NON-LOCALITY

Non-Locality is the stuff of legends. A sorcerer does something somewhere, and something happens somewhere else. Newton himself said the gravitation theory which he had helped to elaborate was “absurd” because of “act at a distance”:

“It is inconceivable that inanimate Matter should, without the Mediation of something else, which is not material, operate upon, and affect other matter without mutual Contact…That Gravity should be innate, inherent and essential to Matter, so that one body may act upon another at a distance thro’ a Vacuum, without the Mediation of any thing else, by and through which their Action and Force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an Absurdity that I believe no Man who has in philosophical Matters a competent Faculty of thinking can ever fall into it.—Isaac Newton, Letters to Bentley, 1692/3.

Du Châtelet Discovered Energy, Infrared Radiation, Correcting Newton

Du Châtelet Discovered Energy, Infrared Radiation, Correcting Newton

[Yes, one of civilization’s most important physicists and thinkers was a woman; but don’t ask the French, they never heard of her… because she was a woman.]

However Émilie Du Châtelet pointed out that: “…hypotheses eventually become truths for us if their probability increases to such a point that this probability can morally pass for certainty…. In contrast, an hypothesis becomes improbable in proportion to the number of circumstances found for which the hypothesis does not give a reason. And finally, it becomes false when it is found to contradict a well-established observation.” (Du Châtelet’s Lectures on Physics, 1740. Notice the subtlety of the thinking.)

Every Quantum process contradicts Locality, thus, Émilie Du Châtelet would say, Locality is a false hypothesis.

Gravitation got better described (not much) by making gravitation into a field propagating at the speed of light. It is not a trivial modification: it immediately predicts gravitational waves. If two huge star like objects (such as pulsars) rotate around each other, they should generate such waves, they should carry energy away, and those two objects ought to fall towards each other at a predictable rate. Said rate is indeed observed, thus Einstein’s gravitational equation (obtained by talking a lot with others, such as Hilbert, Grasso, etc.) seems correct.

Einstein’s main motivation for his theory of “General Relativity” was that he wanted to explain inertia (why fast rotating planets develop a bulge at the equator, or more generally an acceleration VV/r). That worry, called Mach’s Principle, actually originated 100% with Newton. Newton put water in a pail, twisted and twisted and twisted a rope from which the pail was suspended, and let go: the pail rotated faster and faster, and the water inside crawled up.

Einstein basic wishful logic was that: gravitation = inertia (he called that the “Principle of Equivalence”). So, by making a theory of gravitation, Einstein would make one of inertia, and become a giant among giants (of Du Châtelet’s caliber, say).

Silly. Silly idea, doomed to fail.

Why silly? Once gravitation was made into a field, Einstein and company made it into curvature in a manifold (called “spacetime”; the basic idea was elaborated by genius Riemann, two generations earlier, although implicitly attributed to Einstein by the ignorant ones).

So gravitation is locally determined: once at a point A, gravitation, that is, curvature of spacetime, is determined in a(ny) neighborhood of A (call it N).

The distant stars do not influence N much, if at all. Yet, inertia is clearly determined by the distant galactic clusters.  Einstein could not understand this.

But now physicists understand better Einstein was deluded, and (Soviet physicist) Fock’s critique that Einstein’s General Relativity is just a theory of gravitation is universally (albeit silently) accepted.

So let me repeat slowly, as I suspect many readers will not understand this either: inertia, as far as present day physics can see, is a Non-Local effect. Inertia has been Non-Local, ever since Buridan discovered it, seven centuries ago (1320 CE; time flies!)

Einstein completely failed at understanding inertia. Einstein even failed to realize that it was a Non-Local effect, although that is completely obvious. So he came out obsessed by Non-Locality, while being angry at it (so he was open to the Non-Local objection of philosopher-physicist Sir Karl Popper! Hence the EPR paper, more or less lifted from Popper.)

All this to say that I am not shocked by Non-Locality: I just have to go out, and look at the stars, move about, and I see Non-Locality.

