I offer an account of how the quantumtheory we have helps us explain so much. The account depends on a pragmatist interpretation of the theory: this takes a quantum state to serve as a source of sound advice to physically situated agents on the content and appropriate degree of belief about matters concerning which they are currently inevitably ignorant. The general account of how to use quantum states and probabilities to explain otherwise puzzling regularities (...) is then illustrated by showing how we can explain single-particle interference phenomena, the stability of matter, and interference of Bose–Einstein condensates. Finally, I note some open problems and relate this account to alternative approaches to explanation that emphasize the importance of causation, of unification, and of structure. 1 Introduction2 Two Requirements on Explanations in Physics3 What We Can use QuantumTheory to Explain4 The Function of Quantum States and Born Probabilities5 How These Functions Contribute to the Explanatory Task6 Example One: Single-Particle Interference7 Example Two: Explanation of the Stability of Matter8 Example Three: Bose Condensation9 Conclusion. (shrink)
Two radically different views about time are possible. According to the first, the universe is three dimensional. It has a past and a future, but that does not mean it is spread out in time as it is spread out in the three dimensions of space. This view requires that there is an unambiguous, absolute, cosmic-wide "now" at each instant. According to the second view about time, the universe is four dimensional. It is spread out in both space and time (...) - in space-time in short. Special and general relativity rule out the first view. There is, according to relativity theory, no such thing as an unambiguous, absolute cosmic-wide "now" at each instant. However, we have every reason to hold that both special and general relativity are false. Not only does the historical record tell us that physics advances from one false theory to another. Furthermore, elsewhere I have shown that we must interpret physics as having established physicalism - in so far as physics can ever establish anything theoretical. Physicalism, here, is to be interpreted as the thesis that the universe is such that some unified "theory of everything" is true. Granted physicalism, it follows immediately that any physical theory that is about a restricted range of phenomena only, cannot be true, whatever its empirical success may be. It follows that both special and general relativity are false. This does not mean of course that the implication of these two theories that there is no unambiguous cosmic-wide "now" at each instant is false. It still may be the case that the first view of time, indicated at the outset, is false. Are there grounds for holding that an unambiguous cosmic-wide "now" does exist, despite special and general relativity, both of which imply that it does not exist? There are such grounds. Elsewhere I have argued that, in order to solve the quantum wave/particle problem and make sense of the quantum domain we need to interpret quantumtheory as a fundamentally probabilistic theory, a theory which specifies how quantum entities - electrons, photons, atoms - interact with one another probabilistically. It is conceivable that this is correct, and the ultimate laws of the universe are probabilistic in character. If so, probabilistic transitions could define unambiguous, absolute cosmic-wide "nows" at each instant. It is entirely unsurprising that special and general relativity have nothing to say about the matter. Both theories are pre-quantum mechanical, classical theories, and general relativity in particular is deterministic. The universe may indeed be three dimensional, with a past and a future, but not spread out in four dimensional space-time, despite the fact that relativity theories appear to rule this out. These considerations, finally, have implications for views about the arrow of time and free will. (shrink)
It is usually taken for granted that orthodox quantumtheory poses a serious problem for scientific realism, in that the theory is empirically extraordinarily successful, and yet has instrumentalism built into it. This paper stand this view on its head. I argue that orthodox quantumtheory suffers from a number of serious (if not always noticed) defects precisely because of its inbuilt instrumentalism. This defective character of orthdoox quantumtheory thus undermines instrumentalism, and (...) supports scientific realism. I go on to consider whether there is here the basis of a general argument against instrumentalism. (shrink)
There is a consistent and simple interpretation of the quantumtheory of isolated systems. The interpretation suffers no measurement problem and provides a quantum explanation of state reduction, which is usually postulated. Quantum entanglement plays an essential role in the construction of the interpretation.
