Archive for the ‘Quantum’ Category

Black Hole Paradox

September 1, 2015

Photons are the carriers of the electromagnetic field. Each single photon is endowed with a given energy, hf, where f is the frequency of said photon. In some circumstances, the energy a photon possesses is less than the one it needs to get out of a gravitational well. So it cannot get out: a black hole forms.

Essentially, this comes from the fact a photon’s energy is finite, whereas the energy of a gravitational field can grow infinitely… Or so I, and others, used to think, until I became skeptical.

No Doubt There Are Black Holes. Question: How Come?

No Doubt There Are Black Holes. Question: How Come?

Simulated view of a black hole in front of the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of many small galaxies satellite to the giant Milky Way. This Black Hole is assumed to be alone, without accretion disk (accretion would make the Black Hole very luminous!). The ratio between the black hole Schwarzschild radius and the observer distance to it is 1:9. Of note is the gravitational lensing effect known as an Einstein ring, which produces a set of two fairly bright and large but highly distorted images of the Cloud as compared to its actual angular size.

The two arcs of circle top and bottom are actually the Large Magellanic Cloud, appearing in two places, as light goes above and below the Black Hole. The Milky Way appears above, strongly distorted by gravitational lensing. [2006 image by French physicist Alain R.]

Gravitons are the (alleged) carriers of the gravitational field. Each of them has some energy. At some point the energy gravitons individually posses ought to be less than the potential energy needed to get out of a gravitational well. (The reasoning is the same as for photons.)

But then what?

In the case of photons, what is blocked is light the electromagnetic field: light, in another word.

What is blocked when gravitons get blocked? The gravitational field itself! Thus a black hole would not just then show up as a black, “frozen star”. A Black Hole should outright violate (apparent) matter conservation. It should disconnect gravitationally.

Following this simple logic, at some point a mass collapsing gravitationally should disappear, not just visually, but gravitationally.

Yet, astronomical observations reveal hyper massive black holes at the center of galaxies. This tends to indicate that physics may happen inside a black hole that we can neither observe, nor predict.

I presented these simple ideas a very long time ago in Stanford, a private university in California, personally or in seminars, to some of the household names in the field. The reaction of my iconoclasm was close to indignant anger. It’s easy to see why. We human beings live lives which are endowed with sense only by forgetting that we make little sense individually, absent others.

A way to make sense is by giving love and care. Another, mostly the obverse, by the will to power. A scientific, or, more generally, an intellectual career (philosopher, poet, writer, etc.)marries both love and power. Science, in particular, unites a potent hierarchy akin to priesthood, with the pretense of great magic vis-à-vis the public and being a gift to humanity. Or so it is perceived by its participants. Break the spell, and scientists feel as insects instead of semi-gods, and the absurdity of their position, that of thieves in full sight, exposed to the pillory, is too much to bear.

Yet, a quick glance at the history of science shows that great errors and lack of understanding, spectacularly erroneous theories could have been detected easily, with simple observations.

I am not saying that science is always simple. Far from it. For example, the heliocentric theory could be only demonstrated to be sure with 100% certainty, only after a careful study of the phases of Venus, through increasingly powerful telescopes, during the middle of the seventeenth century. Before that, geocentrism failed the smell test (it was too contrived, and the sun was so much bigger). True. The smell test is philosophical in nature. Before that, one could only say that it was un-scientific to rule out the most likely theory (heliocentrism), just because one could not prove it, and because it enraged so many people in high places.

It cannot be any different today: the very idea of the priesthood, scientific or not, is making some humans into quasi-gods. Out of this divine hierarchy comes the certainty that metaphysics has been solved.

Thus, when I suggested that, on the face of it, ultimately, Black Holes ought to disconnect gravitationally with the rest of the universe, I undermined the principle that the greatest scientists (I will not write their names as not to enrage them further), covered as they are with great medals, after all, do not understand much more about gravitation, than we did, say, three centuries ago.

I caused these people existential pain: no, you are not the greatest of the great, having achieved greater understanding than anyone did before you, colossally dominating history and humanity, and deservedly so. What you call greatest of the greatness, seems, after all, to be just errors of the smugly ignorant.

Einstein was not that way. He said:

All these fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no nearer to the answer to the question, ‘What are light quanta?’ Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows it, but he is mistaken. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

Most importantly, Albert Einstein also suspected that Matter could not be described by field theory:

I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

In my theory, elementary particles are not only non-local (Einstein’s Error was to suppose that they were), but they break (giving rise to Dark Matter). But I will not go as far as to say that “nothing remains”. Far from it, my dear Uncle Albert. Quantum Field Theory remains, as an approximation. Just as the epicycle theory remains, as a sort of Fourier Analysis of a periodic motion.

