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Which Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by Leoreth, May 13, 2011.

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Which interpretation of Quantum Mechanics do you prefer?

  1. Copenhagen

    12 vote(s)
    36.4%
  2. Many Worlds

    7 vote(s)
    21.2%
  3. Hidden Variables

    5 vote(s)
    15.2%
  4. Don't Think, Calculate

    4 vote(s)
    12.1%
  5. Other (Please Specify)

    5 vote(s)
    15.2%
  1. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Copenhagen - Well, to be honest, it is the only interpretation of the given that is close of being a scientific theory a la Popper . But , and again IMHO it has a fatal flaw: the concept of observation. Observation requires a observer, that by definition has to be outside of the system. That ( don't flame on this ) is the functional equivalent of acepting that something out of the system we know as universe is needed to , using the Hawkins wording, to colapse the wave function of our Universe to our current state ... a real Deus ex machina :p


    Many Worlds - the lazy way out... if you can't decide which one you are in, why not take them all home ? :D Not saying that it is not a possibility, but , let's be honest, besides being a intelectual lazy way out of the debate, it is not testable .

    Hidden Variables - Another lazy way out, but this one is more honest. It resumes to think that you are not seeing the whole picture or simply only observing a special case ( say, like Newton physics is actually a special case of Einstein Relativity with low speeds and acelerations )

    Don't Think, Calculate - Well, this position reminds me what Aristotle said once about why the moon has phases and ecplises ( some years before other thinker had been executed because he had explained both of them by assuming that the Sun and the moon were actual physical bodies, so he was not in the mood of repeating the feat ) : the reason why the moon has phases and eclipses is because it is in it's nature to have phases and eclipses. In other words, it is not a explanation, not a interpretation ... it is simply ad hoc thinking ( it works so why bother ... )

    Well, I'm not entirely satisfied with any of them, but I would probably go with the hidden variables interpretation ... not necessarily by the no dice Einstein interpretation, but something from where the currently know QM is simply a special case.
     
  2. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    there's some wacky spin-offs of Many Worlds though. Many Minds.
     
  3. Terrapin

    Terrapin Prince

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    I went "Don't think, calculate." The reason here is that in QM, science may or may not be missing something. Certainly, the alternate theories all point at something as yet unobserved to explain quantum weirdness. Even Copenhagen is like this, except that rather than giving some name to unknown worlds or variables, it hides them behind open-ended terms like "observation" and "wave form collapse." Given the possibility that QM represents incomplete understanding, keeping an open mind is the best way to go. To adopt one explanation now may lead science away from rather than toward a better explanation. Continuing experiments and calculations leaves open all options for finding a better explanation for quantum behavior.
     
  4. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    I prefer to think of it as elegant.
     
  5. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    ...tempting to vote Other with the position being that whatever is said by journalists or mass media is almost always completely wrong.
     
  6. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    @punkbass: I doubt there's a universe in MWI where the copenhagen interpretation is true, so I'm quite happy saying "that's the kind of universe I want to live in" in the same spirit as the anthropic principle, i.e. without having to acknowledge there are other universes out there.

    Yeah, I agree with this again.
     
  7. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    Hidden (local) variables has been emipiraly proved not true by the EPR experiment several decades ago, I'm not sure why people still go on about it.

    You've also missed out some options in your poll, like the guide wave interpretation and other exotic ones which dont treat time normally.

    Personally, I stick with the copenhagen interpretation, although I do dislike the measurement postulate, as it seems somewhat arbitrary to say what is and isn't a measurement.
     
  8. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    IIRC Bell experiment and inequalities only discarted the local hidden variable theories. It is not easy to pull out one hidden variables theory that skips the Bell inequalities and that works, though ...
     
  9. punkbass2000

    punkbass2000 Des An artiste

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    But whether or not there's a universe in the MWI where Copenhagen is true is not relevant; there just needs to be one where you believe in it. ;)
     
  10. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    Loopholes in Bell test experiments
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    So Hidden Variables isn't absolutely out.



    And Where is Your Free Will, NOW?
    :)
    Superdeterminism
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  11. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    Many worlds is kind of forced upon us. Smaller bubble universes are already probably forming. Hell, we could be a breakaway universe for all we know.
     
  12. Terrapin

    Terrapin Prince

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    I change my vote. Now Copenhagen. Just read a really good blog post which brings these issues into focus. The blog is from Lubos Motl, a Czech physicist.
     
  13. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    The point that is a bit obscure in that article, is that individually all (serious) loopholes have been ruled out. So a hypothetical hidden variable process could not rely on the detection loophole alone to avoid detection as there is an experiment demonstrating that this is not possible.

    So such a hypothetical mechanism would have to use several loopholes at once, but be somehow undetectable when one of these loopholes is closed. The assumptions one would have to make for this to work are quite absurd, so except for some crackpots no one seriously believes that local hidden variables could be true because of these loopholes.

    But despite that there is still some interest in doing Bell tests devoid of any loopholes (even if it is just to shut up the doubters - not that it will work) and there are people actively trying to do it right now. I believe that there will be a loophole-free Bell test in the next 10 years. (And there is even a small danger I have to do it one day :lol:)
     
  14. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    Except none of that is the definition or a consequence of many-worlds. At all.

    edit - to be more specific since that may sound a little blunt, what you've referred to is alternate hypotheses about the Big Bang and cosmology. Not what the many-worlds interpretation means in quantum mechanics.
     
  15. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    I know, but even in many-worlds interpretation its possible for universes to form. Which leads to even more universes. Boxes within boxes. Yawn.
     
  16. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Hey, calm down your horses ...

    You are right ... if you want to discard theories with local hidden variables . Bell inequalities AFAIK do not exclude global hidden variables ...

    That has nothing to do with loopholes and possible issues with detection ...
     
  17. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    Indeed they do not, but these are addressed by the Leggett inequalities. Those are not as well tested as the Bell inequalities, but there is at least one experiment showing the violation of these inequalities by quantum mechanics. Of course there are loopholes again, but any hidden variables theory becomes increasingly hard to align with the evidence.
     
  18. deanej

    deanej Deity

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    Copenhagen is very good if you want a mathematical model. Which is all Physicists really want. But it's far from adequate if one wants to actually explain what's going on.
     
  19. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Yup, IMHO Copenhagen interepestation in terms of actual theoretical backing is pretty much some working over Schrödinger equation ( that by it self is already a nasty looking composite with some loose ends ) and then "God" ( or whatever out-of-this-universe entity you want ) takes the seat of observer and colapses the wave function into our world. It might work but it is not a pint more sofisticated than Newtonian-flavored primal movement theories that were the rage in the XVIII century .
     
  20. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    You are essentially claiming that your strawman version of the Copenhagen interpretation is not sophisticated enough :crazyeye:

    It cannot be just the Schrödinger equation, as that equation is not even fully quantized. It is not possible to describe full quantum physics with the Schrödinger equation. And any. modern formulation of the Copenhagen interpretation cannot ignore decoherence.
     

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