Famous Experiment Dooms Alternative to Quantum Weirdness?

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Famous Experiment Dooms Alternative to Quantum Weirdness

by Natalie Wolchover

Quote:Oil droplets guided by “pilot waves” have failed to reproduce the results of the quantum double-slit experiment, crushing a century-old dream that there exists a single, concrete reality.

Quote:Tomas Bohr attributes his grandfather’s certainty that nature is incurably weird at the quantum scale to Niels Bohr’s most important physics research: his 1913 calculations of the electronic energy levels of the hydrogen atom. Bohr realized that when electrons jump between orbits, releasing quantized packets of light, there was no mechanical picture of the situation that made sense. He couldn’t relate the electrons’ energy levels to their rotational motion. Even causality failed, because electrons seemingly know before they jump where they are going to land, in order to emit a photon of the correct energy. “He was probably more aware than most of how weird that whole thing was,” Tomas Bohr said. “He was just somehow philosophically inclined in such a way that he was ready to accept that nature was that strange — and most people were not.”
'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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Interesting, it is good to be able to visualise these things using a real-world physical model.

But I'm not sure it really led anywhere, except perhaps in helping in thinking things through. It seemed the physical model was inappropriate because the energy of the system was stored in the bouncing droplet itself, whereas what seems to be needed is an example of a system where the wave itself stores the energy, and the droplet is effectively massless.
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Three vids to watch.

The Quantum Experiment that Broke Reality
https://youtu.be/p-MNSLsjjdo

Pilot Wave Theory and Quantum Realism
https://youtu.be/bnzUu06wkkQ

Pilot Wave Theory.
https://youtu.be/RlXdsyctD50
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(2018-10-14, 09:59 AM)Typoz Wrote: Interesting, it is good to be able to visualise these things using a real-world physical model.

But I'm not sure it really led anywhere, except perhaps in helping in thinking things through. It seemed the physical model was inappropriate because the energy of the system was stored in the bouncing droplet itself, whereas what seems to be needed is an example of a system where the wave itself stores the energy, and the droplet is effectively massless.

Yeah it wasn't clear to me what exactly was gained in the experiment.

That said it also didn't seem the replication failures "doomed" any interpretation in the larger sense, given the comments indicate the work of Bohm that enhanced the original pilot-wave description is what many physicists seem to prefer over the original pilot wave idea?

It gets more unusual in that Bohm was actually working on a kind of quantum "non-mechanics" with one of his proteges in the later years of his life:

The Wholeness of Quantum Reality: An Interview with Physicist Basil Hiley

Quote:BH: We were interested in undivided whole. How do you describe wholeness without breaking it up into pieces? Bohr said you can’t analyze any further: don’t make the division between the subject and the observing apparatus, because everything is a whole, and as soon as you break it into pieces, you’ve lost it; you’ve changed the phenomenon. I took a lot of insight from Bohr. If you read our book, we never say Bohr was wrong, whereas most other people say Copenhagen is nonsense. What we disagreed with Bohr about is that he couldn’t analyze it further. What we’ve been trying to do is analyze it further.

Our idea was to say, yes, you can do it. You can talk about the individual, but it’s the quantum potential which puts in what you’ve left out.

So it brings the information of the environmental conditions, the boundary conditions, and feeds it to this local entity–so this local entity knows that it’s part of the whole.

How this does it, I don’t know. But what David and I suggested was that the quantum potential is actually an information potential, and we introduced the idea of active information. I was very worried about using the word “information” because everybody would immediately go to Shannon information. Shannon information is not information; it’s just information capacity. There’s no meaning there, and the whole point was to get meaning into this and that this was information for the particle.

Then, of course, they thought we’d gone mystically East. But I mean the quantum potential is not a classical force. It’s not a classical potential. It’s something extraordinary, very strange. It doesn’t get propagated, as far as we can find out. But that was the way I reconciled wholeness with divisibility. If we divide, we must have something to put it all back together again.

GM: It seems ironic that Bohr and some of his people reacted strongly against Bohm’s theory.

BH: Yeah, but don’t forget, if you just do the simple Bohm theory, you don’t see any of this. I’m now telling you we see the Bohm theory in the light of this deeper process. I used to give the lectures on the Bohm theory, because you cannot ignore it. It’s there whether you like it or not. But then people believed that’s what I really thought nature was. But to me, that’s a Mickey Mouse model. It’s not the driving force of what David and I were doing. This would just be a certain level of abstraction.

