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Quantum theorem shakes foundations
Nature ^ | 17 November 2011 | Eugenie Samuel Reich

Posted on 11/18/2011 5:52:08 AM PST by ShadowAce

At the heart of the weirdness for which the field of quantum mechanics is famous is the wavefunction, a powerful but mysterious entity that is used to determine the probabilities that quantum particles will have certain properties. Now, a preprint posted online on 14 November1 reopens the question of what the wavefunction represents — with an answer that could rock quantum theory to its core. Whereas many physicists have generally interpreted the wavefunction as a statistical tool that reflects our ignorance of the particles being measured, the authors of the latest paper argue that, instead, it is physically real.

“I don't like to sound hyperbolic, but I think the word 'seismic' is likely to apply to this paper,” says Antony Valentini, a theoretical physicist specializing in quantum foundations at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Valentini believes that this result may be the most important general theorem relating to the foundations of quantum mechanics since Bell’s theorem, the 1964 result in which Northern Irish physicist John Stewart Bell proved that if quantum mechanics describes real entities, it has to include mysterious “action at a distance”.

Action at a distance occurs when pairs of quantum particles interact in such a way that they become entangled. But the new paper, by a trio of physicists led by Matthew Pusey at Imperial College London, presents a theorem showing that if a quantum wavefunction were purely a statistical tool, then even quantum states that are unconnected across space and time would be able to communicate with each other. As that seems very unlikely to be true, the researchers conclude that the wavefunction must be physically real after all.

David Wallace, a philosopher of physics at the University of Oxford, UK, says that the theorem is the most important result in the foundations of quantum...

(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: gagdadbob; onecosmosblog; quantum; stringtheory; wavefunction
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1 posted on 11/18/2011 5:52:10 AM PST by ShadowAce
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

2 posted on 11/18/2011 5:53:01 AM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

3 posted on 11/18/2011 5:58:45 AM PST by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: ShadowAce

Does that mean now is now 5,000 light years away?


4 posted on 11/18/2011 6:00:03 AM PST by Fester Chugabrew (minds change)
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To: JRios1968

IIRC..Einstein died NOT believing in qunatum theory..


5 posted on 11/18/2011 6:05:55 AM PST by ken5050
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To: ShadowAce
".....a theorem showing that if a quantum wavefunction were purely a statistical tool, then even quantum states that are unconnected across space and time would be able to communicate with each other. As that seems very unlikely to be true, the researchers conclude that the wavefunction must be physically real after all."

Can someone shed some light on the implications of this?

6 posted on 11/18/2011 6:11:19 AM PST by cerberus
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To: Fester Chugabrew
Does that mean now is now 5,000 light years away?

Now...

7 posted on 11/18/2011 6:13:24 AM PST by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: ShadowAce

Speaking of wave function. When I was little, my blue-sky question was always, why do waves go up and down? Later I wondered the same thing about more subtle kinds of waves.

I’m still wondering. Light can travel in waves. Energy too. Why? Why up and down? This way and that way. Whatever makes it go either way, why does it let it go instead of just pulling it one way?

What’s with the tennis match?


8 posted on 11/18/2011 6:17:34 AM PST by Lady Lucky
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To: ShadowAce

A philosopher of physics. What does that tell us?


9 posted on 11/18/2011 6:25:32 AM PST by Williams (Honey Badger Don't Care)
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To: ShadowAce
I'm going to go out on a limb here. Or, maybe a twig.....

If conciseness affects matter (the jinx in the machine), and thoughts are energy (human energy field), wouldn't the energy emitted from thoughts backed by strong emotion affect things at a distance as well?
Wouldn't that energy attract and communicate with like energy instantly, and explain miracles (with the results based on the intensity and spirit of energy transmitted)?

If thought energy can affect things at a distance, wouldn't that validate the use of prayer?

10 posted on 11/18/2011 6:29:21 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: ShadowAce
xkcd's take on the wave/particle duality.

Prairie

11 posted on 11/18/2011 6:33:01 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Herman Cain: possibly the escapee most dangerous to the Democrats since Frederick Douglass.)
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To: Williams
> A philosopher of physics. What does that tell us?

I think it probably refers to "PhD in Physics", since PhD is "Doctor of Philosophy".

12 posted on 11/18/2011 6:41:20 AM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: ShadowAce

13 posted on 11/18/2011 6:51:35 AM PST by School of Rational Thought
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To: ShadowAce
Quantum theory/physics is the most fascinating thing. Maybe I should have majored in this instead of computer science.


Where there's a shell, there's a way.

If you can't appreciate the pure beauty of the violin after hearing this, something's wrong with your ears.

