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Thread: Alternative to the Copenhagen interpretation

  1. #1 Alternative to the Copenhagen interpretation 
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    I cannot accept the idea that little particles have any free will. In that spirit, I have decided to mention an alternate view: they only appear to have free will; in reality, only humans and animals actually have free will.

    Every time a physicist measures a particle, they are either sending out a particle or series of particles, or attempting to catch a particle with their detectors. Every time a particle is hit by particle, or emits a particle, it causes the next measurement to be determined by a pseudo-random number formula. The only reason the uncertainty principle appears to hold is that we do not know the formula. However, the probability wave functions physicists create for the properties of each particle they observe is a good approximation of the frequencies that physicists could predict if they knew the aforementioned formula.

    Think of it like this: Imagine you are running a computer program that has two buttons, labeled "Position" and "Momentum" respectively. Each time you hit either button, a number that appears to be randomly generated appears above the button, and the fact that you hit the button will somehow affect the outcome of you pressing the other button, or that button itself. The computer you use can't generate a purely random number, so it must use a formula to generate a number that appears random.
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  2. #2  
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    Moonman - This belongs in the alternative theories section.

    Quote Originally Posted by moonman239
    I cannot accept the idea that little particles have any free will.
    Thatís great, because little particles canít be said to any thoughts whatsoever, never mind free will. Where did you get that idea? All the Copenhagen Interpretations says is that a particle does not have a position until itís measured.

    In that spirit, I have decided to mention an alternate view: they only appear to have free will; in reality, only humans and animals actually have free will.

    Quote Originally Posted by moonman239
    The only reason the uncertainty principle appears to hold is that we do not know the formula.
    What formula? The uncertainty principle holds because the postulates of quantum mechanics hold. Those postulates have been tested very thoroughly and the results of experiments have been consistent with the postulates. Those postulates are then used to derive a theorem known as the ďuncertainty principle.Ē So itís not really a principle, itís a theorem.

    Quote Originally Posted by moonman239
    However, the probability wave functions physicists createÖ
    We donít ĒcreateĒ them. We solve for them using Schrodingerís equation. That equation is one of the postulates of quantum mechanics.

    Quote Originally Posted by moonman239
    for the properties of each particle they observe is a good approximation of the frequencies Ö
    What frequencies are you talking about?

    Quote Originally Posted by moonman239
    that physicists could predict if they knew the aforementioned formula.

    Think of it like this: Imagine you are running a computer program that has two buttons, labeled "Position" and "Momentum" respectively. Each time you hit either button, a number that appears to be randomly generated appears above the button, and the fact that you hit the button will somehow affect the outcome of you pressing the other button, or that button itself. The computer you use can't generate a purely random number, so it must use a formula to generate a number that appears random.
    Iím sorry but I canít follow all of that whatsoever. It makes no sense to me at all. Let me describe how this works. When you know the wave function then both the uncertainty both the position and momentum is then determined. That is to say that uncertainty is a function of the wave function.
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  3. #3  
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    Hi moonman239, welcome to the forum. There is certainly much in Physics that points to the universe being driven by a computer program.
    The random nature of QM is very interesting, but it is more likely there is a process that drives this in my view. Did you know that the Schrodinger equation is a diffusion equation with an imaginary diffusion coefficient? You might want to do a search on Stochastic Quantum Mechanics.
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  4. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilan View Post
    Hi moonman239, welcome to the forum. There is certainly much in Physics that points to the universe being driven by a computer program.
    That's a huge exaggeration. There is no specific evidence at all, in fact. There are speculations, and some observations are consistent with those speculations, but that's a far cry from being able to claim that there is much that "points to the universe being driven by a computer program." You've let your bias colour your representation of the facts.

    The random nature of QM is very interesting, but it is more likely there is a process that drives this in my view.
    And again, your view is not based on any evidence so it is important for the OP to understand clearly that you are merely stating an unsupported belief.