So I am not a Bohmian in the Bohmian mechanics sense. Chris Fuchs came down to me once after a lecture and says, “How nice it is to meet a Bohmian.” And I said: “I beg your pardon? Where?” I’m not a Bohmian. What we are discussing is not mechanics. Bohm says in his quantum-theory book, the original one, quantum mechanics is a misnomer. It should be called quantum non-mechanics.
GM: Because you shouldn’t think of it in terms of a mechanistic motion of particles?

BH: Yes, it’s nothing like that. It’s not mechanism. It organicism. It’s organic. Nature is more organic than we think it is. And then you can understand why life arose, because if nature is organic, it has the possibility of life in it.
'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


(This post was last modified: 2018-10-14, 06:43 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
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(2018-10-14, 06:42 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Yeah it wasn't clear to me what exactly was gained in the experiment.

That said it also didn't seem the replication failures "doomed" any interpretation in the larger sense, given the comments indicate the work of Bohm that enhanced the original pilot-wave description is what many physicists seem to prefer over the original pilot wave idea?

It gets more unusual in that Bohm was actually working on a kind of quantum "non-mechanics" with one of his proteges in the later years of his life:

The Wholeness of Quantum Reality: An Interview with Physicist Basil Hiley
Quote: So it brings the information of the environmental conditions, the boundary conditions, and feeds it to this local entity–so this local entity knows that it’s part of the whole.

How this does it, I don’t know. But what David and I suggested was that the quantum potential is actually an information potential, and we introduced the idea of active information. I was very worried about using the word “information” because everybody would immediately go to Shannon information. Shannon information is not information; it’s just information capacity. There’s no meaning there, and the whole point was to get meaning into this and that this was information for the particle

"Active information" was one of many influences on my thinking.  The first line where Basil Hiley, has the particle "knowing" is a little personified for me.  I would say it that any particle, macro-object, event or process is structured by it's probabilistic real world information/meaning, objectively.  There is mutual information changing its probabilities for future activity that is outside of it's isolated self.

Physics is focused on "properties" that "come form" the particle's materiality.  It seems so much simpler, to see the particle as being in a web of possibilities that are part of the integrated information of the universe.  Entanglement goes from quantum "weirdness", to just having an active structure that enforces their mutual information about spin, etc.
(2018-10-16, 03:01 PM)stephenw Wrote: "Active information" was one of many influences on my thinking.  The first line where Basil Hiley, has the particle "knowing" is a little personified for me.  I would say it that any particle, macro-object, event or process is structured by it's probabilistic real world information/meaning, objectively.  There is mutual information changing its probabilities for future activity that is outside of it's isolated self.

Physics is focused on "properties" that "come form" the particle's materiality.  It seems so much simpler, to see the particle as being in a web of possibilities that are part of the integrated information of the universe.  Entanglement goes from quantum "weirdness", to just having an active structure that enforces their mutual information about spin, etc.

Meaning for whom? And is the informational content within the objects of the world or projected onto these objects by the observers who would bring meaning into the equations?

Perhaps where Information is concerned it's Both/And, wherein the distinction between subject & object is not dualistic but rather some kind of spectrum?
'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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(2018-10-16, 06:35 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Meaning for whom? And is the informational content within the objects of the world or projected onto these objects by the observers who would bring meaning into the equations?

Perhaps where Information is concerned it's Both/And, wherein the distinction between subject & object is not dualistic but rather some kind of spectrum?
How there is different meanings for different individuals is a tough question.  Materialism answers it - as the meaning coming entirely from each separate consciousness.  I am asserting that meanings are fundamental to objective information objects.  But each agent creates a unique view from their stored contexts.

I like your word spectrum, but would not have a ready developed interpretation as a metaphor to the components of light.

My worldview promotes that meaning is detected and not born whole-hog from each conscious observer.  "Subjective" meaning is really reductive to detection of environmental affordances merged with the database of the experienced agent.  In this way imaginative meanings and fantasy meanings and just plain wrong meanings enter into the the information objects built by agents.  Correct meanings have higher probability for order and organization.  Confused meanings can be entropic.  However, symbolic meanings that evoke deeper psychological structures can be powerful in evoking emotions - even though only imaginative.

In this way objective meanings in the environment can be differently generated in each mind that detects them.  QM is contextual, just like how minds build a experience.  (Think actual occasions of Whitehead.) 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_contextuality
(This post was last modified: 2018-10-17, 03:20 AM by stephenw.)

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