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Blogger Maximilian Schlosshauer wrote on Jan. 11, 2012 @ 15:41 GMT
To say that quantum theory is about describing how atoms behave would be like saying that all Hemingway ever did was show us how to write terse prose. Quantum theory, more than any other physical theory, seems to rub against what we have traditionally come to see as the mission of science: namely, to provide a tangible description of an objectively existing external reality. But rather than telling us what exists, quantum theory talks only about measurements and observation—and not even about what we will observe, but only about the probabilities of observing this or that result.

Many people, Einstein included, have felt that something must be missing from this picture—that a satisfactory, complete physical theory ought to be more than an instrument for computing probabilities of something so observer-focused as measurement outcomes. Much of the persistent and heated debate about the meaning of quantum theory has centered on this issue. Over the course of decades, people have responded to Einstein’s challenge in radically different ways. Personally, I’ve always found it intriguing how a theory can be so concisely formulated and inexhaustibly successful while fitting pretty much any worldview, from deep-seated realism to full-blown positivism. Perhaps this observation contains a lesson in itself.

Last year, I interviewed a bunch of physicists, philosophers, and mathematicians––many of whom are FQXi members––about the mysteries of quantum theory. I put the same set of questions to each of my interviewees, who are some of the most original thinkers working on quantum theory today. The answers, collected in my new book Elegance and Enigma: The Quantum Interviews, turned out to be marvels of bold thought and irresistible wit. They are deeply personal, providing rare glimpses into what motivates a group of scholars, all working off the same theory, to seek out drastically different approaches to the theory’s interpretation.

My first question asked how my interviewees became enamored with quantum theory. (Go to the end of this article to see the full list of questions.) It’s a question close to my heart, because I wouldn’t be a physicist today hadn’t it been for a chance encounter, in my last two years of high school, with Heisenberg’s and Schrödinger’s philosophical writings about quantum theory. Many of my interviewees told similar stories of decisive events: an eye-opening seminar they attended, or a book they had been given or picked up, or a radio broadcast they had heard (sometimes still as teenagers). Many had accepted, without giving it much thought, the standard presentation of quantum theory, only to be suddenly plunged into a sense of acute discomfort by something they happened to hear or read. They have never been the same since.

The first half of my interview questions focused on the core foundational problems of quantum theory. What is the best interpretation of the theory? How are we to understand the concept of measurement? What is the meaning of probabilities? Does quantum theory imply that nature is indeterministic? The second half of the questions looked at the bigger picture. What experiments may bring decisive progress to our understanding of quantum theory? What input may come from philosophy and from the search for a unified theory? How important are personal beliefs and values? What does the future hold?

The interview answers were a stark reminder of how little consensus has been reached in the century since quantum theory’s birth. They testified to a persistent disagreement about what the central problems are, how to address them, and about how much or little we ought to worry.

Take the infamous “measurement problem” as an example. It has its roots in an apparent clash between two ways in which measurement may appear in quantum theory. First, measurement is introduced axiomatically, as a primitive notion: quantum theory gives us a recipe for computing probabilities of measurement results, but without in turn reducing the act of measurement to an explicit account of the physical going-ons inside the measurement apparatus, like we would expect in classical physics. On the other hand, nothing prevents us from using the quantum formalism to describe these going-ons in the same way we describe the going-ons in any other physical system. But in such a description, the apparatus ends up in a strangely suspended state without any definitive measurement result.

So the measurement problem amounts to several different possible concerns. Should we regard the axiomatic notion of measurement as inadequate and instead seek a deeper explanation of the measurement process? Should we worry about the indefinite apparatus state? Is there an inconsistency between this state and how measurement-as-axiom operates?

The interviews not only showed that everybody has a different opinion on how to answer these questions and whether the measurement problem is, as I put it in my interview question, a “serious roadblock or dissolvable pseudo-issue.” They also showed that these opinions were strongly correlated with interpretive attitudes toward the quantum formalism as a whole. Those, such as Christopher Fuchs, a researcher at Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Canada, and David Mermin, a professor emeritus of physics at Cornell University, who view quantum theory a man-made tool to help us structure and predict our experiences, tended to dismiss the measurement problem. Those, such as GianCarlo Ghirardi, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Trieste, Italy, and Tim Maudlin, a philosopher at New York University, who believe a satisfactory physical theory ought to provide an observer-independent account of physical reality, were more likely to view the measurement problem as a real difficulty for quantum theory, calling for urgent remedy.

As far as interpretations of quantum theory are concerned, pretty much every possible interpretive flavor was represented among my interviewees. And some people were self-proclaimed agnostics. Lucien Hardy, a physicist at Perimeter Institute, was particularly blunt: “I do not believe any of the currently available interpretive programs.” And some interviewees didn’t think my question made sense to begin with. “The question is completely backward,” Fuchs retorted. “It acts as if there is this thing called quantum mechanics, displayed and available for everyone to see as they walk by it—kind of like a lump of something on a sidewalk. The job of interpretation is to find the right spray to cover up any offending smells.” Jeff Bub, a philosopher at the University of Maryland, College Park, had related concerns. “The program of interpreting quantum mechanics tends to treat the theory like a problem child in the family of theories and propose therapy,” he said. “The aim is to get quantum mechanics to conform to some ideal of classical comprehensibility. If this is what it means to ‘make the best sense of quantum mechanics,’ then I think the exercise is misguided.”

