Trova il tuo prossimo libro preferito

Abbonati oggi e leggi gratis per 30 giorni
Objective Reality

Objective Reality

Leggi anteprima

Objective Reality

Lunghezza:
282 pagine
4 ore
Pubblicato:
May 20, 2020
ISBN:
9780463655689
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

The world 's greatest mystery is not an Agatha Christie story. It is the fact that science's most accurate and most unequivocally valid theory, quantum mechanics, is based on data which are logically impossible, the wave-particle paradox. A particle is a tiny piece of solid matter. A wave is the rhythmical slouching back-and-forth of multitudes of particles. Obviously, nothing can be both. But there are abundant data which appear to show fundamental matter is both. No one is content with this logical absurdity, so some of history's most brilliant scientists have tried to find or invent a rational explanation. They have provided more than a dozen different guesses, but none has won general acceptance. What is worse, all involve unbelievable claims or absurdities of their own. For example, the most widely accepted explanation says the universe doesn't really exist until someone looks at it. But if nothing exists, then who could look?! However, what many persons find most objectionable about these many hypothetical explanations (i.e., guesses) is their implication that physical reality is a subjective, mystical, magical process.

Einstein categorically rejected such mysticism. He thought a more fundamental theory would provide a scientific explanation. But his efforts to produce such a theory were a failure. The present book presents an opposite approach. It assumes quantum mechanics is scientifically complete, so it does not address the quantum mystery as a scientific problem. Rather, its approach is based on another Einsteinian suggestion. He said he was confident the explanation, when found, would be so simple that when stripped of the mathematics in which all physical theories are stated, it could be understood by a child. Following this suggestion the idea presented in the present book involves neither the technicalities nor math of quantum science. Rather it suggests a hidden mechanical procedure so elementary a child can understand it. Not only can this hidden process completely and logically explain the wave-particle paradox, it can also explain many other aspects of the quantum mystery. For example, it can explain the recently empirically proven but mind boggling nonlocality phenomenon (whereby a cause at one location has an effect elsewhere).

Were this all the model can explain it would be worthy of serious consideration. But it has a completely unintended additional benefit. The simple mentally picturable mechanical model can also explain the two puzzling phenomena of special relativity, completely unrelated phenomena. This result was unsought and unintended. Before the model was developed such an outcome would have been considered impossible. Therefore, this unexpected achievement strongly supports the model's believability.
Because this explanation is based on a process which is hidden, it can not be scientifically verified. Therefore, in no way whatsoever does it change the science of quantum mechanics. It only offers a hypothetical picture of the fundamental process of physical reality which is objective, completely logically consistent and intuitively understandable. For those willing to accept it, it offers a way to make sense of quantum reality.

Pubblicato:
May 20, 2020
ISBN:
9780463655689
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore


Correlato a Objective Reality

Libri correlati
Articoli correlati

Anteprima del libro

Objective Reality - Donald R. Miklich

Objective Reality

A Mentally Picturable Resolution of Physics’ Wave-Particle Paradox

Third Edition

Donald R. Miklich, Ph.D.

Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible.

Miguel de Unamuno, La Vida de Don Quijote y Sancho.

Für Itha

Table of Contents

Preface and Purpose

A Note on Notes

Part I: The Mystery

Introduction

Orientation

The Quantum Mechanics Story

Two Slit Data

Ambiguous Data

Quantum Interpretations: Copenhagen

Two Other Quantum Interpretations

Many-Worlds

Pilot-Wave

Part II: A Possible Solution

Fundamental Assumptions

A Realistic Quantum Interpretation: Basic Idea

Some Paradoxes and Puzzles Explained

Schrödinger’s Cat

Diffraction

Mini-solar-system atom

Quantum jumps

Radioactive decay

Chamber paths

Inertia and acceleration

Tunneling

Nonlocality

Particle detection

Time backward causality

Polarization

Believability

Part III: Foundational Premise and Extension

Hidden Variables

Hoist with His Own Petard

Special relativity background

Einstein’s approach

The Hafele-Keating study

Special relativity wrap-up

Membrane Model Resolution

Time dilation

Location in space

Size contraction

Conclusion

Final Thoughts

Dear Reader:

Appendix

References

Preface and Purpose

Quantum phenomena are the invisible micro processes underlying and causing all physical events. Quantum mechanics is the scientific theory of these phenomena. It is precisely accurate and enormously useful, one of science’s best tools. Nevertheless, it provides no description of quantum entities, nor does it provide any explanation of how they work. Its greatest shortcoming, however, is its inability to resolve the mystery of the manifestly self-contradictory data upon which it is based, the wave-particle paradox. Thus, though quantum mechanics is a superb engineering tool, it affords no understanding of the essentials of quantum phenomena.

