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Wavefunction Collapse and Dreams

Discussion in 'The Material World' started by Ostronomos, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    Umm, but then why would Penrose and Hammerhoff not abandon the theory? So, I think there is still intellectual weight in the room for the theory.
     
  2. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Active Member

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    I would suggest they are indeed mysterious, and are far from being fully understood - for now anyway.

    But yeah, it's cool that they can be applied in ways which would once have been considered miraculous.
     
  3. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Active Member

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    We step outside the parameters every time we use maths to measure anything, yes. Plato saw this. Maths is a magnificent abstraction, is it not?

    It may be that there is nothing non material going on in our universe, but science has not so far established this; would you not agree that everything we think we know about the material universe turns out to be unsatisfactory and incomplete? This is a pattern that has been repeated from Euclid to Ptolemy to Newton to Einstein.

    I absolutely agree that the fault lies not with the universe, but with our philosophies.
    "There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than are dreamed if in thy philosophy".
     
    #43 RestlessSoul, Jun 11, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  4. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    It can, but usually it doesn't.
     
  5. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Now you are posing an entirely different question.

    The point @Polymath257 and I have been trying to make is the specific and narrow one that quantum theory is not evidence for anything non-material going on in the universe.

    In fact, it seems to me that no theory of science can ever provide such evidence, due to the methodological naturalism of science. Whatever ideas are invoked to explain what we observe, they are invoked on the basis that they form some part of the material world, surely? Though I guess it comes down to what means by "material". According to physics, fields are more fundamental than matter, apparently.;)

    The fact that science is incomplete is likewise not evidence of anything non-material going on.

    We can certainly speculate about non-material things going on and we may feel they are needed aesthetically. For instance where do the laws of physics come from? Science expresses no opinion. But I feel it is a mistake to look for evidence in theories of science.
     
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  6. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Scientists have personal motives and get wedded to their own creations, just as anyone else does. Especially when they get very old, as Penrose is now.

    When Penrose dies, I think Orch OR will die. (Hameroff is a lightweight and getting crankier by the day). I don't see any signs of anyone else picking up the baton, which one would expect if the hypothesis had had any successes. But it has had none, so far as I can see, so nobody else in science seems interested.
     
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  7. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Yes. It is a language that is useful for describing certain things in the universe.

    Do we have a full explanation for every phenomenon? No, certainly not. In that sense, what we have is incomplete.

    On the other hand, what we have so far is incredibly satisfactory for almost everything on a day to day level. To get to stuff we don't understand requires going way, way beyond anything at the ordinary, human level.

    I certainly see nothing that would require the introduction of a supernatural.

    Exactly. Way too much of modern philosophy is based on Aristotelian metaphysics. From my perspective, that is a HUGE mistake. From his analysis to causality, to his preconceptions about matter, most of what Aristotle said was simply wrong. We need to eliminate such concepts as 'necessary or contingent existence', or that matter is 'dead and inert'. Those are simply two examples, but they come up frequently and show how philosophy needs an overhaul.
     
  8. Ostronomos

    Ostronomos Active Member

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    Your science only applies to the waking world.

    Even though the size of Plank's constant is so small that it makes Quantum effects negligible for a massive object, the Quantum world still applies. It can be maintained when materialism is in question.

    Remember, reality only appears to be space, time and object. This triality is a meager imitation of ultimate reality.

    You are correct that it takes minimal interaction with an external environment to maintain. Hence dreams.
     
    #48 Ostronomos, Jun 11, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  9. Ostronomos

    Ostronomos Active Member

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    It is far more fundamental than the space, time and object that we see around us in the waking world.

    The wavefunction is the reason why mere thought can influence the probability of an event occurring in the supernatural dimension.

    Yes. Media physicists often use the term "observed" to mean interact.

    I take issue with your dismissal of consciousness as having a role. Many real physicists would beg to differ. You are defensive of your materialism aren't you?
     
  10. Ostronomos

    Ostronomos Active Member

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    YES!