In the Critique of Pure Reason Kant argues that the empirical knowledge of the world depends on a priori conditions of human sensibility and understanding, i. e., our capacities of sense experience and concept formation. The objective knowledge presupposes, on one hand, space and time as a priori conditions of sensibility and, on another hand, a priori judgments, like the principle of causality, as constitutive conditions of understanding. The problem is that in the XX century the physical science completely changed (...) how we conceive our knowledge of the world. Face to this new situation, what was changed in our classical reason? However, if the transcendental point of view is adopted, in the specific case of quantum mechanics, we have to wonder about the general conditions of this theory that make possible such knowledge, which predictive value is much more accurate than the classical physics. The aim of this work is firstly to show the Kantian implications on Bohr’s interpretation of quantum phenomena and secondly to provide an overview of the key elements for understanding the transcendental locus of ordinary language in the quantum mechanics context, in order to give support to a transcendental pragmatic position in the analysis of science. (shrink)
I look at the distinction between between realist and antirealist views of the quantum state. I argue that this binary classification should be reconceived as a continuum of different views about which properties of the quantum state are representationally significant. What's more, the extreme cases -- all or none --- are simply absurd, and should be rejected by all parties. In other words, no sane person should advocate extreme realism or antirealism about the quantum state. And if (...) we focus on the reasonable views, it's no longer clear who counts as a realist, and who counts as an antirealist. Among those taking a more reasonable intermediate view, we find figures such as Bohr and Carnap -- in stark opposition to the stories we've been told. (shrink)
The hard problem of consciousness arises in most incarnations of present day physicalism. Why should certain physical processes necessarily be accompanied by experience? One possible response is that physicalism itself should be modified in order to accommodate experience: But, modified how? In the present work, we investigate whether an ontology derived from quantum field theory can help resolve the hard problem. We begin with the assumption that experience cannot exist without being accompanied by a subject of experience (SoE). (...) While people well versed in Indian philosophy will not find that statement problematic, it is still controversial in the analytic tradition. Luckily for us, Strawson has elaborately defended the notion of a thin subject—an SoE which exhibits a phenomenal unity with different types of content (sensations, thoughts etc.) occurring during its temporal existence. Next, following Stoljar, we invoke our ignorance of the true physical as the reason for the explanatory gap between present day physical processes (events, properties) and experience. We are therefore permitted to conceive of thin subjects as related to the physical via a new, yet to be elaborated relation. While this is difficult to conceive under most varieties of classical physics, we argue that this may not be the case under certain quantum field theory ontologies. We suggest that the relation binding an SoE to the physical is akin to the relation between a particle and (quantum) field. In quantum field theory, a particle is conceived as a coherent excitation of a field. Under the right set of circumstances, a particle coalesces out of a field and dissipates. We suggest that an SoE can be conceived as akin to a particle—a SelfOn—which coalesces out of physical fields, persists for a brief period of time and then dissipates in a manner similar to the phenomenology of a thin subject. Experiences are physical properties of selfons with the constraint (specified by a similarity metric) that selfons belonging to the same natural kind will have similar experiences. While it is odd at first glance to conceive of subjects of experience as akin to particles, the spatial and temporal unity exhibited by particles as opposed to fields and the expectation that selfons are new kinds of particles, paves the way for cementing this notion. Next, we detail the various no-go theorems in most versions of quantum field theory and discuss their impact on the existence of selfons. Finally, we argue that the time is ripe for a rejuvenated Indian philosophy to begin tackling the three-way relationship between SoEs (which may become equivalent to jivas in certain Indian frameworks), phenomenal content and the physical world. With analytic philosophy still struggling to come to terms with the complex worlds of quantum field theory and with the relative inexperience of the western world in arguing the jiva-world relation, there is a clear and present opportunity for Indian philosophy to make a worldcentric contribution to the hard problem of experience. (shrink)
In this paper I put forward a new micro realistic, fundamentally probabilistic, propensiton version of quantumtheory. According to this theory, the entities of the quantum domain - electrons, photons, atoms - are neither particles nor fields, but a new kind of fundamentally probabilistic entity, the propensiton - entities which interact with one another probabilistically. This version of quantumtheory leaves the Schroedinger equation unchanged, but reinterprets it to specify how propensitons evolve when no (...) probabilistic transitions occur. Probabilisitic transitions occur when new "particles" are created as a result of inelastic interactions. All measurements are just special cases of this. This propensiton version of quantumtheory, I argue, solves the wave/particle dilemma, is free of conceptual problems that plague orthodox quantumtheory, recovers all the empirical success of orthodox quantumtheory, and at the same time yields as yet untested predictions that differ from those of orthodox quantumtheory. (shrink)
A fully micro realistic, propensity version of quantumtheory is proposed, according to which fundamental physical entities - neither particles nor fields - have physical characteristics which determine probabilistically how they interact with one another . The version of quantum "smearon" theory proposed here does not modify the equations of orthodox quantumtheory: rather, it gives a radically new interpretation to these equations. It is argued that there are strong general reasons for preferring (...) class='Hi'>quantum "smearon" theory to orthodox quantumtheory; the proposed change in physical interpretation leads quantum "smearon" theory to make experimental predictions subtly different from those of orthodox quantumtheory. Some possible crucial experiments are considered. (shrink)