Attempting to rectify this failure, physicists have invented many, many different quantum interpretations. An impartial judge must conclude that, though they are different, all are unrealistic. Indeed, most add logical inconsistencies and paradoxes of their own. Because these interpretations are the inventions of scientists, the public may consider them scientific conclusions. They are not. Since all go beyond the scientific evidence, all are merely metaphysical guesses. Nevertheless, most are constructed in terms of the variables and processes of classical physics. Unfortunately, this merely muddles the matter because the quantum data are conspicuously inconsistent with these variables and processes. What is worse, many of these quantum interpretations are tinged with, and some are immersed in antiscientific mysticism and subjectivism. As such these interpretations only compound the mystery. At best, they are unconvincing. At worst, they are unbelievable.

The present book offers an alternative. It also goes beyond the scientific evidence, so it also is a metaphysical guess. But this interpretation can not only explain the wave-particle paradox, it can explain many other aspects of the quantum mystery. Indeed, its explanation is so simple one can form mental pictures to see what it suggests. Above all, its explanation is completely objective and nonmystical. However, since it is a metaphysical proposal, not a scientific conclusion, like all other quantum interpretations it is beyond empirical proof. Therefore, everyone must determine for one’s self whether it is believable. Accordingly, this book submits the interpretation to your judgment.

Part I presents a very brief, totally nontechnical and, in particular, a completely nonmathematical description of the wave-particle paradox and the history of this quantum mystery. It describes and critiques three of the most popular quantum interpretations.

Part II suggests a realistic and objective alternative, a mentally picturable, nonmathematical, nonmystical interpretation. Understanding it requires no knowledge whatsoever of math nor of quantum mechanics. This interpretation is based on Einstein’s contention that the quantum mystery is due to something hidden from scientific observation. Thus, because the operative process is hidden, the interpretation can not be scientifically proven. Nevertheless, it is directly based on quantum data, so it is a plausible, evidence consistent speculation.

Part III considers the suitability of hidden processes such as underlie the quantum interpretation suggested in Part II. In particular it examines the claim of a science philosophy holding hidden processes to be meaningless. It shows such processes are common in science theories. It illustrates this in detail with respect to special relativity, a theory specifically developed to avoid hidden variables. In so doing it shows that the quantum interpretation developed in Part II to explain the quantum mysteries can, without modification, also explain the two great mysteries of special relativity, size contraction and time dilation. This is a finding of the utmost significance, for special relativity is entirely different from and apparently unrelated to the quantum problem. The fact, therefore, that an interpretation invented to explain one mystery can, without any alteration whatsoever, also explain a completely separate and independent one strongly supports the interpretation's believability.

A Note on Notes

Footnotes are the bane of expository writing. If a reader attends to them they break up the continuity of the material presented, requiring one to backtrack, often extensively, in order to get back into the flow of the discussion. But a reader who does not read them looses some, occasionally much of the material being presented. This latter problem is made more frequent by the typesetting practice of signifying footnotes with a small superscript, something easily overlooked. When they come to the bottom of a page, readers who have missed one of these tiny superscripts must either ignore the footnote and forego the information it conveys, or reread the entire page in an attempt to discover the material to which it pertains. For these reasons there are no footnotes in this book. If material deserves presentation it will be worked into the text. Matters which are unequivocally parenthetical will be enclosed in parentheses at the relevant location in the text.