Some physicists will laugh at the simplicity of the preceding reasoning, and just exasperatedly utter: “that’s ridiculous” as some of the most prestigious specialists of the field did to me, decades ago. Maybe it is. Just tell me why. I am humbly waiting.

Patrice Ayme’  

Quantum Metaphysics Unavoidable

March 5, 2015

 

Quantum everything is unavoidable, because the world is Quantum.

When a non-Quantum explanation is advanced it has to be simple enough to be clearly non-Quantum. Yet, much that was thought to be very simple, turns out to be Quantum!

QUANTUM EFFECTS SHIELD LIFE ON EARTH:

Here is an example: the magnetic shield which protects life originates, everybody agreed, with something more or less like molten iron at more or less at the temperature of the surface of the Sun, circulating below our feet. However, the details did not work out. Researchers at the universities of Washington, Rutgers, Carnegie Institution, just revealed that “Quantum correlations between electrons” were crucial. They help generate twice the thermal convection that the old theory (from 1930), which neglected electron to electron scattering, had found!

Down In Hell, Electrons Collide, Convection Goes Up

Down In Hell, Electrons Collide, Convection Goes Up

“We uncovered an effect that had been hiding in plain sight for 80 years,” Cohen, one of the physicists, said. “And now the original dynamo theory works after all!

Of course the dynamo theory had to work, for the good and simple meta reason that there was nothing else imaginable in sight! This will to make the dynamo theory work, is an example of metaphysics in action.

METAPHYSICS HELPS DISCOVERY, PHYSICALISM IS ALL THERE IS:

Meta-whatever has its use.

Because of this Meta-Physical reason (the Dynamo Theory HAD to works, thus (some) researchers kept on searching). This is a typical aspect of how metaphysics works. The Will To Explanation is intrinsically metaphysical. (Especially when it is a will to a BETTER explanation.)

According to so-called “physicalism”, a philosophical theory, all that exists in our world (including consciousness) is physical.

Indeed, what else could it be? By definition of physis, nature is all there is. Even the god(s) would be part of nature, should they exist.

(That problem, the problem of who created god, should god exist, makes the existence of god unlikely, let me say in passing; or then “god” is another word for nature, physis… Let a million Jihadists faint.)

Nature is all-encompassing (differently from Allah in the Qur’an, who is one actor out of many, including Shatan, Djinns, Believers, Unbelievers, etc.)

Jealousy is part of nature. So is hope.

***

CLASSICAL PHYSICALISM HAS NO UNKNOWNABLE SOUL, HOWEVER, QUANTUM PHYSICALISM DOES:

All this “physicalism” sounded scary and unlikely, even ridiculous, as long as the world was viewed as made of tiny billiard balls. How could small balls, predictably colliding, do it all? What happened to Free Will? Was god himself deprived of Freedom, let alone Will?

Tempers flared.

However, a Quantum peace should have come all over. All over those aware of the Quantum, and its Wave.

The world is made of Entangled Quantum Waves, and no one knows what this entanglement exactly is, if it has a range, if it collapses. Nor does anyone know how these Quantum Waves really behave in all imaginable cases, nor how they achieve their non-locality, or whether they truly collapse, and then why and how if they do.

This is not just all metaphysical sounding, it is also at the core of extremely practical considerations for making a Quantum Computer. Life is a Quantum Computer. Since god does not exist, we need to make our own.

Nobody has any idea what these Quantum Waves are made of. Space? Mind? Even time seems to be sitting on the sidelines, as the Quantum Waves pass by, and fill the universe.

In other words, by going from Classical mechanics to Quantum Physics, our view of nature went from certain, and certainly all-too simple to the point of silliness, to certainly very mysterious, full of baffling possibilities, and nearly as ethereal as consciousness itself.

Quantum Waves can be proven to exist experimentally… with the correct philosophical perspective.

And they don’t reduce to waves a la Bohm (potential waves), or Born (probability waves; Born got the Nobel for that idea). Quantum Waves’ nature and existence can be demonstrated just a bit better than consciousness itself (especially in academic zombies).

A number of physicists, confronted by the sudden possibilities imagination was overwhelmed with, thanks to the Quantum, got over-stimulated, and fell victim of a collective mania, the Multiverse Derangement Syndrome (an attempt to deny the reality of Quantum Waves).

However, it’s somewhat also deranged to consider nature, and consciousness, while trying to go around the elephant in the bathroom, Quantum Physics, as if it did not exist.

This is what all too many thinkers are apparently doing.