The received view in physicalist philosophy of mind assumes that causation can only take place at the physical domain and that the physical domain is causally closed. It is often thought that this leaves no room for mental states qua mental to have a causal influence upon the physical domain, leading to epiphenomenalism and the problem of mental causation. However, in recent philosophy of causation there has been growing interest in a line of thought that can be called causal antifundamentalism: (...) causal notions cannot play a role in physics, because the fundamental laws of physics are radically different from causal laws. Causal anti-fundamentalism seems to challenge the received view in physicalist philosophy of mind and thus raises the possibility of there being genuine mental causation after all. This paper argues that while causal anti-fundamentalism provides a possible route to mental causation, we have reasons to think that it is incorrect. Does this mean that we have to accept the received view and give up the hope of genuine mental causation? I will suggest that the ontological interpretation of quantumtheory provides us both with a view about the nature of causality in fundamental physics, as well as a view how genuine mental causation can be compatible with our fundamental (quantum) physical ontology. (shrink)
In the author’s previous contribution to this journal (Rosen 2015), a phenomenological string theory was proposed based on qualitative topology and hypercomplex numbers. The current paper takes this further by delving into the ancient Chinese origin of phenomenological string theory. First, we discover a connection between the Klein bottle, which is crucial to the theory, and the Ho-t’u, a Chinese number archetype central to Taoist cosmology. The two structures are seen to mirror each other in expressing the (...) psychophysical (phenomenological) action pattern at the heart of microphysics. But tackling the question of quantum gravity requires that a whole family of topological dimensions be brought into play. What we find in engaging with these structures is a closely related family of Taoist forebears that, in concert with their successors, provide a blueprint for cosmic evolution. Whereas conventional string theory accounts for the generation of nature’s fundamental forces via a notion of symmetry breaking that is essentially static and thus unable to explain cosmogony successfully, phenomenological/Taoist string theory entails the dialectical interplay of symmetry and asymmetry inherent in the principle of synsymmetry. This dynamic concept of cosmic change is elaborated on in the three concluding sections of the paper. Here, a detailed analysis of cosmogony is offered, first in terms of the theory of dimensional development and its Taoist (yin-yang) counterpart, then in terms of the evolution of the elemental force particles through cycles of expansion and contraction in a spiraling universe. The paper closes by considering the role of the analyst per se in the further evolution of the cosmos. (shrink)
The notion of equality between two observables will play many important roles in foundations of quantumtheory. However, the standard probabilistic interpretation based on the conventional Born formula does not give the probability of equality between two arbitrary observables, since the Born formula gives the probability distribution only for a commuting family of observables. In this paper, quantum set theory developed by Takeuti and the present author is used to systematically extend the standard probabilistic interpretation of (...)quantumtheory to define the probability of equality between two arbitrary observables in an arbitrary state. We apply this new interpretation to quantum measurement theory, and establish a logical basis for the difference between simultaneous measurability and simultaneous determinateness. (shrink)
In this paper I elicit a prediction from structural realism and compare it, not to a historical case, but to a contemporary scientific theory. If structural realism is correct, then we should expect physics to develop theories that fail to provide an ontology of the sort sought by traditional realists. If structure alone is responsible for instrumental success, we should expect surplus ontology to be eliminated. Quantum field theory (QFT) provides the framework for some of the best (...) confirmed theories in science, but debates over its ontology are vexed. Rather than taking a stand on these matters, the structural realist can embrace QFT as an example of just the kind of theory SR should lead us to expect. Yet, it is not clear that QFT meets the structuralist's positive expectation by providing a structure for the world. In particular, the problem of unitarily inequivalent representations threatens to undermine the possibility of QFT providing a unique structure for the world. In response to this problem, I suggest that the structuralist should endorse pluralism about structure. (shrink)
I propose a gentle reconciliation of QuantumTheory and General Relativity. It is possible to add small, but unshackling constraints to the quantum fields, making them compatible with General Relativity. Not all solutions of the Schrodinger's equation are needed. I show that the continuous and spatially separable solutions are sufficient for the nonlocal manifestations associated with entanglement and wavefunction collapse. After extending this idea to quantum fields, I show that Quantum Field Theory can be (...) defined in terms of partitioned classical fields. One key element is the idea of integral interactions, which also helps clarifying the quantum measurement and classical level problems. The unity of QuantumTheory and General Relativity can now be gained with the help of the partitioned fields' energy-momentum. A brief image of a General Relativistic Quantum Standard Model is outlined. (shrink)
Relationships between current theories, and relationships between current theories and the sought theory of quantum gravity (QG), play an essential role in motivating the need for QG, aiding the search for QG, and defining what would count as QG. Correspondence is the broad class of inter-theory relationships intended to demonstrate the necessary compatibility of two theories whose domains of validity overlap, in the overlap regions. The variety of roles that correspondence plays in the search for QG are (...) illustrated, using examples from specific QG approaches. Reduction is argued to be a special case of correspondence, and to form part of the definition of QG. Finally, the appropriate account of emergence in the context of QG is presented, and compared to conceptions of emergence in the broader philosophy literature. It is argued that, while emergence is likely to hold between QG and general relativity, emergence is not part of the definition of QG, and nor can it serve usefully in the development and justification of the new theory. (shrink)
This proposal serves to enhance scientific and technological literacy, by promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education with particular reference to contemporary physics. The study is presented in the form of a repertoire, and it gives the reader a glimpse of the conceptual structure and development of quantumtheory along a rational line of thought, whose understanding might be the key to introducing young generations of students to physics.