Many, if not most physicists are horrified by Non-Locality.

Philosophically, though, being afraid of Non-Locality makes no sense. Once I was broaching Quantum Physics with my dad. I explained what I understood of the problem of Non-Locality to him.

My dad did not know much physics, but he was a scientist. Admitted to the famed ENA (the school of conspirators from which the present leaders of France come from), he declined it, and, instead, following the path of his own father, an amateur-professional geologist, he himself became a (highly successful) non-academic geologist (he discovered Algeria’s fortune).

My Dad said: ”Non-Locality is obvious. To think things would get ever smaller, just the same, made no sense.”

With this philosophical perspective, the following arise: physical space is not made of points (although Quantum Field Theory is, one of its many problems).

When physicists talk about Non-Locality, they feel the urge to get into the “Bell Inequality”. But it’s a convoluted, over-specialized, contrived way to get at Non-Locality (I say this, although I respect the late John Bell as much as I despise Feynman when he tried to steal Bell’s work… Although, in general I do respect and love Feynman, especially in light of his appreciation for my own ideas).

Bell theorem says that some Local Hidden Variable theories imply an Inequality that Quantum Physics violate. So Bell’s is a work which predicts that something false is not true.

My approach to Non-Locality is made for Primary School. It goes first through:

  • The Uncertainty Principle:

Suppose you want to know where an object is. Suppose all you have is touch. So you kick it. However, if you kick it, it goes somewhere else. That’s the Uncertainty Principle.

Why touch? Because light is touch. It turns out that light carries energy and momentum. Anybody who lays in the sun will agree about the energy. To demonstrate the momentum of light requires a bit more experimental subtlety.

Could you kick the object gently? No. That’s where the Wave Principle kicks in. Waves ignore objects which are smaller than themselves: they just turn around them, as anybody who has seen a twenty meter tsunami wave enter a Japanese port will testify.

So, to detect a small object, one needs a small wavelength, high frequency wave. However the energy of a Quantum wave (at least a light wave) is proportional to its frequency.

So the more precise the determination of (position of) the object, the higher the frequency of the wave, the greater the energy and momentum conferred to the object, etc.

  • Conservation of Momentum: 

One has axioms, in physics, as in mathematics. Modern physics axioms include the conservation of energy and momentum. Newton knew of the latter, and confused it with the former. A French woman, Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet discovered (kinetic) energy (”force vive”). As she also discovered Infrared radiation, she obviously could have done more when she died from a fever, at age 43, after giving birth to her fourth child. (Her lover Voltaire, also a physicist quipped that:” Émilie du Châtelet was a great man whose only defect was to be a woman”)

Fundamental hypotheses in contemporary physics are conservation of energy and momentum (something the Multiverse violates, thus, into the bin of silly ideas).

  • The Non-Local Interaction:

So say two particles, such as a positron-electron pair, are created together and have total momentum zero (a completely realistic situation: machines do this, for medicine).

Knowing the momentum of (say) the electron E, gives that of the positron P (the vector is exactly opposite to that of the electron). Classical and Quantum mechanics say the same.

So, without having disturbed P (it could be next to Beta Centauri, 4 light years away), we know its momentum. Should one measure it later, one will find it as said. (The latter experiment, retrospective checking of entanglement was actually accomplished by the Austrian Zeillinger and his team!)

However, the basic set-up of Quantum Physics says that the measurement create the state (my formulation, you will not read that in textbooks, although it’s clearly what Bohr wanted to say, but he did not dare, lest his academic reputation gets vilified: he had only a Nobel Prize in physics, after all…).

So the state of P, maybe a few light years away, was created by measuring E.

How come?

The basic Quantum set-up was designed for laboratory experiments, not Cosmological Quantum effects. So it did not need to consider all the consequences of this.

Following Du Châtelet, I will say that we are in obvious need of a new hypothesis, the QUANTUM INTERACTION (ex “Collapse of the Wave Packet”). It explains what we observe (instead of trying desperately to say that we cannot possible observe what we observe).