Over the past two decades or so, we have witnessed what has been called the “second quantum revolution.” One development is quantum information theory. It has given us a completely new view on quantum theory as a theory phrased in terms of the processing and communication of information in physical systems. Generations of physicists raised on Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle came away with the impression that quantum mechanics is about imposing all kinds of limits on what we can do in this world—like how we can’t simultaneously determine the position and momentum of a particle with full accuracy. Quantum information theory, if nothing else, has turned the tables by showing that in a world governed by quantum mechanics, we can do lots of things we can’t do in a classical world, like have completely secure communication or solve certain computational problems faster than any classical algorithm could ever do.

The question, of course, is whether quantum information theory has done anything to alleviate conceptual concerns about quantum theory. For Bub, “thinking about quantum mechanics from an information-theoretic standpoint has radically transformed the field of quantum foundations.” Those who see the task of physics as formulating theories that give an account of what exists tended to be more critical. “The notion that quantum information theory or quantum computational theory could contribute to the foundational questions has always puzzled me,” said Maudlin. “I have no concept of how one could turn the usual project on its head and derive or explain physics from information theory.” Whatever view one takes, for Tony Leggett, a Nobel Prize–winning physicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, quantum information theory is having a practical, political benefit: “It is now rather widely accepted that an active interest in the foundations of quantum mechanics does not disqualify one from being a ‘proper’ physicist.”

What might be next major development in the foundations of quantum mechanics? Some interviewees thought it will be the experimental demonstration that, as Leggett put it, “quantum mechanics is not the whole truth about the physical world”—in other words, that we will find a deeper, more general theory, with quantum mechanics simply reduced to an approximation. Daniel Greenberger, at City College of the CUNY, however, isn’t so sure of the prospects. “I think looking for the order in the universe is a noble enterprise, and I like to be part of it, but I am highly skeptical of the outcome,” he said. “Finding the ‘theory of everything’ is a pretty tall order for creatures who understand almost nothing.”

So, now that I have seen all the answers—all three hundred pages of them—what are my overall observations and conclusions about the state of quantum theory? Too many things to mention come to mind, and anyway I wouldn’t want to bias your own reading. But one observation has been robust and is worth mentioning. What the interview answers suggest is that what's happening today is not so much one interpretation fighting another, but rather a sharp contrast, in mindset and approach, between two camps, each encompassing a group of interpretations. The first camp wants to exorcise the observer from the theory and embed quantum theory into a realist interpretive framework with an explicit ontology (that is, with an explicit account of what *is*). The second camp looks at the quantum formalism as a tool for representing an observer’s knowledge, an attitude that in many cases goes along with a desire to understand why we have this formalism to begin with and what particular features of nature make it so successful.

I closed the interviews by asking my interviewees what single question about the foundations of quantum mechanics they would want to put to an omniscient being. But not everyone took the bait, and some gave the question a new spin. “There are no omniscient beings,” Fuchs said. “I believe this is one of the greatest lessons of quantum theory. For there to be an omniscient being, the world would have to be written from beginning to end like a completed book. But if there is no such thing as the universe in any completed and waiting-to-be-discovered sense, then there is no completed book to be read, no omniscient being.” Greenberger didn’t quite warm up to my question either. “Would you really want to live in a universe that was so simple that you could understand it, even if God himself tried to explain it to you?”

Caslav Brukner, a physicist at the University of Vienna, was even more curt. “Who cares about the foundations of quantum mechanics when offered an exclusive opportunity for posing a single question to an omniscient being?”

---

You can check out free samples of the book here, and order a copy here.

THE PARTICIPANTS

Guido Bacciagaluppi, Caslav Brukner, Jeffrey Bub, Arthur Fine, Christopher Fuchs, GianCarlo Ghirardi, Shelly Goldstein, Daniel Greenberger, Lucien Hardy, Anthony Leggett, Tim Maudlin, David Mermin, Lee Smolin, Antony Valentini, David Wallace, Anton Zeilinger, and Wojciech Zurek.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What first stimulated your interest in the foundations of quantum mechanics?

2. What are the most pressing problems in the foundations of quantum mechanics today?

3. What interpretive program can make the best sense of quantum mechanics, and why?

4. What are quantum states?

5. Does quantum mechanics imply irreducible randomness in nature?

6. Quantum probabilities: subjective or objective?

7. The quantum measurement problem: serious roadblock or dissolvable pseudo-issue?

8. What do the experimentally observed violations of Bell's inequalities tell us about nature?

9. What contributions to the foundations of quantum mechanics have, or will, come from quantum information theory? What notion of information could serve as a rigorous basis for progress in foundations?

10. How can the foundations of quantum mechanics benefit from approaches that reconstruct quantum mechanics from fundamental principles? Can reconstruction reduce the need for interpretation?

11. If you could choose one experiment, regardless of its current technical feasibility, to help answer a foundational question, which one would it be?

