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A very Magey article

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  • A very Magey article

    http://www.theatlantic.com/science/a...eality/479559/

  • #2
    Everybody should read this, before the Technocratic Union has it pulled.


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    • #3
      If you're into this check out Sam Harris and his work

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      • #4
        I'll add the commentary that quantum phenomena observation is at its core the application of energy.

        Past that hey, welcome to the bases of solipsism.


        Check my Exalted homebrew!

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        • #5
          Ah shit...just as I was enjoying a pizza, shaking off the depression and nihilism, I had to stumble upon that article...

          My day is ruined...

          *looks at pizza, wondering what is the truth behind it...*

          *head hurts, instant feeling of gloom...*

          *looks at pizza once more*...well, the pizza's still good.

          *eats pizza*...ignorance is bliss.


          -

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          • #6
            It's an interesting article, but some of the physical science details are a bit flakey:
            On the other side are quantum physicists, marveling at the strange fact that quantum systems don’t seem to be definite objects localized in space until we come along to observe them. Experiment after experiment has shown—defying common sense—that if we assume that the particles that make up ordinary objects have an objective, observer-independent existence, we get the wrong answers. The central lesson of quantum physics is clear: There are no public objects sitting out there in some preexisting space.
            I think presenting it as if it is conscious observers alone that can cause quantum objects to report definitive locations is incorrect. Really any classical object that manages to directly interact with a quantum object will cause this.

            Also quantum mechanics does assume an independent pre-existing objective space (or spacetime for relativistic quantum theories).

            What's actually weird about quantum mechanics is that electrons, quarks, e.t.c. don't seem to possess positions or momenta, they simply randomly generate one when a classical object requires that information from them.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by An Fhuiseog View Post
              It's an interesting article, but some of the physical science details are a bit flakey:
              He's making Schrödinger's Cat sound literal, in the example you quoted. Which makes me want to scream at him for wording it like that, even if he probably did not intend it that way.

              The Schrödinger's Cat experiment is not supposed to literally mean that nothing exists in a proper state until some guy happens to walk along and looks at it. The 'Observer' is not human. The 'Observer' is not even necessarily a material thing.

              The experiment is supposed to show that, at this tiny, tiny scale where quantum physics happen, you cannot observe something without changing its state through the observation in turn. And by 'observing something' the experiment means toss any kind of energy at it. Be it something like radio waves, the feintest of pressure, or even something as weak and immaterial as light. because even those tiny amounts of energy change the state at the quantum level. You cannot observe a specific state you want to observe, because the energy needed for the observation changes the state to another, and you get something else back.

              And thus, the 'observation' and 'observer' of Schroedinger's Cat is any interaction between even the feintest energy and the quantum scale. The Superstate is the theoretical, unobservable state of the quantum level without anything interacting with it.
              Last edited by Ambrosia; 11-21-2016, 06:20 PM.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post

                He's making Schrödinger's Cat sound literal, in the example you quoted. Which makes me want to scream at him for wording it like that, even if he probably did not intend it that way.

                The Schrödinger's Cat experiment is not supposed to literally mean that nothing exists in a proper state until some guy happens to walk along and looks at it. The 'Observer' is not human. The 'Observer' is not even necessarily a material thing.

                The experiment is supposed to show that, at this tiny, tiny scale where quantum physics happen, you cannot observe something without changing its state through the observation in turn. And by 'observing something' the experiment means toss any kind of energy at it. Be it something like radio waves, the feintest of pressure, or even something as weak and immaterial as light. because even those tiny amounts of energy change the state at the quantum level. You cannot observe a specific state you want to observe, because the energy needed for the observation changes the state to another, and you get something else back.

                And thus, the 'observation' and 'observer' of Schroedinger's Cat is any interaction between even the feintest energy and the quantum scale. The Superstate is the theoretical, unobservable state of the quantum level without anything interacting with it.
                ^This. Admittedly I'm ignorant of Quantum Mechanics, but the way it was described to me is that measuring particles is kind of like trying to find the position of a tennis ball in the dark by throwing another tennis ball at it, and seeing how and where it comes back. By hitting the ball with another ball, though, you end up knocking it away, changing its position. Have I been misled?


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                  ^This. Admittedly I'm ignorant of Quantum Mechanics, but the way it was described to me is that measuring particles is kind of like trying to find the position of a tennis ball in the dark by throwing another tennis ball at it, and seeing how and where it comes back. By hitting the ball with another ball, though, you end up knocking it away, changing its position. Have I been misled?
                  Sort of (not to say I think the person purposefully misled you). What you describe is known as the observer effect, a type of experimental error. You slightly change the value of something by measuring it. Another example is how the temperature of a room is altered by the presence of a thermometer (thermometer might be colder than the average room temperature), so the temperature you measure isn't the original one.

                  What's going on in quantum mechanics is slightly different. It's not that subatomic particles have a position that we are disturbing when we try to measure it. Rather subatomic particles don't have positions at all. They only "generate/report" a position when a large object attempts to interacts with them.

                  This what leads to the bizarre behaviour of particles, such as quantum teleportation, where a particles seemingly jumps from one side of a solid barrier to another. However all the particle did was report a position on one side, then report a position on the other side, it didn't move at all. To subatomic particles position is just a value it needs to give to large classical objects, rather than being a property of itself.
                  Last edited by An Fhuiseog; 11-22-2016, 09:07 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by An Fhuiseog View Post
                    What's going on in quantum mechanics is slightly different. It's not that subatomic particles have a position that we are disturbing when we try to measure it. Rather subatomic particles don't have positions at all. They only "generate/report" a position when a large object attempts to interacts with them.
                    Pretty much. Imagine my table-flipping face when I discovered we knew how little energy we need to pour into a quantum phenomena to measure it without disturbing it...


                    And then we realized it was exactly the maximum energy we could use without producing anything measurable at all.

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