Re: [Fis] Fw: Responses

2014-01-22 Thread Loet Leydesdorff
Dear colleagues, 

This discussion and reading the beautiful book of Bob Logan entitled What
is information? (shortly forthcoming) made me go back to reading MacKay
(1969) once more. I cannot find the distinction that makes a difference as
it is quoted by Floridi (2005) -- and thereafter repeated by many -- so that
I think that the honour goes to Bateson (1973) for a difference which makes
a difference. MacKay, however, makes the point, for example, on p. 136 that
the sentence S is a source of information is incomplete. It must always
be completed (even if sometimes implicitly) in the form 'S is a source of
information to receiver R'. Two sentences later he calls this significant
information that must be capable of embodying and abiding by an agreed
code or symbolic calculus.

Elsewhere, he distinguishes this substantive concept of information from
amounts of information that can be measured using (Shannon's) information
theory. It seems to me that any discourse (physics, biology, psychology,
sociology, etc.) can be further informed specifically in terms that are
defined within and relevant to the specific discourse. This accords with the
intuitive sense of information as meaningful information: meaningful for a
discourse.

Shannon's definition of information is counter-intuitive, but it provides us
with a calculus that has major advantages. Katherine Hayles suggested that
the two concepts can be compared with the discussion of whether a glass is
half-full or half-empty. A Chinese colleague (Wu Yishan) once told me that
in Chinese one has two words: sjin sji and tsin bao which correspond
respectively to Shannon's and Bateson's definitions of information.

A substantive definition of information (e.g., as a distinction that makes a
difference for a receiver) requires the specification of the concept in a
theory about the receiving system. This definition is therefore a priori
system-specific; for example, for some of us this system is physics; for
others it is biological discourse. At this level, one can again abstract
from the substance and use Shannon's IT as entropy statistics. Sometimes,
this allows us to explore the use of algorithms developed in one field
(e.g., biology) in another (e.g., sociology). Concepts such as autopoiesis
or auto-catalysis have carried these functions.

For example, in the context of Ascendency Theory, Bob Ulanowicz showed how
one can use the mutual information in three dimensions as an indicator of
systemness. I use that as a systems indicator when operationalizing the
triple helix of university-industry-government relations. Such translations
of metaphors are always in need of further elaboration because the
theoretical context changes and thus the specification of what the
information means. However, the advantage to be able to measure in bits
(nats or dits) frees us from the philosophical confusion about what
information is. 

In my opinion, information can only be defined within a discourse. The
mathematical definition of Shannon has specific functions which enable us to
combine with different discourses (among which, specifically physics since S
= k(B)*H). H, however, is dimensionless and defined as the expected
information content of a message *before* it is received. It is yet to be
provided with meaning. One could consider this meaninglesness as the
specific difference of a mathematical concept of information. (Perhaps, it
is easier to use uncertainty for this mathematical concept.)

Best wishes,
Loet

-Original Message-
From: fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es [mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] On
Behalf Of Robert E. Ulanowicz
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 8:45 PM
To: Christophe
Cc: fis@listas.unizar.es
Subject: Re: [Fis] Fw: Responses


 The reason of being of information, whatever its content or quantity, 
 is to be used by an agent (biological or artificial).

Dear Christophe,

In making this restriction you are limiting the domain of information to
communication and excluding all information that inheres in structure
per-se. John Collier has called the latter manifestation enformation, and
the calculus of IT is quite effective in quantifying its extent.
Perhaps John would like to comment?

Cheers,
Bob U.