12. If you have a preferred interpretation of quantum mechanics, what would it take to make you switch sides?

13. How do personal beliefs and values influence one's choice of interpretation?

14. What is the role of philosophy in advancing our understanding of the foundations of quantum mechanics?

15. What new input and perspectives for the foundations of quantum mechanics may come from the interplay between quantum theory and gravity/relativity, and from the search for a unified theory?

16. Where would you put your money when it comes to predicting the next major development in the foundations of quantum mechanics?

17. What single question about the foundations of quantum mechanics would you put to an omniscient being?

this post has been edited by the forum administrator

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Wilhelmus de Wilde wrote on Jan. 11, 2012 @ 16:43 GMT
Mentionning an omniscient being refers to a form of conscience that is realted to to human being, omniscient might be a dimension where all probable (and for us unprobable) space/time (past and future) quanta are non causal possibillities, so every answer is "present". In our 4D causal deterministic universe we can only dream of it. But our consciousness is the only possible contact-line with that kind of dimension.

keep on thinking free

Wilhelmus

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 11, 2012 @ 16:56 GMT
Aren't the useful results of quantum physics possibly similar to white gold earned from intensive more or less speculative work on poorly understood basics?

I do not just wonder why quantum computers do obviously not work as promised. My primary concern are some mathematical assumptions.

After already Stern and Gerlach reported an experiment that I consider at variance with traditional physics, Heisenberg/Born/Jordan as well as Schroedinger/Weyl were not aware of what I consider the necessity to reconsider the usually used transformation from unilateral real function of time into a complex function of frequency with Hermitian symmetry when they introduced instead the Hamiltonian point of view. Dirac was definitely understandably wrong when he explicitly wrote that frequency must not be negative.

Weyl admitted concerning the apparent symmetries: At the moment (since 1932) there is no explanation in sight. Schulman's textbook and Feynman's "shut up and calculate" are not appealing to me.

Unfortunately, I did not find anybody seriously dealing with these questions so far.

Eckard

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 04:43 GMT
Dear Eckard,

I have recently been inspired by Joy Christian's work to learn about David Hestene's development of 'geometric algebra'. There is a very interesting interpretation of the 'imaginary' i = sqrt (-1) in his work. If you are not familiar with this, I think you might also find his interpretation interesting.

Best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 17:41 GMT
Dear Edwin,

Maintaining that a basic number like i itself cannot be interpreted, I nonetheless appreciate your attempts to help. You certainly meant the interpretation of its application in physics where I disagree with the mainstream.

While I also share your opinion that Joy Christian deserves respect for his courage, I consider my criticism addressing much more foundational questions. Maybe Karl Popper would have understood my reasoning.

Here I found my guess confirmed: Even with geometric algebra, one has to arbitrarily choose between two geometric interpretations of an imaginary number, e.g. clockwise and anticlockwise rotation, a blade with positive or negative orientation, etc. before application to ph1ysics. Quadratic forms deal with symmetric matrices, matrices that can be diagonalized. However, there is no genuine symmetry wrt the point t=0 in reality. Negative elapsed time is merely required for a trick by Heaviside. The original matrices are triangular.

This trifle does usually not disturb application. Electrical engineers do not worry when using non-causal "optimal filters". With F = E + icB, Maxwell's equations can be written very elegantly as a single one: Nabla F = mu_0 c J. Shouldn't we be happy with this linearizing? As a rule of course yes. However, as in case of acoustics, the linearized models have their limits. In application on physics, the limit is t=0. A knowing all who suggested to me the shift operation could not even shift his own age.

Best regards

Eckard

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Paul Reed replied on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 09:25 GMT
Eckard/Edwin

Isn't the basic test of any concept (but referring specifically to a "number like i) to establish its equivalent in physical reality? One is not ruling out some level of hypothecation, albeit properly linked to direct experience. But in all cases, there must be something which exists, and in the form it is purported to do so. I don't do philosophy!

Paul

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Karl Coryat wrote on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 00:59 GMT
Jeff Bub's comment was the best: "[Interpretation] tends to treat the theory like a problem child...The aim is to get quantum mechanics to conform to some ideal of classical comprehensibility." If only we analytic humans weren't hobbled by this classical experience, we might do better at the interpreting part. Asking human physicists to interpret QM is a bit like asking a lifelong slave to interpret a theory of freedom.

The roundtable approach was a great idea and I look forward to reading Max's book.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 04:37 GMT
Karl,

"Asking human physicists to interpret QM is a bit like asking a lifelong slave to interpret a theory of freedom."

This is a personal belief that you have. Of course you may be correct, or it could be that you are simply misled by the incorrect interpretations of QM that are available today. I think that will soon change, but then that's a personal belief that I have.

Best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 04:30 GMT
Thanks Maximilian,

If your results don't prove that current interpretations are the problem, then it's beyond proof. Lucian Hardy seems to have the most sensible approach, "I do not believe any of the currently available interpretative programs."

I agree with Tim Maudlin that a program to "derive or explain physics from information theory" is misguided. As for the "lots of things we can't do in a classical world" can anyone tell me exactly what types of computations are possible other than fast factoring of large numbers? Anyone?

Tony Leggett's remark that "an active interest in the foundations of quantum mechanics does not disqualify one from being a 'proper' physicist," clearly shows just how faddish physics has become. Who exactly defines which ones of us are 'proper' physicists?

