Posts Tagged ‘Bohr’

NON-LOCALITY

December 28, 2014

Non-Locality, acting at a distance, without intermediaries, is the stuff of legends in tales for little children. A sorcerer does something somewhere, and something happens, or is felt, somewhere else. Newton himself rejected it. Isaac said the gravitation theory which he had helped to elaborate, was “absurd”, precisely because of it implicitly used “act upon another 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 On His Confusion Of Momentum (Buridan) and Energy, Which She Established

[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’

MULTIVERSE IDIOCY DISSECTED

August 2, 2014

Physicist Sean Carroll, “explaining why the many-worlds approach is not completely insane“, says: “If the particle can be in a superposition of two states, then so can the apparatus.”

This fundamental error, that everything is a superposition of states, is the essence of the idiocy of the Many World and Multiverse error.

Why Mr. Physicist Carroll? Why is it that, for you, if something is a superposition of two possibilities, then so can be something else? Where is the logic in that? There is none whatsoever. Let me show you why. Why that’s illogical.

Maybe, sometimes, because something can be cut in two, say a fish, another fish can be cut in two, or a million fishes can be cut in two, indeed.

The fact that fishes can be cut in two, because one fish can be cut in two, does not imply that everything else can be cut in two.

For example, the fact that one can cut fishes in two does not imply that the sea can be cut in two. Such is the Multiverse error, a very fishy argument.

Quantum Dot: Fuzzy, Not Discrete!

Quantum Dot: Fuzzy, Not Discrete!

Transmission Electron Microscope Image of a single InAsP/InP Quantum dot (left; “In” is for Indium); such dots exhibit discrete electronic energy levels (Right Top), and this allows, upon spatial and spectral filtering, the generation of single photons on demand (Right bottom).

That some process can result ultimately in two states, does not mean that the sea, or anything else, will be a “superposition of two states”.

When we mention “the particle” (whatever that is) and the apparatus (whatever that is) we are talking here about things of completely different natures, obviously.

What’s the difference? Or differences?

Obviously, “the particle” is being measured. And it’s measured by “the apparatus”.

One is “Quantum”, “the particle”. The other is classical, the “apparatus”.

What’s the most basic difference between “Quantum” and “Classical”? “Quantum” is dominated by DISCRETE states. “DISCRETE” here is in the strict mathematical sense (in bijection with a subset of the natural numbers, N).

Discreteness of light emission is how Planck explained the Blackbody Radiation and resolved the Ultra Violet Catastrophe.(1900 CE)

Discreteness of light reception is how Einstein explained the Photoelectric effect. (1905 CE.)

Discreteness of electronic orbitals is Bohr explained the structure of atoms. (1912 CE.)

Discreteness of non-self-interfering-to-destruction waves is how De Broglie explained all the subjacent discreteness, uncertainty, interference and basic dynamics. (1923.)

Classical mechanics is NOT discrete. We do not understand why. It’s a major mystery.

But the passage from Quantum to Classical has been studied experimentally in simple, particular (namely made of PARTICLES) systems.

Let’s go back to Sean’s statement:

“If the particle can be in a superposition of two states, then so can the apparatus.”

I just said that “Quantum” is characterized, as its name indicates, by discreteness, a superposition of states.

In other words, in Sean’s view the foundation of the Many World Interpretation/Multiverse theory is that Quantum = Classical.

Yet, the very concept of “Science” comes from the ability of scindere, to cut in two, to make distinctions.

By ignoring the most basic distinction, that between Quantum and Classical, the Many Worlds/Multiverse theory reveals itself to not be science.

Yet, it’s even worse than that. The Multiverse error is reminiscent of the blind alley of the Epicycle theory of Ptolemy and company, 2,000 years ago.

Patrice Ayme’

Notes: 1) The error was inaugurated by Everret, a student of Wheeler, 1963 CE. At the time it was viewed as horrendous (probably for the reasons above, but they were left unsaid; the preceding is my reasoning, entirely). Everret was driven out of research physics (although there were lots of jobs at the time).

2) Bohr and his followers had got the ball rolling, by murky attacks against reality itself. It was debatable at the time, as some then-not-discovered particles (say neutrinos) led to apparent violation of energy-momentum conservation.

3) The philosopher Heidegger, maybe inspired by some of the less wise, contemporaneous statements of Bohr and company, insisted that the distinction between “subject” and “object” be eradicated. Unsurprisingly, he soon became a major figure of Nazism, where he was able to apply himself to further lack of distinction.

QUANTUM NON LOCALITY.

September 1, 2011

ONE & THE SAME, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE.

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Abstract: Why Quantum Physics violates locality. Twentieth-second century primary school version.

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 LOCALITY: What does locality mean? It means that what happens at a point is determined by what is happening in a neighborhood of that point within a small enough distance, as determined by light. Moreover, it means that the universe U is made of points: U = Union points. Points, by definition, are singletons (they have no elements in the sense of set theory), and they have dimension zero: nothing belongs to a point.

 SPACETIME: Generally the universe is called “spacetime”. However, this concept, spacetime, introduces the assumptions of Einstein’s Special Relativity, as boosted by Minkowski, established before Quantum Physics.

 In particular the spacetime hypothesis assumes that the universe is a product of what is called in mathematics the “real line”, which assumes, among other things, what is called a T2, Hausdorff topology. Two different points are separated by different neighborhoods (to use the appropriate concepts from general topology).

 Quantum Physics violates both LOCALITY and SPACETIME.

 How do we know this? When one analyzes the smallest processes, one finds that, in plenty of cases, the SMALLEST PROCESSES, THE INDIVISIBLE PROCESSES, SPREAD IN TIME OVER ARBITRARY BIG REGIONS, ON THEIR OWN (THAT IS WITHOUT ANY INTERACTION WITH THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE). Are they then big, or are they small? Verily, therein a mystery of the Quantum.