    Thank you!
     
    #50 Ostronomos, Jun 11, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  11. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Dreams are just effects in the brain. Don't mistake their delusions with reality.

    A nice claim. prove it?

    What supernatural dimension. I see none mentioned in the wave function. I do see space and time mentioned.

    Mere thought does NOT affect the probabilities from the wave function. If you disagree, provide an experiment showing they do.

    And interaction does not required consciousness.

    Not at all. Which *modern* physicists differ? Remember, we have learned quite a lot since the time of Bohr and Einstein. Your thinking about a quantum event doesn't change any probabilities.

    Again, if you think it does, provide an experiment showing this. It should be easy to do.
     
  12. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Veteran Member
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    The same holds true for for addition in the sentence "One apple plus one apple equals two apples." Mathematics is largely concerned with, and rooted in, the abstract conceptions and their patterns and structures. Classical physics is no less dependent upon would-be Platonic ideals than is the wavefunction of QM as you describe it above.

    They didn't. They were all very, very well acquainted with mathematical models, descriptions, and similar abstractions from classical physics that also "exist beyond time and space" in this manner.

    Hilbert space is a space. So is the phase space of classical mechanics, the Fock space of QFT, the pseud-Riemannian space of (most of) general relativity, the various differentiable manifolds of the Lie algebras underlying the symmetries and invariants that are "responsible" for conservations in both classical and quantumm fields, etc. Even the Euclidean space of Newtonian mechanics exists beyond time and space, as time is a parameter in most of physics and spaces are generalized abstractions in all physics.
    Also, the importance of Hilbert spaces (which can, in axiomatic approaches to quantum theory such as algebraic QFT, be derived aspects of the theory rather than fundamental or even necessary) are less important than separability and the requirement for complex numbers when calculating probabilities.
     
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  13. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Veteran Member
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    "The questions with which Einstein attacked the quantum theory do have answers [does the moon exist only when it is looked at]; but they are not the answers Einstein expected them to have. We now know that the moon is demonstrably not there when nobody looks."
    Mermin, N. D. (1981). Quantum mysteries for anyone. The Journal of Philosophy, 78(7), 397-408.
    In point of fact quantum theorists like Mermin are perhaps in the majority here. Many adopt the approach that the wavefunction is Ψ-epistemic, and therefore it makes no sense to talk about its behavior independently of an observer of sorts (and indeed the contextualists, who oppose this notion vehemently in many respects would tend to agree here). Fuchs, Mermin, and the other QBists assert that that their position is realist yet maintain that QM is inherently subjective and it is nonsensical to think otherwise. The ontological interpretations in which the behavior of quantum systems is independent of what the observer is doing are actually in the minority. The question isn't so much that quantum systems are defined in terms of observation or that their properties make sense only with respect to the observer (and in a manner fundamentally different from that in special or general relativity), but how.

    Put a little differently:
    "It would seem that the theory is exclusively concerned about 'results of measurement', and has nothing to say about anything else. What exactly qualifies some physical systems to play the role of 'measurer'? Was the wavefunction of the world waiting to jump for thousands of millions of years until a single-celled living creature appeared? Or did it have to wait a little longer, for some better qualified system... with a PhD?"
    Bell, J. (1990). Against ‘measurement’. Physics world, 3(8), 33.
    Bell had basically the same troubles with the standard approaches to understanding QM as you express. Yet the actual answer is "we don't know." Not everyone is anywhere near as extreme as Stapp's approach to observation (which builds upon and extends that of Wigner, among other founders) nor as extreme as Wheeler's participatory universe in which the past literally can be understood as not existing until information about it is observed. But the fundamental role that measurement and observers play in QM remains, despite decades of attempts to solve the problem.