Your conclusion seems to be correct, that physicists are split into two camps, one based on realism, the other on formalism. The formalists have been winning for most of QM history. I predict that's about to change.

Looks like an interesting read.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 12:54 GMT
Quantum mechanics is in many ways the simplest thing there is. It is a theory of linear vectors which represent states, Hermitian operators which give eigenvalues, unitarity, commutators and so forth. This then juxtaposed with classical mechanics, which is a theory of symplectic transformations and deterministic dynamics. Of course there is classical statistical mechanics, which is an ensemble theory of classical states. What is mysterious is the existence or apparent observation of a non-quantum reality we call classical or what might be called macroscopic. The difficulty in understanding quantum mechanics comes from some desire to understand it according to macroscopic or classical mechanics. I think the real question is; how is it that macroscopic physics emerges from quantum physics?

Cheers LC

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T H Ray replied on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 14:58 GMT
"I think the real question is; how is it that macroscopic physics emerges from quantum physics?"

Bingo. Of course, the converse is "How is it that quantum physics is subsumed by continuous measurement functions?"

Tom

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John Merryman replied on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 18:02 GMT
It doesn't seem as though the process of emergence has been fully quantified on any level. Logic is linear, but causality isn't necessarily so.

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Georgina Parry replied on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 01:51 GMT
John,

any chance you might reconsider the explanatory framework diagram that I showed you before? You previously said science didn't want it. However as well as answering/overcoming a number of paradoxes and answering numerous foundational questions it gives the way that observed causality in space-time originates in the foundational reality.

The Object reality shown is the youngest iteration of the Object universe undergoing continual change. It is unitemporal so everything in it exists at the same and only time and is able to change due to the relationships between the different objects which give forces leading to changes of spatial position giving a new arrangements /iterations. These are all of the things that are entangled because they exist together rather than just appearing together because data has arrived at the observer together giving a fabricated composite image.

The foundational events are continually providing data to the Data pool which can later be received by an observer to give a space-time observation. Rather than there being a space-time continuum Universe spread over time from beginning to end existing always as the entirety of the Universe.

What is observed will depend upon when and how the observer chooses to look as that will determine the data received and iteration from which the data detected originated.The data relates to a particular actualisation of the object.

What is observed can only be from the data added to the data pool. Events that have not occurred in foundational reality have not provided any data and so will not be observed,(excluding hallucination etc.) So the data pool contains all possibilities from what has occurred but not all possibilities. But the observer can not know what has and has not occurred and has a viewpoint limited to a statistical evaluation, until observation (data selection).

Data can be combined in different ways according to observer reference frame.Causality in space-time may appear linked to the order in which the data is received and processed not the order of production in foundational reality.

attachments: 3_RICP_3D_sized_.pdf

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 17:05 GMT
I read the sample chapter and I was hooked: I ordered the book.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 02:49 GMT
The quantum randomness might be noise to some. Just because scientists and engineers cannot control the quantum randomness doesn't mean that it is uncontrollable. You and I can believe whatever we wish; however, quantum randomness is like this backdoor into our physical universe. There is no scientific high quality evidence that anything exists in the randomness. It is an ocean of uncertainty and possibility.

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Paul Reed replied on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 07:55 GMT
Jason

I sense this has been posted in the wrong place(?), but it is an interesting statement. Whether "randomness" is "noise" (ie existent I presume) is one question. Another is, even if it is the physical reality of some existent phenomena, then: So what?? There seems to be some general implication that random or erratic is 'strange', and of itself thus points to a 'deeper understanding'. There can be random, just as there can be non-random. Assuming of course, as you quite rightly question, there is anyway. And this perceived characteristic is not just a reflection of the fact that this physical reality is very difficult to detect, and therefore a function of our analysis and not what exists.

Paul

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Domenico Oricchio wrote on Jan. 27, 2012 @ 13:56 GMT
I thought an experiment to verify the superluminal neutrinos, that can verify the possibility of the curvature of the elementary particles.

I call this Gelmini tunnel (it is a joke to remember the strength of nonsense): some horizontal drilling of a vacuum tube (using drilling rig) that, long some kilometres, and connected in horizontal, permit to obtain a verify of the superluminarity of the neutrinos (one can verify the difference in arrive time between vacuum tube, 730Km-70Km, and filled with water tube, 730Km); it is possible to use long, and old, tunnel with inner vacuum tube to verify all without high costs; it is only an idea, I have not verified the cost and the instrument precision.

I thought an other experiment to verify the number of elementary forces, two (low energy particles accelerator) rings where happen particle-antiparticle annihilations with collision with the same direction (it is opposite to the usual collision), so that the annihilation of the particles (with long lifetime) leave a residue double spin for the forces.

Saluti

Domenico

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Bernard Schermerhorn wrote on Feb. 23, 2012 @ 23:51 GMT
I'm not a scientist, but I have a very inquisitive mind, I'm always asking, who knew what when.

Science I have found isn't sure, but that's aright, considering how everything has congnative thought, who, does. Even a leopard has cognative thought, it hunts, I'm sure it knows it would have difficulty with bringing down an elephant.