Principles are central to physical reasoning, particularly in the search for a theory of quantum gravity (QG), where novel empirical data is lacking. One principle widely adopted in the search for QG is UV completion: the idea that a theory should (formally) hold up to all possible high energies. We argue---/contra/ standard scientific practice---that UV-completion is poorly-motivated as a guiding principle in theory-construction, and cannot be used as a criterion of theory-justification in the search for (...) QG. For this, we explore the reasons for expecting, or desiring, a UV-complete theory, as well as analyse how UV completion is used, and how it should be used, in various specific approaches to QG. (shrink)
We discuss the fate of the correspondence principle beyond quantum mechanics, specifically in quantum field theory and quantum gravity, in connection with the intrinsic limitations of the human ability to observe the external world. We conclude that the best correspondence principle is made of unitarity, locality, proper renormalizability (a refinement of strict renormalizability), combined with fundamental local symmetries and the requirement of having a finite number of fields. Quantum gravity is identified in an essentially unique (...) way. The gauge interactions are uniquely identified in form. Instead, the matter sector remains basically unrestricted. The major prediction is the violation of causality at small distances. (shrink)
This document is a set of notes I took on QFT as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, mainly inspired in lectures by Burt Ovrut, but also working through Peskin and Schroeder (1995), as well as David Tong’s lecture notes available online. They take a slow pedagogical approach to introducing classical field theory, Noether’s theorem, the principles of quantum mechanics, scattering theory, and culminating in the derivation of Feynman diagrams.
Measures and theories of information abound, but there are few formalised methods for treating the contextuality that can manifest in different information systems. Quantumtheory provides one possible formalism for treating information in context. This paper introduces a quantum inspired model of the human mental lexicon. This model is currently being experimentally investigated and we present a preliminary set of pilot data suggesting that concept combinations can indeed behave non-separably.
This paper shows how the classical finite probability theory (with equiprobable outcomes) can be reinterpreted and recast as the quantum probability calculus of a pedagogical or "toy" model of quantum mechanics over sets (QM/sets). There are two parts. The notion of an "event" is reinterpreted from being an epistemological state of indefiniteness to being an objective state of indefiniteness. And the mathematical framework of finite probability theory is recast as the quantum probability calculus for QM/sets. (...) The point is not to clarify finite probability theory but to elucidate quantum mechanics itself by seeing some of its quantum features in a classical setting. (shrink)
In the paper we will employ set theory to study the formal aspects of quantum mechanics without explicitly making use of space-time. It is demonstrated that von Neuman and Zermelo numeral sets, previously efectively used in the explanation of Hardy’s paradox, follow a Heisenberg quantum form. Here monadic union plays the role of time derivative. The logical counterpart of monadic union plays the part of the Hamiltonian in the commutator. The use of numerals and monadic union in (...) the classical probability resolution of Hardy’s paradox [1] is supported with the present derivation of a commutator for sets. (shrink)
In this text the ancient philosophical question of determinism (“Does every event have a cause ?”) will be re-examined. In the philosophy of science and physics communities the orthodox position states that the physical world is indeterministic: quantum events would have no causes but happen by irreducible chance. Arguably the clearest theorem that leads to this conclusion is Bell’s theorem. The commonly accepted ‘solution’ to the theorem is ‘indeterminism’, in agreement with the Copenhagen interpretation. Here it is recalled that (...) indeterminism is not really a physical but rather a philosophical hypothesis, and that it has counterintuitive and far-reaching implications. At the same time another solution to Bell’s theorem exists, often termed ‘superdeterminism’ or ‘total determinism’. Superdeterminism appears to be a philosophical position that is centuries and probably millennia old: it is for instance Spinoza’s determinism. If Bell’s theorem has both indeterministic and deterministic solutions, choosing between determinism and indeterminism is a philosophical question, not a matter of physical experimentation, as is widely believed. If it is impossible to use physics for deciding between both positions, it is legitimate to ask which philosophical theories are of help. Here it is argued that probability theory – more precisely the interpretation of probability – is instrumental for advancing the debate. It appears that the hypothesis of determinism allows to answer a series of precise questions from probability theory, while indeterminism remains silent for these questions. From this point of view determinism appears to be the more reasonable assumption, after all. (shrink)