    In relativity, one simply uses the appropriate transformations. In QM, perfect knowledge of a system corresponds formally to a kind of statistical distribution of properties that are typically mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive (which is the big problem modal interpretations have- they need to explain how properties that are described mathematically but never observed and which can be more or less "probable" and therefore more prevalent, important, or some similar kind of description are somehow made so such that e.g., the deadness of the cat can be smaller or largle depending upon the the probability density associated with the relevant amplitudes).
    The difference played by observers is fundamental. In one, it is a matter of reference frames and units. In the other, it is fundamental properties of the system.
     
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  14. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Veteran Member
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    No. The possiblity isn't necessarily infinite, nor is this all that relevant but rather is a confusion of language. Any continuous probability distribution over arbitrarily small intervals (or generalized volumes) is uncountably infinite in terms of the possible outcomes that can be realized vs. those that are. Also, preparing a quantum system in a definite state can assure that the result of measurement results in a known, deterministic state. Finally, one can "collapse" the "wavefunction" of quantum systems that describe only e.g., two possible outcomes. Quantum computing relies heavily, for example, on finite states and finitely-valued functionals (as does quantum information theory).
     
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  15. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Active Member

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    So can we say than an infinitely complex, perfectly precise, and often breathtakingly beautiful network of patterns, which exist beyond time and space, effectively underpins every function of the natural world?

    And that this multi dimensional network of seemingly consistent laws and patterns is both real and illusory? (Real because measurable. Illusory because abstract)
     
  16. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    You seem to be stuck on the 'beyond space and time'. No, the patterns are *within* space and time. They exist in the behavior of things within the universe in space and time.

    I would simply say it is real. The abstraction is how we describe it to ourselves. And language is necessarily abstract.
     
  17. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Active Member

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    Not sure if I'm stuck on 'beyond time and space'. Enchanted by the poetic beauty of the concept, is how I'd prefer to put it. It might be a red herring or a dead end, of course. I'm inclined to think not. Taoists have been pursuing it for centuries.

    We have to be prepared to step - metaphorically, if you like - beyond the natural world, and we have to construct idealisations that do not conform to it's laws, in order to understand it. Idealisations like Hilbert Space, for example.

    Yes, language itself is an abstraction, of course. It seems that all the functions of the conscious mind are abstractions. Isn't the harmonisation of the abstract with the material, a goal of science and philosophy, and theology? That, and knowing the mind of God?
     
  18. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    We "step beyond the natural world" whenever we employ abstract concepts of any kind, whether they be mathematical or something else. This ability to work with abstract concepts is fundamental to human intelligence.
    If we could not deal in abstractions, I agree we would not be able to understand the world nearly so well.
     
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  19. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I don't see the idealization of a Hilbert space to be much more than the idealization of saying there are two gallons of water in a vessel. Both are language devices we use to model the world around us to better understand it. I really don't see that as 'going beyond the natural world'. Instead, it is *using language to model the natural world*. In this situation, mathematics is the language used.

    The reason math is so good as a language for building models is that it can be made precise, which leads to testable (falsifiable) models. If the math predicts something will have a value of 3 and the observed value is 4, then we know the model is wrong.

    I don't see it as a 'harmonization of the abstract and the material'. The goal is to get testable models to help us understand the natural world.

    There are many, many aspects of the abstract world of mathematics that have NOTHING to do with any models of the real world. There is no goal to *force* those abstractions to correspond to something real. Just like we can make up the concept of a dragon or a unicorn and NOT expect them to be real, we can make up abstract concepts and not expect them to correspond to anything real.

    BUT, even though language does not HAVE to correspond with reality, it can be used to understand reality. So *some* abstractions are useful for understanding, but not all.

    The question then becomes whether the abstraction of a supernatural or the abstraction of a deity are useful for understanding anything. Because they don't lead to *testable* models, I would say that they are not.
     
  20. Ostronomos

    Ostronomos Active Member

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    The question you should be asking is what is perception? It is not matter, however it is not separated from reality. Otherwise a photon could not enter the eye.

    This leads us to ask what is matter if not non-matter(as distinguished from it)?

    Everything is subjective.
     
    #60 Ostronomos, Jun 12, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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