Michael Stuart Kelly

Short entertaining videos of quantum mechanics for beginners

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Short entertaining videos of quantum mechanics for beginners

There are a lot of Objectivists who discuss quantum physics on forums, but show that they know very little about the subject. I admit that I have been one for some time, although I have tried to keep my observations to questions or parts of philosophy I know. But I have never been satisfied with not knowing what all the ruckus was really about. The best I have been able to do so far is keep the faith in fundamental axioms (which I still do). But I wanted an easy explanation I could understand, and as gravy, present to OL readers so they could get the gist of quantum theory without a lot of blah blah blah.

I have been looking for such material off and on for a while now. When you try to research this, the first thing that pops up is a lot of fifty dollar words. When you try to discuss this with orthodox Objectivists (or read what they have written), the first thing that comes up is Schrodinger’s cat and a lot of fifty dollar words plus some hearty contemptuous dismissals. (This also holds for those who do not like Rand, but from the other end.) For the curious novice, there is not much fare in the Objectivist world. Independent research is so complicated that you always find something better to do after you start.

I finally found an easy way for interested novices to get an idea of what the whole issue was about with quantum physics—people whose eyes glaze over with fifty dollar words. I was delighted to see some very, very good videos out there that are free on You Tube. Here is a small compilation of them. Going through the batch will take a couple of hours, but once you finish, you will be able to look at some of that boring literature and be able to make some kind of sense out of it. And you will be able to ask intelligent questions rather than simply affirm the Law of Identity and so forth. Most of all, you will be able to build on this foundation and, I think, this is the most important aspect of all.

Advanced people might find it a bit boring, but I suggest they look at this anyway if they wish to discuss quantum physics with newbies to science. They will see how certain manners of presentation result in communicating the ideas effectively to beginners and might see why their efforts are usually frustrating.

Incidentally, Schrodinger’s cat is not mentioned in these videos. I will add more video links as I go along, so I will probably find the cat someday. But once you go through these videos, you will see that to understand the problem of poisoning your cat, you needed this initial information.

Enjoy.

Cartoon featuring Dr. Quantum (from movie, What the Bleep do We Know?)

(5:12)

Walter Lewin, Physicist at MIT.

This guy gives a cool demonstration with a laser beam.

(2:07)

A bit more technical, but very clear and interesting.

(6:21)

Dr. David Goodstein, California Institute of Technology.

A good simple overview of what led up to the discoveries of quantum mechanics. This is actually the end of a presentation, but it gives an excellent introduction to what brought the whole thing about.

The Mechanical Universe - Quantum Mechanics 1 of 5 (3:42)

The Mechanical Universe - Quantum Mechanics 2 of 5 (6:49)

The Mechanical Universe - Quantum Mechanics 3 of 5 (3:24)

The Mechanical Universe - Quantum Mechanics 4 of 5 (6:57)

The Mechanical Universe - Quantum Mechanics 5 of 5 (6:46)

Lecture presented by Ross Rhodes.

A nice, slow-paced presentation with very interesting graphics (sound is not great). The elementary manner of teaching might irritate more advanced people and, as a public speaker, the guy is good but not great (try to ignore the jokes). The first two or three parts are slower and less interesting than the rest, but they are well worth sitting through. Rhodes’s opinion at the end about the possibility of there being a compromise between faith and science might bother atheists, but this is left to the very end, is not even hinted at during the entire time (except that the presentation is in a church), is very short, and is presented as an opinion. So my evaluation is that this is a fully honest non-agenda-driven presentation. It is great material for someone who knows very little about science. It even answers most of the logical questions that a newbie would ask (“Did they do this?” or “Did they think of that?” etc.).

(9:56)

(9:04)

(6:18)

(7:37)

(7:58)

(9:38) (The very end of this one was rather funny.)

(8:36)

(6:06)

The following video gives some charming history about the founding fathers of QM, then a very simple explanation with images of how quantum theory has been applied to practical applications we all use everyday, including how Bell Laboratories started doing it. (The final conclusion that electrons are only waves is strange, but this only comes at the end.)

Quantum Mechanics for Dummies - Electrons Are Weird (9:19)

I hope some of you found this useful. I know I did and I am finally able to see how really, really weird quantum physics is. I no longer have to rely on the opinions and comments of those who have studied it.

Michael

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I hope some of you found this useful. I know I did and I am finally able to see how really, really weird quantum physics is. I no longer have to rely on the opinions and comments of those who have studied it.