The small superscripts problem also occurs with references. Therefore they are not used here. Instead, the practice common in scientific writing is followed. When the author of a referenced work is mentioned in the text, the date of the referenced work is placed in parentheses following the author’s name. Thus: Herbert (1985) uses the Airy pattern to show the wave aspect of electrons. But if an author is not named in the text, then his/her name and date will be given in parentheses at the relevant point of the text. Thus: Quantum mechanics has been called the language of nature (Pagels, 1983). More specific references will list appendix, chapter, page or section. Thus: Feynman (1965, pgs. 129 30) says the two slit demonstration conveys the whole quantum mystery. With an author’s name and the date of the referenced work an interested reader need only go to the References to identify it.

Another point about references must be made. This book is an expository essay, an opinion piece, if you will. It is neither a scholarly tome nor a scientific report. And it most unequivocally is not a text. It is addressed to educated lay persons, not scientists. Therefore (and for other reasons explained in the Orientation chapter) the kind of exhaustive referencing appropriate for a scholarly work is not followed. While all vital physical points are referenced, many historical points are not. And because this is a completely nontechnical essay addressed to a popular audience, I have tried to reference only similar works. In keeping with this popular orientation, if I know of a quote by a competent scholar or scientist, I will reference it rather than dig out the original from the scientific literature.

One other convention followed here must be mentioned. In reading a preliminary draft I became aware of a frequent redundant usage, the physicist followed by a name. This is redundant because almost every person mentioned in the text is a physicist of one kind or another. Therefore, I have dropped the the physicist identifier. If a person (celebrities excepted) is named without being otherwise categorized, you may assume he/she is a physicist of some kind.

These conventions and considerations having been noted, let’s get on with the description of a realistic, objective, non-mystical, non-mathematical, intuitively comprehensible, mentally picturable, logic and evidence consistent, reality conception capable of explaining the quantum mystery, the special relativity mysteries and, especially, the wave-particle paradox.

DRM

Denver, Colorado

2020

Part I: The Mystery

Introduction

Albert Einstein was a Jew; ethnically. But not religiously. In his definitive Einstein biography Abraham Pais (1982) says, Albert’s father was proud of the fact that Jewish rites were not practiced in his home. The family, he states, had an assimilationist disposition. Many Jews dislike the term assimilation. (A flavor of this is enjoyably conveyed by the I am easily assimilated aria of the Old Lady With One Hip in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide; lyrics by Bernstein himself and his wife Felicia.) So the fact that Pais, himself a Jew, used the term to describe the Einstein family may fairly be taken as indicating the depth of the family’s separation from the religion of their ancestors. Pais emphasizes that Einstein’s upbringing left an indelible nonreligious imprint on him by noting that he "did not become bar mitzvah, that is, he never was consecrated to Judaism as religious Jewish men, usually when teenagers, are. Also Pais reports Einstein never mastered Hebrew", the language of Jewish rites.

This secular disposition notwithstanding, at one time in his boyhood Einstein became deeply interested in and committed to matters religious. Although this interest was intense, it did not last long, being replaced by an equally intense interest in science. This incident could be viewed as simply an incidental growth event, a child’s sampling of various life orientations until one is found which fits. But I think a better interpretation sees it as evidence of the essence of Einstein’s fundamental lifelong goal. Let me consider this a bit in order to show exactly what I mean.

At first glance Einstein’s boyhood interest in religion would seem antithetical to his eventual career as a scientist. This is so because religion and science are usually seen as opposites, and indeed there is much to justify this opinion. The essence of religion is unquestioning acceptance of, i.e., faith in, the tenets of one’s particular religion, be they based on intuition, tradition, sacred writings, or religious authorities. However, evidence based reason is supposed to be the only authority in science. And since we can never have all the evidence, science therefore demands eternal doubt. The most well established scientific conclusions are supposed to be tentative, perpetually vulnerable to modification or replacement in the light of better reasoning and/or further evidence.

In truth, however, the opposite practices of religion and science are overblown. For example, Christian fundamentalists correctly insist a literal reading of the Bible contradicts the scientific fact of evolution. But many millions of other Christians, sincere, practicing, faithful and devout other Christians, interpret the Bible in an allegorical manner which removes this contradiction. An excellent illustration of this is the Roman Catholic priest (whose identity I regret I do not know) who once said the Bible is certainly divinely inspired, but not a divinely inspired biology text.