In Quantum Physics as we have it, PARTICULAR aspects (when particles show-up) are an epiphenomenon (that’s why, in particular, the definition of a “particle” is not too clear). All the machinery that leads to the particular is wavy, not to say fuzzy. How much? That’s what both Quantum Computer engineers and fundamental physicists such as Haroche are trying to determine. It is both hard physics, and hard philosophy (as not just the motivations are metaphysical, but the subject at hand, Quantum Waves, is certainly metaphysical, in the sense that it is beyond physics as it is commonly understood).

Those who are interested by “grounding” our fundamental views, in particular metaphysics, cannot ignore the Quantum (and, I add, somewhat more controversially, because the conventional, probabilistic (Born), Quantum Interpretation, denies their physicalism), its Quantum Waves.

Should those who claim to try to ground thinking do so, while disdaining the Quantum, they will look deliberately incomplete. Not to say downright silly.

There are non-Quantum explanations. However physics is Quantum, and what is beyond it, metaphysics, has to recognize it is therefore defined by it.

Patrice Ayme’

IS LIFE ALL ABOUT THE QUANTUM?

January 22, 2015

Far From Being Absurd, Life May Be A Quantum Force That Gets Ever More Complex

The most striking feature of the Quantum is that, by doing something somewhere, one can change the state of something else, somewhere else. Einstein found this “spooky”. Philosophically, it just says that, whatever the universe is about, it’s not about old fashion “points”, as found in old fashion mathematics.

This “Quantum Entanglement” and the related, yet diluted “Quantum Discord” constitute the true architecture of the universe. This revelation ought to impact everything. Not just philosophy, but also psychology.

I propose the following. Life, its gathering complexity, adaptability, progress, ethology, meaning, are all animated by the very nature of the Quantum. It’s neither weird, nor absurd, it’s a force that proceeds.

Let me backtrack a bit.

“There is only one really serious philosophical problem,” Camus says in his book, The Myth of Sisyphus, “and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. All other questions follow from that.”

What does this mean? Not much. Besides the admission that apparently much of Camus’ life was absurd. Camus should have done like Nietzsche, and go climb mountains solo. There, as Nietzsche did, he would have found meaning.

One does not decide if life is worth living, most of the time, because, most of the time, life is not a choice. One does chose to breathe. One breathes. When one is thirsty, one drinks, and so on. There is a mechanical aspect to animals, who are machines which live. Most of the time, an animal’s systems are on automatic, best described by inertia.

Animals find meaning by experiencing the life that they are made for.

Recent studies have shown that young lions get neurological damage, if they don’t chew hard on tough flesh. Being a lion is meant to be tough, to be fulfilling. Camus and company lived too soft, in their hour of glory.

Lamarck believed that two forces acted on evolution. One had to do with adapting to the environment, the other was the “Pouvoir de Vie”. This “Life Power” brought increasing complexity to biological evolution. It goes without saying that it is observed. It is an open question whether life started on Mars (it probably did). What is clear, though, is that fortunes are spent to sterilize landers sent to other planets (including the Moon), because exobiologists are worried that today’s Earth life would take over: Earth life has become so complex, it can adapt to what space can throw at it.

This “Life Power” made reductionists spiteful, because they saw no science based reason for it. However, if they had been smarter, they would have seen it that it was a fact. They knew too much Classical and Thermo Dynamics… While the true nature of Quantum Physics was hidden by the siren song of the Copenhagen Interpretation.

Quantum Physics depends upon law (unfortunately, that “law” varies; it can be an infuriatingly parachuted wave equation, or another, or, more generally in the “Standard Model”, some manipulation of a hyper complicated Laplacian; in any case, it has to do with waves… Non-linear waves, in the general case!), initial conditions, and also the final space (a Hilbert space generated by eigenstates). This makes Quantum Mechanics somewhat teleological, an inconceivable horror for the classic-mechanical minded.

It means the Quantum looks far ahead, and everywhere, as if it were a god in the machine. It is a god, the god, in the machine…

The final space for genes is the environment. Genes are Quantum machines (a bit like Turing machines, but operated by the Quantum). This interaction between the genetic machinery and the environment means that we have a Quantum mechanism for fast adaptation to the environment.

Someday, soon, Quantum Biology may well become the queen of sciences… Ruling even mathamatics.

But not only this. The Quantum force operates through Quantum Entanglement… Entanglement creates a complexity at a distance, and that complexity propagates, as the Quantum Entanglement does.

So it is as if life progressed by extending Quantum tendrils in all spaces that it can reach, and it can reach a lot. There is Lamarck’ Life Power, there is the increasing complexity, and there is progress. If biology itself progresses, at fortiori culture, the minds’ tendrils.