Eternalism, the view that what we regard locally as being located in the past, the present and the future equally exists, is the best ontological account of temporal existence in line with special and general relativity. However, special and general relativity are not fundamental theories and several research programs aim at finding a more fundamental theory of quantum gravity weaving together all we know from relativistic physics and quantum physics. Interestingly, some of these approaches assert that time (...) is not fundamental. If time is not fundamental, what does it entail for eternalism and the standard debate over existence in time? First, I will argue that the non-fundamentality of time to be found in string theory entails standard eternalism. Second, I will argue that the non-fundamentality of time to be found in loop quantum gravity entails atemporal eternalism, namely a novel position in the spirit of standard eternalism. (shrink)
David Bohm, in his "causal theory", made the correct Hegelian synthesis of Einstein's thesis that there is a "there" there, and Bohr's antithesis of "thinglessness" (Nick Herbert’s term). Einstein was a materialist and Bohr was an idealist. Bohm showed that quantum reality has both. This is “physical dualism” (my term). Physical dualism may be a low energy approximation to a deeper monism of cosmic consciousness called "the super-implicate order" (Bohm and Hiley’s term), “pregeometry” (Wheeler’s term), “substratum” (Dirac’s term), (...) “funda-MENTAL space” (Hameroff’s term), “Chi” (Chinese medicine & Falun Gong) etc., but for our immediate pragmatic purpose of constructing naturally conscious nano-computers and of virtually reverse engineering alleged reports of propellantless UFO propulsion (French Intelligence Report, 1999 CNINews1@aol.com Vol. 5, No. 11, Part 1 -- August 1, 1999 & NIDS report "Best UFO Cases - Europe", I. Von Ludwiger) to the stars and beyond, physical dualism will work. (shrink)
Stapp and others have proposed that reality involves a fundamental life process, or creative process. It is shown how this process description may be unified with the description that derives from quantum physics. The methods of the quantum physicist and of the biological sciences are seen to be two alternative approaches to the understanding of nature, involving two distinct modes of description which can usefully supplement each other, and neither on its own contains the full story. The unified (...) view explains the major features of quantum mechanics and suggests that biological systems may function more effectively than would be expected on the basis of quantum mechanics alone. (shrink)
Genesis of the early quantumtheory represented by Planck’s 1897-1906 papers is considered. It is shown that the first quantum theoretical schemes were constructed as crossbreed ones composed from ideal models and laws of Maxwellian electrodynamics, Newtonian mechanics, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Ludwig Boltzmann’s ideas and technique appeared to be crucial. Deriving black-body radiation law Max Planck had to take the experimental evidence into account. It forced him not to deduce from phenomena but to use more (...) class='Hi'>theory instead. The experiments forced Planck to apply the statistical technique to radiation in increasing portions. Planck’s theories in no way were generalizations of existing experimental results. They represented the stages of an ambitious programme of Maxwellian electrodynamics and statistical mechanics reconciliation. (shrink)
Twenty-first century science faces a dilemma. Two of its well-verified foundation stones - relativity and quantumtheory - have proven inconsistent. Resolution of the conflict has resisted improvements in experimental precision leaving some to believe that some fundamental understanding in our world-view may need modification or even radical reform. Employment of the wave-front model of electrodynamics, as a propagation process with a Markov property, may offer just such a clarification.
To comprehend the special relativity genesis, one should unfold Einstein’s activities in quantumtheory first . His victory upon Lorentz’s approach can only be understood in the wider context of a general programme of unification of classical mechanics and classical electrodynamics, with relativity and quantumtheory being merely its subprogrammes. Because of the lack of quantum facets in Lorentz’s theory, Einstein’s programme, which seems to surpass the Lorentz’s one, was widely accepted as soon as (...)quantumtheory became a recognized part of physics. A new approach to special relativity genesis enables to broaden the bothering “Trinity” group of its creators to include Gilbert N. Lewis. Notwithstanding that the links necessarily existing between all the 1905 papers were obscured by Einstein himself due to the reasons discussed below, Lewis revealed from the very beginning the connections between special relativity and quasi-corpuscular theory of light, as he punctuated: “The consequences which one of us obtained from a simple assumption as to the mass of a beam of light, and the fundamental conservation of mass, energy and momentum, Einstein has derived from the principle of relativity and the electromagnetic theory” (Lewis G.N.& Tolman R.C. “The Principle of Relativity and Non-Newtonian Mechanics”, Philosophical Magazine, 1908). (shrink)
A non-relativistic quantum mechanical theory is proposed that describes the universe as a continuum of worlds whose mutual interference gives rise to quantum phenomena. A logical framework is introduced to properly deal with propositions about objects in a multiplicity of worlds. In this logical framework, the continuum of worlds is treated in analogy to the continuum of time points; both “time” and “world” are considered as mutually independent modes of existence. The theory combines elements of Bohmian (...) mechanics and of Everett’s many-worlds interpretation; it has a clear ontology and a set of precisely defined postulates from where the predictions of standard quantum mechanics can be derived. Probability as given by the Born rule emerges as a consequence of insufficient knowledge of observers about which world it is that they live in. The theory describes a continuum of worlds rather than a single world or a discrete set of worlds, so it is similar in spirit to many-worlds interpretations based on Everett’s approach, without being actually reducible to these. In particular, there is no splitting of worlds, which is a typical feature of Everett-type theories. Altogether, the theory explains (1) the subjective occurrence of probabilities, (2) their quantitative value as given by the Born rule, and (3) the apparently random “collapse of the wavefunction” caused by the measurement, while still being an objectively deterministic theory. (shrink)
