On 10/18/2013 12:42 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
But that's not compatible with Bruno's idea of eliminating the physical -
not unless he can solve the basis problem.
Could you do me a favor and explain what the basis problem is in a way that a 6th grader
could understand? I've found all kinds of things said on it, and they all seem to be
asking different things.
For physicists, it's part of the problem of explaining the emergence of the classical
world from the quantum world. Decoherence can diagonalize (approximately) a reduced
density matrix IN SOME BASIS. Being diagonal in one basis means it's superposition in
some other basis. So for physicists the problem is saying what privileges or picks out
the particular bases we see in experiments. Why do our instruments have needles that are
in eigen states of position, while some other things (e.g. atoms) are in eigen states of
energy or eigen states of momentum. For physicists there are some suggestive, but not
fully worked out answers to these questions, e.g. you get position eigenstates because the
interaction term of the Hamiltonian is a function of position. But those answers assume
the physics. If you want to reconstruct physics from experiences, you can't borrow the
physical explanation to say why your experiences are classical.
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