Why was Camus so obsessed by absurdity? Because he got surrounded by absurdity. He came from a dirt poor environment in Algeria, and, in exchange for valor and work, was given everything by the Republic. This testimony, a celebration of human rights and equal opportunity, was then confronted to “intellectuals” who inverted, and buried all these values… In their names. Camus was told to follow Comrade Stalin, instead. When he begged to differ, he is called a colonial racist.

What is teleology? It’s the logic of the ends, the logic of purposes, logic at a distance. Socrates believed in it. Plato and Aristotle had their own versions. During the Enlightenment, dominated , and inspired as it was by Classical Mechanics, teleology got assimilated to the discredited Christian god, and fell into contempt.

We know more now, and we can afford different, more sophisticated teleologies. I claim that life is teleological, because it evolves not just haphazardly (“stochastically”), but also teleologically (thanks to Quantum Physics, which provides eyes and a feeling… for what is going on at a distance).

Teleology at the level of hydrogen bonds? Most probably (surprise, surprise). Modify the DNA’s environment, and Quantum Computational pressure is exerted on DNA’s hydrogen bonds (among other bonds). Thus the DNA  will evolve much faster than (classical “Darwinian”) haphazard mutations would have it.  It is such an obvious mechanism that evolution is bound to have selected for it. Life’s little secret is the Quantum!

Experiments are planned. All this will be probably viewed as obvious, all along, within ten years.

What this teleology does is to make life ever more adapted and ever more adaptable. If one measures progress by adaptability, progress there has been, as adaptability has progressed.

Philosophically, it means that, in the deepest sense, life, thanks to the Quantum, is behaving as if it were making value judgments. For example, at the molecular level, lowest energy solutions can be evaluated, and selected.

What is the aim of that teleology? Survival of the life form adapting. A question which immediately surges, is what is life? One thing that is clear, though, is the definition of goodness. For a give lifeform, that means survival of said lifeform. So, naturally enough, goodness will vary according to species, but also tribes, and even individuals.

So let the biggest goodness, and the goodness of the strongest lifeform win (as Nietzsche insisted… and this is the way life always has had it… as Nietzsche himself pointed out, following Sade, who was even clearer!)

Experiments in ethology are starting to test this (EJ Winner ought to consider them! ;-)). Basic psychology, such as a sense of fairness, have obvious survival values in social species such as primates.

Intelligence is also teleological. Philosophically, one can argue that intelligence, and even culture, are an extension of the adaptability of life at the nanometer scale, harnessing the Quantum. The extension probably uses the same Quantum machinery that starts to be put in evidence at the molecular level (say in the chlorophyll molecule).

If Homo Is Aware, Is the Universe Aware? It’s a bit like the question of pondering whether a planet harboring life is alive, or not. Earth is certainly alive, because life enables the very conditions on Earth that enable of its on-going existence, so far. The advent of oxygen producing lifeforms enabled the progress of complexity, hence the apparition of intelligence and advanced ethology of the conscious type.

Speaking of this, a question naturally arises: what is the definition of life? Life, so far, has no definition. The greatest minds have been left speechless.

Considering the preceding, clearly, such a definition will have to involve the Quantum, and Entanglement, besides reproduction. Crystals, and Quasi-crystals can reproduce an Entanglement architecture, but they are intensely boring.  They can be described by just one equation.

Life is any Quantum Entanglement architecture which can approximately self-reproduce and adapt while being described by a potentially growing set of equations.

Probably, we are aspects of the Entanglements and Delocalization that the Quantum is capable of, at least in a little corner of the universe. We don’t need no Sisyphus: we can operate on it, at a distance.

Spooky, admittedly, but that’s what we are.

All these revelations  change the overall mood towards the purpose of life. Life is not absurd, it simply is a growing, entangled complexity, our morality and intelligence, hopes, meaning, and consciousness are entangled with it. But the solutions we cling to, all too long, can well be, indeed, all too disjointed, point-wise, disconnected, and thoroughly absurd.

Equally clearly, the (meta, or final!) solution is to have all the absurdities gobbled up by life itself.

Patrice Ayme’

Free Will & Quantum

December 27, 2014

It is natural to suspect that those who evoke the Quantum at every turn are a bit deranged. Has a Quantum obsession replaced God? God died, but not the need to obsess? (Dominique Deux made a wry remark in that direction.)