Or you can get raw with these strings. Either way, the violin is sweet yet lethal.

Do it!

14 posted on 11/18/2011 6:52:10 AM PST by rdb3 (The mouth is the exhaust pipe of the heart.)
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To: concerned about politics
(human energy field)

I don't think a "human energy field" has, as of yet, been shoe horned into the Standard Model of Physics.

The benefit of prayer is a different matter.
15 posted on 11/18/2011 6:59:00 AM PST by ZX12R (FUBO GTFO 2012 !)
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To: rdb3
Quantum theory/physics is the most fascinating thing. Maybe I should have majored in this instead of computer science.

I agree. I'd love to dig a lot deeper into this. Right now, all I do is read a LOT of books on the subject. In fact, sometimes I have to read the same book twice to "get it."
When it comes to the scientific jargon that's needed to explain what I've learned - I really suck at it. That makes consolidating the right words to hold up my end of a conversation difficult.

16 posted on 11/18/2011 6:59:46 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: ShadowAce

Cowabunga, baby! Ride the wave!


17 posted on 11/18/2011 7:06:40 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: concerned about politics
If thought energy can affect things at a distance, wouldn't that validate the use of prayer?

Yes!


Where there's a shell, there's a way.

If you can't appreciate the pure beauty of the violin after hearing this, something's wrong with your ears.

Or you can get raw with these strings. Either way, the violin is sweet yet lethal.

Do it!

18 posted on 11/18/2011 7:10:28 AM PST by rdb3 (The mouth is the exhaust pipe of the heart.)
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To: Lady Lucky

I clearly do not know why, but your question is very intriguing...


19 posted on 11/18/2011 7:11:46 AM PST by jrestrepo (See you all in Galt's gulch)
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To: ZX12R
I don't think a "human energy field" has, as of yet, been shoe horned into the Standard Model of Physics.

It should be. Energy never dies, for one. Where does it go, especially since it's conscience of itself, after the body dies!
Secondly, if nothing exists until it's observed, that energy field has to be in play and in the body, or there is no observer, and therefore nothing observed.

20 posted on 11/18/2011 7:13:27 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: cerberus

Physics geeks will feel special for six months.


21 posted on 11/18/2011 7:16:36 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: concerned about politics
It should be. Energy never dies, for one. Where does it go, especially since it's conscience of itself, after the body dies! Secondly, if nothing exists until it's observed, that energy field has to be in play and in the body, or there is no observer, and therefore nothing observed.

You're just assuming that there is energy there, and something apart from the forms of energy that we know, but as far as I know, it's never been detected or established in any way. And I don't go along with the observer caused collapse of the wave function. Not everyone accepts that premise.
22 posted on 11/18/2011 7:20:11 AM PST by ZX12R (FUBO GTFO 2012 !)
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To: ShadowAce
double slit experiment
23 posted on 11/18/2011 7:21:35 AM PST by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ("Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts." Richard Feynman father of Quantum Physics)
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To: Williams
Metaphysics on steroids. Metaphysics, or the “physics behind the physics,” deals with causality (prime cause) and epistemology (the knowablility of knowledge).

Does anyone know where I put my Advil?

24 posted on 11/18/2011 7:23:26 AM PST by Excellence ( CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: ShadowAce

Okay,

I’m no theorhetical physicist, nor knowledgable about quantum physics... but I am confused.

We know that entangled particles are indeed influenced by one another over vast distances, seemingly instantaneously.

They are arguing if that if the wavefunction was purely a statitical tool, even non entangled particles sould be able to communicate with each other over such distances, seemingly instantaenously as well, but no proof of this seems to exist, so therefore the wavefunction must be real and not mearly a statistical probability that a particle has certain properties.

Ok, I follow that.

So what they are saying is that because of this, that the wave function isn’t showing you a probability of state, but the actual physical absolute of state? Am I correct here?

If so, this seems a pretty big paradigm shift. Am I misinterpreting this article?


25 posted on 11/18/2011 7:27:53 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: ShadowAce
Whereas many physicists have generally interpreted the wavefunction as a statistical tool that reflects our ignorance of the particles being measured, the authors of the latest paper argue that, instead, it is physically real.

At last! I was always troubled by this formulation. Probability waves? BS.

26 posted on 11/18/2011 7:29:46 AM PST by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ("Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts." Richard Feynman father of Quantum Physics)
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To: ZX12R
You're just assuming that there is energy there, and something apart from the forms of energy that we know

We know the human body has an "electrical field" and a "conscience" (which has yet to be explained) . We're more like carbon based computers than random parts glued together with mucus. Even what we know to be "true" is energy. That energy alone can be manipulated by thoughts and emotions, and we also know energy never dies. It just changes form.
So for the sake of argument, we can still use "electrical pulses" instead of "energy field" if you'd prefer, but the same questions still stand.