Nor is there any lack among scientists of blind dogmatism, unwillingness to abandon or even consider alternatives to scientific conclusions which have been rendered suspect, or even disproved by changed reason and/or further evidence. As Max Planck, the father of quantum theory, once observed: Science does not progress by new evidence and reason changing scientists’ minds, but rather because younger scientists are trained in the new conclusions while the unconvinced older ones eventually die.

An excellent exposé of scientific dogmatism is the recent book by Adam Becker (2018). The issue he addresses is the same one addressed in the present book, the nature of the reality underlying quantum phenomena. But the generally accepted interpretation of quantum mechanics, the Copenhagen interpretation, claims this issue is a fantasy. Niels Bohr, one of the founders of quantum mechanics and the father of this interpretation, once famously said there is no quantum reality, only a quantum description (Bell, 1987, pg. 142). As Becker shows, those young physicists who questioned this and sought a meaningful, realistic interpretation did so at risk of, and sometimes at a cost to their professional careers. Thus, according to Becker, the general body of physicists did not, and still do not treat the Copenhagen interpretation as necessarily tentative, but rather as a dogma as unquestionable to them as creationism is to religious fundamentalists.

And it is precisely this issue of realistic understanding of quantum mechanics which, I believe, demonstrates the identical goal underlying Einstein’s religious and scientific periods. Einstein never accepted Copenhagen’s claim of the impossibility of any realistic quantum mechanics interpretation. He wanted to understand reality, and until quantum mechanics could provide such understanding he considered it self-evidently incomplete. He once said: I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, … I want to know his thoughts, the rest are details. (Herbert, 1985, pg. 177)

(When speaking of reality Einstein often referenced God. To my knowledge, he never explained this usage. However, since after his brief childhood episode he never practiced any religion it is presumed he used the word God as a metaphor for nature, which would be consistent with the pantheism of the philosopher Spinoza which he once endorsed.)

Knowledge of how the world was created is something most people seek in religion. We may presume it is what the young Einstein also sought there. But, as he states in his autobiographical note (Schlipp, 1949, Sec. I), at age twelve he abandoned religion because he became convinced many of the Bible stories could not be true. Thus, he changed his orientation not because his life goal changed. He still intensely wanted a complete understanding of reality, but he concluded science was a more trustworthy route to it.

Quite obviously, therefore, Einstein’s pursuit of complete understanding would place him at loggerheads with Copenhagen’s insistence that such understanding is impossible. But though other physicists respect him, indeed, for many this respect amounts to veneration, apparently most accept some version of Copenhagen. (There are different versions. However, all agree no realistic, objective, picturable understanding of quantum phenomena is scientifically possible.) Whether or not they believe there is a reality underlying quantum mechanics, most physicists consider it scientifically unfathomable. And they consider Einstein’s goal to be as illusory as the quest for the legendary Holy Grail.

But Copenhagen, while it may be believed and taught dogmatically, most certainly was not developed dogmatically. Different persons may define it differently, but basically the interpretation is accepted because the evidence does not reveal the nature of any reality underlying quantum phenomena, and there is compelling reason to believe no more fundamental evidence is possible. The data themselves so suggest. Many physicists, I suspect, do not accept Bohr’s contention of no quantum reality. I think many, if not most, are sure there is such. Indeed, no matter what he once said, even Bohr himself, some scholars have argued, really believed there existed a quantum reality. But physicists generally (and Bohr too, if he really believed in a quantum reality) are convinced no evidence can exist to reveal its nature. With abundant good reason they believe any meaningful, realistic understanding is scientifically inaccessible. So many resign themselves to one or another version of the Copenhagen interpretation. It provides a philosophical modus vivendi, something philosophers, and physicists in their philosophic moments, may argue about. But for those not interested in philosophizing, it justifies their turning from quantum mechanics’ reality ambiguities to the cookbook use of it as the superb engineering tool it is.

Quantum mechanics is widely considered to be the greatest, most precisely accurate of all science theories. As Tony Rothman and George Sudarshan (1998, pg. 116) have said, Quantum mechanics … is as close to true as science gets. Nevertheless, fundamental quantum phenomena are simply incomprehensible. This has probably best been stated by Richard Feynman (1965, pg. 129). He said, I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. And he gave this advice, advice which doesn’t endorse Copenhagen specifically, but which implicitly concedes something like it must be accepted because the quantum data themselves preclude any scientific explanation. Feynman’s advice was: Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, ‘But how can it be like that?’ because you will get ‘down the drain’, into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.

