(2023-12-01, 02:22 AM)Kamarling Wrote: Just to add a little more context, this is from an Aeon article of a few years back:

Thanks for the link. I understand the anti-materialism consequences of his QM epistemological framework now.
(This post was last modified: 2023-12-01, 09:17 AM by sbu. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2023-12-01, 02:22 AM)Kamarling Wrote: Just to add a little more context, this is from an Aeon article of a few years back:
Another great quote in the article.

Quote: A particularly cogent new version of the psi-epistemological position, called Quantum Bayesianism or QBism, raises this perspective to a higher level of specificity by taking the probabilities in quantum mechanics at face value. According to Fuchs, the leading proponent of QBism, the irreducible probabilities in quantum mechanics tell us that it’s really a theory about making bets on the world’s behaviour (via our measurements) and then updating our knowledge after those measurements are done.

The part I like is the pragmatic declaration: "at face value".  Taking those real-world probabilities as actual and quantifiable is what informational realism is all about.
(This post was last modified: 2023-12-01, 08:54 PM by stephenw. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2023-12-01, 02:22 AM)Kamarling Wrote: Just to add a little more context, this is from an Aeon article of a few years back:

Thanks Kamarling,

That looks by far the most tractable place to start to unpack this subject! It also gives me an added sense that this might be relevant to us on this forum.

I do vaguely remember that there was some exploration of using a quantum formalism to express psychological information. I wonder if that is connected with this subject?

@sbu If you have managed to probe this subject further, it might be helpful if you wrote at length.

I'd like to know why QM 'probabilities' start out as complex numbers, which give them the possibility to cancel each other out - as in, for example, the simple 2-slit experiment. Complex numbers are usually introduced into mathematical physics as no more than a handy way to simplify mathematical manipulations!

David
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(2023-12-01, 10:00 PM)David001 Wrote: Thanks Kamarling,
That looks by far the most tractable place to start to unpack this subject! It also gives me an added sense that this might be relevant to us on this forum.
I do vaguely remember that there was some exploration of using a quantum formalism to express psychological information. I wonder if that is connected with this subject?
@sbu If you have managed to probe this subject further, it might be helpful if you wrote at length.
I'd like to know why QM 'probabilities' start out as complex numbers, which give them the possibility to cancel each other out - as in, for example, the simple 2-slit experiment. Complex numbers are usually introduced into mathematical physics as no more than a handy way to simplify mathematical manipulations!
David

By making the quantum state observer dependent QBism challenges the classical view of an objective, observer-independent reality. That’s how far i got into the subject. It sounds simple but I didn’t grasp this at first from the more technical description of QBism at https://www.physics.umb.edu/Research/QBi...qbism.html
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(2023-12-01, 10:33 PM)sbu Wrote: By making the quantum state observer dependent QBism challenges the classical view of an objective, observer-independent reality. That’s how far i got into the subject. It sounds simple but I didn’t grasp this at first from the more technical description of QBism at https://www.physics.umb.edu/Research/QBi...qbism.html

It is probably my scientific naivety but subjectivity and the importance of the observer always seemed to me to be what advanced quantum physics beyond classical, Newtonian mechanics. Possibly even Relativity too although Einstein was a hard-line realist so I'm pretty sure that strict objectivity would have been paramount to him. I'd be happy to have my assumptions corrected on that though.
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
(2023-12-01, 10:44 PM)Kamarling Wrote: It is probably my scientific naivety but subjectivity and the importance of the observer always seemed to me to be what advanced quantum physics beyond classical, Newtonian mechanics. Possibly even Relativity too although Einstein was a hard-line realist so I'm pretty sure that strict objectivity would have been paramount to him. I'd be happy to have my assumptions corrected on that though.

Einstein, though often associated with determinism, maintained a nuanced stance towards quantum mechanics (QM). He was critical of the indeterminism that QM seemed to imply, but his skepticism was more about the completeness and philosophical implications of the theory rather than its core principles. In a deterministic framework, the inclusion of the observer in an experiment doesn't fundamentally alter the mathematical equations, as each part can be independently accounted for.

In the Copenhagen Interpretation, probabilities play a central role, but this approach does not delve into the origins of these probabilities. The observer is essential for the collapse of the wave function, transitioning the system into a new state defined by specific probabilities. In contrast, QBism interprets these probabilities as subjective judgments made by an observer, indicating their personal belief in the likelihood of various outcomes. This perspective introduces the concept of 'belief' into the scientific discourse, raising questions about the role of subjectivity and belief in a field that traditionally strives for objectivity.

General Relativity, formulated by Albert Einstein, is primarily concerned with the geometry of spacetime and how it is influenced by the presence of mass and energy. The theory does not inherently involve the concept of an observer in the way that quantum mechanics does.
(This post was last modified: 2023-12-02, 11:09 AM by sbu. Edited 1 time in total.)
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