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Re: [Fis] Fw: Responses

2014-01-22 Thread John Collier


At 09:45 PM 2014-01-21, Robert E. Ulanowicz wrote:
 The reason of being of
information, whatever its content or quantity, is
 to be used by an agent (biological or artificial).
Dear Christophe,
In making this restriction you are limiting the domain of information
to
communication and excluding all information that inheres in
structure
per-se. John Collier has called the latter manifestation
enformation,
and the calculus of IT is quite effective in quantifying its extent.
Perhaps John would like to comment?
I developed this concept in order to reply to Jeff Wicken's complaint
that Brooks and Wiley did not distinguish properly between the complement
of entropy and structural information, but I used it in print to discuss,
in the context of cognitive science and especially John Perry's use of
information (see Barwise and Perry Situations and Attitudes and
his What is information?, as well as Dretske's book on information and
perception) what the world must be like in order to make sense of
information coming from the world into our brains. The article can be
found at
Intrinsic
Information (1990) In P. P. Hanson (ed) Information, Language and
Cognition: Vancouver Studies in Cognitive Science, Vol. 1 (originally
University of British Columbia Press, now Oxford University Press, 1990):
390-409. Details about information are there, but the gist of it is that
can be measured, is unique, and depends on time scale to distinguish it
from informational entropy in information systems. The uniqueness
hypothesis was developed very carefully in my former student, Scott
Muller's PhD thesis, published as Asymmetry: The Foundation of
Information (The Frontiers Collection) by Springer in 2007.
I am rather busy now at a conference, or else I would say more
here.
John




Professor John
Collier
colli...@ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South
Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292 F:
+27 (31) 260 3031

Http://web.ncf.ca/collier



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Re: [Fis] Fw: Responses

2014-01-22 Thread Christophe
Dear Bob U,
If your are talking about resident information, as available for usage, I take 
it as being part of information that can be used by the agent.
Let me go through John's paper (thanks John). 
Best
Christophe
 
 Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:45:15 -0500
 Subject: Re: [Fis] Fw:  Responses
 From: u...@umces.edu
 To: christophe.men...@hotmail.fr
 CC: lo...@physics.utoronto.ca; fis@listas.unizar.es
 
 
  The reason of being of information, whatever its content or quantity, is
  to be used by an agent (biological or artificial).
 
 Dear Christophe,
 
 In making this restriction you are limiting the domain of information to
 communication and excluding all information that inheres in structure
 per-se. John Collier has called the latter manifestation enformation,
 and the calculus of IT is quite effective in quantifying its extent.
 Perhaps John would like to comment?
 
 Cheers,
 Bob U.
 
 
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Re: [Fis] Probability Amplitudes

2014-01-22 Thread Andrei Khrennikov
   Dear Hans,

I would like just to point that 99,99% of people working 
in quantum theory would say that the complex amplitude of 
quantum probability is the main its intrinsic property, so 
if you try to exclude amplitudes from the model
you can in principle do this and this is well known 
long ago in so called quantum tomographic approach of Vladimir 
Manko, but in this way quantum theory loses its simplicity and 
clarity, yours, andrei

Andrei Khrennikov, Professor of Applied Mathematics,
International Center for Mathematical Modeling
in Physics, Engineering, Economics, and Cognitive Science
Linnaeus University, Växjö-Kalmar, Sweden

From: fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es [fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] on behalf of 
Hans von Baeyer [henrikrit...@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 12:21 AM
To: fis@listas.unizar.es
Subject: [Fis] Probability Amplitudes

Dear Dino and friends, thanks for bringing up the issue of probability 
amplitudes.  Since they are technical tools of physics, and since I didn't want 
to go too far afield, I did not mention them in my lecture.  The closest I came 
was the wavefunction, which, indeed, is a probability amplitude.  In order to 
make contact with real, measurable quantities, it must be multiplied by its 
complex conjugate. This recipe is called the Born rule, and it is an ad hoc 
addition to the quantum theory. It lacks any motivation except that it works.

In keeping with Einstein's advice (which he himself often flouted) to try to 
keep unmeasurable concepts out of our description of nature, physicists have 
realized long ago that it must be possible to recast quantum mechanics entirely 
in terms of probabilities, not even mentioning probability amplitudes or 
wavefunctions. The question is only: How complicated would the resulting 
formalism be?  (To make a weak analogy, it must be possible to recast 
arithmetic in the language of Roman numerals, but the result would surely look 
much messier than what we learn in grade school.)  Hitherto, nobody had come up 
with an elegant solution to this problem.

To their happy surprise, QBists have made  progress toward a quantum theory 
without probability amplitudes.  Of course they have to pay a price.  Instead 
of unmeasurable concepts they introduce, for any experiment, a very special 
set of standard probabilities (NOT AMPLITUDES) which are measurable, but not 
actually measured.  When they re-write the Born rule in terms of these, they 
find that it looks almost, but not quite, like a fundamental axiom of 
probability theory called Unitarity.  Unitarity decrees that for any experiment 
the sum of the probabilities for all possible outcomes must be one. (For a 
coin, the probabilities of heads and tails are both 1/2.  Unitarity states 1/2 
+ 1/2 = 1.)