27 posted on 11/18/2011 7:37:08 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: concerned about politics
We know the human body has an "electrical field" and a "conscience" (which has yet to be explained) . We're more like carbon based computers than random parts glued together with mucus. Even what we know to be "true" is energy. That energy alone can be manipulated by thoughts and emotions, and we also know energy never dies. It just changes form. So for the sake of argument, we can still use "electrical pulses" instead of "energy field" if you'd prefer, but the same questions still stand.

What you seem to be talking about, is metaphysical and philisophical conjecture, not physics, or even science for that matter. Similar to your prayer question. It's not a matter for science. Not yet, anyway.
28 posted on 11/18/2011 7:45:00 AM PST by ZX12R (FUBO GTFO 2012 !)
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To: ShadowAce

Thanks Guys, by merely reading this thread you have changed it’s meaning. I was planning on reading it but now you’ve screwed it all up ...


29 posted on 11/18/2011 7:49:13 AM PST by Scythian
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To: ZX12R
What you seem to be talking about, is metaphysical and philisophical conjecture, not physics, or even science for that matter.

What???? Our entire system runs on electrical impulses. Everything we do is controlled and enabled by electrical signals running through our bodies. Electricity is energy. How can you not know that? It's Jr. High school stuff.

30 posted on 11/18/2011 7:51:15 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: concerned about politics
What???? Our entire system runs on electrical impulses. Everything we do is controlled and enabled by electrical signals running through our bodies. Electricity is energy. How can you not know that? It's Jr. High school stuff.

Sorry, but we now seem to be from different planets, speaking and attempting a dialog, in ways that are unknown to the other. I'll just leave it at that.
31 posted on 11/18/2011 8:06:36 AM PST by ZX12R (FUBO GTFO 2012 !)
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To: cerberus

Yes, the stock market will drop at least a hundred points unless other factors make it rise a hundred points in which case it may either stay the same or change. This is virtually certain to occur at some point in time.

Wave function, no doubt.


32 posted on 11/18/2011 8:06:53 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: HamiltonJay
If so, this seems a pretty big paradigm shift. Am I misinterpreting this article?

It says there is something real controlling real things ......at least at quantum levels....and not just mathematical and statistical abstractions mixed with quantum weirdness.

Could be related to dark matter/energy or the Boggs Particle AKA The God Particle.


33 posted on 11/18/2011 8:17:44 AM PST by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ("Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts." Richard Feynman father of Quantum Physics)
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To: cerberus

Yes, the stock market will drop at least a hundred points unless other factors make it rise a hundred points in which case it may either stay the same or change. This is virtually certain to occur at some point in time.

Wave function, no doubt.


34 posted on 11/18/2011 8:20:36 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: ZX12R
Sorry, but we now seem to be from different planets, speaking and attempting a dialog, in ways that are unknown to the other. I'll just leave it at that.

Go back to post #10 - my questions. Replace "energy field" with "electrical system" or what ever you choose to call it.
The question can still be asked using your jargon instead of mine.

35 posted on 11/18/2011 8:22:18 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: count-your-change

Thanks.......you’re obviously a deep thinker!


36 posted on 11/18/2011 8:24:30 AM PST by cerberus
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To: cerberus
Can someone shed some light on the implications of this?

hmmmmm....I'm also baffled.

37 posted on 11/18/2011 8:26:33 AM PST by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ("Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts." Richard Feynman father of Quantum Physics)
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To: ZX12R; concerned about politics
"What you seem to be talking about, is metaphysical and philisophical conjecture, not physics, or even science for that matter. Similar to your prayer question. It's not a matter for science. Not yet, anyway."

"Science is and must be exciting, since it relies on largely unspecifiable clues which can be sensed, mobilized and integrated only by a passionate response to their hidden meaning.... This is the unaccountable element which enters into science at its source and vitally participates throughout, even in its final result. In science this element has been called intuition." --Michael Polanyi, Scientist and Philosopher

"Polanyi ... most adequately expressed this idea of "lower intuition," so to speak, being critical to the evolution of scientific understanding and therefore progress into the great unKnown. It's not so much that the "intuition" is lower, only that science applies (and arbitrarily limits it) to a lower order of reality, i.e., the material/horizontal world.

"But to point out that the material world cannot be understood in the absence of intuition is to simultaneously affirm the obvious fact that the world is not material. "

".... reality itself is nothing but an intuition.