Since that's the case, who says that there was a big bang, what if heaven, who made the universe, caused an implosion. That might explain why material which would be coming from a reversal in physics to have materail stricking the earth to date. If it was a big bang, an explosion, wouldn't the material from the explosion always be on the outer edge

As for time, didn't Father Georges LaMaitra have to use the 24 hour clock to determine the speed at which that material was coiming that strikes the earth. How else could he have figured out when the initial implosion occured?

Now, again, let me be clear, I'm not a scientest, but I have been in heaven, at a very early age,7. Since I have, and I passed through a dark chamber before arriving, there is every reason to believe that the dark chamber surrounds the universe. I could be wrong about the surround part, but it fits.

Now folks, I'm about to throw a curve ball.

Paleontologists can't be wrong about how everything came out of the ocean, period.

So, since that's the case, they're reading the history of us, the world, after the fact.

So, if everything has cognative thought where does that leave us with our suppositions concerning what occured, and what is about to occur. After all look at how science is saying that it all stops at 21 December this year, Phewy.

People should get a life and continue to learn as much as they can so they can take that into heaven when they leave here. That your life doesn't stop folks, guaranteed!

Take it from me heaven is there and all of you want to go.

Oh, as an aside, the lighthouse at Aexandria was kept lit by burning sulphur chucnks.

post approved

Wilhelmus de Wilde replied on Feb. 24, 2012 @ 16:10 GMT
Bernard, Everybody has his own experiences, these xperiences, these experiences are signals we recieve fromour senses, our senses conduct them to our brain in 200 milliseconds, this will be evaluated by our consciousness to the "reality" we seem to live in. so all we are aware of is always the past, it is our consciousness that is able to emit signals to this past for else the wave function of probability could not collapse to become an observable particle, this means that there is a sort of entanglement between our experienced NOW and the ORIGINAL PAST, leading to the experience of what we call "reality". Your experience of "heaven" , the entanglement between YOUR Consciuosness and a Total Simultaneity leading to a reality that has not been observed by other observers, and has lead to a reality that you call HEAVEN.

see also REALITIES OUT OF TOTAL SIMULTANEITY.

(are you family of Eddy Schermerhorn in Holland?)

think free

Wilhelmus

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Steve Dufourny replied on May. 7, 2012 @ 11:05 GMT
Still a strategy for the confusions about the real innovator !!!

Like what the imrpovement is an art and not a business, ahahah Holland and USA ? What do you do ? for this papper and your frustration. The hate is not the torch os real searchers.

I will fight all my life ! Kill me or respect me ahahah viva el crazzyness !

Spherically Yours

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Steve Dufourny replied on May. 11, 2012 @ 22:13 GMT
straegists are not scientists.

Businessmen are not scientists.

Uncompetents are not scientists.

Stealers are not scientists.

Even with the help of the bbc and cnn ahahah kill me I am repeating.

solution learn or kill me !

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Feb. 26, 2012 @ 02:46 GMT
Carel van der Togt mentioned an old enigma: Why don't the particles of same charge repel each other in a ray of e.g. electrons? Is his explanation generally accepted?

Eckard

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Feb. 26, 2012 @ 16:48 GMT
I see van der Togt several times wrong.

Like Peter Jackson and Walter Babin, he does not show awareness of Marmet's argument that the experiment by Michelson and Morley does NOT exclude the possibility of an absolute frame of reference.

Secondly he wrote:

"When it is proven experimentally with the proposed experiment that proton beam and electron beam attract, where the protons and electrons move in the same direction, it is undisputed proven that the EM-theory is false in this respect."

Didn't he understand that the direction of current is defined opposite to the direction of electron flow while in agreement with the direction of protons?

I have to apologize for not correctly explaining the old to me enigma van Togt reminded me of: Why does apparently nobody consider electrons repelling each other in a ray of electrons? Lets consider an electron ray of diameter d. If the electron density is equally distributed over r, then the compressing magnetic field approaches zero toward the middle of the ray. Electrostatic repulsion should be stronger. Shouldn't a steady ray of electrons in this respect behave similar to a conductor in case of alternating current? If not so, I guess our models of charged particles might be a bit naive.

Eckard

Rckard

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Carel van der Togt wrote on Feb. 27, 2012 @ 19:31 GMT
In the two posts above Eckard Blumschein mentions my name in respect to what I wrote and gives comments.

It would be nice when that happens that those who comment understand what they are talking about and not only pretend they understand.

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 28, 2012 @ 17:58 GMT
Dear Carel van der Togt,

Maybe you meant Sir George Biddell Airy when you wrote Sir Geofry Air.

Instead of listing more problems I had when reading your book, I should appreciate your effort to advocate for an ether theory.

You wrote with reference to the experiment by Michelson and Morley:

"The rejection of the hypothesis of absolute ether appears to be correct."

Well, it still does so to the large majority of scientists. Since you "published" a paper "Stellar Aberration and the Unjustified Denial of Ether" in Galilean Electrodynamics 16,4,75, may I hope you are in position and willing to make this paper as well as belonging ones accessible to me?

