Posts Tagged ‘Schrodinger Cats’

TO BE AND NOT TO BE? Is Entangled Physics Thinking, Or Sinking?

April 29, 2016

Frank Wilczek, a physics Nobel laureate, wrote a first soporific, and then baffling article in Quanta magazine: “Entanglement Made Simple”. Yes, all too simple: it sweeps the difficulties under the rug. After a thorough description of classical entanglement, we are swiftly told at the end, that classical entanglement supports the many World Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. However, classical entanglement (from various conservation laws) has been known since the seventeenth century.

Skeptical founders of Quantum physics (such as Einstein, De Broglie, Schrodinger, Bohm, Bell) knew classical entanglement very well. David Bohm found the Bohm-Aharanov effect, which demonstrated the importance of (nonlocal) potential, John Bell found his inequality which demonstrated, with the help of experiments (Alain Aspect, etc.) that Quantum physics is nonlocal.

Differently From Classical Entanglement, Which Acts As One, Quantum Entanglement Acts At A Distance: It Interferes With Measurement, At A Distance

Differently From Classical Entanglement, Which Acts As One, Quantum Entanglement Acts At A Distance: It Interferes With Measurement, At A Distance

The point about the cats is that everybody, even maniacs, ought to know that cats are either dead, or alive. Quantum mechanics make the point they can compute things about cats, from their point of view. OK.

Quantum mechanics, in their busy shops, compute with dead and live cats as possible outcomes. No problem. But then does that mean there is a universe, a “world“, with a dead cat, happening, and then one with a live cat, also happening simultaneously?

Any serious philosopher, somebody endowed with common sense, the nemesis of a Quantum mechanic, will say no: in a philosopher’s opinion, a cat is either dead, or alive. To be, or not to be. Not to be, and not to be.

A Quantum mechanic can compute with dead and live cats, but that does not mean she creates worlds, by simply rearranging her computation, this way, or that. Her various dead and live cats arrangements just mean she has partial knowledge of what she computes with, and that Quantum measurements, even from an excellent mechanic, are just partial, mechanic-dependent measurements.

For example, if one measures spin, one needs to orient a machine (a Stern Gerlach device). That’s just a magnetic field going one way, like a big arrow, a big direction. Thus one measures spin in one direction, not another.

What’s more surprising is that, later on, thanks to a nonlocal entanglement, one may be able to determine that, at this point in time, the particle had a spin that could be measured, from far away, in another direction. So far, so good: this is like classical mechanics.

However, whether or not that measurement at a distance has occurred, roughly simultaneously, and way out of the causality light cone, EFFECTS the first measurement.

This is what the famous Bell Inequality means.

And this is what the problem with Quantum Entanglement is. Quantum Entanglement implies that wilful action somewhere disturbs a measurement beyond the reach of the five known forces. It brings all sorts of questions of a philosophical nature, and make them into burning physical subjects. For example, does the experimenter at a distance have real free will?

Calling the world otherworldly, or many worldly, does not really help to understand what is going on. Einstein’s “Spooky Interaction At A Distance” seems a more faithful, honest rendition of reality than supposing that each and any Quantum mechanic in her shop, creates worlds, willy-nilly, each time it strikes her fancy to press a button.

What Mr. Wilczek did is what manyworldists and multiversists always do: they jump into their derangement (cats alive AND dead) after saying there is no problem. Details are never revealed.

Here is, in extenso, the fully confusing and unsupported conclusion of Mr. Wilczek:

“Everyday language is ill suited to describe quantum complementarity, in part because everyday experience does not encounter it. Practical cats interact with surrounding air molecules, among other things, in very different ways depending on whether they are alive or dead, so in practice the measurement gets made automatically, and the cat gets on with its life (or death). But entangled histories describe q-ons that are, in a real sense, Schrödinger kittens. Their full description requires, at intermediate times, that we take both of two contradictory property-trajectories into account.

The controlled experimental realization of entangled histories is delicate because it requires we gather partial information about our q-on. Conventional quantum measurements generally gather complete information at one time — for example, they determine a definite shape, or a definite color — rather than partial information spanning several times. But it can be done — indeed, without great technical difficulty. In this way we can give definite mathematical and experimental meaning to the proliferation of “many worlds” in quantum theory, and demonstrate its substantiality.”

Sounds impressive, but the reasons are either well-known or then those reasons use a sleight of hand.

Explicitly: “take both of two contradictory property-trajectories into account”: just read Feynman QED, first chapter. Feynman invented the ‘sum over histories’, and Wilczek is his parrot; but Feynman did not become crazy from his ‘sum over history’: Richard smirked when his picturesque evocation was taken literally, decades later…

And now the sleight of hand: …”rather than  [gather] partial information spanning several times. But it can be done — indeed, without great technical difficulty.” This nothing new: it is the essence of the double slit discovered by that Medical Doctor and polymath, Young, around 1800 CE: when one runs lots of ‘particles’ through it, one sees the (wave) patterns. This is what Wilczek means by “partial information“. Guess what? We knew that already.