    Did you know that the Schrodinger equation is a diffusion equation with an imaginary diffusion coefficient? You might want to do a search on Stochastic Quantum Mechanics.
    That's true as it goes, but it isn't nearly as deep as you think it is (but, at the same time, it is probably deeper than you appreciate). The Schrodinger equation is a quite-general linear partial DE, so it can describe diffusion, oscillations and the entire panoply of linear phenomena within its framework.
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonman239 View Post
    I cannot accept the idea that little particles have any free will. In that spirit, I have decided to mention an alternate view: they only appear to have free will; in reality, only humans and animals actually have free will.
    Another possibility is that humans and animals don't have free will. Only particles have free will, but fortunately there are particles in our brains.

    So the free will of the particles in our brains becomes the source of our free will.
    A mathematician and an engineer were at a party. An older colleague of theirs was there with his daughter. The two each asked if they could speak to her. He said it was ok, but they had to approach her by going half way across the room, then stop, then half way again and stop and proceed in that manner. The mathematician realized that he would never reach her and gave up. The engineer determined that he could get close enough to talk. --Approximate retelling of a joke by my math teacher.
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk421 View Post
    That's a huge exaggeration. There is no specific evidence at all, in fact. There are speculations, and some observations are consistent with those speculations, but that's a far cry from being able to claim that there is much that "points to the universe being driven by a computer program." You've let your bias colour your representation of the facts.
    I don't believe I mentioned evidence. You are jumping the gun somewhat.

    And again, your view is not based on any evidence so it is important for the OP to understand clearly that you are merely stating an unsupported belief.
    And what part of "in my view" did you not understand?


    That's true as it goes, but it isn't nearly as deep as you think it is (but, at the same time, it is probably deeper than you appreciate). The Schrodinger equation is a quite-general linear partial DE, so it can describe diffusion, oscillations and the entire panoply of linear phenomena within its framework.
    As statements go this one is crazy on many levels. How do you know what I think or can appreciate? The most general linear partial DE s you refer to all have an underlying driver.
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  7. #7  
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    In reply to Jilan, re: your #6 post.

    I am having an "uncertainty" attack!

    ....

    Is it possible that no one is "getting" your "computer program" analogy/metaphor? (I think you are giving "true believers" the willies with such a reference)

    ....

    As far as I can determine, "uncertainty" itself is...uncertain! ( the older I get the less I know, especially with regard to "that which is true" of the Universe)



    (Thanks for reading!)
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonman239
    The only reason the uncertainty principle appears to hold is that we do not know the formula.
    That's called hidden variable theory. If it were true then electrons would be moving on classical orbits in atoms around the nucleus. If that was the case it would emit a constant stream of radiation and the atom would collapse in a very short amount of time. Also, experiments were done which showed that hidden variable theory is inconsistent with the results of the experiment. It had to do with Bell's inequality. I studied this years back but forgot the details since then. See

    Bell's theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Bell test experiments - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by moonman239
    Think of it like this: Imagine you are running a computer program that has two buttons, labeled "Position" and "Momentum" respectively. Each time you hit either button, a number that appears to be randomly generated appears above the button, and the fact that you hit the button will somehow affect the outcome of you pressing the other button, or that button itself. The computer you use can't generate a purely random number, so it must use a formula to generate a number that appears random.
    That's not analogous to how quantum mechanics works. Suppose a system is initially in the quantum state Psi(x, t). Then you collect an ensemble of position measurements as follows. When the system is in the state Psi(x, t) measure the position of the particle and record it. Then set up the system so that it's in the same state again and repeat the experiment and record the result. Do this a huge number of times. Then calculate the standard deviation of the position measurements x. Label the standard deviation dx. Then by definition dx = uncertainty in position. Every time you repeat this experiment and calculate dx you'll get the same exact value for the uncertainty regardless of what instruments you use or how you measure it. The same thing applies to momentum for the same system. The values of dx and dp are determined by the state of the system. Only if you start with a new state will the uncertainties change.

    What do those facts seen in the lab have to do with your idea?
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physicist View Post
    Suppose... Then collect... Then calculate...
    What do those facts seen in the lab have to do with your idea?

    You collect raw datas, but when you calculate results are not facts any more (calculus can generate changes, misunderstanding or even mistakes).

    For example you can check 'If Bell's inequality were not violated' @ http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jmp.2014.514137
    Last edited by KJW; 10-03-2014 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Deactivated link
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