dennislmay

Quantum Theory: Interpretation Cannot be Avoided

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An overview of Bohmian Quantum Mechanics:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-bohm/

The paper by Travis Norsen and Eric Dennis:

http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0408178v1

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/quant-ph/pdf/0408/0408178v1.pdf

The lesson - those who claim to be doing physics without

philosophical considerations are really doing physics

using their philosophy while attempting to exclude competing

philosophies.

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An overview of Bohmian Quantum Mechanics:

http://plato.stanfor...ntries/qm-bohm/

The paper by Travis Norsen and Eric Dennis:

http://arxiv.org/abs...nt-ph/0408178v1

http://arxiv.org/PS_...8/0408178v1.pdf

The lesson - those who claim to be doing physics without

philosophical considerations are really doing physics

using their philosophy while attempting to exclude competing

philosophies.

As long as the predictions are supported by experiment, all is well. Predicting the outcome of experiments is the first order of business in physics. Creating the impression of comprehension of the unseen is a lesser goal, but it is also important. The persistent itch of physicists, besides getting the predictions right, is the conviction that they are explaining the phenomena.

In any case, it is correct prediction that keeps physics honest, not who wins philosophical pissing contests.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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.

A note comparing the Transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics with Rand’s metaphysics is here.

Comparison of the Transactional interpretation to other interpretations is here.

A review of Maudlin’s The Metaphysics within Physics is here.

Notes on objective contingency and chance: a, b.

Welcome to OL, Dennis. Thanks for the link at Stanford. Also available online, from the author of that entry: Bohmian Trajectories as the Foundation of QM

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Thanks for the link at Stanford. Also available online, from the author of that entry: Bohmian Trajectories as the Foundation of QM

The work of Gregory S. Duane provides a further foundation allowing a completely classical physics version of Bohmian Mechanics - supraluminal carriers still being required of course.

Edited by dennislmay

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Thanks for the link at Stanford. Also available online, from the author of that entry: Bohmian Trajectories as the Foundation of QM

The work of Gregory S. Duane provides a further foundation allowing a completely classical physics version of Bohmian Mechanics - supraluminal carriers still being required of course.

Be sure to write us when superluminal waves are actually detected in a laboratory. And I do not mean phase velocity artifacts in a normal wave.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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Thanks for the link at Stanford. Also available online, from the author of that entry: Bohmian Trajectories as the Foundation of QM

The work of Gregory S. Duane provides a further foundation allowing a completely classical physics version of Bohmian Mechanics - supraluminal carriers still being required of course.

Be sure to write us when superluminal waves are actually detected in a laboratory. And I do not mean phase velocity artifacts in a normal wave.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I will as long as someone doesn't use their mind to collapse my wavefront.

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BC's oft-repeated, never-argued-for philosophical assumption that philosophical assumptions are irrelevant to scientific understanding of the world is false.

Suppose two theories of particle physics each make the same set of confirmed predictions, but one of the theories incorporates a nonsensical-seeming notion about how reality "works" to "explain" quantum-level phenomena while the other theory avoids that problematic notion. The two theories contradict each other with respect to their basic understanding of the basic nature of the universe.

We might have warrant for saying that both theories are false (at least in some respect), or that a determination about which is true and which is false cannot yet be made. But we cannot say either that both theories are true or that the truth or falsehood of the theories--theories the content of which partly hinges on the disputed notion--is _irrelevant_ to our understanding of the nature of physical reality. After all, these notion-informed theories are _about_ the nature of physical reality.

BC may take his metaphysical and epistemological assumptions about the nature of scientific work so entirely for granted that he does not regard those assumptions as being philosophical at all; but just because he believes he has sidestepped foundational questions doesn't mean that he has.

Edited by Starbuckle

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BC may take his metaphysical and epistemological assumptions about the nature of scientific work so entirely for granted that he does not regard those assumptions as being philosophical at all; but just because he believes he has sidestepped foundational questions doesn't mean that he has.

Historically, philosophical prejudice has been more of an impediment to physical science than a help. See how Aristotle hobbled physics for nearly 1500 years. And the primary issue is correct prediction, not philosophical purity.

I suppose the underlying assumption, which could be called philosophical, is that there is a world out there independent of our will or our presence. In short, physics is about something that is not a figment of our imaginations. If you want to call that philosophy, go ahead.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I apologize for dredging up an old thread but no one responded to the last post -- and I think it hit upon something supremely important.

That there is "a world out there independent of our will or our presence" is indeed philosophy, especially on this forum!!! It is a statement of Objectivist metaphysics and the primacy of existence. That is, that Existence Exists, over and above the existence of a consciousness to perceive it. What Ba'al consistently rails against as "philosophical prejudice" is simply the frequency with which so-called philosophers get that bass-ackwards, and apply their incorrect metaphysics to science! Despite almost every philosopher throughout all of history having had it wrong, it doesn't mean that the right answer isn't philosophy as well, when it comes about. It would be like not calling Special Relativity physics because up until that point no physicist had been right about the limitations of Galilean Relativity.

It is important to agree on definitions before beginning an argument because if two people are having a discussion, but insist on using different definitions of the same words, then they will get nowhere. Therefore, it is still necessary to distinguish philosophy as the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, and reality from philosophy as the collection of ideas promulgated by all the philosophers that have so far published their ideas. The former is the sense in which most people on this forum, I suspect, use the term philosophy, and the latter how Ba'al has been using it. The only reason to shun the former definition is for fear that the person you are speaking to might accidentally confuse the two and automatically write off as lunacy what you are saying, simply because you called it philosophy. I hope this post will have helped to guard against that possibility, so that we can all stop bickering over the meaning of the word and get on with real and thought-provoking discussions of fundamental science

--Andrew Espenlaub

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