This unexpected outcome of QBism suggests a deep connection between the Born 
rule and Unitarity. Since Unitarity is a logical concept unrelated to quantum 
phenomena, this gives QBists the hope that they will eventually succeed in 
explaining the significacne of the Born rule, and banishing probability 
amplitudes from quantum mechanics, leaving only (Bayesian) probabilities.

So, I'm afraid dear Dino, that the current attitude of QBists is that 
probability amplitudes are LESS fundamental than probabilities, not MORE.  But 
the story is far from finished!

Hans



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Re: [Fis] Probability Amplitudes

2014-01-22 Thread Andrei Khrennikov
  Dear Joseph,
you are going toward quantum probability theory where 
probabilities are determined by vectors; moreover, the vectors
belong to complex Hilbert space, i.e., roughly speaking each probability
has not only the direction but even the phase, andrei

Andrei Khrennikov, Professor of Applied Mathematics,
International Center for Mathematical Modeling
in Physics, Engineering, Economics, and Cognitive Science
Linnaeus University, Växjö-Kalmar, Sweden

From: fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es [fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] on behalf of 
Joseph Brenner [joe.bren...@bluewin.ch]
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 8:54 AM
To: Dino Buzzetti; Hans von Baeyer; fis
Subject: Re: [Fis] Probability Amplitudes

Dear Hans and Dino,

This is a direct question to both of you, to which I have not found a clear 
answer: are value and amplitude the only parameters that have been assigned to 
probability?

In my theory, the changing value of actuality and potentiality of specific 
antagonistic process elements are probability-like in not including 0 and 1, as 
I have said. Can, in addition, probabilities have some vector-like properties, 
that is, include a /direction/?

This concept would be moving toward (and past) Dino and away from Hans . . .

Your comments and those of others would be welcome.

Best wishes,

Joseph
- Original Message -
From: Dino Buzzettimailto:dino.buzze...@gmail.com
To: Hans von Baeyermailto:henrikrit...@gmail.com ; 
fismailto:fis@listas.unizar.es
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 3:53 AM
Subject: Re: [Fis] Probability Amplitudes

Dear Hans,

Thank you for your explanation about probability amplitudes,
that clarifies a lot.  My only worry was about the *epistemological*
implications of quantum mechanics in its standard formulation,
that in my opinion point to a paradigm shift, which is felt not only
in this domain, but in all fields where *emergent* phenomena are
accounted for—a process that I thought was hinted to by Wheeler's
famous words It from Bit, that I remember reading for the first
time precisely in your book on information.  That's the ground for
expressing my worry that reverting to classical probability theory
might entail a drawback to this decisive epistemological turn.

But I might misunderstand the whole story, that is certainly not
over yet  :-)  -dino



On 22 January 2014 00:21, Hans von Baeyer 
henrikrit...@gmail.commailto:henrikrit...@gmail.com wrote:
Dear Dino and friends, thanks for bringing up the issue of probability 
amplitudes.  Since they are technical tools of physics, and since I didn't want 
to go too far afield, I did not mention them in my lecture.  The closest I came 
was the wavefunction, which, indeed, is a probability amplitude.  In order to 
make contact with real, measurable quantities, it must be multiplied by its 
complex conjugate. This recipe is called the Born rule, and it is an ad hoc 
addition to the quantum theory. It lacks any motivation except that it works.

In keeping with Einstein's advice (which he himself often flouted) to try to 
keep unmeasurable concepts out of our description of nature, physicists have 
realized long ago that it must be possible to recast quantum mechanics entirely 
in terms of probabilities, not even mentioning probability amplitudes or 
wavefunctions. The question is only: How complicated would the resulting 
formalism be?  (To make a weak analogy, it must be possible to recast 
arithmetic in the language of Roman numerals, but the result would surely look 
much messier than what we learn in grade school.)  Hitherto, nobody had come up 
with an elegant solution to this problem.