Could you elaborate? It seems to me that by watching these videos we "rely on the opinions and comments of those who have studied it.", do we not? Or is it because we have some visual input?

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GS,

Add the context as given in the rest of my post (meaning "those who have studied it among posters on Objectivist forums") and you will get my meaning.

Drop the context and extract only the phrase you quoted and you will ask what you did.

At any rate, the subject matter is quantum mechanics, not competence in rhetoric or comprehension.

Michael

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Cartoon featuring Dr. Quantum (from movie, What the Bleep do We Know?)

(5:12)

The emphatic speech (suggesting it is a film for children) may be somewhat irritating, but this gives in 5 minutes good information about the famous double split experiment. It doesn't answer all the questions, but you hardly can expect that in a 5 minute fragment.

A bit more technical, but very clear and interesting.

(6:21)

It wasn't more technical, it was more a very short overview of the history of QM, in which a few of the features were briefly mentioned: Rutherford's model of the atom, the early Bohr model, Heisenberg uncertainty relation, synthesis of Heisenberg's matrix mechanics and Schrödinger wave mechanics (they might have mentioned Dirac at that point, who came up with the clever bra-ket notation that is still the standard notation used in QM)

Dr. David Goodstein, California Institute of Technology.

A good simple overview of what led up to the discoveries of quantum mechanics. This is actually the end of a presentation, but it gives an excellent introduction to what brought the whole thing about.

The Mechanical Universe - Quantum Mechanics 1 of 5 (3:42)

The Mechanical Universe - Quantum Mechanics 2 of 5 (6:49)

The Mechanical Universe - Quantum Mechanics 3 of 5 (3:24)

The Mechanical Universe - Quantum Mechanics 4 of 5 (6:57)

The Mechanical Universe - Quantum Mechanics 5 of 5 (6:46)

I disliked this one. The story that was told was in itself not bad, but what I found irritating is what I'd call the "pretty picture" style, which you see today so often in television series about popular science. Not yet in the first video with the lecturer, but why all those shots of the audience? I don't give a damn about the audience, I want to learn something (I place myself now for a moment in the position of a newbie in that field), are they afraid I'll be bored by looking for a few minutes at a lecturer? But in the following videos we see all kinds of schemes, graphs and formulas pop up, which are not explained at all and which therefore fulfill only a decorative function ('gee whiz, science is cool man!). Sometimes (but not always) they illustrate a point that is discussed at that moment, but the explanations are either absent or so scanty that you don't learn anything from them. Thumbs down!

(9:56)

(9:04)

(6:18)

(7:37)

(7:58)

(9:38) (The very end of this one was rather funny.)

(8:36)

(6:06)

This one is much better, as in this series things are really explained. It is not a polished presentation, but I prefer this over the "pretty picture" kind which doesn't really explain things. The quality of the video is rather poor. The explanation is fairly good, until the part with the delayed choice and quantum erasure experiment. Here he simplified things so much that it becomes really misleading. Such experiments are much more complicated than he indicates in this video, from which you might draw incorrect conclusions.

Edited by Dragonfly

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Dragonfly,

Don't forget that this is an introduction. People happen to like shots of the audience and peripheral science matters. They like the "pretty picture style." It makes it interesting. And within the context of the other videos, it is a nice break.

You may understand science, but you certainly have limits on understanding entertainment and how to keep a non-scientific beginner audience interested. Let people get their feet wet. Then they can build on that introduction. If you bore them to death, they learn nothing.

It is my opinion that over 90% of the posters on Objectivist boards don't have a clue about what QM really is other than what they read in posts, that they skim over most of those posts because they don't understand them, and that when they try to look up something during a discussion, they get bored out of their gourd with the material they find on a Google search and simply move on. "A is A" never looked so good.

If you have any suggestions about other introductory videos on QM, I would appreciate them.

Michael

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You may understand science, but you certainly have limits on understanding entertainment and how to keep a non-scientific beginner audience interested.

Well, this is one of my pet peeves. I absolutely disagree that a popular science program cannot be interesting without all kinds of irrelevant pretty pictures and (fortunately not in the video mentioned in the previous post) being "funny", with people running around and making a lot of noise (preferably with some explosions) and silly jokes (ha ha ha!). It is a typical example of the dumbing down we see in modern education. It seems that people today have the attention span of a gnat. If it isn't funny, colorful, noisy and moving, it is boring. You see it also in the demise of the Scientific American, once an excellent magazine for serious popular science (articles were often written by top scientists about their own field), now a victim of the dumbing down trend.