What I consider a key paper by Paul Marmet has also been "published" in GED. Its manuscript was available to me free at newtonphysics as "to be published in GED". I consider Norbert Feist's Fig. 7 in Proc. of the NPA Vol. 6, No. 2, 1-4 compelling experimental evidence in support of Marmet's already convincing reasoning:

The double round-trip experiment by M&M and all similar ones did neither exclude nor confirm the existence of an ether and more generally of an absolute frame of reference.

A huge number of efforts to increase the accuracy of the null result was in vain. Not the result but the expectation was wrong.

A preferred absolute frame of reference is therefore NOT impossible. Please consider also the results by Shtyrkov and by other dissidents.

Generations of physicists and teachers of physics may blush. Even worse, theories by Lorentz, Poincaré, and subsequent ones up to the humble request for dealing with twin paradox were not necessary at all.

Eckard

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Anonymous replied on Feb. 28, 2012 @ 18:42 GMT
Dear Eckhard,

You wrote:"Since you "published" a paper "Stellar Aberration and the Unjustified Denial of Ether" in Galilean Electrodynamics 16,4,75, may I hope you are in position and willing to make this paper as well as belonging ones accessible to me?"

This article and other articles I wrote you can read on my website:

http://www.paradox-paradigm.nl/?page_id=99

Carel

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 28, 2012 @ 23:50 GMT
Dear Carel,

Thank you. I wrote "published" instead of published because GED seems to be not available in public libraries.

Did you read the GED papers by Marmet, by Feist, by Taylor, and by Don Johnson (vol. 16, No. 1, 3-7)? The latter dealt with aberration. Incidentally, in a vixra paper, Peter Jackson claims having revealed a decisive error by Lodge. Do you support his opinion?

Eckard

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 27, 2012 @ 21:20 GMT
Eckard.

In the post above you mention my name with respect to Marmet's argument regarding the M&M interpretation.

As you should well remember I am quite familiar with, and in agreement with, most of Marmet's intuitive propositions, including that M&M does not necessarily preclude an absolute frame of reference. Of course neither does it prove or actually support such.

I have gone a little further in this regard however. Agreeing that ultimately an 'absolute' frame of reference for the universe is entirely logical, but also that it has little relevance locally in our universe in which only the immediate background frame has any direct relevance as a state of motion against which c is referred and therefore defined.

(Smoot etc's 370km/sec anisotropy towards Leo is of course of our cluster wrt the universe centre NOT our planet in the solar system, or that through the galaxy. - We are purely a local CMBR 'frame last scattered')

All states of motion are only states of motion and quantifiable in and wrt the local background. This is the 'next frame up' of not quite infinitely many. It is a sad failure of logic that we have so far not recognised this essential kinetically nested relationship. Is any other ontology consistent?

So Eckard, are you really an advocate of ether; with just one 'absolute' ether frame?

Peter Jackson

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 28, 2012 @ 18:22 GMT
Peter,

I appreciate your support for what was explained by Marmet and experimentally shown e.g. by Norbert Feist. Doesn't it give rise to reconsider any suspected length contraction, local time, etc.?

Your idea of nested local frames of reference reminds me of the principle of smaller rockets that are accelerated against larger parts and are therefore reaching higher velocities. In so far it is seemingly plausible. However, I was trained in electrical engineering and then a researcher and teacher in this field for more than forty years. My models are fields without spatial limitation in empty space. Accordingly, I see in principle no localized electric field and relativity perhaps a similar approximation as e.g. linearizing of sound pressure in acoustics. I reiterate, I am not aware of an acoustic analog to what you are suggesting. There is no velocity wrt to the medium that exceeds the limit which depends on the properties of material. Likewise, there is certainly no light in excess of c wrt space.

Eckard

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Peter Jackson replied on Feb. 28, 2012 @ 19:58 GMT
Eckard

I certainly agree there is no light travelling in excess of c WHERE it is travelling. But if a rocket is then fired towards the source, are you suggesting the light passing by the rocket slows down in deference to the rocket!? How would it know the rocket was even there? It is plainly ridiculous. So the light does c PLUS v wrt the rocket, unless it meets and interacts. Can it be more simple?

There is of course an acoustic analogy. If you accelerate your car towards a sound source, do the sound waves passing by your car say "Mien Got! Her Blumschein, I must slow down!!" You must command great respect if it did. But of course the waves MEETING your car are different case, - because they interact at the fine structure of course, which gives the Doppler shift of wavelength (so also f).

But 'simple' is different to 'simplistic'. We must un-learn the assumption of 'fields with no physical limits'. Simply consider if we are in the Earth's field (and ECRF) would we detect the field of Venus? If we leave our ionosphere into the solar wind and barycentric frame are we still in the ECRF?, And if we visit Andromeda, or even Saturn can we detect the field of Jupiter? (Jupiter's was found very large by both the Galileo and Voyager probes, but well defined, and not THAT large!

Abandoning old assumptions is the only route to new discovery.

Small rockets sent by large ones still have the limit of the 'next frame up' which is still the local c. What does work is collimated jets, tubes moving within tubes moving within tubes, ever larger and larger diameter. This is how astrophysical quasar jets work. We see them at apparent 8c (i.e. M87) but nothing does over c locally, (also due to the Rees-Sciama effect). This of course also has a sound analogy as you will see while watching the jet plane fly past yours in then opposite direction. Only when you MEET the sound from the other plane does it slow down and increase in pitch.