To their happy surprise, QBists have made  progress toward a quantum theory 
without probability amplitudes.  Of course they have to pay a price.  Instead 
of unmeasurable concepts they introduce, for any experiment, a very special 
set of standard probabilities (NOT AMPLITUDES) which are measurable, but not 
actually measured.  When they re-write the Born rule in terms of these, they 
find that it looks almost, but not quite, like a fundamental axiom of 
probability theory called Unitarity.  Unitarity decrees that for any experiment 
the sum of the probabilities for all possible outcomes must be one. (For a 
coin, the probabilities of heads and tails are both 1/2.  Unitarity states 1/2 
+ 1/2 = 1.)

This unexpected outcome of QBism suggests a deep connection between the Born 
rule and Unitarity. Since Unitarity is a logical concept unrelated to quantum 
phenomena, this gives QBists the hope that they will eventually succeed in 
explaining the significacne of the Born rule, and banishing probability 
amplitudes from quantum mechanics, leaving only (Bayesian) probabilities.

So, I'm afraid dear Dino, that the current attitude of QBists is that 
probability amplitudes are LESS fundamental than probabilities, not MORE.  But 
the story is far from finished!

Hans




[Fis] TWO MESSAGES PER WEEK

2014-01-22 Thread Pedro C. Marijuan
ONLY TWO MESSAGES PER WEEK ARE ALLOWED IN THE FIS LIST

-- 
-
Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta X
50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 ( 6818)
pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es
http://sites.google.com/site/pedrocmarijuan/
-

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Re: [Fis] Probability Amplitudes

2014-01-22 Thread Lars-Göran Johansson
 Dear Andrei, Hans and all
I agree with Andrei. And why make quantum theory more complex than it is? One 
may use all  kinds of mathematical tools in a scientific theory, and the more 
these tools simplify calculations the better. I see no reason to avoid using 
amplitudes or  matrices in quantum theory. Using a mathematical concept for 
making calculations doesn't entail that I accept that that concept represent a 
physical property.

To Hans: Where exactly did Einstein wrote that one should avoid unmeasurable 
concepts in the description of Nature? I can't remember having read that.

The issue is how we should interpret quantum theory, in particular the wave 
function, i.e., probability amplitudes; are they just mathematical tools, or do 
they describe real physical features of quantum systems? I believe the latter 
alternative is true and so did Schrödinger. But there are formidable 
difficulties to give a realistic interpretation of wave functions, and 
Schrödinger didn't succeed. But I think the difficulties can be overcome and I 
have published my views about these things (Lars-Göran Johansson: Interpreting 
Quantum Mechanics. A realist view in Schrödinger's vein, Ashgate, Aldershot 
2007).
Lars-Göran

22 jan 2014 kl. 10:59 skrev Andrei Khrennikov 
andrei.khrenni...@lnu.semailto:andrei.khrenni...@lnu.se:

  Dear Hans,

I would like just to point that 99,99% of people working
in quantum theory would say that the complex amplitude of
quantum probability is the main its intrinsic property, so
if you try to exclude amplitudes from the model
you can in principle do this and this is well known
long ago in so called quantum tomographic approach of Vladimir
Manko, but in this way quantum theory loses its simplicity and
clarity, yours, andrei

Andrei Khrennikov, Professor of Applied Mathematics,
International Center for Mathematical Modeling
in Physics, Engineering, Economics, and Cognitive Science
Linnaeus University, Växjö-Kalmar, Sweden

From: fis-boun...@listas.unizar.esmailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es 
[fis-boun...@listas.unizar.esmailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] on behalf 
of Hans von Baeyer [henrikrit...@gmail.commailto:henrikrit...@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 12:21 AM
To: fis@listas.unizar.esmailto:fis@listas.unizar.es
Subject: [Fis] Probability Amplitudes

Dear Dino and friends, thanks for bringing up the issue of probability 
amplitudes.  Since they are technical tools of physics, and since I didn't want 
to go too far afield, I did not mention them in my lecture.  The closest I came 
was the wavefunction, which, indeed, is a probability amplitude.  In order to 
make contact with real, measurable quantities, it must be multiplied by its 
complex conjugate. This recipe is called the Born rule, and it is an ad hoc 
addition to the quantum theory. It lacks any motivation except that it works.