Ignited by Einstein and Bohr a century ago, the philosophical struggle about Reality is yet unfinished, with no signs of a swift resolution. Despite vast technological progress fueled by the iconic EPR paper (EPR), the intricate link between ontic and epistemic aspects of QuantumTheory (QT) has greatly hindered our grip on Reality and further progress in physical theory. Fallacies concealed by tortuous logical negations made EPR comprehension much harder than it could have been had Einstein written (...) it himself in German. It is plagued with preconceptions about what a physical property is, the 'Uncertainty Principle', and the Principle of Locality. Numerous interpretations of QT vis à vis Reality exist and are keenly disputed. This is the first of a series of articles arguing for a physical interpretation called ‘The Ontic Probability Interpretation’ (TOPI). A gradual explanation of TOPI is given intertwined with a meticulous logico-philosophical scrutiny of EPR. Part I focuses on the meaning of Einstein’s ‘Incompleteness’ claim. A conceptual confusion, a preconception about Reality, and a flawed dichotomy are shown to be severe obstacles for the EPR argument to succeed. Part II analyzes Einstein’s ‘Incompleteness/Nonlocality Dilemma’. Future articles will further explain TOPI, demonstrating its soundness and potential for nurturing theoretical progress. (shrink)
Bohm and Hiley suggest that a certain new type of active information plays a key objective role in quantum processes. This paper discusses the implications of this suggestion to our understanding of the relation between the mental and the physical aspects of reality.
The most part of the debates on Quantum Mechanics (QM) interpretation come out from the remains of a classical language based upon waves and particles. Such problems can find a decisive clarification in Quantum Field Theory (QFT), where the concept of “classical object” is replaced by an interaction networks. On the other hand, it is simpler to discuss about non-locality in QM than in QFT. We propose here the concept of transaction as a connection between theQM and (...) QFT language as well as the possibility to introduce quantum non-locality ab initio.We also mention the cosmological consequence of a non-local archaic vacuum here defined. (shrink)
The fields of application of general relativity (GR) and quantum field theory (QFT) are different, so most situations require the use of only one of the two theories. The overlaps occur in regions of extremely small size and high mass, such as the black hole or the early universe (immediately after the Big Bang). This conflict is supposed to be solved only by unifying gravity with the other three interactions, to integrate GR and QFT into one theory. (...) At the cosmological level, the standard cosmological model contains Einstein's theory of gravity as part of the "hard core". Dark matter, dark energy, and inflation were added to the theory in response to observations. None of these ancillary hypotheses have yet been confirmed. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.34318.72008. (shrink)
In quantum field theory, the main obstacle is the occurrence of the untreatable infinities in the interactions of the particles due to the possibility of arbitrary distances between the point particles. Strings, as extended objects, provide a better framework, which allows finite calculations. String theory is part of a research program in which point particles in particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings. It describes how these strings propagate through space and interact with one another. (...) The purpose of string theory was to replace elementary particles with one-dimensional strings in order to unify quantum physics and gravity. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.18894.82240. (shrink)
After pinpointing a conceptual confusion (TCC), a Reality preconception (TRP1), and a fallacious dichotomy (TFD), the famous EPR/EPRB argument for correlated ‘particles’ is studied in the light of the Ontic Probability Interpretation (TOPI) of QuantumTheory (QT). Another Reality preconception (TRP2) is identified, showing that EPR used and ignored QT predictions in a single paralogism. Employing TFD and TRP2, EPR unveiled a contradiction veiled in its premises. By removing nonlocality from QT’s Ontology by fiat, EPR preordained its incompleteness. (...) The Petitio Principii fallacy was at work from the outset. Einstein surmised the solution to his incompleteness/nonlocality dilemma in 1949, but never abandoned his philosophical stance. It is concluded that there are no definitions of Reality: we have to accept that Reality may not conform to our prejudices and, if an otherwise successful theory predicts what we do not believe in, no gedankenexperiment will help because our biases may slither through. Only actual experiments could assist in solving Einstein’s dilemma, as proven in the last 50 years. Notwithstanding, EPR is one of the most influential papers in history and has immensely sparked both conceptual and technological progress. Future articles will further explain TOPI, demonstrating its soundness and potential for nurturing theoretical advance. (shrink)
