58

Complex numbers are not, as you suggest, "...an integral part of physical reality". Neither, as you say, does the "quantum wave distribution function necessarily uses complex numbers". Not necessarily. Quantum mechanics can be mathematically formulated using the real numbers, the complex numbers, or the quaternions. See, e.g., https://arxiv.org/abs/1101.5690 ...


31

I thought I would give a physicist's perspective here. There are two types of evolutions in quantum mechanics: unitary (or free) evolution and measurement. Free evolution is fully reversible and deterministic; a given operator takes a specific wave functions and maps it to a specific other wave function. The uncertainty comes from the non-unitary ...


27

Quantum Physics doesn't disprove determinism. What Quantum Physics does do is significantly complicate the task of arguing for determinism. Put in the simplest possible terms, the Uncertainty Principle indicates that: 1) our observation of an event has a significant effect on the event, and 2) it is impossible for a single observation to observe all ...


22

The idea that quantum mechanics fundamentally challenges the rules of logic was popular for a while, but has fallen out of favor in recent years. While intuitively it might seem that quantum superposition (i.e something being in more than one base state at the same time) is what challenges the rules of logic, by invalidating the law of non-contradiction, ...


20

The short answer: Your premise is not correct. Quantum Mechanics is not necessarily complex-valued. Here is a primer from Physics.SE if you are solid on the math. An explanation that is light on math: Complex numbers represent a particular collection of symmetries that behave in a particular way. They happen to be closely related to Real numbers because ...


19

Rovelli claims that time is an illusion, deriving from the incompleteness of knowledge. Since that incompleteness of knowledge is a permanent (and necessary) state of affairs, his hypothesis does us no good at all-- we are still firmly stuck inside of time, illusory as it may be, with no hope of escape. And thus, for us trapped within the illusion, Zeno's ...


15

That theorem (overview) is often taken out of context. His suggestive naming of the behavior or elementary particles as "free will" irked a lot of people, especially as the connection to what we consider free will is phenomenally vague. It's almost akin to noting that Heisenberg Uncertainty suggests a lack of determinism (for the more quantum-mechanically ...


14

You can't do much better than Michael Redhead's Incompleteness nonlocality and realism. David Z. Albert's Quantum mechanics and experience is a popular text, but I don't like it: it tries to shield you from the technical details, but you simply can't understand the subject without an understanding of at least the basics of those details. There is a ...


12

Let me clarify a confusion first. Logic applies to sentences, not to objects, so object's ability to be in two places at once is not a contradiction, unless definition of "object" rules out such a possibility. It certainly does in classical mechanics, but classical mechanics does not apply to quantum objects that can be "two places at once". And quantum ...


10

The Uncertainty Principle is not directly problematic for determinism; it just says you can't measure your states that accurately. You could always assume that the states were there, but you just couldn't measure them. Einstein preferred this view, and together with Podolsky and Rosen devised a paradox that would show that uncertainty is not fundamental. ...


10

Mixedmath's answer is a good one. I'd also like to add this supplementary data from a physicist point of view. As Sheldon Goldstein said: "We point out that for stochastic models this conclusion is not correct, while for deterministic models it is not new." http://math.rutgers.edu/~oldstein/papers/fwtGTTZ.pdf Besides, even if you stick to the non-...


10

It is weirder than that: The wave function actually represents the square root of a probability, to the degree that makes any sense. (The simplest mathematical contrivance modeling this is that a particle's mass is re^it where t is time. So it 'rotates' in complex space, and its energy and mass are split into real and imaginary components.) When you ...


8

The question contains an interesting slippage, between the idea that "our current understanding of reality is flawed" and "our basic scientific method is flawed." Clearly, we need to be careful here to separate the substantive from the methodological. It goes without saying that all of the findings of quantum physics mentioned in the question were ...


8

I think this principle is highly abused. Its often used out of context. Especially in terms of our ability to measure things. But it really isn't saying anything about that, it's more a reflection of the fundamental nature of particles. Which must be understood in the context of quantum physics. So much evil is done in the name of quantum physics, by ...