Nietzsche himself is an example. Having “killed” (his father’s) “God“, Nietzsche obsessed about the (Indian based) “Eternal Return of the Same”, something from the Zeitgeist. Henri Poincare’ soon demonstrated some dynamical systems roughly do this (although I certainly do not believe all Solar Systems will; recent observations have confirmed my hunch: many Solar Systems are very unstable, the Sun-Jupiter harmony may be rare…)

Quasar & Host Galaxy [NASA-ESA Hubble]

Quasar & Host Galaxy [NASA-ESA Hubble]

[The picture, from 1996, is poor, as the Quasar is very far. We need another telescope, but plutocrats don’t want it, because they would have to pay more taxes, thus rendered unable to treat the Commons as dirt as much as they desire. Yet, in spite of the plutocratically imposed low resolution, one can see the mighty ultra-relativistic jets arising from the Quasar’s core.]

Obsessing about the Quantum is obsessing about the true nature of Nature. As it turns out it’s much simpler and magical than the classical picture.

Nature is the Quantum writ large. Relativity, the Standard model, the Big Bang: these are all amusements of dubious veracity. The Quantum is the Real Thing. And it’s everywhere. Most people just don’t know it yet.

Even Biological Evolution Theory, or Free Will, are going to be revealed to be within the Quantum’s empire.

There is something called “Free Will Skepticism” as massaged in Gregg Caruso Scientia Salon’s essays, and his (celebrity) TED talk. It is not so much skepticism about the existence of Free Will, but skepticism that those who loudly believe in “Free Will” have a constructive, progressive attitude in the society of the USA.

Ultimately, the problem of Free Will will have to tackle the problem of what are exactly the free agents in Quantum Physics.

Well, nobody knows for sure. What the free agents are is the central problem of Quantum Computing, and the high energy physicists’ wild goose chase for high energy processes went the other way, for two generations, so we don’t know what determines the evolution of the Quantum systems.

High energy processes are of interest only in high energy places, none of which are found where the biosphere lays. In other words, much physics, high energy physics used the Quantum, but did not try to figure it out.

Not knowing what the free agents, if any, of Quantum Physics are imply that we do not know what determines the evolution of the simplest processes.

The simplest processes are, by definition, the Quantum processes.

As long as we do not really know what controls simplest systems, talking about whether there is Free Will, or not, is shooting the breeze.

Free Will is even a problem in Quantum Non-Local analysis.

On-going experiments on non-locality. In some hard core physics labs. Those experiments aim to turn around the problem that we may have no Free Will.

The situation is this: doing a measurement at point A was found to have an influence at point B. The influence propagates orders of magnitude faster than the speed of light (as the formalism of basic Quantum Physics theory predicts).

French physicist Alain Aspect was able to show this with crafty optico-acoustic devices (he got the Wolf prize for this, and, clearly, ought to get the physics Nobel). The question remained, though, that maybe Alain Aspect himself was a pre-determined phenomenon deprived of Free Will.

To check this, Aspect’s experiment is going to be re-run with distant quasars in charge (rather than just some French guys). MIT physics department is doing this.

Free Will is the last major loophole of Bell’s inequality — a 50-year-old theorem on Spin that, as it is violated by experiments, means that the universe is based not the (topologically separated) laws of classical physics, but on Non-Locality.

Actually this is all very simple. (No need for the fancy high school math of Bell’s theorem, a particular case of Non-Locality with spins.)

Two quasars on opposite sides of heavens are so distant from each other, that they would have been out of causal contact since the (semi-mythical) Big Bang some 14 billion years ago: there are no possible means for any third party to communicate with both of them since the (semi-mythical) beginning of the universe…

Now, of course, if my own version of the universe is true, and the universe is actually 100 billion years old, the “loophole” re-opens…

But of course, as a philosopher, I know perfectly well that I have Free Will, and, as a momentarily benevolent soul, I extend the courtesy to Alain Aspect.

The universe is Non-Local, even my Free Will is Non-Local, it does not have to be like long dead gentlemen thought it should be.

Patrice Ayme’

CONSCIOUSNESS IS QUANTUM

August 30, 2014

Consciousness is Quantum, because it cannot be anything else. Another, more vague argument, is that consciousness is ultimate, and so is Quantum Physics. It’s simple and natural to identify them, on the ground that there should be just one ultimate thing.

If consciousness were not Quantum, it would have to be classically explained. On the face of it, this is completely stupid: the world is Quantum, not classical. If consciousness were not Quantum, it would have to be “classical”, that is, not fundamental.

The Quantum is so incredibly fundamentally new, that it has changed even the notion of what it means to be enlightened:

Cat Seen From Entanglement, Not Light (!)

Cat Seen From Entanglement, Not Light (!)

[One of these Schrödinger cats was created by Entanglement, not Light!]