In keeping with Einstein's advice (which he himself often flouted) to try to 
keep unmeasurable concepts out of our description of nature, physicists have 
realized long ago that it must be possible to recast quantum mechanics entirely 
in terms of probabilities, not even mentioning probability amplitudes or 
wavefunctions. The question is only: How complicated would the resulting 
formalism be?  (To make a weak analogy, it must be possible to recast 
arithmetic in the language of Roman numerals, but the result would surely look 
much messier than what we learn in grade school.)  Hitherto, nobody had come up 
with an elegant solution to this problem.

To their happy surprise, QBists have made  progress toward a quantum theory 
without probability amplitudes.  Of course they have to pay a price.  Instead 
of unmeasurable concepts they introduce, for any experiment, a very special 
set of standard probabilities (NOT AMPLITUDES) which are measurable, but not 
actually measured.  When they re-write the Born rule in terms of these, they 
find that it looks almost, but not quite, like a fundamental axiom of 
probability theory called Unitarity.  Unitarity decrees that for any experiment 
the sum of the probabilities for all possible outcomes must be one. (For a 
coin, the probabilities of heads and tails are both 1/2.  Unitarity states 1/2 
+ 1/2 = 1.)

This unexpected outcome of QBism suggests a deep connection between the Born 
rule and Unitarity. Since Unitarity is a logical concept unrelated to quantum 
phenomena, this gives QBists the hope that they will eventually succeed in 
explaining the significacne of the Born rule, and banishing probability 
amplitudes from quantum mechanics, leaving only (Bayesian) probabilities.

So, I'm afraid dear Dino, that the current attitude of QBists is that 
probability amplitudes are LESS fundamental than probabilities, not MORE.  But 
the story is far from finished!

Hans



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[Fis] Frequentists, Bayesians and Jaynesians - assumptions and consequentces

2014-01-22 Thread Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic
Dear colleagues,

Encouraged by your recent exchanges, which show that the topic of Hans' New 
Year Lecture is
far from exhausted, I would like to think a bit more on the fundamental change
from Frequentist to Bayesian statistics. Hans writes:

“On the one hand each individual agent assembles the totality of her experiences
(experimenting, reading, talking, calculating...) into a web of probability
assignments that is as coherent and comprehensive as possible. That's the easy
part, and, as usual, physicists have picked it as their domain. But the hard
part is the effort of agents to correlate their private experiences -- i.e. to
communicate with each other in order to develop a common scientific worldview.
Agent A's description of an experience serves as input for updating B's personal
probability assignments via Bayes' law. And this is done through language as
well as math.” (Hans mail from Saturday, January 18, 2014 6:47 PM)

Reading the above I conclude that QBist change of perspective is not only 
relevant for quantum
physics, or physics in general. It is relevant for all sciences based on 
observations and experiments.
And indeed, among others, brain researchers are using Bayesian statistics.
However, there are brain researchers arguing for the necessity of going beyond 
Bayes:

http://www.mdpi.com/2078-2489/3/2/175 Beyond Bayes: On the Need for a Unified 
and Jaynesian
Definition of Probability and Information within Neuroscience by Christopher D. 
Fiorillo

Are there any comments to this claim?
Would Jaynesian statistics make a difference for Qbism?
I would like to learn more.

With best wishes,
Gordana




http://www.mrtc.mdh.se/~gdc/http://www.mrtc.mdh.se/%7Egdc/


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[Fis] Probability Amplitudes in Macroscopic Processes

2014-01-22 Thread Joseph Brenner
Dear Lars-Göran, Andrei and Hans,

As you (I hope) have seen, I am trying to see how the evolution of macroscopic 
processes can be described in terms of changing probabilities, and I am 
encouraged to believe this is possible. If you allow the extension from QM, all 
of the following would seem to allow this 
(I am not concerned about whether QM itself becomes more or less complex):

1. Andrei confirms that the probability (in LIR, degree of potentiality or 
actuality) of a phenomenon can have a direction.
2. Lars-Göran says that probability amplitudes can represent real physical 
features. 
3. Even though /a contrario/, Hans wrote:

In order to make contact with real, measurable quantities, it (the probability 
amplitude) must be multiplied by its complex conjugate. This recipe is called 
the Born rule, and it is an ad hoc addition to the quantum theory. It lacks any 
motivation except that it works.

