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Continuing Attempts to Reconcile Quantum Theory With Macro-Reality

Recusant

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Continuing Attempts to Reconcile Quantum Theory With Macro-Reality
« on: September 06, 2020, 08:40:48 AM »
This could almost be in the Philosophy board. If not for the fact that an actual experiment is described, it might as well be, as with any discussions of quantum theory on a lay level. It's no spoiler to say that the article describes inconclusive investigations. If it were otherwise, that would be real news.

The condensed version of the idea here is that reality (physical events) we observe are as relative as other observations we make of the universe (time, for instance, per special relativity). That version is undoubtedly incorrect in any number of ways, but it's what I got out of the article.

"A new quantum paradox throws the foundations of observed reality into question" | The Conversation

Quote
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Perhaps not, some say.

And if someone is there to hear it? If you think that means it obviously did make a sound, you might need to revise that opinion.

We have found a new paradox in quantum mechanics – one of our two most fundamental scientific theories, together with Einstein’s theory of relativity – that throws doubt on some common-sense ideas about physical reality.

Quantum mechanics vs common sense

Take a look at these three statements:

When someone observes an event happening, it really happened.

It is possible to make free choices, or at least, statistically random choices.

A choice made in one place can’t instantly affect a distant event. (Physicists call this “locality”.)

These are all intuitive ideas, and widely believed even by physicists. But our research, published in Nature Physics, shows they cannot all be true – or quantum mechanics itself must break down at some level.

[Continues . . .]

The paper is behind a paywall, but the abstract is available at the link in the final paragraph quoted above.
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hermes2015

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Re: Continuing Attempts to Reconcile Quantum Theory With Macro-Reality
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2020, 09:47:29 AM »
Recusant, as usual, you have posted something very interesting. In my day we were taught the Bohr or Copenhagen interpretation of QM, but I never felt comfortable with the idea of an observer collapsing the wave function. Later, I found Everett's many-world interpretation more acceptable — I know I'm in good company, since Sean Carroll seems to prefer it as well. Perhaps, disconcerting as it may be, superdeterminism is the ultimate answer! Now, in my more advanced years, I just try to keep up with the latest ideas in physics, while most of my time is spent pursuing my non-scientific interests.
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Re: Continuing Attempts to Reconcile Quantum Theory With Macro-Reality
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2020, 02:21:41 AM »
I don't think it is any revelation to say that our current understanding is incomplete. I look forward to the next great revolution in physics.  Like the way that relativity showed that Newtonian mechanics was effectively a special case of the new expanded reality (relativity), and that it was sufficient for most conmen purposes, I suspect that whatever comes next will do the same thing for relativity and QM.  We live in exciting times for physics wonks!
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Re: Continuing Attempts to Reconcile Quantum Theory With Macro-Reality
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2020, 03:40:31 AM »
As I understand it. If a tree falls in the forest it must make a sound. The problem I see is, People think that 'people' are the center of the universe when they're/we aren't. We evolved over time because of the what environment around us contained. We have ears because there was sound-- before we had ears, if not, no ears. Just as a cave fish has no eyes because there is no light in it's environment. No light, no eyes, so the light had to be present first---and because the sun was before there was fish. A sound recording can be made that detects sound when no one is present, but can be heard on the recording, something must have happened for there to be a recorded sound.  The universe has no need for us. But, we have a need for the universe.  :)
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Dark Lightning

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Re: Continuing Attempts to Reconcile Quantum Theory With Macro-Reality
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2020, 04:21:54 AM »
Eh. If  a tree falls in the forest, a sound is made. It doesn't matter whether "anyone"- whatever kind of animal, or none, heard it or not. The physical release of sonic energy is real. Anything else is sophistry.

hermes2015

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Re: Continuing Attempts to Reconcile Quantum Theory With Macro-Reality
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2020, 04:55:45 AM »
I think this is relevant.

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Tank

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Re: Continuing Attempts to Reconcile Quantum Theory With Macro-Reality
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2020, 01:51:34 PM »
If a tree falls in a forest it will make pressure waves in the air. But if there is no ear to translate those pressure waves into electro neurological impulses that are perceived has there been a sound? If sound is considered to be an interpretation of physical reality then with no ear to hear it there is no sound, just pressure waves with the potential to be considered sound.
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Icarus

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Re: Continuing Attempts to Reconcile Quantum Theory With Macro-Reality
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2020, 03:52:16 AM »
I agree with Tanks analysis. 

Human ears mysteriously and blessedly translate pressure waves into what we perceive as sound... or brain stimulation (are you there Silver?) .  I say blessedly because if we could not translate those pressure waves into what we perceive as sound, then we could not enjoy  Brahms, Ema Sumac, or Ella Fitzgerald.

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Re: Continuing Attempts to Reconcile Quantum Theory With Macro-Reality
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2020, 05:06:06 AM »
I agree with Tanks analysis. 

Human ears mysteriously and blessedly translate pressure waves into what we perceive as sound... or brain stimulation (are you there Silver?) .  I say blessedly because if we could not translate those pressure waves into what we perceive as sound, then we could not enjoy  Brahms, Ema Sumac, or Ella Fitzgerald.

Actually I disagree.  Ears in no way change the physical phenomenon they have evolved to detect.  Whether there is an ear to "hear" it or not the sound waves are still there and having an ear to listen changes nothing.
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Tank

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Re: Continuing Attempts to Reconcile Quantum Theory With Macro-Reality
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2020, 10:26:34 AM »
I agree with Tanks analysis. 

Human ears mysteriously and blessedly translate pressure waves into what we perceive as sound... or brain stimulation (are you there Silver?) .  I say blessedly because if we could not translate those pressure waves into what we perceive as sound, then we could not enjoy  Brahms, Ema Sumac, or Ella Fitzgerald.

Actually I disagree.  Ears in no way change the physical phenomenon they have evolved to detect.  Whether there is an ear to "hear" it or not the sound waves are still there and having an ear to listen changes nothing.

That was my opinion for years. However 'sound' is a particular/singular interpretation of the pressure waves that is only possible if an ear detects the pressure waves. Pressure waves are the general condition. Sound is a specific condition.
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Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

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Re: Continuing Attempts to Reconcile Quantum Theory With Macro-Reality
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2020, 02:05:45 PM »
I agree with Tank and Icarus, and for the sake of argument I will limit the the definition of 'sound' to that consciously interpreted by the brain, and 'pressure waves' as the mechanical force that exists in the world outside the brain. You may not agree with my definitions and that's ok, but I think there is reason to specify which is which in this case.   ;D   

WARNING: Nerdgasm ahead!

In the cochlea of the inner ears, pressure waves get translated into electrical frequencies which are then interpreted in the brain as sounds. The cilia, which are groups of eyelash-like cells on a membrane inside the cochlea move according to the movement of the endolymph, or liquid, they are bathed in. Depending on where they are in the cochlea they will move to different frequencies of pressure waves. When these cells change position they open ion channels with allow ions to pass through and activate nerve cells attached to them. These nerve cells then fire at supposedly the frequencies in which the cilia move and that impulse goes to the brain where it will be interpreted in a chain of events in different sound-processing areas and association areas.   

It is believed that the frequencies in which neurons fire are the 'language' of the brain in the central nervous system (there is more evidence to suggest this is the case in the peripheral nervous system). If nervous cells 'talk' to each other in different frequencies, then why wouldn't that be an important part of consciousness? 

Nerdgasm ended.

I think it's not unlike what happens to perception of colour: different frequencies of visible light exist in the outside world, but could you call them different colours without taking into account a brain to subjectively interpret them? 

This is an interesting topic by the way. :grin: :love:
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