7

Once we start using a scientific method, that is, observing nature in order to learn what is really happening, we are already assuming a determinism of some kind, that there are strict rules about how nature works. So it understandable to assume that all our rules about nature are lock-step, undeviating. And if they're not, that's just a failure of effort, ...


7

There certainly has been a large amount of development of modal logic interpretations of Quantum Mechanics. Once you have a Kripkean accessibility relationship (induced from nonorthogonality), the development is simple. Early work here is Goldblatt - "Semantic analysis of orthologic" Journal of Philosophical Logic (1974) and "The Stone space of an ...


7

First a point of clarification, from what you are describing, you are talking about libertarian freewill, not compatibilist freewill. More on that later. At the heart of your question is a confusion that you need to clarify, then you will understand the second paragraph you quoted better. You are confusing "Determinism" with "Lack of freewill" due to a ...


7

The OP quote draws a distinction between determinism ("hard determinism"), and causal completeness ("less absolute determinism"). The former means that the current physical state of the universe predetermines its future state in every detail, i.e. it is a "sufficient cause", this is the Laplacian view of classical mechanics. The latter means that although ...


7

In the relevant sense the answer is "no", the appearance of a "yes" is created by projecting classical intuitions about locality onto quantum objects. This is confusing because the definition of locality adopted in classical physics becomes misleading when transplanted into quantum physics. "Quantum non-locality" of entanglement is a misnomer, rather than ...


7

In my opinion you are mixing up different points: Physics does not use complex numbers to count entities. It is sufficient to count mangos by non-negative rational numbers, i.e. 1 mango, 1.5 mangos, 1/3 mango etc. You are right that quantum mechanics is based on the psi-function which is a complex function. The squared modulus of this function, a real ...


6

Keep in mind my question is about the general ability to use a "lack of knowledge" claim to invalidate a positive claim. Determinism/apple pies are just examples. In that case, let's start with your specific examples, and then move on to the general case. You claim that: I don't see how my uncertainty about the nature of the apple pies has any effect ...


6

This is a particularly sticky wicket because (a) we are delving into the philosophy of quantum mechanics (which is beset on all sides by those who wish to pervert it to their own ends) and (b) because we are confounding our understanding of the problem by confusing what we mean by "exists." To make this question more meaningfully answerable I will address ...


6

The point of Schroedinger's cat is not just that you have not checked, the point is that the cat is killed based on an indeterminate event. Indeterminate events in normal physics have to be in one of the allowed states. Indeterminate events as we observe them in quantum dynamics can be in multiple states at once, and only decide what state they were in ...


6

It is only an argument in the same sense that the Gödel theorem is an argument for transcendent truth or against AI. Mathematical theorems have no philosophical consequences unless they are conjoined with presuppositions that are themselves philosophical in the first place. This theorem is interesting as the strongest available no-go result for certain types ...


6

Does 'the quantum mind' solve the hard problem of consciousness ? Short answer: No it doesn't. Long answer: Penrose's quantum mind model is an answer to the question of how can a human mind perform computations that a computer (more specifically a Turing machine) can't. This is known as the Lucas' argument against mechanism. There are several criticism'...


5

So my question is whether this result disproves usefulness, credibility or validity of scientific method? It would problematize the scientific method only for those cases where results are not repeatable through controlled observation. Most (if not all) mysterious quantum effects disappear at the level of everyday objects, so the odds of these kinds of ...


5

I am a mathematician that found this page by accident, so I can't help you with the Zeno's paradox part (I think that was solved by calculus hundreds of years ago). But I would like to clarify some misconceptions. The thermal time hypothesis is not directly related to loop quantum gravity. It is instead a mathematical result from the theory of von Neumann ...


5

What would a quantum interpretation without ontology be like? Short Explanation: It looks like instrumentalism. Instrumentalism avoids the debate between anti-realism and philosophical or scientific realism. It may be better characterized as non-realism. Instrumentalism shifts the basis of evaluation away from whether or not phenomena observed actually ...


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