Yes, I did "reconsider suspected length contraction, local time, etc." And it all fell simply and logically into place as Doppler shift. John Minkowski and I now also have a new formulation for space-time and dilation from the Discrete Field Model, as the effect of diffraction and Doppler shift on signals denoting a 'period' or 'event' of non-zero time, entering a new mediums 'state of motion'. Embarrassingly we've now run our of anomalies and paradoxes to feed into the model to resolve. Do offer any.

I will none the less look up Norbert Feist. Is there anything above you find apparently inconsistent? Thank you.

Peter

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 28, 2012 @ 23:22 GMT
Peter,

Let's imagine two sources A and B of sound or light simultaneously emitting signal fronts that are propagating with the belonging c in opposite direction either toward or apart from each other. In this case the fronts are moving relative to each other with 2c. However this seemingly doubled speed cannot be used to transfer anything from A to B.

Consider a missile flying with 3 times 330m/s wrt ground. An additional velocity v=1500 m/s within its metal is possible. However, the transmitted by air sound cannot be heard at the target before the missile did reach it.

You wrote: "What does work is collimated jets, tubes moving within tubes moving within tubes, ever larger and larger diameter. This is how astrophysical quasar jets work. We see them at apparent 8c". With the word apparent, you seem to contradict yourself. The 990 + 1500 m/s are not perceivable to us.

You wrote: "when you MEET the sound from the other plane does it slow down and increase in pitch".

While pitch is a physiological rather than a physical quantity, the Doppler effect can actually be measured. However, does the sound really slow down? No. The Doppler effect depends on the relative velocity between sender and receiver. The emitted and transmitted (possibly to a variety of differently moving receivers) frequency is independent of this velocity.

You wrote:"I did "reconsider suspected length contraction, local time, etc." And it all fell simply and logically into place as Doppler shift. John Minkowski and I now also have a new formulation for space-time and dilation ...".

Length contraction, local time, etc. were introduced as to explain the unexpected null-result. What do you mean with "fell into place"? Didn't they simply vanish?

Eckard

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 2, 2012 @ 20:46 GMT
Eckard.

You take me by surprise suggesting 'frequency' is a real physical property. As it is a derivative from two things, one of which is NOT a real physical property, then it CANNOT be a real property itself.

We are so used to treating it as such that we forget what is real and what is an effect.

Look at it again this way. You will of course agree that wavelength is a real physical property of a wave. Or perhaps the distance between two photons. It is measurable with a real ruler in the wave/photon frame and may be assigned a real fixed distance. Sound waves and light waves alike.

We observe, calculate and record the data of waves, via frequency with our watch, assuming a speed, by habit as we cannot SEE most waves. If we purely now change relative speed, either the propagation speed of the wave or the speed of the observer, do we change the fundamental physical thing we are measuring? No, we are purely changing the relative time we use in our calculation to obtain the abstract numerical term 'frequency' (f).

i.e. the wave has an assignable velocity wrt it's background, and observer motion does NOT CHANGE THAT! A million observers may have different speeds and in different directions, and what they find for f is all DIFFERENT. The ONLY fundamental constant physical quantity is the wavelength.

I have to smile, as you accepted and understood this very thing when we discussed the ambulance. But when we now come to APPLY it, you loose that and revert to old habits and false assumptions. It is wavelength that changes, both due to the refractive index n of a medium, AND kinetically due to the motion OF THE MEDIUM, because the start point arrives BEFORE the finish point, and the place it arrives at has moved.

Think again of the queue stepping onto a travelator. Only the physical DISTANCE between the people changes. A fixed observer finds the frequency they pass him by has NOT changed (because speed has). But, by also moving himself - he can derive any frequency he wishes! - for a fixed wavelength!!

Set periods of time are something we invented, They did not come from nature and can be used only for comparative purposes.

That is why I said we need to apply and rehearse the solution once we find it. Otherwise we go straight back to 'default mode' and the 100 year fog returns. You did not believe me then and still perhaps scoff now, but you have just proved it correct.

Peter

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James Putnam replied on Mar. 2, 2012 @ 21:30 GMT
Peter,

"...We observe, calculate and record the data of waves, via frequency with our watch, assuming a speed, by habit as we cannot SEE most waves. If we purely now change relative speed, either the propagation speed of the wave or the speed of the observer, do we change the fundamental physical thing we are measuring? No, we are purely changing the relative time we use in our calculation to obtain the abstract numerical term 'frequency' (f).

i.e. the wave has an assignable velocity wrt it's background, and observer motion does NOT CHANGE THAT! A million observers may have different speeds and in different directions, and what they find for f is all DIFFERENT. The ONLY fundamental constant physical quantity is the wavelength. ..."

Can you please address the above point of view from the perspective of an observer considering that the observer's perspective is not relevant until light is received? Please focus in on what occurs when the light is received. Do you say that frequency increases while the wavelength remains the same as before received? In other words, the observer's immediate environment changes the frequency but not the wavelength? When a wave of light is received, is its wavelength altered or not?