As is clear from the title of the book containing these quotes, The Character of Physical Law, Feynman was speaking as a physicist, a scientist. Thus, when he said nobody knows, the knowledge he referenced was scientific knowledge. As such his claim has never been challenged. But there are other kinds of knowledge. The religious knowledge which preoccupied the boy Einstein is an obvious example. Conceivably a different, non-scientific kind of knowledge may explain how it can be like that.

Presenting a possible such explanation is the purpose of this book. In no way does it seek nor presume to improve or complete quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is considered scientifically valid and essentially complete. But, as everyone agrees, it is profoundly puzzling. All this book seeks to do is present an objective interpretation of quantum phenomena which makes intuitive sense. This interpretation suggests a non-mystical, non-mathematical, easily comprehensible, completely objective and realistic but beyond science mental image, a picture anyone can understand, a picture which resolves the quantum mystery.

The kind of knowledge to be presented here is metaphysical. In the past several years this word has taken on many new meanings and implications. This is normal. Except where a particular profession may use particular words with precisely prescribed definitions, words do not have fixed meanings. In ordinary usage words’ meanings grow, change and evolve. Though some object to this, considering such changes to be dysfunctional, if not sinful, these objections are rather like objecting to gravity. Whether it is a force or inertia in curved spacetime, gravity exists. Thus, if you don’t want something to fall, support it. Similarly, the meanings of nontechnical words often change. Thus, if you don’t want yours to be ambiguous, define them. So let me so do.

The metaphysics in this book is the classical kind. It does not in any way involve, for example, persons who dress and act unconventionally. There is nothing, paranormal, supernatural, mystical, magical or occult about the metaphysics presented here. Indeed, the major goal of the present metaphysics is to escape the flagrantly paranormal, supernatural, mystical, magical and occult characteristics of most existing quantum mechanics interpretations. For example, the mystical interpretations of the quantum mystery have been taken as analogous to some premises of far eastern religions (Capra, 2010). Another mystical opinion sees the quantum mystery as evidence that reality is not preexistent and objective but rather is subjective and partly created in the minds of those who know it (e.g., Nadeau & Kafatos, 1999). Such subjectivism is a fundamental characteristic of the Copenhagen interpretation, and subjectivism is the main thing the interpretation offered here seeks to escape.

The quantum explanation presented in Part II, though metaphysical rather than scientific, has no relationship whatsoever with subjective mysticism. Rather, it is reasoned speculation based upon the quantum data and evidence. Unlike the occult interpretations, the one offered here firmly adheres to science’s, and Einstein’s, fundamental assumption of a preexisting objective reality. But it ventures beyond science to achieve a realistic intuitive image of this presumed quantum reality and a realistic, visualizable, mechanical explanation of how it functions.

The essence of science is its public, collective nature. Science is a social activity, and scientific knowledge is a shared amalgam of the work and thinking of many persons. There neither is nor can there be science for one person only. But there can be individual metaphysics. Indeed, ultimately every metaphysics is individual. This is shown by the existence of abundantly many quantum mechanics interpretations. Wikipedia lists more than a dozen, each a different metaphysical understanding. Herbert (1985) discusses eight, two versions of Copenhagen and six others. Doubtlessly, if several advocates of one of these eight were carefully quizzed we would discover slight variations of their particular takes on their particular interpretation. This is inevitable. It is because there is no ultimate authority for any metaphysical explanation except one’s self. Your metaphysical understanding of anything may make no sense to any other person in the world. It need not. It need only make sense to you.

And that’s what this book offers, not science, but one person’s beyond science

Hai raggiunto la fine di questa anteprima. Registrati per continuare a leggere!
Pagina 1 di 1

Recensioni

Cosa pensano gli utenti di Objective Reality

0
0 valutazioni / 0 Recensioni
Cosa ne pensi?
Valutazione: 0 su 5 stelle

Recensioni dei lettori