Believing that one can be, while not to be, putting that at the foundation of physics, is a new low in thinking. And it impacts the general mood, making it more favorable towards unreason.

If anything can be, without being, if anything not happening here, is happening somewhere else, then is not anything permitted? Dostoyevsky had a Russian aristocrat suggests that, if god did not exist anything was permitted. And, come to think of it, the argument was at the core of Christianism. Or more, exactly, of the Christian reign of terror which started in the period 363 CE-381 CE, from the reigns of emperor Jovian to the reign of emperor Theodosius. To prevent anything to be permitted, a god had to enforce the law.

What we have now is way worse: the new nihilists (Wilczek and his fellow manyworldists) do not just say that everything is permitted. They say: it does not matter if everything is permitted, or not. It is happening, anyway. Somewhere.

Thus Many-Worlds physics endangers, not just the foundations of reason, but the very justification for morality. That is that what is undesirable should be avoided. Even the Nazis agreed with that principle. Many-Worlds physics says it does not matter, because it is happening, anyway. Somewhere, out there.

So what is going on, here, at the level of moods? Well, professor Wilczek teaches at Harvard. Harvard professors advised president Yeltsin of Russia, to set up a plutocracy. It ruined Russia. Same professors made a fortune from it, while others were advising president Clinton to do the same, and meanwhile Prime Minister Balladur in France was mightily impressed, and followed this new enlightenment by the Dark Side, as did British leaders, and many others. All these societies were ruined in turn. Harvard was the principal spirit behind the rise of plutocracy, and the engine propelling that rise, was the principle that morality did not matter. because, because, well, Many-Worlds!

How does one go from the foundations of physics, to the foundations of plutocracy? Faculty members in the richest, most powerful universities meet in mutual admiration societies known as “faculty clubs” and lots of other I scratch-your-back, you scratch-my-back social occasion they spend much of their time indulging in. So they influence each other, at the very least in the atmospheres of moods they create, and then breathe together.

Remember? It is not that everything is permitted: it’s happening anyway, so we may as well profit from it first. Many-Worlds physics feeds a mood favorable to many plutocrats, and that’s all there is to it. (But that, of course, is a lot, all too much.)

Patrice Ayme’

Crazy Physics Helps With Overall Madness?

April 27, 2016

Quantum Physics has long been a circus. When De Broglie proposed his thesis, his  thesis jury (which comprised top physicists, including a Nobel Laureate) did not know what to make of it, and consulted Einstein. Einstein was enthusiastic, saying de Broglie “lifted a piece of the veil”. Three years later, de Broglie got the Nobel and proposed his pilot wave theory. Pauli made an objection, de Broglie replied to it with the consummate politeness of the Prince he was, and thus the reply was not noticed. Five years after, the great mathematician Von Neumann asserted a “proof” that there was no Quantum Mechanics but for the one elaborated in Copenhagen. De Broglie’s objections were not listened to. Another two decades later, David Bohm presented de Broglie theory at the Institute for Advanced Physics in Princeton. But Bohm was drowned by question about why he had refused to testify at the Committee on Anti-American Activities in Congress (the American born Bohm promptly lost his job at Princeton University and his US passport, and would leave the US forever).

The usual interpretation of Quantum Physics consider that the De Broglie Matter Waves therein are only probability waves. This idea of Nobel Laureate Born has eschewed controversy. However Einstein sourly remarked: “God does not play with dice.” To which Nobel Laureate Bohr smartly replied:”Stop telling God what to do!

Qubits Are Real. But The Multiverse Is Madness

Qubits Are Real. But The Multiverse Is Madness. And Madness Is Contagious.

De Broglie suggested a “Double Solution” theory, which was promptly forgotten as Dirac launched Quantum ElectroDynamics by starting from the simplest relativistic wave, and building the (spinor) space he needed to have said wave wave in it.  Bohm revived (some of) De Broglie’s ideas by proposing to guide an always well defined particle with a (nonlocal) “quantum potential”.

***

And The Madness Set In:

Nowadays, descriptions of Quantum Physics are keen to assert that something can be in two places at the same time, that there are many worlds, or universes, created each time something happen, that cats are dead and alive, that the observer creates reality, etc…

All this derangement affecting physicists has something to do with a collective madness similar to the pseudo-scientific theories behind the Slave Trade, Stalinism, or Nazism.

No, I am not exaggerating. The theory behind enslaving Black Africans (going all the way back to the Middle Ages) was that Black Africans were, somehow, the missing link between man and ape. That’s why the Pope allowed the slave trade.

