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Thread: Copenhagen Interpretation

  1. #1 Copenhagen Interpretation 
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    Hi

    I'm no scientist, just a natural philosopher who has had a nose around Wikipedia's entry on the Copenhage Interpretation and thinks he's come up with a solution to the quantum theory problem that wave functions collapse when observed.

    What I'd like to propose is that wave functions do not collapse when observed, but that it is the event of their collapse (or change of state) (through interacting with a photon (or whatever)) makes the collapsed state observable.

    After all this is what happens in the 'real' world. We don't really see things, we see things after they have been excited by photons and changed their state. We observe the release of energy. Turn off the light and things are not visible.

    If someone has proposed this before, then that's fine, but I can't find any evidence of it. If they have then why is it not a realistic solution, or why is it not on Wikipedia?

    As far as I can see this means that there is no need for the Copenhagen interpretation, plus it explains why we don't see dark matter. It doesn't change its state.

    In fact I'd go further and propose this as Ansell's Law: Nothing can be observed unless there has been a change of state with a release of energy from another thing to create the thing that is observed.

    Please celebrate my different thinking or shoot me down in flames.
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  2. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copenhagen View Post
    Hi

    I'm no scientist, just a natural philosopher who has had a nose around Wikipedia's entry on the Copenhage Interpretation and thinks he's come up with a solution to the quantum theory problem that wave functions collapse when observed.

    What I'd like to propose is that wave functions do not collapse when observed, but that it is the event of their collapse (or change of state) (through interacting with a photon (or whatever)) makes the collapsed state observable...
    There are several problems with your proposal, not the least of which is that you have not carefully defined what constitutes an observation in your interpretation. I worry that you have some hazy notion derived from pop-sci articles which tend to "sex things up" by conflating "observation" with "observation by a consciousness".

    An observation is a measurement. A measurement involves an interaction with the thing observed. In the CI, the act of measurement mysteriously induces collapse, but that is a nonlinear operation. That's the fundamental problem, because the equations of state are fully linear. The CI merely waves (pun intended) away the difficulty by saying that you get a wavefunction collapse and voila, reality happens.

    The measurement problem has spawned the creation of alternative interpretations. Everett's MWI says that there is no collapse; all superposed states are valid. Others point out that interaction with a macroscopic measuring apparatus inevitably makes that apparatus a part of the wavefunction that must be considered. Still others claim that this observation merely defers the problem, rather than eliminates it. And on it goes.
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