We comment some recent results obtained by using a Clifford bare bone skeleton of quantum mechanics in order to formulate the conclusion that quantum mechanics has its origin in the logic, and relates conceptual entities. Such results touch directly the basic problem about the structure of our cognitive and conceptual dynamics and thus of our mind. The problem of exploring consciousness results consequently to be strongly linked. This is the reason because studies on quantum mechanics applied to (...) this matter are so important for neurologists and psychologists. Under this profile we present some experimental results showing violation of Bell inequality during the MBTI test in investigation of C.V. Jung’s theory of personality. (shrink)
In times of crisis, when current theories are revealed as inadequate to task, and new physics is thought to be required---physics turns to re-evaluate its principles, and to seek new ones. This paper explores the various types, and roles of principles that feature in the problem of quantum gravity as a current crisis in physics. I illustrate the diversity of the principles being appealed to, and show that principles serve in a variety of roles in all stages of the (...) crisis, including in motivating the need for a new theory, and defining what this theory should be like. In particular, I consider: the generalised correspondence principle, UV-completion, background independence, and the holographic principle. I also explore how the current crisis fits with Friedman's view on the roles of principles in revolutionary theory-change, finding that while many key aspects of this view are not represented in quantum gravity, the view could potentially offer a useful diagnostic, and prescriptive strategy. This paper is intended to be relatively non-technical, and to bring some of the philosophical issues from the search for quantum gravity to a more general philosophical audience interested in the roles of principles in scientific theory-change. (shrink)
Logical information theory is the quantitative version of the logic of partitions just as logical probability theory is the quantitative version of the dual Boolean logic of subsets. The resulting notion of information is about distinctions, differences and distinguishability and is formalized using the distinctions of a partition. All the definitions of simple, joint, conditional and mutual entropy of Shannon information theory are derived by a uniform transformation from the corresponding definitions at the logical level. The purpose (...) of this paper is to give the direct generalization to quantum logical information theory that similarly focuses on the pairs of eigenstates distinguished by an observable, i.e., qudits of an observable. The fundamental theorem for quantum logical entropy and measurement establishes a direct quantitative connection between the increase in quantum logical entropy due to a projective measurement and the eigenstates that are distinguished by the measurement. Both the classical and quantum versions of logical entropy have simple interpretations as “two-draw” probabilities for distinctions. The conclusion is that quantum logical entropy is the simple and natural notion of information for quantum information theory focusing on the distinguishing of quantum states. (shrink)
I propose a rational reconstruction of the early quantumtheory (1900–1913) in terms of the ideas presented by Ernst Cassirer. Specifically, I propose to reconsider the early quantumtheory through the lens of the method of conceptual functionalization that Ernst Cassirer laid down in his Substance and Function (S&F, 1910) and he later refined in Determinism and Indeterminism in Modern Physics (D&I, 1937). Following Cassirer’s functional interpretation of natural sciences, it is my primary concern to reconsider (...) the conceptual evolution of Planck’s quantum of action from 1900 to 1913. In this regard, I shall emphasize the importance of the quantum of action (Planck’s constant) in the architectonic structure of the early quantumtheory, in the role of an element of fundamental continuity between the first quantumtheory and the formulation by Niels Bohr of the first atomic theory. (shrink)
The predominant approaches to understanding how quantumtheory and General Relativity are related to each other implicitly assume that both theories use the same concept of mass. Given that despite great efforts such approaches have not yet produced a consistent falsifiable quantumtheory of gravity, this paper entertains the possibility that the concepts of mass in the two theories are in fact distinct. It points out that if the concept of mass in quantum mechanics is (...) defined such that it always exists in a superposition and is not a gravitational source, then this sharply segregates the domains of quantumtheory and of general relativity. This concept of mass violates the equivalence principle applied to active gravitational mass, but may still produce effects consistent with the equivalence principle when applied to passive gravitational mass (in agreement with observations) by the correspondence principle applied to a weak field in the appropriate limit. An experiment that successfully measures the gravity field of quantum objects in a superposition, and in particular of photons, would not only falsify this distinction but also constitute the first direct empirical test that gravity must in fact be described fundamentally by a quantumtheory. (shrink)
Some variants of quantumtheory theorize dogmatic "unimodal" states-of-being, and are based on hodge-podge classical-quantum language. They are based on ontic syntax, but pragmatic semantics. This error was termed semantic inconsistency [1]. Measurement seems to be central problem of these theories, and widely discussed in their interpretation. Copenhagen theory deviates from this prescription, which is modeled on experience. A complete quantum experiment is "bimodal". An experimenter creates the system-under-study in initial mode of experiment, and annihilates (...) it in the final. The experimental intervention lies beyond the theory. I theorize most rudimentary bimodal quantum experiments studied by Finkelstein [2], and deduce "bimodal probability density" P=|In><Fin| to represent complete quantum experiments. It resembles core insights of the Copenhagen theory. (shrink)