In my Logic in Reality, since there is a reciprocal relation between actuality 
and potentiality, each should be the complex conjugate of the other. I have no 
problem in the two summing to 1 if the values of 0 or 1 are excluded for either 
of them. This non-quantum aspect of reality could provide the missing 
motivation for the recipe in quantum theory ;-) 

I am certainly looking for a measurable (or estimatable) quantity of the 
actuality and potentiality of interactive processes that is not a standard 
probability of outcomes, but of changing macroscopic states. This is of course 
an 'underdeveloped' concept, but I am encouraged to believe that this idea of 
another set of very special probabilities is neither totally wrong nor 
totally trivial. 

Many thanks,

Joseph

- Original Message - 
From: Lars-Göran Johansson 
To: fis@listas.unizar.es 
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 12:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Fis] Probability Amplitudes


 Dear Andrei, Hans and all 
I agree with Andrei. And why make quantum theory more complex than it is? One 
may use all  kinds of mathematical tools in a scientific theory, and the more 
these tools simplify calculations the better. I see no reason to avoid using 
amplitudes or  matrices in quantum theory. Using a mathematical concept for 
making calculations doesn't entail that I accept that that concept represent a 
physical property. 


To Hans: Where exactly did Einstein wrote that one should avoid unmeasurable 
concepts in the description of Nature? I can't remember having read that.


The issue is how we should interpret quantum theory, in particular the wave 
function, i.e., probability amplitudes; are they just mathematical tools, or do 
they describe real physical features of quantum systems? I believe the latter 
alternative is true and so did Schrödinger. But there are formidable 
difficulties to give a realistic interpretation of wave functions, and 
Schrödinger didn't succeed. But I think the difficulties can be overcome and I 
have published my views about these things (Lars-Göran Johansson: Interpreting 
Quantum Mechanics. A realist view in Schrödinger's vein, Ashgate, Aldershot 
2007).
Lars-Göran


22 jan 2014 kl. 10:59 skrev Andrei Khrennikov andrei.khrenni...@lnu.se:


Dear Hans,

  I would like just to point that 99,99% of people working 
  in quantum theory would say that the complex amplitude of 
  quantum probability is the main its intrinsic property, so 
  if you try to exclude amplitudes from the model
  you can in principle do this and this is well known 
  long ago in so called quantum tomographic approach of Vladimir 
  Manko, but in this way quantum theory loses its simplicity and 
  clarity, yours, andrei

  Andrei Khrennikov, Professor of Applied Mathematics,
  International Center for Mathematical Modeling
  in Physics, Engineering, Economics, and Cognitive Science
  Linnaeus University, Växjö-Kalmar, Sweden
  
  From: fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es [fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] on behalf 
of Hans von Baeyer [henrikrit...@gmail.com]
  Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 12:21 AM
  To: fis@listas.unizar.es
  Subject: [Fis] Probability Amplitudes

  Dear Dino and friends, thanks for bringing up the issue of probability 
amplitudes.  Since they are technical tools of physics, and since I didn't want 
to go too far afield, I did not mention them in my lecture.  The closest I came 
was the wavefunction, which, indeed, is a probability amplitude.  In order to 
make contact with real, measurable quantities, it must be multiplied by its 
complex conjugate. This recipe is called the Born rule, and it is an ad hoc 
addition to the quantum theory. It lacks any motivation except that it works.

  In keeping with Einstein's advice (which he himself often flouted) to try to 
keep unmeasurable concepts out of our description of nature, physicists have 
realized long ago that it must be possible to recast quantum mechanics entirely 
in terms of probabilities, not even mentioning probability amplitudes or 

Re: [Fis] Probability Amplitudes in Macroscopic Processes

2014-01-22 Thread Lars-Göran Johansson
Let me clarify one point: by saying that probability amplitudes represent real 
physical features I reject the instrumentalist idea that they are mere 
calculational devices. But of course, the probability amplitude is no 
observable. But there is no need to claim that only observables have any 
physical significance.
Robert Chen has, in a couple of papers argued that the square of real part of 
the wave function could be interpreted as the system's kinetic energy, whereas 
the square of the imaginary part represents the potential energy of the system. 
It is as far as I can see a possible and reasonable interpretation.
Lars-Göran


