Quantum weirdness

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Quantum weirdness

Postby Parodite » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:51 pm

Following this I thought a separate thread is justified.

If closing the loopholes in Bell's inequality experiments is indeed coming to a close.. it would totally revolutionize science and technology. Instantaneous communication between very far apart quantum devices, light years even, would be possible. Telepathic connections throughout the universe so to speak. Or this whole thing would still fall flat on its face in the end... as Einstein "told you so". No faster than light energy/information transfer is possible.

Of course to outsmart Einstein is a noble and legitimate desire, but the old bard may not be defeated that easily and only nature has the final answer, i.e. in experiment and with new technology that works.

I'm just a layman, but totally fascinated by these things. In my next life I hope to have more talent for mathematics and physics and promise to get at least a PhD first. I claim nothing, just like to make shots in the dark and understand things better in the process. When all great physicists agree that no one should try to understand quantum mechanics beyond the math...that is when I get really interested. It is possible though for laymen to understand these issues conceptually and with a high school level of mathematics+physics you can still get pretty far.

There is way too much about quantum weirdness on the Internet available. Just Google any of these: quantum entanglement, quantum superposition, double-slit experiment, Bell's Theorem, Bell's inequalities, particle-wave duality, Einstein-Bohr debate, quantum consciousness. Will keep you busy for years. Not only what is taught on universities on the subjects, but also mushrooming amounts of speculation, wild theorizing, philosophical cathedrals filled the goodies on what-not like "quantum consciousness".

This Church of Uncertainty and Speculation makes the MMGW Church look a small village pool club. Been there done that. Especially in the philosophy departments there is so much word salad you could feed the world 10 years with it. But it helps to be somewhat acquainted with this mess. In the end it is back to physics, experimental and theoretical, as it stands now. Which is why the latest experiments, notably Bell's inequality tests by Delft University, are so important.

Later I hope to throw some notes here, shots in the dark, ideas, questions, observations.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby noddy » Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:51 am

i only did a year and a bit of this at uni and didnt find it interesting so let it drop - it was possibly a hissy fit as i found out that all the electron shell nonsense i was taught in high school was lies.

all i can say is that probability/statistical approach reeeks of failure to understand the system properly - to me its like ignoring all the actual reasons a car has an accident and then saying their is a 5% chance the car will not get round the corner.

however!

the recent advances and quantum experiments are really interesting and make me wish i had several brains and several lifetimes to use them.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Parodite » Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:12 pm

noddy wrote:all i can say is that probability/statistical approach reeeks of failure to understand the system properly - to me its like ignoring all the actual reasons a car has an accident and then saying their is a 5% chance the car will not get round the corner.


Yes, this was also Einsteins position. You are in good company. He argued that if the quantum formula accurately predicts what will be measured it is still incomplete , "something is missing".

The usual lingo that describes what happens before the measurement occurs of say a photon or electron in a quantum experiment, is that it is in a "superposition", that the physical wave before it is measured is "in all possible states at the same time" and that only after measurement it "collapses" to one of the states as governed by the probability distribution.

An analogy would be that a dice is swirling randomly in the air while nobody is measuring/observing it yet, and only when "measured" it collapses to a value of 1-6, say when it comes to rest on a table. Our intuition would be to reject the idea that while swirling around before measurement the dice would be "in all 6 states at the same time", just that it is still undecided which value will show up during measurement. Yet this classical common sense explanation is rejected in standard quantum mechanics. That it can't have this common sense explanation is one of the things I try to figure out. Found nothing yet. Just the claim that it is so. That an outcome is still undecided before a measurement sounds..well, more normal and honest.

And if, as in standard qm lingo, it is considered impossible to know much about anything before "it" is observed/measured.. then why sin against this home brew principle by making claims like: "before measurement a particle-wave can be in more than one state at the same time.. and even in different places at the same time"? That is a huge claim about physical stuff before it is measured! Maybe qm is weird... but how some physicists think or "explain" what happens.. is even weirder. There are plenty more examples of weird qm thinking to the point of madness.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby noddy » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:46 am

i understand that differently - this is about the measuring and not in the thing being measured - our tools at atomic and sub atomic level and their crude limitations.

it was explained to me as being a clumsy blind man trying to find a soccer ball in a large stadium - you run around randomly and sometimes bump into the ball, which then knocks it somewhere else.

keep a record of where you found it, bingo - you have statistical probabilities of soccer ball location in a field.

before you found it you had no idea where it was, and after you found it, you now have no idea where it moved to!

this is the language of qm.

statistical understanding of things is better than no understanding, it provides *some* information.

im definately way out of date on all this, havent even looked like studying it for 25 years .. or more .. shudder.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Typhoon » Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:01 am

That the physical universe operates according QM at the fundamental level has now been established by experiments.