An argument for the Quantum nature of consciousness can also be derived along… classical lines familiar to old fashion philosophers.

Consider Classical Mechanics. Classical Mechanics is completely deterministic: given initial conditions, which can be determined with complete precision, a few differential evolution equation determine fully what will happen forever thereafter.

Thus, in Classical Mechanics, there cannot be any free will. Contrarily to observation. Also one then is left to ponder what good consciousness would have. Even pain would be useless, because the very conception of warning does not present any utility. Any process being ineluctable, human beings, and other animals are just witnesses to their own condition.

This means that the basic philosophy of consciousness and freedom contradicts Classical Mechanics.

Far from being philosophically satisfying, Classical mechanics is absurd. Descartes guessed this, as, inspired by Classical Mechanics (then being elaborated to the point it was clear that the equations were fully deterministic), he suggested animals were just machines.

To make human beings in something more, God was needed, it was confusedly felt. But then the omnipotence of God re-created the same problem as before: an omnipotent God replaces Classical Mechanics, and remakes the world into something humans cannot influence.

Quantum Physics has provided with a way out. It’s everywhere, unbeknownst. It is not just a physics of space and time, as so called “Relativity” is. When Poincare’ suggested the concept of Relativity, he meant one of space and time.

However, Quantum Physics entails a much more general relativity, the relativity of knowledge itself. Such is the Schrödinger Cat Paradox. Cats can be seen where one’s light has NOT reached. (The experiment was published a few weeks ago.)

What else do we know that can extent where no light of ours has passed? Consciousness, of course.

And the brain in all this?

The brain is a classical object, at first sight, a topology, a place with a notion of neighborhood. Different organs and networks in the brain accomplish different tasks, all at the same time. That’s what led some to the notion of subconscious. Indeed, most of these tasks are not consciously perceived: most of what the brain does is done in the background, and at best only very dimly perceived. For example heart management is hidden.

Yet, should one get a heart attack, one’s heart will become the focus of one’s consciousness (starting with a big pain). So what does consciousness do? It brings problems to the fore, and tasks where creativity, neurological creativity, is needed right away.

The brain, at first sight, is a classical object. But, at second sight, and actually, beyond sight, there is entanglement. And it allows to see.

It’s not as Pascal put it posthumously, that the heart can see where reason cannot, it’s that consciousness can see where light cannot. Remember the picture above.

How does consciousness do this? The brain, as I said has a local topology, yet consciousness rules over it all, that is, non-locally (we know this intuitively, or, as we also say, philosophically).

That perceived non-locality is something in common with Quantum Physics. The picture of the Schrödinger Cat made without light having gone from the cat to us was obtained by Quantum Entanglement, and not by a physical (“Hausdorff topology”) process.

Quantum Physics is not Hausdorff: points cannot be separated from each other. Not just that, but Quantum Physics is not local. Neither does consciousness feels like something, nor should it be, philosophically speaking as something that can be separated, and localized.

Some may scoff that the preceding may be all very interesting, a perspective on what may one day be better understood. But that it’s not practical.

Not so. The day has come, it’s here now.

Robots will seriously replace, displace and overcome humans when Quantum Physics becomes the core of Artificial Intelligence. Verily, one should talk about Artificial Consciousness (AC).

Indeed, the Quantum, once installed within machines in full, will show up as synthetic free will. The first Quantum computers are officially operational (see the D-Wave Two, an Adiabatic Quantum Computer; actually, you won’t see it, it’s sold for ten million dollars each).

Quantum processes, at best, are determined by non-local processes that we cannot inspect. Another point in common with consciousness.

So we are, most probably, Quantum computers. Classical Mechanics could explain us, Quantum Mechanics gives us freedom, and all what conscience is. This means that, as we create full Quantum computers, we will create, if my guess is correct, full consciousness of our own making. And we will be able to augment at will how conscious those machines will be.

Until they take over, of course.

The crown of creation will soon create souls. And soon engineer souls. Our apish ancestors started by stealing fire, we will end up giving birth to gods.

Patrice Ayme’

QUANTUM WAVE

April 5, 2014

REAL WAVE, NOT BORN KNOWLEDGE WAVE.

Abstract: Quantum Waves are real. Because the alternatives are unreal. On the way I make a drastic epistemological critique of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (“CI”), and its modern aspect, QBism. (For a general introduction, one can consult Nature’s March 26 2014 lead editorial: ”Be here now.” http://www.nature.com/news/be-here-now-1.14922.)

***

Quantum Physics, as usually formulated, uses “observers” and “measurements”. That approach was the invention of Bohr and his flock. It was celebrated by giving the Nobel to Born (a friend of Einstein) for making Quantum Waves into “Probabilistic Waves”.