22 jan 2014 kl. 15:14 skrev Joseph Brenner 
joe.bren...@bluewin.chmailto:joe.bren...@bluewin.ch:

Dear Lars-Göran, Andrei and Hans,

As you (I hope) have seen, I am trying to see how the evolution of macroscopic 
processes can be described in terms of changing probabilities, and I am 
encouraged to believe this is possible. If you allow the extension from QM, all 
of the following would seem to allow this
(I am not concerned about whether QM itself becomes more or less complex):

1. Andrei confirms that the probability (in LIR, degree of potentiality or 
actuality) of a phenomenon can have a direction.
2. Lars-Göran says that probability amplitudes can represent real physical 
features.
3. Even though /a contrario/, Hans wrote:

In order to make contact with real, measurable quantities, it (the probability 
amplitude) must be multiplied by its complex conjugate. This recipe is called 
the Born rule, and it is an ad hoc addition to the quantum theory. It lacks any 
motivation except that it works.
In my Logic in Reality, since there is a reciprocal relation between actuality 
and potentiality, each should be the complex conjugate of the other. I have no 
problem in the two summing to 1 if the values of 0 or 1 are excluded for either 
of them. This non-quantum aspect of reality could provide the missing 
motivation for the recipe in quantum theory ;-)

I am certainly looking for a measurable (or estimatable) quantity of the 
actuality and potentiality of interactive processes that is not a standard 
probability of outcomes, but of changing macroscopic states. This is of course 
an 'underdeveloped' concept, but I am encouraged to believe that this idea of 
another set of very special probabilities is neither totally wrong nor 
totally trivial.

Many thanks,

Joseph

- Original Message -
From: Lars-Göran Johanssonmailto:lars-goran.johans...@filosofi.uu.se
To: fis@listas.unizar.esmailto:fis@listas.unizar.es
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 12:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Fis] Probability Amplitudes

 Dear Andrei, Hans and all
I agree with Andrei. And why make quantum theory more complex than it is? One 
may use all  kinds of mathematical tools in a scientific theory, and the more 
these tools simplify calculations the better. I see no reason to avoid using 
amplitudes or  matrices in quantum theory. Using a mathematical concept for 
making calculations doesn't entail that I accept that that concept represent a 
physical property.

To Hans: Where exactly did Einstein wrote that one should avoid unmeasurable 
concepts in the description of Nature? I can't remember having read that.

The issue is how we should interpret quantum theory, in particular the wave 
function, i.e., probability amplitudes; are they just mathematical tools, or do 
 they describe real physical features of quantum systems? I believe the latter 
alternative is true and so did Schrödinger. But there are formidable 
difficulties to give a realistic interpretation of wave functions, and 
Schrödinger didn't succeed. But I think the difficulties can be overcome and I 
have published my views about these things (Lars-Göran Johansson: Interpreting 
Quantum Mechanics. A realist view in Schrödinger's vein, Ashgate, Aldershot 
2007).
Lars-Göran

22 jan 2014 kl. 10:59 skrev Andrei Khrennikov 
andrei.khrenni...@lnu.semailto:andrei.khrenni...@lnu.se:

  Dear Hans,

I would like just to point that 99,99% of people working
in quantum theory would say that the complex amplitude of
quantum probability is the main its intrinsic property, so
if you try to exclude amplitudes from the model
you can in principle do this and this is well known
long ago in so called quantum tomographic approach of Vladimir
Manko, but in this way quantum theory loses its simplicity and
clarity, yours, andrei

Andrei Khrennikov, Professor of Applied Mathematics,
International Center for Mathematical Modeling
in Physics, Engineering, Economics, and Cognitive Science
Linnaeus University, Växjö-Kalmar, Sweden

From: fis-boun...@listas.unizar.esmailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es 
[fis-boun...@listas.unizar.esmailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] on behalf 
of Hans von Baeyer [henrikrit...@gmail.commailto:henrikrit...@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 12:21 AM
To: