On 12/9/2012 5:03 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
On 12/9/2012 4:37 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 5:40 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
On 12/9/2012 12:08 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
And without a doubt the most popular interpretation of Quantum
among working physicists is SUAC (Shut Up And Calculate),
That's not an interpretation at all.
Well for a more philosophical statement of it see Omnes. His view is
you can explain the diagonalization of the the density matrix (either by
eigenselection, dechoherence, or just assumed per Bohr) then you have
probabilities. QM is a probabilistic theory - so predicting
all you can ask of it.
Is science just about its applications or about understanding the world? I
argue that science would not progress so far as it has if we thought
equation was the be all and end all of science. The "shut up and calculate"
mindset can be translated as "don't ask embarrassing questions", it is the
antithesis of scientific thinking.
Student in the 1500s: Does the earth move about the sun, or do the planets
appear to move as if earth moved about the sun?
Professor in the 1500s: We have all the formulas for predicting planetary
so shut up and calculate!
Fortunately, Copernicus wasn't satisfied with that answer.
So what's your objection to Omnes? That the world just can't be
instead there must be infinitely many inaccessible worlds - which happen to
It is fine if QM is a probabilistic theory. Where I disagree with him is in his belief
that we can never go beyond that in our understanding of it. I am not sure how accurate
this statement is, since it is a secondary source, but
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Omn%C3%A8s says: "We will never, Omnès believes,
find a common sense interpretation of quantum law itself." To me, it almost seems as if
he says it is not worth trying to find an answer.
Suppose he'd said in 1400CE, "We will never find a common sense interpretation of the
sphericity of the Earth." He'd have been right; we didn't, instead we changed 'common sense'.
I lean more towards David Deutsch who says science is about finding good
But why isn't "It's a probabilistic world and it obeys the Born rule." a good
explanation. I'm all for finding a better explanation, i.e. a deterministic one. But
simply postulating an ensemble of worlds to make the probabilities "deterministic" in
arbitrary way doesn't strike me as any improvement.
"As to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say,
men on the opposite side of the earth where the sun rises
when it sets to us, men who walk with their feet opposite
ours, that is on no ground credible. Even if some unknown
landmass is there, and not just ocean, "there was only one
pair of original ancestors, and it is inconceivable that
such distant regions should have been peopled by Adam's
--- St. Augustine
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