Quantum Interference Gives Birth To The Universe

Quantum Interference Gives Birth To The Universe

As Nature’s “Be here now” puts it: “Bohr and Einstein argued about whether quantum mechanics allowed any room for the idea of realism — of an objective world that exists independently from our efforts to observe and measure it. Bohr insisted that physics was concerned with what we can know, and was silent on the matter of ‘how things really are’. He, Born and Heisenberg made claims about quantum theory’s challenge to causality and determinism that today look like a bit of an intellectual stretch.”

QBism (for Quantum Bayesian), Nature magazine sings the praises of, brings nothing new to CI. Bayesian probabilities (developed mostly by Laplace!) modify the ingredients of a probability computation to get a better fit to what’s observed.

Far from being sophisticated, I would argue that the probabilistic approach to Quantum Physics, although effective, is primitive. It is what I will call, a typical first order theory of reality.

Indeed thinking from “measurements” and “observers” is exactly the way a scary smart prehistoric man who knew nothing about a subject would proceed. As he would try to be as objective as possible. And make no mistake: today’s civilization rests on countless scary smart prehistoric men, some living hundreds of thousands years ago, and maybe more.

Confronted to the unknown phenomenon, the first thing prehistoric man will notice is that situation depends upon observer and measurement, causality and determinism are not in evidence. In other words, scary smart prehistoric man would be baffled, just the way Niels Bohr and his followers (Heisenberg, Born, etc.) were baffled.

However scary smart prehistoric man did not just stay baffled, as most physicists have resigned themselves to be. Instead scary smart prehistoric men built up meta-theories, that is all encompassing brain networks that made a given phenomenon into one. (It could be a theory of Tarpan Horse hunting, or of spring floods, bad weather incoming, or the local volcano.)

The probabilistic approach, “just shut up and calculate”, CI, is only a first approach. Real science substitute concepts with a life of their own to raw data. (That life is the appropriate brain machinery set-up to organize the data; that’s what causality is.)

Even human beings (“savants”) who are natural born computers, those who can tell you instantaneously what day of the week was February 17, 1924, adorn numbers with smells, texture, colors and personalities. Numbers become personalities in a landscape.

General philosophical metaprinciple out of that? Acquiring dimensionality is acquiring reality.

(This advanced remark is an allusion to the fact full Quantum wavefunctions can be arbitrarily high dimensional, and that has nothing to do with String Theory’s pitiful 11 dimensions. Ironically, that has been the main objection against the Pilot Wave Theories.)

For example, take the Moon. Try to be objective, while playing prehistoric man. What do you observe about the Moon as Homo Erectus? (Or equivalently, Arab in the desert, 20 centuries ago.)

The Moon? A white disk, sometimes a crescent, when most of the disk is obscured. If one wants to be objective, as a Prehistoric Man, nothing more. No proof, whatsoever, for a Prehistoric Man, that the Moon is a physical object. You can’t go there, you don’t have a rocket, and you cannot see mountains on the Moon, and their shadows, you don’t have the eyes of an eagle.

So, all right, for prehistoric man, the Moon is this whitish crescent-disk, and all you can do is measurements with what you have, the appearance of the thing.

One can measure the monthly appearances of the Moon by comparing it to the Solar Year, seasons, what not. Notice things come back in cycles, but not quite.

Maybe the Moon is the language of the gods, trying to talk to us? That was the interpretation made in Antique Mecca (with its 360 gods, but with the Moon dominating). So then, obviously the Moon was a message from God, observed the Muslims, and they believe in that to this day.

This is what Bohr’s CI and his modern imitators, the QBists, achieved. They have numbers, don’t understand where they come from, and made a cult around them.

When they claimed that one could not go any further (as Von Neumann stupidly claimed to have proven), deeper thinkers smirk.

The correct scientific approach is to go beyond numbers (this, by the way, is what inflationistas have done, with their Cosmic Inflation theory; and now everybody is excited about them). Sit down, and ponder: what could the Moon be? Could it be a real object?

What’s a real object? Answer: something endowed with more than the first set of numbers we got to know about it.

Of course, the first time scary smart prehistoric man comes across a situation he did not understand, but a situation that seems to reproduce itself, again and again, he set-up an experiment, hopefully a simplified version of what he observed. OK, so a horse fell from the cliff. Excellent meat for all for a full moon. Horse flees from man, so maybe man can make many horses fall off cliff, as needed.

Arrogant twerps who believe that modern man, preferably talking the Anglo-Normand dialect, invented the experimental method, know nothing of man.

Ever since man is man, man has found out about reality with experiments to observe how nature works. Quantum Physics is not any different.