Following Newton, I will say it is absurd to suppose that the effect of E on P is instantaneous. So this Quantum Interaction goes at a speed I call TAU (it’s at least 10^10 the speed of light: 10,000,000,000 times c).

New physics coming to a Quantum Computer near you.

And of course , said new physics will have giant impacts on philosophy (be it only by presenting new models of how things may be done), or Free Will (is it really free if it takes its orders from Andromeda?). This is going to be fun.

Patrice Ayme’

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23 Responses to “NON-LOCALITY”

  1. gmax Says:

    Free Will was never independent of the environment, so doesn’t matter if it extends to Messier 31 aka Andromeda

  2. ianmillerblog Says:

    Dear Patrice,

    You write: “Every Quantum process contradicts Locality”. I think to assert that you should define what exactly you mean by locality. The danger of my trying to contradict that is that I end up by talking about something different from what you mean.

    Similarly, with the Uncertainty Principle, I would argue that the fact that after you hit the particle with something you don’t know where it goes exactly, while true and consistent with the Uncertainty Principle, that part is not the Uncertainty Principle. The real problem is you do not know exactly what the action associated with the probe is to within a quantum, nor the target, therefore any attempt to use a classical-style prediction is doomed to fail.

    You also write, “the basic set-up of Quantum Physics says that the measurement create the state”. Just because everybody says so does not make it true. The same result applies if the state is determined by the event that created it, and we then follow Einstein (I know you love him!) and note that the act of observation records what happened. If we do that, the problem of how an observation several light years away knows what value to determine disappears; the value was always there and we merely did not know what it was.

    For me, most of the assertions of non-locality tend to depend on this assertion that the observation creates the state, as opposed to records the state, and I do not believe the observer has that sort of power.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      ““the basic set-up of Quantum Physics says that the measurement create the state”. Just because everybody says so does not make it true.”
      I agree that behaving like a sheep does not help thinking. I said that, not because everybody says it (who else said it that clearly?), but because clearly the formalism says it: outcome of experiments are ONLY eigenstates.

      Eigenstates of what? Some operator in a Hilbert Space. The HILBERT space is NON LOCAL (hey, it’s a SPACE). Thus the eigenstates appear from a NON LOCAL computation (which takes the WHOLE, that is the Hilbert, into account).

      I don’t need the hypothesis of an almighty observer, as Laplace nearly said. However, what gets the Quantum Interaction/Collapse/Decoherence going in the most general case is not clear (human consciousness can get it going; Quantum Computer guys have found loose tiny e-m fields are also a trigger; I believe NON LOCAL Quantum Interaction will also play a role, the thing Einstein, from the top of his head excluded, like he was god or something, or “telling god what to do” as Niels Bohr said… :-))

      • ianmillerblog Says:

        Dear Patrice,

        You have isolated much of where I disagree with just about everyone else 🙂 For me, the outcome of experiments are a sequence of observational data points. We then have to interpret them. For me, they are not eigenstates; eigenstates are merely an output of a formalism to aid calculations, but for me, nature cares not how we go about calculating, or even if we do not calculate. For me, physics was exactly the same in ancient times; just because ether was no observer does not mean that physics was asleep! An operator in Hilbert space is one way of making calculations, but that does not mean that particles exist in Hilbert space. The particles care not for our mathematical constructs. For me, mathematics is NOT physics. Mathematics is great for describing and calculating physical effects, but that does not make the mathematical formalism correct, as opposed to an easy way of calculating. Similarly, I do not believe consciousness has anything to do with quantum effects, and decoherence is merely a formalism required to get around an initial erroneous assumption. And I know you won’t like this, but I think Einstein was correct with his EPR paper, except he did not have the courage to say what he really believed. (Or maybe he did not really believe it, after all, it is quite plausible that the drivers were Rosen or Podolsky.)