 In this innocuous concept I just uttered, they spread as big as they want, although being as small as there is, one finds the entire origin of Quantum non locality. No need for fancy mathematics, or even any equation. The idea is as dramatic as can be.

 Indeed, non locality boils down to a matter of definition. As the indivisible process spreads out, it stays one, well, by definition. It means that touching it anywhere is like touching it everywhere.

 When two particles comes out of such an indivisible process, they are called “ENTANGLED”. The semantics gets in the way. What we do not have is actually two particles, but two possible experimental channels, which can be widely separated, where, if we experiment, two particles will show up, and widely separated, if the channels are so.

 Thus we see that the two channels are entangled, and touching one is also touching the other.

 What are some of these cases where the smallest, indivisible processes spread out macroscopically? Well, they are so common, that they seem to be the rule, not the exception: 

 Diffraction (the 1 slit experiment) is such a case: the slit is small, diffusion gets big. Arbitrarily big.

 The famous 2 slit experiment is another case: the slits are close by, the interference screen is at a large distance. Hey, the 2-slit could be a galactic cluster. A cluster made of galaxies, each 200,000 light years across. 

 Any fundamental process where two particles separate after interacting. (In particular the simple set-up of the Einstein Podolski Rosen thought experiment, such as the Bohm total spin zero variant.)

 It is highly likely that such an effect is used all over biology, to transport energy close to 100% efficiency over macroscopic distances (an allusion to the fact that this is not only about pure science, but the economic fall-out will be considerable, once this is so well understood that we can dominate the processes involved).

 Not all Quantum processes spread all over space. Bohr got the Nobel for his patchy, haphazard atomic theory which worked, because electronic matter waves self interfere coherently onto themselves (these matters waves, the de Broglie waves, are called orbitals, and they make the body of atoms, what we call matter, and sharing orbitals is much of what we call chemistry).

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 Thus we have found the following, from the most basic set-up of Quantum theory:

 A Fundamental Quantum Process, is one, until interacted with, even if it is spread over space. This is what Quantum Non Locality is all about.

 Some crystals can make out of one photon, two photons with opposite polarizations, and they could then be sent in two different channels, a light year apart.

Parallel transporting along the two channels the polarization directions, we would always find them opposite. A more subtle relation between the polarizations holds, and was found to be true even when the polarization angles are moved randomly during the photons flight time (Aspect experiment, for which Alain Aspect got the Wolf Prize in 2010).

 By making all sorts of supplementary hypotheses about local hidden parameters and local measurements of polarizations, though, on finds that should not be the case. This contradiction is called the Bell Inequality (I like Bell very much, and I approve of his quest, which is also my quest. I apologize for his many admirers, by presenting his efforts in an arguably demeaning light).

The preceding, most simple way to look at Non Locality, gives an excellent reason to not do that: the logic of the Quantum is as simple as it gets: as long as I am left alone, says the Quantum, I am one. And indivisible.

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 What does it all mean? First Einstein and company in their “EPR” paper, talked about “elements of reality”. They did NOT talk about ELEMENTS OF SPACE. They did not have the notion. I will argue they should have, but of course, the fact that they did not have it was central to their (erroneous) reasoning. 

 Einstein and company wondered how a particle could communicate with another, even across light years. Wrong amazement. Particles are not “communicating“. Actually, they are not “particles” to start with.

 For decades I have advocated a radical solution, as exposed above, aligning the definition elementarily: the two particles are one and the same, they are in the same place at the time of the Quantum interaction, and stop being so, as a result. The topology used in physics, the same that the dinosaurs used, the T2, separated topology, is not appropriate to the real universe. OK, it was appropriate for pterosaurs. But it’s not appropriate, across the universe. BTW, the pterosaurs, the best fliers, by far, that this planet has known, went extinct, although they were obviously very smart.

 Is this the end all, be all? Quantum Physics a la Bohr reigns, and nothing else can be said? No. If the bare bone theory above is true, the entire theory of spacetime is false: space is not made of points, and it is constructed interactively. The case of time is even more so. Imagine there are no heavens made of points, only the sky you make, etc. Thus more has been said

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Patrice Ayme

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 Note 1: An enlightening analogy: The question of using the Quantum set-up to transmit information superluminally, or what Einstein called “Spooky Interaction At A Distance” has come up. The preceding, as it is, sticking to strict Quantum theory, demolishes both views, with crushing simplicity.

 How? OK, let’s make an experimental metaphor. Suppose we have an infinitely rigid bar between the two entangled particles: each time we experiment with one, we turn the bar, and so it turns at the other end too. Simple. Some will say: ha ha ha, but then I can look at the bar, and I see the bar turn, and so information has been transmitted. Not so fast. We are dealing with as elementary a Quantum process as possible, which means the particle was not observed, before the bar turned. So we see the bar turn, but we do not know if it was, or not, turning before. To tell if a signal was sent, one has first to define a state where one can say no signal was received.  

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 Note 2: I was a rough to the point of inaccuracy with the Bell Inequality above.  There is a subtlety, which can be seen easily say in the case of spin. Spin measurements in various directions are not independent of each other. Thus, if one measures spin in the close channel, a measurement of spin in another, random direction in the distance channel will show that influence, and a local determination of spin in the distant channel by parallel transport will not exhibit this. BTW, introducing the notion of parallel transport in the conversation, which is the whole point of the “local hidden parameter” debate is from yours truly.

 Note 3: And let’s not forget to smile about the naïve who developed frantically supersymmetric superstrings super budgeted super having-nothing-to-do-with reality… While forgetting to think about the fundamentals as described above.

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