38 posted on 11/18/2011 8:30:33 AM PST by Matchett-PI ("One party will generally represent the envied, the other the envious. Guess which ones." ~GagdadBob)
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To: ZX12R; concerned about politics
Sorry, I meant to include the link in my previous post: HERE
39 posted on 11/18/2011 8:33:06 AM PST by Matchett-PI ("One party will generally represent the envied, the other the envious. Guess which ones." ~GagdadBob)
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To: ZX12R; concerned about politics
MORE:

"...a material object only really exists for a subject, existence being synonymous with "definition," or "boundaries." In other words, something cannot exist unless it is in some way separate and distinct from everything else. But only a subject can define, bound, and delineate. Again, until there is a subject, there is only a vast sea of quantum energy.

For example, try to imagine what the cosmos "looked like" prior to a living being seeing it. Obviously, it didn't look like anything. It's a purely meaningless exercise, because sight is a property of eyes and brains. Not only that, but everything depends upon perspective, and there were no perspectives prior to the emergence of life. There was only "everything at once" from "all possible perspectives," which is indistinct from nothing at all from no perspective (again since existence requires definition and boundaries). ..."

HERE

40 posted on 11/18/2011 8:39:43 AM PST by Matchett-PI ("One party will generally represent the envied, the other the envious. Guess which ones." ~GagdadBob)
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To: Matchett-PI

41 posted on 11/18/2011 8:45:35 AM PST by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ("Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts." Richard Feynman father of Quantum Physics)
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To: Lady Lucky

Waves on an oscilloscope go from side-to-side when the display is rotated 90 degrees. It’s a matter of display and perspective. Turn your head sideways and view the same wave.

Two waves of the same frequency superimposed, one rotated 90 degrees to the other, form a circle.


42 posted on 11/18/2011 9:02:47 AM PST by CPO retired
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To: concerned about politics

Good description of poltergeist activity. Describes “miracles” also. It does validate prayer too.


43 posted on 11/18/2011 9:04:35 AM PST by CPO retired
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To: ShadowAce

Symphony of Science!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZGINaRUEkU


44 posted on 11/18/2011 9:09:29 AM PST by PROTESTBYPROXY (The Silent Majority is roaring!!)
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To: Matchett-PI
But only a subject can define, bound, and delineate. Again, until there is a subject, there is only a vast sea of quantum energy.

Or, put another way

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters[waves?].

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.


45 posted on 11/18/2011 9:12:04 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
It says there is something real controlling real things ......at least at quantum levels....and not just mathematical and statistical abstractions mixed with quantum weirdness. Could be related to dark matter/energy or the Boggs Particle AKA The God Particle.

I remember something along the lines of what you are intimating in your post. It was an interview with John Bell about how could the necessary and (seemingly) faster than light communication between entangled particles could be explained or gotten around, he said,(and I'm going from memory) one way would be to assume that every event that is happening, or has ever happened in the history of the universe, from the sub atomic to the galactic, was and is superdetermined from the very beginning, and could not have happened any other way.

And I think it's called a Higgs particle, not a Boggs particle.
46 posted on 11/18/2011 9:15:44 AM PST by ZX12R (FUBO GTFO 2012 !)
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To: Matchett-PI
"But to point out that the material world cannot be understood in the absence of intuition is to simultaneously affirm the obvious fact that the world is not material. " ".... reality itself is nothing but an intuition.

Call me old fashion, but I believe that our moon is still there, even when no one is looking at it, and atomic behavior still takes place, in our absence of an observation.
47 posted on 11/18/2011 9:32:59 AM PST by ZX12R (FUBO GTFO 2012 !)
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To: ZX12R
"Call me old fashion, but I believe that our moon is still there, even when no one is looking at it, and atomic behavior still takes place, in our absence of an observation."

Creation Myths of the Tenured

48 posted on 11/18/2011 9:40:14 AM PST by Matchett-PI ("One party will generally represent the envied, the other the envious. Guess which ones." ~GagdadBob)
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To: Lady Lucky

I always wondered this about waves-

If two waves are traveling in such a way that they cancel each other out, then how is energy still transferred past the point where they cancel?

Would you have a perfectly flat spot in the ocean -where all waves cancel each other- suddenly a wave appears on the opposit end?


49 posted on 11/18/2011 9:41:20 AM PST by Mr. K (Physically unable to proofreed <--- oops, see?)
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To: ShadowAce

I never get bohred by arguments about quantum interpretations.


50 posted on 11/18/2011 9:47:21 AM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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