Yes, the experiments depend upon the observer. So what? It dos not mean that all that could be observed has to be experienced. Quantum Interference is everywhere, it’s the essence of creation, and men observe it on a countable set, of measure zero.

Primitive Men Believe The Universe IS All About Themselves

Primitive Men Believe The Universe IS All About Themselves

Quantum Interference Does Not Depend Upon Man

Quantum Interference Does Not Depend Upon Man

The reality the experiments are after do not depend upon the observer. That Bohr and company could not figure it out, and, instead, started to dissect and not dissect the same cat, is a monument to the frailty of human intelligence.

John Bell (inventor of the Bell Inequalities to help check that Quantum Physics is non local) was ironical about this subject. He said:“What exactly qualifies some observer 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?”

Or, even better, a Nobel prize?

Of course not. (Unfortunately, Bell, the head theorist at CERN, was felled by a heart attack at the age of 62, before he could debunk more of the orthodoxy.) As I said above, believing that what we observe depends upon the observer is the most primitive objective approach. In first approach to knowledge, it’s objective to admit one’s subjectivity.

Can the “wave function” in Quantum Physics be a real object? Of course yes. Go back to the Two Slit Experiment. (Feynman correctly pointed out that the entire mystery of Quantum Physics was within the 2-slit.)

All the appearance of what we observe, when conducting a 2-slit experiment, for example between our eyelashes, observing the pretty color patterns, is that wave interference is causing the apparition of photon(s) of light in some places (where the waves interfere positively) and not in others (where waves interfere destructively).

Those waves, between our eyelashes are as real as waves in a port, no matter what a thousand Nobel laureates in physics may want to bleat about. (Lay on your back in the sun, and look through your eyelashes as you close them: this is my portable version of the 2-slit experiment.)

So what are these waves?

Above I shot down the subjective-knowledge theory of Bohr-Born-QBism. They reason from the first appearance, and forgot that experiments require, they always did, a carefully contrived measurement process, and an observer. They went prehistoric, and don’t know about it.

What’s left to understand Quantum Physics? Only two classes of theories are left.

One of them is the maniacal “Multiverse” “theory”. That insanity claims that any fundamental process generates as many universes as there are possibilities for it to evolve into. It’s an attempt to “save determinism”.

Unfortunately, the madness is infecting physics; just when we thought physics was ruled with not too smart a theory, an insane one comes to dominate. (The Multiverse was invented partly because of confusion about Schrodinger cats, as I hinted above: lack of philosophical sophistication killed the cats.)

What are we left with? De Broglie’s Pilot Wave theories. (In Anglo-Saxonia, this is known as “De Broglie-Bohm” theory, because that makes the Anglo-Saxon equal to the French, but, truly, De Broglie invented it all by himself.)

My own theory is a sci-fi version of the Pilot-Double Solution theory. It predicts Dark Matter readily (as very low mass, very weakly interacting particles, so it definitively makes falsifiable predictions).

Some will say that I am absurd, and, instead, should learn the “Standard Model” (SM) of particle physics. SM and Quantum Theory are the most successful physical theories ever, with incomparable precision.

Yet, that precision is an illusion. Theories explaining everything with 100% precision have existed in the last 25 centuries, at least (say the geocentric theory, viewed as correct, and unique, from Archimedes to Buridan, that is for 16 centuries). OK, some of those champions of the past turned out to be wrong (outside of the realm in which they had been initially checked). What’s the difference this time?

The difference, this time, is that we know that the Standard Model is wrong (Whereas the Greeks, 18 centuries ago thought the geocentric system was 100% right). Why? It explains at most 4% of the matter-energy out there (and even then with three dozens fundamental parameters!). At least my inchoate theory explains readily 30% of what’s out there in the Cosmos.

Anyway, there is no much choice for the foundations of Quantum Physics. It’s either the Schrodinger cats, simultaneously skinned and not skinned, or its deranged contradictor, the Multiverse shall rule over the mental asylum… Or the Pilot Wave theories will finally emerge.

This ship needs a pilot, to steer among the waves. As we will see in the future, this has tremendous consequences, be it only for the theory of “The Now”, as Einstein called it (and for which he had nothing to propose, although he was very worried by it, as Nature points out in “Be here now“).

Let’s conclude with a piece of ancient hanse wisdom, as it used to be written:

FLVCTVAT NEC MERGITVR (It Fluctuates, Never Sinks; Paris’ 2,000 years old motto.)

Patrice Aymé


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www.grrrgraphics.com

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Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

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Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

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Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

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in truth, only atoms and the void

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Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

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because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

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ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

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