# Re: Superposition Misinterpreted

```
On Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 9:53:29 PM UTC-6, Brent wrote:
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>
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> On 10/10/2019 6:55 PM, Alan Grayson wrote:
>
>
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> On Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 3:37:13 PM UTC-6, Alan Grayson wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> On Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 3:27:58 PM UTC-6, Brent wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 10/10/2019 8:02 AM, Alan Grayson wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 4:21:50 PM UTC-6, Brent wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On 10/9/2019 3:52 AM, Alan Grayson wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 12:28:38 AM UTC-6, Brent wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On 10/8/2019 9:20 PM, Alan Grayson wrote:
>>>>> > I've argued this before, but it's worth stating again. It's a
>>>>> > misintepretation of superposition to claim that a system described
>>>>> by
>>>>> > it, is in all the component states simultaneously. As is easily seen
>>>>> > in ordinary vector space, an arbitrary vector has an uncountable
>>>>> > number of different representations. Thus, to claim it is in some
>>>>> > specific set of component states simultaneously, makes no sense.
>>>>> Thus
>>>>> > evaporates a key "mystery" of quantum theory, inclusive of S's cat
>>>>> and
>>>>> > Everett's many worlds. AG
>>>>>
>>>>> No.  It changes the problem to the question of why there are preferred
>>>>> bases.
>>>>>
>>>>> Brent
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Who chose Alive and Dead, or Awake and Sleeping for the S. cat? Wasn't
>>>> it the observer?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> basis?
>>>>
>>>> Brent
>>>>
>>>
>>> *That's a great question and the answer is No, because, as you would
>>> say, the pair (|Alive>, |Dead>), forms a "preferred" basis. We can only
>>> measure Alive or Dead. However, the other pair you have above is a
>>> perfectly valid state of the S cat system, a vector in the Hilbert Space of
>>> the system, and presumably there is an uncountable set of other valid
>>> states in Hilbert Space. This means that the interpretation of a
>>> superposition of the first pair is just as valid as the interpretation of
>>> any other pair; namely, that the system is in both components
>>> simultanously. But this is obvious nonsense given the plethora of valid
>>> bases, so the interpretation fails. THIS is my point. Am I mistaken? AG*
>>>
>>>
>>> The way I read what you posted above is that it would "make no sense" to
>>> say a ship on a heading of 345deg is simultaneously moving on a 270deg and
>>> 90deg heading.  I think that does make sense.   The interesting question is
>>> could it be moving on some other heading?  The answer might be no, it's in
>>> the Panama Canal.  In other words there may be something else in physics
>>> that determines  perferred basis, even thought he bare Schrodinger equation
>>> doesn't seem to.
>>>
>>> brent
>>>
>>
>> No, not what I meant. Rather, a ship with a heading of 345 deg, could be
>> represented as moving on a 270deg and 90deg heading, *as well as an
>> uncountable combination of other headings.*  I think this fundamental
>> misinterpretation of superposition of states leads to the MWI and a host of
>> other "mysteries" alleged in QM. AG
>>
>
> IOW, you can think of the wf representing a heading of 345deg, and since
> the basis in Hilbert Space is *not* unique, you can imagine that very
> *same* wf composed of *different* components. Thus, if it's claimed that
> one set of basis components simultaneously represents the wf, one can also
> find another, *different* set of basis components to simultaneously
> represent the wf. It therefore makes no sense to claim that any set of
> basis components simultaneously represents the wf. Specifically, the
> quantum claim that a system can be in several component states
> simultaneously, is bogus, since the components are *not unique*. AG
>
>
> But my example of the ship shows that it's a commonplace that a vector can
> be represented as a sum of components in infinitely many ways...it's a
> trivial result of being a vector space.  It's just your prejudice that
> there has to be a unique "really, really real" representation.
>
> Brent
>```
```
I have no prejudice. I do *not* insist on a unique representation; nor do I
believe that. Rather, I am saying that SINCE there is no unique
representation, it's a fallacy to take, say one representation, and assert
that the components in one representation, simultaneously represent the wf.
So, for example, in the case of S's cat, it's a fallacy to assert that the
cat is simultanously Alive and Dead. It's the lack of recognition of the
NON-UNIQUENESS that is responsible for the misinterpretation of the
superposition and many (not all) alleged weird interpretations of QM. AG

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