This report reviews what quantum physics and information theory have to tell us about the age-old question, How come existence? No escape is evident from four conclusions: (1) The world cannot be a giant machine, ruled by any preestablished continuum physical law. (2) There is no such thing at the microscopic level as space or time or spacetime continuum. (3) The familiar probability function or functional, and wave equation or functional wave equation, of standard quantumtheory (...) provide mere continuum idealizations and by reason of this circumstance conceal the information-theoretic source from which they derive. (4) No element in the description of physics shows itself as closer to primordial than the elementary quantum phenomenon, that is, the elementary device-intermediated act of posing a yes-no physical question and eliciting an answer or, in brief, the elementary act of observer-participancy. Otherwise stated, every physical quantity, every it, derives its ultimate significance from bits, binary yes-or-no indications, a conclusion which we epitomize in the phrase, it from bit. (shrink)
Which way does causation proceed? The pattern in the material world seems to be upward: particles to molecules to organisms to brains to mental processes. In contrast, the principles of quantum mechanics allow us to see a pattern of downward causation. These new ideas describe sets of multiple levels in which each level influences the levels below it through generation and selection. Top-down causation makes exciting sense of the world: we can find analogies in psychology, in the formation of (...) our minds, in locating the source of consciousness, and even in the possible logic of belief in God. (shrink)
The original purpose of the present study, 2011, started with a preprint «On the Probable Failure of the Uncountable Power Set Axiom», 1988, is to save from the transfinite deadlock of higher set theory the jewel of mathematical Continuum — this genuine, even if mostly forgotten today raison d’être of all traditional set-theoretical enterprises to Infinity and beyond, from Georg Cantor to David Hilbert to Kurt Gödel to W. Hugh Woodin to Buzz Lightyear.
In this paper, I introduce an intrinsic account of the quantum state. This account contains three desirable features that the standard platonistic account lacks: (1) it does not refer to any abstract mathematical objects such as complex numbers, (2) it is independent of the usual arbitrary conventions in the wave function representation, and (3) it explains why the quantum state has its amplitude and phase degrees of freedom. -/- Consequently, this account extends Hartry Field’s program outlined in Science (...) Without Numbers (1980), responds to David Malament’s long-standing impossibility conjecture (1982), and establishes an important first step towards a genuinely intrinsic and nominalistic account of quantum mechanics. I will also compare the present account to Mark Balaguer’s (1996) nominalization of quantum mechanics and discuss how it might bear on the debate about “wave function realism.” In closing, I will suggest some possible ways to extend this account to accommodate spinorial degrees of freedom and a variable number of particles (e.g. for particle creation and annihilation). -/- Along the way, I axiomatize the quantum phase structure as what I shall call a “periodic difference structure” and prove a representation theorem as well as a uniqueness theorem. These formal results could prove fruitful for further investigation into the metaphysics of phase and theoretical structure. (shrink)
Why do photons and speeding electrons have both wave features and particle features when common sense tells us that they should be either particle or wave and not an amalgam of both? Part I of this paper deals with photons and argues that there are flaws in the assumptions we have made regarding their particle nature. The argument depends upon distinguishing between two identities of the photon, namely unstored energy and its stored (relativistic) mass. Part II extends these arguments to (...) the case of the speeding electron and argues that current ontological assumptions made about projectiles have exacerbated our confusion about the nature of moving electrons. When regarded ontologically, projectile motion is not as simple as has been assumed by both classical and modern physics. (shrink)
I have read many recent discussions of the limits of computation and the universe as computer, hoping to find some comments on the amazing work of polymath physicist and decision theorist David Wolpert but have not found a single citation and so I present this very brief summary. Wolpert proved some stunning impossibility or incompleteness theorems (1992 to 2008-see arxiv.org) on the limits to inference (computation) that are so general they are independent of the device doing the computation, and even (...) independent of the laws of physics, so they apply across computers, physics, and human behavior. They make use of Cantor's diagonalization, the liar paradox and worldlines to provide what may be the ultimate theorem in Turing Machine Theory, and seemingly provide insights into impossibility,incompleteness, the limits of computation,and the universe as computer, in all possible universes and all beings or mechanisms, generating, among other things,a non-quantum mechanical uncertainty principle and a proof of monotheism. (shrink)
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