I know it can be different. I still remember for example Jacob Bronowski's series The Ascent of Man which I saw on television more than 30 years ago. He didn't treat his audience as a bunch of retarded monkeys that have to be amused with glitter and glamour, beads and mirrors. He took his audience seriously, but there was absolutely nothing boring about his program, that was not only my opinion, but that of many people at the time. I regret that such programs are no longer made (at least I haven't seen anything of that kind for many years). Even a DVD with pictures from the Hubble telescope doesn't escape this trend. No, it isn't as bad as those other programs I described, but why oh why must all pictures always be moving?! The pictures themselves are breathtakingly beautiful, but I don't get the time to contemplate them, the maker was apparently afraid that I'd be bored if they didn't constantly move around. (That reminds me of music recitals on television: why can't they just show for example a pianist just from a fixed position and must the camera continuously circle around, zooming in on his face and on irrelevant details of the concert hall. After all I'm listening to the music, and in a concert hall I don't run around either. Seeing the musician play is enough for me, I need no extra distraction. And they all do it, if it is television it must be moving continuously! Arrrgghh!!!)

Let people get their feet wet. Then they can build on that introduction. If you bore them to death, they learn nothing.

I can't imagine that people who discuss issues of epistomology and talk about Kant would be bored by a good popular exposé without all the Las Vegas attributes.

If you have any suggestions about other introductory videos on QM, I would appreciate them.

Not at the moment, but I'll look if I can find something useful.

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Well, this is one of my pet peeves. I absolutely disagree that a popular science program cannot be interesting without all kinds of irrelevant pretty pictures and (fortunately not in the video mentioned in the previous post) being "funny", with people running around and making a lot of noise (preferably with some explosions) and silly jokes (ha ha ha!). It is a typical example of the dumbing down we see in modern education. [....]

I know it can be different. I still remember for example Jacob Bronowski's series The Ascent of Man which I saw on television more than 30 years ago. He didn't treat his audience as a bunch of retarded monkeys that have to be amused with glitter and glamour, beads and mirrors. He took his audience seriously, but there was absolutely nothing boring about his program, that was not only my opinion, but that of many people at the time. I regret that such programs are no longer made (at least I haven't seen anything of that kind for many years).

Funny you should mention Jacob Bronowski. I was just thinking of him the other day, in connection with the decline of educational standards, though not specifically with reference to TV and his The Ascent of Man series. Instead I was thinking of the time when my and Bronowski's lives intersected...

It was during late September '68 - about June '69. My first job when I moved to NYC was for a project funded by Vassar College. Vassar had received some funds which were earmarked for setting up one or another educational program. Among the contenders was a proposal to fund a cross-disciplinary program geared to attempting to bridge the "Two Cultures" gap (the term was coined by C. P. Snow).

Charles Frankel, a philosophy professor at Columbia who had been Undersecretary for Cultural and Educational Affairs under Kennedy, was hired to oversee drawing up a plan and prospectus. The woman who had been his administrative assistant in Washington was hired to oversee the Advisory Board meetings and do most of the organizational work of getting the material together. I was hired as a research assistant cum typist. (This being in the days before word-processing computers, each of the various proposal drafts had to be fully re-typed.)

The science contingent on the Advisory Board was comprised of Jacob Bronowski, I. I. Rabi, and Gerald Holton, a noted historian of science.

The proposal which was drawn up I thought was excellent. The educational program was one I'd have enjoyed taking myself. The plan was not funded. Instead either a Black Studies or a Women's Studies program, or both, received the funds. Looking back, I see the decision made as emblematic of an inflection point in general educational decline. Standards were already in decline by then, but I think the curve began to accelerate downward as of about the early '70s.

A comment which is a digression from quantum mechanics but is connected to the dumbing-down process in current education.

Ellen

___

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Here are some clips I found from The Ascent of Man. I am not sure they are in the proper order.

Opening titles of The Ascent of Man (1973) (2:02)

The Ascent of Man - Majestic Clockwork (3:09)

(3:19)

(3:48)

Jacob Bronowski - The Ascent of Man (2:28)

Jacob Bronowski's - The Ascent of Man (1973) (4:25)

Here are some other clips by Bronowski.

Jacob Bronowski - From Nomads to Villagers (9:50) - I do not know if this is part of The Ascent of Man or not. The sound is very weak.

(7:29)

Bronowski talks about filming at the concentration camp (0:41) - The sound is weak.