The local reality objections of Einstein and others are now D.O.A.

Whether people are comfortable, or not, with this empirical reality is frankly irrelevant.
The problem for many people it that QM is different from their everyday macroscopic experience.

Anyways, to understand QM, one should as a minimum understand the double-slit experiment.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby noddy » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:09 pm

of course reality doesnt care about opinions, however if eople only spoke when correct against reality the world would resemble a trappist monastery.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Simple Minded » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:06 pm

Typhoon wrote:That the physical universe operates according QM at the fundamental level has now been established by experiments.

The local reality objections of Einstein and others are now D.O.A.

Whether people are comfortable, or not, with this empirical reality is frankly irrelevant.
The problem for many people it that QM is different from their everyday macroscopic experience.

Anyways, to understand QM, one should as a minimum understand the double-slit experiment.


A very sensible explanation, yet also very religious sounding. Perhaps reality is determined primarily by one's faith. :?

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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Simple Minded » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:08 pm

noddy wrote:of course reality doesnt care about opinions, however if eople only spoke when correct against reality the world would resemble a trappist monastery.


wot's a normal bloke to do when the (religious/political/scientific) experts disagree..... but take matters into one's own hands (perception)? :P
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Simple Minded » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:19 pm

noddy wrote:
it was explained to me as being a clumsy blind man trying to find a soccer ball in a large stadium - you run around randomly and sometimes bump into the ball, which then knocks it somewhere else.



better analogy: yer in your bedroom having sex with Charlize Theron, yer wife walks in and turns on the light.

yer all alone!

QM? or.... is Charlize Theron is a kind caring, compassionate, giving...... selfless person? :P
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Typhoon » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:56 pm

Simple Minded wrote:
Typhoon wrote:That the physical universe operates according QM at the fundamental level has now been established by experiments.

The local reality objections of Einstein and others are now D.O.A.

Whether people are comfortable, or not, with this empirical reality is frankly irrelevant.
The problem for many people it that QM is different from their everyday macroscopic experience.

Anyways, to understand QM, one should as a minimum understand the double-slit experiment.


A very sensible explanation, yet also very religious sounding. Perhaps reality is determined primarily by one's faith. :?

Which mountain are you climbing or descending...... right now? ;)


Not sure how it is "very religious sounding".

I'm not aware of any religion based on statistically significant empirical evidence acquired under reproducible conditions.

Rather all religions that I can think of are based on metaphysicals claim that require belief, or in my case, a suspension of disbelief.
A set of historical irreproducible results.

One might argue that one had to believe in something. That the physical universe exists and may be investigated through the use of our senses is a minimum.
The empirical argument in favour of this minimal belief is the material scientific and technical progress made to-date since the start of the scientific and industrial revolutions, as compared to spending one's time debating, say, as to whether or not Jesus took a dump.

Anyways, one problem with QM [ and the standard model and special relativity and general relativity and statistical mechanics and . . . ] is that it takes most of us, myself included, significant time and effort to understand.

When I read an article on a new physics result at, for example, Physics Today which targets physicists, the comments section is invariably flooded by people claiming that it, be that it QM or the SM or SR or GR or . . ., is all wrong and that their pet hypothesis is correct. Alternative theories are very important. However, one must first understand the physical phenomenon in question and associated theory of, otherwise, one's score goes too high. What quickly becomes painfully obvious is that such commentators have not bothered to do so and have absolutely no intention of doing so.

It's a problem as old as civilization. Euclid is said to have replied to King Ptolemy's request for an easier way of learning mathematics that

there is no Royal Road to geometry.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:57 pm

I keep watching the 'Beautiful Women' and 'Sex' threads for evidence from Typhoon's double slit experiments, but I am starting to have my doubts regarding the existence of this phenomenon.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Simple Minded » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:47 pm

Typhoon wrote:
Simple Minded wrote:
Typhoon wrote:That the physical universe operates according QM at the fundamental level has now been established by experiments.

The local reality objections of Einstein and others are now D.O.A.

Whether people are comfortable, or not, with this empirical reality is frankly irrelevant.
The problem for many people it that QM is different from their everyday macroscopic experience.

Anyways, to understand QM, one should as a minimum understand the double-slit experiment.


A very sensible explanation, yet also very religious sounding. Perhaps reality is determined primarily by one's faith. :?

Which mountain are you climbing or descending...... right now? ;)


Not sure how it is "very religious sounding".

I'm not aware of any religion based on statistically significant empirical evidence acquired under reproducible conditions.

Rather all religions that I can think of are based on metaphysicals claim that require belief, or in my case, a suspension of disbelief.
A set of historical irreproducible results.

....

It's a problem as old as civilization. Euclid is said to have replied to King Ptolemy's request for an easier way of learning mathematics that

there is no Royal Road to geometry.


My previous comments were made somewhat tongue in cheek, ;) but this is exactly what I was eluding to. To those who have made the effort and expended the discipline, Calculus, Differential Equations, or QM is understandable, and useful as tools to obtain further understanding of the world.

The "scientific expert" can make the same claim to the less experienced/less practiced outsider as the "religious expert." "Duplicate my hours of study (or prayer) in my field of expertise, and you will agree with my perspective."

To expect the concert pianist, and the figure skater, who both have 20,000 hours of practice in their respective fields, to agree is naïve.

Now to the outsider/less studied, what to think when QM experts or the religious experts disagree?

Climate science for example. Different lines of reasoning, seem very similar to different types of faith. Disagree, get excommunicated, and hopefully, there is another church down the road that will accept your thinking.

The answer of course is that "science is never settled" but simply the best available method with our current level of understanding/information/practice/tools. As you have noted, "experts" have a lousy track record in predicting the future. QM at work? (tongue in cheek)

Funding, politics, and the desire for fame muddy the water. The recent article someone posted that the "popular views change when the rock stars of current accepted opinion die" was an excellent example.
Last edited by Simple Minded on Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Parodite » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:47 pm

Typhoon wrote:That the physical universe operates according QM at the fundamental level has now been established by experiments.

The local reality objections of Einstein and others are now D.O.A.

Whether people are comfortable, or not, with this empirical reality is frankly irrelevant.
The problem for many people it that QM is different from their everyday macroscopic experience.


The objections never concerned empirical reality and the predictive successes. There was disagreement about what the empirical reality and the qm equations were able to say about what happens at the quantum level independent of (just before) and during measurement.

The latter being of specific relevance in the double slit experiment; the question if local effects such as the interaction between detector (itself a quantum system) and photon could not account for the change from a resulting wave-like interference pattern to the double band particle-like result.

Maybe it is not that easy to rule out such local effects? It is technically very difficult, it seems to me, to design a detecting device that interacts with little enough disturbing effects to make sure, beyond reasonable doubt, that the detector cannot be considered to act as a local cause for the weird effect. In 2012, David Wineland and Serge Haroch received the Nobel prize in Physics for Measuring and Manipulating Individual Quantum systems. To manipulate a single photon as in "Box 2. Measuring one photon in a cavity without destroying it" maybe gives an answer?

I have seen double-slit experiment set-ups where behind one or both of the slits a polarizer was placed to function as a detector (before the wave or particle hits the photosensitive screen at the end). Could not this interaction between the photon wave and polarizer change the wave and make it behave particle-like.. with the double bands as the result? A shot in the dark..but this article, Double-Slit Experiment with Polarized Light ends with: "We see that due to the presence of the polarizing films the interference terms (fringes) disappear."
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Parodite » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:19 am

Simple Minded wrote:The answer of course is that "science is never settled" but simply the best available method with our current level of understanding/information/practice/tools.


"My own conclusion (not universally shared) is that today there is no interpretation of quantum mechanics that does not have serious flaws, and that we ought to take seriously the possibility of finding some more satisfactory other theory, to which quantum mechanics is merely a good approximation."
- Steven Weinberg
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Simple Minded » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:58 am

Parodite wrote:
Simple Minded wrote:The answer of course is that "science is never settled" but simply the best available method with our current level of understanding/information/practice/tools.


"My own conclusion (not universally shared) is that today there is no interpretation of quantum mechanics that does not have serious flaws, and that we ought to take seriously the possibility of finding some more satisfactory other theory, to which quantum mechanics is merely a good approximation."
- Steven Weinberg


Weinberg's statement seems sensible. Imagine how many topics could be substituted for QM in the above sentence. Which is nothing more than saying "Today, I or we know only what we know. Tomorrow we may know more, or no longer believe what we believe today."

I think there are some theories out there that the human brain is consistently being re-wired based on knowledge and experience.

Fred, Bill, Joe, and Sam have each spent 20,000 hours studying music, religion, physics, and paranormal activity. Why would you expect them to experience reality similarly?
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Simple Minded » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:03 am

Nonc Hilaire wrote:I keep watching the 'Beautiful Women' and 'Sex' threads for evidence from Typhoon's double slit experiments, but I am starting to have my doubts regarding the existence of this phenomenon.


I am hoping that the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle will shed some light (photons or waves, I'm not picky :P ) on why some of my friends consider them selves selfless, while I consider them to be selfish......
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby noddy » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:32 am

Nonc Hilaire wrote:I keep watching the 'Beautiful Women' and 'Sex' threads for evidence from Typhoon's double slit experiments, but I am starting to have my doubts regarding the existence of this phenomenon.


http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-me ... two-vginas
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:39 am

noddy wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:I keep watching the 'Beautiful Women' and 'Sex' threads for evidence from Typhoon's double slit experiments, but I am starting to have my doubts regarding the existence of this phenomenon.


http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-me ... two-vginas

Amazing. One for everyday; one for special occasions.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Simple Minded » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:51 am

Nonc Hilaire wrote:
noddy wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:I keep watching the 'Beautiful Women' and 'Sex' threads for evidence from Typhoon's double slit experiments, but I am starting to have my doubts regarding the existence of this phenomenon.


http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-me ... two-vginas

Amazing. One for everyday; one for special occasions.



One for myself, and one for others.

When asked if you are a virgin, she hesitates.....

these types of replies kinda make me feel sorry for Typhoon as a moderator. PhD's must get lonely for intelligent, adult conversation at times.....

She only recently found out about it. Imagine how her hubby feels.....

You guys might not believe this, but I have two heads! :P
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby noddy » Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:00 am

Simple Minded wrote:
these types of replies kinda make me feel sorry for Typhoon as a moderator. PhD's must get lonely for intelligent, adult conversation at times.....


thats what talking to yourself is for.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Simple Minded » Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:03 am

noddy wrote:
Simple Minded wrote:
these types of replies kinda make me feel sorry for Typhoon as a moderator. PhD's must get lonely for intelligent, adult conversation at times.....


thats what talking to yourself is for.


also splains the fondness for girly pics.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Parodite » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:34 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:
noddy wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:I keep watching the 'Beautiful Women' and 'Sex' threads for evidence from Typhoon's double slit experiments, but I am starting to have my doubts regarding the existence of this phenomenon.


http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-me ... two-vginas

Amazing. One for everyday; one for special occasions.


Not far off from a double slut experiment.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Parodite » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:51 pm

Simple Minded wrote:Weinberg's statement seems sensible. Imagine how many topics could be substituted for QM in the above sentence. Which is nothing more than saying "Today, I or we know only what we know. Tomorrow we may know more, or no longer believe what we believe today."

I think there are some theories out there that the human brain is consistently being re-wired based on knowledge and experience.

Fred, Bill, Joe, and Sam have each spent 20,000 hours studying music, religion, physics, and paranormal activity. Why would you expect them to experience reality similarly?


I don't think it is that hopeless. Just one example where Fred Bill Joe and Sam are being fooled by pop-sci folk who tell them what happens in the double slit experiment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwXQjRBLwsQ

At 4:30 there is this detector, an eye on a stick, that observes "the marble" which then causes it to change from producing the wave interference pattern to the two-band particle-like result behind the slits on the screen. It is presented as magic.. an observing eye that without interacting with the observed wave causes it to change producing the particle-like results. As if "it knows it is being watched and changed its mind".

The suggestion in this video that the detector (eye) is not interacting with the observed wave is false of course: in reality the quantum system of the detector interacts with the "observed" quantum wave of the photon.. which is what is causing the change of pattern on the screen in the back.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Typhoon » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:25 pm

Parodite wrote:
Simple Minded wrote:The answer of course is that "science is never settled" but simply the best available method with our current level of understanding/information/practice/tools.


"My own conclusion (not universally shared) is that today there is no interpretation of quantum mechanics that does not have serious flaws, and that we ought to take seriously the possibility of finding some more satisfactory other theory, to which quantum mechanics is merely a good approximation."
- Steven Weinberg


Opinions are like hemorrhoids, sooner or later every asshole has one.

There is a long list of renowned physicists who are troubled by QM to varying degrees.

However, none of them has proposed that "more satisfactory other theory".

On the other hand, all experiments point to QM.
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Re: Quantum weirdness

Postby Typhoon » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:33 pm

Simple Minded wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:
noddy wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:I keep watching the 'Beautiful Women' and 'Sex' threads for evidence from Typhoon's double slit experiments, but I am starting to have my doubts regarding the existence of this phenomenon.


http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-me ... two-vginas

Amazing. One for everyday; one for special occasions.


. . .

these types of replies kinda make me feel sorry for Typhoon as a moderator. PhD's must get lonely for intelligent, adult conversation at times.....

. . .


Please don't worry on my account in this regard. I have plenty of people, friends and/or colleagues,
with whom I can and do discuss physics and other fields of science and engineering.

NH's puns are a[n inter]national treasure.

On the other hand, I do enjoying explaining and discussing various topic in physics as long as the other party is prepared to learn . . .
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