Imaginary Numbers May Be Essential for Describing Reality

Charlie Wood

[url=https://www.quantamagazine.org/imaginary-numbers-may-be-essential-for-describing-reality-20210303/?utm_source=pocket-newtab#comments][/url]

Charlie Wood

Quote:In quantum mechanics, the behavior of a particle or group of particles is encapsulated by a wavelike entity known as the wave function, or ψ. The wave function forecasts possible outcomes of measurements, such as an electron’s possible position or momentum. The so-called Schrödinger equation describes how the wave function changes in time — and this equation features an i.

Quote:No real-number description, however, can replicate the pattern of correlations that the three physicists will measure. The new paper shows that treating the system as real requires introducing extra information that usually resides in the imaginary part of the wave function. Alice’s, Bob’s, and Charlie’s particles must all share this information in order to reproduce the same correlations as standard quantum mechanics. And the only way to accommodate this sharing is for all of their particles to be entangled with one another.

Quote:Even without recruiting an Alice, a Bob and a Charlie to actually perform the experiment that the new paper imagines, most researchers feel extremely confident that standard quantum mechanics is correct and that the experiment would therefore find the expected correlations. If so, then real numbers alone cannot fully describe nature.

[url=https://www.quantamagazine.org/imaginary-numbers-may-be-essential-for-describing-reality-20210303/?utm_source=pocket-newtab#comments][/url]

'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

- Bertrand Russell