From these selections, I find him to be a good presenter for interested parties who are already motivated to learn, but not for newbies who are curious and little more. His manner is a bit boring for that kind of person. Click. Channel changed after 30 seconds or so.

The best clip for me was the one on DNA, although the music was horrible. Also, he preaches a bit too much against arrogance of certainty for my taste, especially in the concentration camp segment (the last two above in Ascent) as if epistemological arrogance were the main reason for such evil. (He meant "dogma," but he ranted, if one can call it that with all those pauses, against certainty.)

I liked very much the information he presented and some of his approaches.

Michael

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I've just watched the Double Slit Experiment and I learned a bit. I appreciated that he kept things simple. What I didn't like is how often he asked the question "wave or particle?" I don't understand the question. We know waves are moving particles. So, the question is "particles moving in some predefined pattern or particles moving in some other predefined pattern?" It really doesn't make sense to me that we would be saying Newton or this or that guy thought light was a wave and not a particle or a particle and not a wave. I mean, the eye and the ear both detect particles. Whether they are moving in "waves" or not, I don't know. But it is particles. There is no alternative, because particle is almost "thing" and how can there be a non-thing? But it seems like the lecturer thinks that there can be, which is why the conversation eventually comes round to God, in my opinion.

All the same, I did learn a bit. I found it enjoyable. I'm going to look at the rest of the links. This is the main reason why I wanted to participate in this forum. Thanks a bunch for these very interesting links, Mr. Kelly.

Edited by Brian Bahneman

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I distinctly remember that Bronowski said he detested being compared or aligned with Ayn Rand (I don't have the exact quote). I read 'The Ascent of Man' due to recommendations by Objectivists somewhere sometime, and it pains me that such a wonderful expositor of science being anti-Objectivist.

As far as the wave/particle duality it is easy to imagine that the physicists are talking about particles moving in a wave, but it is more complicated than that...what does the wave consist of? In water,the wave doesn't have a separate identity, it is just water molecules moving up and down periodically. Like most things in science half the battle is just asking the right question.

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I distinctly remember that Bronowski said he detested being compared or aligned with Ayn Rand (I don't have the exact quote). I read 'The Ascent of Man' due to recommendations by Objectivists somewhere sometime, and it pains me that such a wonderful expositor of science being anti-Objectivist.

As far as the wave/particle duality it is easy to imagine that the physicists are talking about particles moving in a wave, but it is more complicated than that...what does the wave consist of? In water,the wave doesn't have a separate identity, it is just water molecules moving up and down periodically. Like most things in science half the battle is just asking the right question.

Is Objectivism spreading like a wave or particles? It began in the mind of one individual human being. Not everyone who reads Ayn Rand's books becomes an Objectivist although it is conceivable to me that someone who isn't an Objectivist might make others aware of it inadvertently. Still we know that Objectivism has spread and already there are many of us around the world perhaps concentrated in the USA.

Just last night I had occasion to give a bright young man a list of books to read which included Ayn Rand's books at the top of the list. He actually asked me what good it would do or what would be the point or value of reading books!

When you consider that the present younger generation which is coming of age, the age at which one becomes open to trying to understand what is going on in the world, but who does not yet have the kind of perspective which philosophy itself only can provide, it is urgent that Objectivism be out there in the culture to be heard or witnessed by them.

Being individualistically oriented helps me to take advantage of such opportunities to pass the torch. I may just write a book despite my inhibitions about engaging in such an endeavor. The very fellow who made me aware of Objectivism years ago suggested that the existence of Ayn Rand's books alone already exist as if that is sufficient, as if it is pointless to write another book to draw attention to them.

If there are enough of us taking advantage of opportunities to let others know about Objectivism then even though the immediate source of the passing of that torch could be identified as a particular person doing it or a book or article in print doing it more closely resembles "particles." Taken altogether over time or at any particular point in time and connecting the dots so to speak the spread of the idea of Objectivism might resemble a "wave" albeit a discontinuous wave.

My beloved wife taught me long ago that when the question comes up of either / or sometimes the best answer is BOTH!

gulch

May the spread of Objectivism continue to permeate the human race. Perhaps politics and religion are taboo to discuss, but certainly philosophy itself should be discussed, especially in earshot of the young. In this context a quote from Thomas Jefferson, which happens to be something of a motto of the Campaign For Liberty but can be extended to philosophy itself comes to mind:

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."