        Perhaps I should also explain why I have this attitude. My life as a researcher started inauspiciously. I picked a PhD supervisor, I spent a month doing the necessary reading, then in the latest journal I found the answer – someone had beaten my supervisor to it. It was just before Christmas, no my supervisor gave me two more projects. A cursory glance at the literature showed both were dogs. One involved measuring something that did not happen, and the other involved the likelihood of a serious explosion. My supervisor went on holidays, and the head of department suggested I find my own project. he probably did that to keep me occupied, but I found one – a serious debate that was going on. So that was my PhD project. It had its ups and downs, but my results came in loud and clear – on the other side of what was becoming the popular choice. This was based on a great multitude of results, but they were all essentially and conceptually the same experiment. It was then that I saw the answer, which we needn’t bother about now. When I completed my PhD, my supervisor had a custard attack and refused to publish the most telling results, and only published one other paper too late to be of any use for my career. But I had seen what I thought was the correct answer, and I published, but I made a mistake in presentation.

        Basically, there are two ways of generating a change of electric field: one is to move charge, and the second is to add charge. I called it a polarisation field, showing I was moving it, but I found a way of calculating it by relating the work done in changing the field to what was necessary to add it. The advantage of this was by fixing space, the integrals were easy, whereas the strictly correct method was impossible. Nobody accepted this route, nevertheless, I know that sometimes you can calculate the right thing by doing it in a way that does not actually represent the true physical occurrence.

        As it happened, a subsequent review settled this issue. mainly by ignoring all my work, and more to the point, at least sixty other conceptually separate experiments. I get a little skeptical about the way current science works.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Ian: Wow! It’s going to take me a long time to digest this. No time right now.

          In the EPR paper one was used to just translate the German of the other two (and that was not Einstein). Einstein had earlier an exchange with Karl Popper, who has a NON local thought experiment named after him (recently implemented, I think).
          Instead of EPR, I would be inclined to talk of EPR-Popper, or something like that…

          Overall, I do agree a PHILOSOPHICAL mistake was done. Basically: Quantum Process = Particle = Sum of Eigenstates. The two equalities are seductive short-cuts, but are false. (Proof: they lead straight to the multiverse!)
          PA

  3. pshakkottai Says:

    Dear Patrice, Hindu philosophy says existence and awareness are non local and non physical and fully compatible with quantum mechanics which explains accurately ( by mathematics ) the physics of the micro world but not the explanation of how the Maths becomes physical reality of matter. Hinduism says that there is no matter at all but only spirit. The same with awareness.
    Partha

  4. Alexi Helligar Says:

    Alexi Helligar liked this because of Émilie Du Châtelet

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Alexi: Meaning you did not like the rest? ? Who cares, indeed, about something that is really happening? And something quite magical, thus emminently disturbing? 29 years ago, anybody considering the subject was viewed as nuts. Now prestigious physics prizes are been attributed, all the way to the Nobel.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        I liked the rest, except for your tossing the Multiverse in the bin.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Always the same. However, as I pointed to Ian Miller in the comments, the confusion between process, particle, and claiming that the later concept is a weighted sum of eigenstates contains the multiverse in a nutshell.
          Instead (my philosophically revolutionary and thus physics shattering approach points out that):

          The NON LOCAL CHARACTER of the Quantum Interaction reinstitute the process into a whole, and thus escapes claiming that the one is made of the many. The later point being the core of a madness I shall not name, in the hope to alleviating otherwise unbearable tensions.;-) ! Namaste.

  5. Alexi Helligar Says:

    The multiverse is merely science rediscovering its imagination. Empirical slavery is really just a form of intellectual laziness.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Alexi: I understand the will to magic. And I know that’s what behind the multiuniverse. However, the whole thing is an error. A grave philosophical error that impacted directly the interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.

      Paradoxically, there is nothing innovative about the multiverse. The error was launched by Einstein himself in 1905. This explains why, being entangled in the mess he created himself, Einstein was never able to fully support De Broglie’s approach… Which is infinitely more correct. To be logical and empirically precise does not preclude laziness. Quite the opposite. The theory I am thinking of is much more magical and powerful than the main stream silliness. I have fought this war for decades, and I am winning.