Neither am I exaggerating about fascism: the Nazis were actually obsessed by the new physics, a world where everything seemed possible. They called it “Jewish Physics”, and several Nobel laureates (Lenard, etc.), top mathematicians (say Teichmuller, who died on the Eastern Front in combat) were its opponents.

It contributed to suggest an overall mood:’if anything is possible, why not surrealism, fascism, Stalinism, Nazism?’

Germany has long led, intellectually (not to say France did not lead too, but it was the great opponent). Thus when top physicists became Nazis even before Hitler did, they no doubt impressed the latter by their attacks on “Jewish Science”.

The madness was not confined to the Nazis, stricto sensu. An excellent example is Max Planck, discoverer of the Quantum.

Planck accepted Einstein’s paper on “The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” without references… When it was sure that Planck knew about the work of Poincare’, Lorentz, Fitzgerald, Michelson-Morley, etc. on Relativity. Poincaré  was a star, and had toured the USA, delivering lectures on “Relativity” the year prior.

So what was Planck up to? Promoting the German arriviste to the cost of the most accomplished mathematician and physicist, because the latter was a Frenchman. (Poincaré , who was as elevated a character as can be found, nevertheless complained about Einstein plagiarism later.) Not only was  Poincaré French, but his family was refugee from the occupation of Lorraine by the Prussians. Raymond Poincaré, who was prime minister of France several times and president of the French Republic during World War I, was Henri’s cousin.

This is of some import, in the understanding of ideas, to this day: Poincaré  discovered the idea of gravitational waves, and explained why all interactions should go at the speed of light. Scientists who published (stole) the same ideas later could not copy all of  Poincaré ’s arguments, it would have been too obvious (that they stole the ideas), so those important details of  Poincaré  have been forgotten… And this haunts physics to this day

I believe that this is how the extremely all too relative, theory of Relativity a la Einstein appeared: Einstein could not duplicate all of  Poincaré’s details, so he omitted (some of) them… Resulting in a (slick) theory with a glaring defect: all classes of frames in uniform motion are supposed to be equivalent, a blatant absurdity (as even the Big Bang theory imposes a unique class of comoving frames). This brought a lot of (on-going) confusion (say about “rest” mass).

Planck did not stop with stealing Relativity from  Poincaré, and offering it to the Great German empire.

Planck endorsed the general excitement of the German public, when Germany attacked the world on August 1, 1914. He wrote that, “Besides much that is horrible, there is also much that is unexpectedly great and beautiful: the smooth solution of the most difficult domestic political problems by the unification of all parties (and) … the extolling of everything good and noble.”

Planck also signed the infamous Manifesto of the 93 intellectuals“, a pamphlet of war propaganda (while Einstein at the academy in Berlin, retained a pacifistic attitude which almost led to his imprisonment, although he was saved by his Swiss citizenship). The Manifesto, ironically enough, enumerated German war crimes, while denying (‘not true’) that they had happened. It did not occur to the idiots who had signed it, that just denying this long litany of crimes was itself a proof that they had occurred… And it’s telling they had to deny them: the German population obviously was debating whether those crimes had happened, now that the war was not doing well.

Planck got punished for his nationalism: his second son Erwin was taken prisoner by the French in 1914. His eldest son Karl died at Verdun (along with another 305,000 soldiers). When he saw Hitler was destroying Germany, Planck went to see the dictator, to try to change his mind, bringing to his attention that he was demolishing German universities. But to no avail. In January 1945, Erwin, to whom he had been particularly close, was sentenced to death by the obscene and delirious Nazi “people” court, the Volksgerichtshof. Because Erwin participated in the failed attempt to make a coup against the criminal Hitler in July 1944. Erwin was executed on 23 January 1945 (along with around 5,000 German army officers, all the way to Feldmarshal).

So what to think of the “Multiverse”, “Dead and Alive Cats”, Things which are in different places at the same time, etc.? Do they have to do with suggesting, even promoting, a global reign of unreason?

I think they do. I think the top mood contaminate lesser  intellectuals, political advisers, even politicians themselves. Thus political and social leaders feel anything goes, so, next thing you know, they suggest crazy things, like self-regulating finance, trade treaties where plutocrats can sue states (apparently one of the features of TPP and TTIP), or a world which keeps on piling CO2, because everything is relative, dead, thus alive, and everywhere is the same, here, there and everywhere, since at the same place, in space, time, or whatever.

Physics, historically, was not just a model of knowledge, but of rational rectitude. This has been lost. And it was lost from technical reasons, discarding other approaches, in part because of sheer nationalism.

In the 1960s John Bell, the Irishman who was director of theory at CERN, published a book with his famous theorem on nonlocality inside:”Speakables and Unspeakables in Quantum Mechanics”. A title full of hidden sense.

Patrice Ayme