—Thomas Jefferson

Edited by gulch8

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I distinctly remember that Bronowski said he detested being compared or aligned with Ayn Rand (I don't have the exact quote). I read 'The Ascent of Man' due to recommendations by Objectivists somewhere sometime, and it pains me that such a wonderful expositor of science being anti-Objectivist.

As far as the wave/particle duality it is easy to imagine that the physicists are talking about particles moving in a wave, but it is more complicated than that...what does the wave consist of? In water,the wave doesn't have a separate identity, it is just water molecules moving up and down periodically. Like most things in science half the battle is just asking the right question.

Photons shot one at a time through a double slit apparatus manifest the interference patterns (alternative dark and light stripes characteristic of waves interfering with each other). So the wave aspect is NOT a result of aggregate photon behavior. It would appear photons go through both slits even though when detected they are detected at a single location which is characteristic of particles. Our abstract notion of wave and particles are just that, abstract notions and each separately describe some of the aspects of light. Light is neither a wave nor a particle. Wave and Particle are descriptive metaphors and it is best not to reify them, as Feynman many times urged us not to do.

Quantum Physics simply does not sit well with our common sense notions which we come by living at our natural scale of size and tempo. We cannot reconcile our large scale intuition with what actually happens at the sub-atomic level. But so what? Nature is under no obligation to conform to our man-scale prejudice. The fact is quantum physics works. It predicts phenomena to an accuracy of 12 significant digits. It is the most accurate and correct physical theory ever developed. And if it clashes with out common sense, so what? The important thing is that quantum physics is correct and despite Einstein's insistance that there must be a deterministic mechanism at work underneath (so called Hidden Variables) we know from the tests of Bell's hypothesis this cannot be the case. Einstein was wrong on this matter just as Newton was wrong on gravitation.

The physicists have a way of deal with this conundrum ---- shut up and do the math, which is supported heavily by nearly 100 years of experimental corroberation.

Ba'al Chatazaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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Gulch your optimism is duly noted; I wasn't being pessimistic about the future just disappointed about someone who I thought had a certain richness of thought but didn't meet my expectations. My bad for having expectations about people who might have a very different context.

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Please have a look at this:

Contrary to what is asserted, the quantum world is NOT mysterious. It is just different than the world as we experience it at our scale of size and at our chronological tempo. Nature is what it is. If nature does not conveniently line up with our every day experience then we must adapt to the fact and figure out how nature really works.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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I distinctly remember that Bronowski said he detested being compared or aligned with Ayn Rand (I don't have the exact quote). I read 'The Ascent of Man' due to recommendations by Objectivists somewhere sometime, and it pains me that such a wonderful expositor of science being anti-Objectivist.

This is the first I’ve heard of this. He died so soon after the program, when would it have come up? I don’t even see much connection between the two. There’s overlap, but what’s distinctive to Objectivism that would have conflicted with The Ascent of Man? There wasn’t much written about the history of science by Objectivists at that time, and it was hardly mainstream then.

Photons shot one at a time through a double slit apparatus manifest the interference patterns (alternative dark and light stripes characteristic of waves interfering with each other).

Don’t you mean electrons, not photons? I thought the double slit experiment was about electrons.

Please have a look at this:

This video makes it sound like woo-woo, suggesting that electrons are aware when they’re being watched, rather than being physically affected by the photons from the light being shined on them. In Feynman’s lecture (in Six Easy Pieces) he does present it this way to get a laugh, but I took away from it that the observation equipment was physically affecting the result, while this video opens the door to primacy of consciousness.

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Don't you mean electrons, not photons? I thought the double slit experiment was about electrons.

[

The one at a time experiment has been done with both photons and electrons with the same result. One gets an accumulated interference pattern over a period of time. The one at a time emission eliminates the effect of particles bouncing off each other, which in the case of electrons eliminates Coulumb force interaction.. The idea is to demonstrate that the "particle" goes though both slits which is what produces the interference (rather than interactions between particles).

The experiment is to test De Broigle's thesis that particles have wavelike properties, which they apparent do.

Again, one ought not reify the particle or wave description. These are descriptive and metaphorical terms which if taken literally implies contradictions, which cannot occur in nature.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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This video makes it sound like woo-woo, suggesting that electrons are aware when they're being watched, rather than being physically affected by the photons from the light being shined on them. In Feynman's lecture (in Six Easy Pieces) he does present it this way to get a laugh, but I took away from it that the observation equipment was physically affecting the result, while this video opens the door to primacy of consciousness.