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  10. Dr. Guy C. Gordon Says:

    “However, the basic set-up of Quantum Physics says that the measurement create the state (my formulation, you will not read that in textbooks, although it’s clearly what Bohr wanted to say…”

    No. Measurement creates the Property being measured, (and of course, changes the State). And Bohr stated this quite clearly. It’s what Einstein objected to in EPR.

    “…but he did not dare,”

    Others’ thoughts and motives are as unobservable as quantum properties between measurements. You would do better to stick to their written record.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hi Doctor Guy, and welcome. You claim that “measurement creates the property being measured”. Proof? Many founders of Quantum Mechanics disagreed with this statement being a demonstrated fact of physics. That is part of the crux of the matter. It’s not because prophet Bohr said it was that normal skeptics would consider it to be a demonstrated physical fact.

      You seem not to have understood what I said. Perhaps because what I said was, deliberately, just a little bit different from the way physics textbooks have it. Physics textbooks explaining conventional Quantum axiomatics say: a measurement, M, is an operator. Right. However, “operator” by itself, means nothing. M is an operator in a Hilbert Space, H. You can’t have an operator without the space H it operates in. In logical causality, the space H comes first (it plays the role of a Universe in Logic).

      Now, with the space H comes a basis for that space H. That’s how H is defined. Call it B(i), where i runs over an index set I (I could have two elements as in the Spin EPR, or be a continuous set, as in the original Popper and EPR thought experiments)… B(i) is the set of states.

      But how did this Hilbert space basis for H appear to start with? Because of the measurement the physicist(s) wanted to make. For example, to measure spin, one sets up a Stern-Gerlach device. That, in turn determines what H, the Hilbert Space, will be (in this case a 2 dimensional complex space).

      This is why I said: …”the basic set-up of Quantum Physics says that the measurement creates the state (my formulation, you will not read that in textbooks, although it’s clearly what Bohr wanted to say…”

      I should have said: the potential measurement creates the potential states?

      The space H comes first, but H, and a basis {B(i)} is determined by what one wants to “measure”.

      And this is exactly what Bohr “wanted” to say, hopefully, or, more exactly SHOULD have said. I was just being polite, something unusual for me, as it stands all too often in the way of clarity.

      As a philosopher, I trained myself to read between the lines. I stopped being naïve. When Einstein said originality consisted in hiding one’s sources, it was like a smoking gun, for example.

      BTW, this is a good example of how the philosophical method can help the confused thought processes of the official systems of thoughts in physics. By the time the physicists measure, they have already organized the space in which they will measure. That’s what David Bohm was also trying to say with his “implicate order” (which started with philosopher Henri Bergson, BTW)
      Describing Implicate Order Bohm wrote:

      “This order is not to be understood solely in terms of a regular arrangement of objects (e.g., in rows) or as a regular arrangement of events (e.g. in a series). Rather, a total order is contained in some implicit sense, in each region of space and time. Now the word ‘implicit’ is based on the verb ‘to implicate’. This means ‘to fold inward’ (as multiplication means ‘folding many times’). So we may be led to explore the notion that in some sense each region contains a total structure ‘enfolded’ within it.”

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      In short:
      The Will To Measure creates the instrument, thus the (so-called “configuration”) space which will be used to measure, thus the possible outcomes of said experiment (the “states”) thus the Hilbert space, thus the measurement operator…
      A “property”, such as “spin” or “momentum”, “position”, etc. is something the Will To Measure has to consider first… Before getting engage in building a measuring space.

      In EPR, Einstein objected to the fact that the space was changed at a distance. But it is a fact that it is.

      I explained hopefully better in the following how Classical Entanglement differed from Quantum Entanglement. The latter propagates, the former does not.
      https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/entangled-universe-bell-inequality/

      That, too, is not in textbooks (at least that strikingly).

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