I haven't followed many of these exchanges. Just want to get refreshed about your point of view. My understanding is that you say that the speed of the light changes as it enters the receiver's immediate environment. Can you talk about both wavelength and frequency under the condition of light-speed changing? I don't have an objection in mind, I am just looking for clarification. Thank you.

James

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Mar. 3, 2012 @ 10:47 GMT
Peter,

I dislike distraction from your failure to justify the first postulate of SR.

To engineers, representations in terms of elapsed time are equivalent to corresponding ones in terms of frequency as are those on terms of radius and of wave number. The latter is also called spatial frequency.

In case a wave enters a different medium, I see it changing its wavelength and consequently its speed wrt medium. I consider it having different frequencies at emitter and receiver in case of changing distance between emitter and receiver. Objections?

Eckard

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Paul Reed replied on Mar. 3, 2012 @ 11:38 GMT
Peter

“You take me by surprise suggesting 'frequency' is a real physical property…”

This was the subject of an exchange (between us) in Some When. The point is that there is a real occurrence.

The other point being, what is being measured? There is an effect resulting from the interaction of photons, which we can realise as an optical image of the reality involved. This effect, which is a real physical phenomenon, travels, somehow. A duration is taken to do so. It might be affected by circumstances en route. Wave or not, what we should be measuring is that. Which can only be achieved, and with some practical difficulty, by reverse engineering/extrapolation, from individual articulated perceptions.

And you are not "changing the relative time", the delays in receipt of information are changing. As explained in yet another recent exchange in some thread in Some When.

Paul

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Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 3, 2012 @ 14:56 GMT
Eckard

"I consider it having different frequencies at emitter and receiver in case of changing distance between emitter and receiver. Objections?"

Yes.

What qualities did you measure and use to get frequency?

I do not now expect you to comprehend my reply to James, but always live in hope.

Paul; I cannot answer your last post or any similar post. But again may be able if you can comprehend my reply to James, and it's implications.

Best wishes.

Peter

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Mar. 3, 2012 @ 16:48 GMT
Peter,

I asked "Objections?". You replied "Yes." See Some-When.

Eckard

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Peter replied on Mar. 4, 2012 @ 10:46 GMT
Peter

"Paul; I cannot answer your last post or any similar post. But again may be able if you can comprehend my reply to James, and it's implications"

Why not? No, the response to James does not help, because it is the response we have already received, several times (not surprisingly because James asked a question we have already, and me in my way and Eckard in his, have raised substantive questions about it.

Peter/Eckard

Could I suggest we cease this dialogue in this Topic. It is disjointed enough in Some When, without a disjointed parallel set of threads here as well.

Paul

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Georgina Parry replied on May. 4, 2012 @ 23:35 GMT
Thinking about the cat in a box again. The cat actualisation if alive will be able to move around in the box and depending on the radioactive decay or not of the potentially deadly chemical it is either in a living or dead state. So without knowing what is happening in the box there is potential fluctuation of position and either unaltered state or change in state. That could be represented as the probabilities of finding the cat in each position in each state and those probabilities are spread over the time that the box is closed, (or the iterations of the universe occurring while box is closed).

When the box is opened the iteration of the universe in which position and live dead status is sampled is selected. First selection. At that selection event the data enabling later knowledge of its state and position is formed by interaction of photons with the actualised cat. That em /photon data then cascades out from the cat towards the observer.Its journey spread over further iterations of the object universe. The live dead status of the cat is pre-written in the data as it is a product of interaction with the pre-existing actualisation.

The position and reference frame of the observer will determine which of the data in the environment will be selected. Second selection. What will be observed will also depend upon what has happened to the data between interaction with the actualisation and receipt by the observer.Following processing of the (second selection) data it will be possible to know the state and position of the cat upon opening of the box, from the manifestation/ output formed.

So there is a switch from consideration of what exists independently of the observer and is incompletely known, to what is experienced /observed by the observer and "known". If the observer is an organism the output is within the brain activity, electrical output, and not something existing separately in the external environment. Though the manifestation is provided to the conscious mind with the information/knowledge that this exists externally. The manifestation is not the actualisation, though it is through observation of manifestations that what exists externally and independently is thought to be known.

How the data spreads through the external environment can be modelled mathematically in different ways. There is a video of a lecture given by Sir Roger Penrose among the resources here. He is talking amongst other things about how the light cone could be represented by a quaternion structure. Which I thought interesting. I had been considering that it might be a good way to think about the distribution and receiving of em data. But had not visualised it in the way demonstrated, which is more complicated and far more amazing than my simple ideas about it. I thought it might be relevant to what Joy is talking about.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on May. 1, 2012 @ 18:43 GMT
Quantum gravity depends upon the half force/strength of both inertia and gravity in keeping with fundamental instantaneity and fundamental particle/wave. F=ma is then shown fundamentally.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on May. 2, 2012 @ 00:19 GMT
DREAMS ARE ALL OF THIS: Quantum gravity depends upon the half force/strength of both inertia and gravity in keeping with fundamental instantaneity and fundamental particle/wave. F=ma is then shown fundamentally.

FQXi.org -- your reply???????

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on May. 2, 2012 @ 14:28 GMT
Do any of you consider bodily experience and the eye when you consider physics?

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