You are being more literal minded than the material requires. Any "observation" is an interaction of one physical system with another. Consciousness is not involved. If one places a dumb non-sentient electron counter at one slit of a double slit rig, it presence destroys the interference effect. It does not matter if the device is being monitored by a conscious party or not.

If all that runs counter to our intuitions and "common sense" then so much the worse for our intuitions and common sense. If nature could care it would not give a damn about what we are comfortable with.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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This video makes it sound like woo-woo, suggesting that electrons are aware when they're being watched, rather than being physically affected by the photons from the light being shined on them. In Feynman's lecture (in Six Easy Pieces) he does present it this way to get a laugh, but I took away from it that the observation equipment was physically affecting the result, while this video opens the door to primacy of consciousness.

You are being more literal minded than the material requires. Any "observation" is an interaction of one physical system with another. Consciousness is not involved. If one places a dumb non-sentient electron counter at one slit of a double slit rig, it presence destroys the interference effect. It does not matter if the device is being monitored by a conscious party or not.

If all that runs counter to our intuitions and "common sense" then so much the worse for our intuitions and common sense. If nature could care it would not give a damn about what we are comfortable with.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Thanks.

My being language intense caused me to think that the act of "observation" took place in a vacuum. However, to observe, we had to "shine a light on the process" which means to direct energy into the experiment which then impacts the electron.

I wonder what would happen if we were somehow able to "observe" the double slit without any input of power or light. Oh well, at least I have a better understanding of it now.

Adam

Edited by Selene

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Michael,

I think the philosophical importance of quantum mechanics is next to nil. The uncertainty is interesting and metaphysical, but it is much more interesting when talking about practical problems like semiconductor device physics, synchroton radiation which provides collimated x-rays etc. Part of the reason I think its philosophical importance is negligible is that the uncertainty is Gaussian (can be strictly accounted for by normal distribution statistics). Some Objectivists cling to a world that is absolutely knowable, well the philosophical problem there is their religious belief. The salient point is that in quantum mechanics we know more than enough to make very accurate predictions. That should be a satisfying result.

I would think that chaos and indeterminable systems with wild nongaussian instability would be more troubling to Objectivists. Here again, we can make lots of progress, including delimiting certain physical systems and fields of endeavor as being fundamentally unpredictable. We should be happy to acknowledge the world as we find it, not blinkered and insistent on a world that conforms to a preconceived notion of what it "should be".

Jim

Edited by James Heaps-Nelson

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I should say something about the above post. My contention is not that people shouldn't find quantum mechanics wonderful and interesting, even at a beginner level. I'm saying that a basic knowledge of statistics and probability is much more important in dealing with uncertainty philosophically. However, those subjects aren't "cool", they don't have an interesting cat conundrum, and our educational system underteaches them and overteaches continuous function mathematics.

Jim

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OK, everybody. Carry on with the QM discussion. I just had one of my attacks of wetblanketitis. I commend Michael for his interest in this topic.

Jim

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I've just watched the Double Slit Experiment and I learned a bit. I appreciated that he kept things simple. What I didn't like is how often he asked the question "wave or particle?" I don't understand the question. We know waves are moving particles. So, the question is "particles moving in some predefined pattern or particles moving in some other predefined pattern?" It really doesn't make sense to me that we would be saying Newton or this or that guy thought light was a wave and not a particle or a particle and not a wave. I mean, the eye and the ear both detect particles. Whether they are moving in "waves" or not, I don't know. But it is particles. There is no alternative, because particle is almost "thing" and how can there be a non-thing? But it seems like the lecturer thinks that there can be, which is why the conversation eventually comes round to God, in my opinion.

All the same, I did learn a bit. I found it enjoyable. I'm going to look at the rest of the links. This is the main reason why I wanted to participate in this forum. Thanks a bunch for these very interesting links, Mr. Kelly.

A minor correction. The ear does not detect particles as such. Air particles exist in the ear canal; whether they move or not. The ear detects vibrations, and those vibrations may be transimitted via air particles or otherwise.

As for light, its diffraction when it passes through a prism is a wavelike quality, and what is called its wavelength can be measured. That implied to scientists that light was a wave in some medium, which they called the ether. It was discovered that no ether with the classically expected properties exists. Photons are not the excited particles through which light moves as a medium in the way that a wave moves through water.

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You are being more literal minded than the material requires.

“The electron decided to act differently, as though it was aware it was being watched.” 4 1/2 minutes in. How do you think viewers unfamiliar with the material are going to interpret that? Woo-woo.

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