Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Discussions on the philosophical foundations, assumptions, and implications of science, including the natural sciences.

Re: Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Postby hyksos on April 16th, 2017, 5:07 pm 

For the benefit of those who are reading this thread from afar, here are some notes about my use of the word "Oracle".

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=32742

(someguy1 already knows what these are)
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Re: Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Postby mitchellmckain on April 16th, 2017, 9:08 pm 

What objective evidence has shown is that there are no causes for the results of quantum decoherence within the premises of the scientific worldview such as local causality and realism, because any such causes would be what Einstein and the Bell's inequality refers to as "hidden variables." There is NOTHING mystical about this term it simply refers to causes that we have not been able to measure.

This basically rules out physical determinism. Both Everett and Quantum Bayesean interpretations require us to tie the word "physical" in this statement to what we can measure. QB leaves open the possibility of an inaccessible deterministic reality beyond what can be measured just as the Everett interpretation postulates a mathematical determinism in a branching multiverse. In some sense both are looking beyond the premise of realism to save a belief in determinism. But the fact remains, whether we are talking about a multiverse of possible histories or an un-measurable reality, we leave the measurable world of science behind and enter the realm of philosophy and belief. This is not to say it isn't real or unbelievable, but it should be recognized that the epistemological foundations have altered and a diversity of human thought must be accepted and the intolerance of those calling the beliefs of others asinine should be understood. Thus if others want to call the non-measurable reality by the word spiritual or something like that, then we don't have any sound basis for making an objection.

Once it is clear we are talking about personal beliefs then I feel free to declare myself on this subject. I do not believe in any kind of determinism -- not in some un-measurable reality nor in a realm of spirits. Why? My subjective pragmatic reason is that it looks unproductive to expect that every event has a rational reason. This doesn't mean that we don't look for reasons but it does mean that when we don't find a reason then we don't fill in something from our imagination. It seems to me that such is a bad habit which has caused more trouble and abuse than help and good behavior. In theological terms, I suppose this means I don't put any stock in an all controlling god but instead believe in a God who doesn't feel any need to control everything and can limit what He controls letting some things happen for reason at all. Why? Because there is more to be gained from the unexpected, I think.

But I certainly do not declare that determinism is impossible let alone asinine. What I find asinine are people who label the position of others as asinine. I call this intolerant and I suppose you could say this applies to me being intolerant of intolerance.
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Re: Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Postby hyksos on April 16th, 2017, 10:13 pm 

mitchellmckain ,

Random data contains a lot of information. It actually contains the maximum information which could be placed into a string. If this information does not derive from any particle in our universe it must then come from something outside the universe.. a random Oracle Function. Now I can say "function" without making any physical commitments to the actual character of its existence. (I see you tossing the G-word around). Substitute unicorns or fairies according to taste.

The alternative is clear. You would have to abandon the Principle of Sufficient Reason, and then after doing that, declare that certain kinds of ex-nihilo information exists in material systems that "came from nowhere". In terms of metaphysics, that position is very extreme. I wonder why there are not more people in academia who just resolve that perhaps gravity plays a role in the selection of a Stationary State upon measurement (-- or something sensible in the same spirit of that.)
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Re: Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Postby mitchellmckain on April 17th, 2017, 12:10 am 

hyksos » April 16th, 2017, 9:13 pm wrote:mitchellmckain ,

Random data contains a lot of information. It actually contains the maximum information which could be placed into a string. If this information does not derive from any particle in our universe it must then come from something outside the universe.. a random Oracle Function. Now I can say "function" without making any physical commitments to the actual character of its existence.

That is complete nonsense with respect to information theory which measures the loss of information to noise. But according to your bizarre assertion, this noise includes even more information and then there is no loss of information but only gain. Ridiculous. Random transmission contains no data whatsoever and this is why long distant correlation due to entanglement do not violate local causality. No information is transmitted.

hyksos » April 16th, 2017, 9:13 pm wrote:(I see you tossing the G-word around). Substitute unicorns or fairies according to taste.

Unicorns, ghosts, fairies, gods, psychics, alternative medicine, and alien abductions are indeed all a matter of subjective experiences and beliefs and thus have no greater or less epistemological status than suppositions about what went before the big bang or ideas about non-measurable deterministic realities, for that matter. It is just that some of us are aware of the difference rather than simply pretending that ones own subjective fetishes are somehow exempt and epistemologically superior to those of others.

hyksos » April 16th, 2017, 9:13 pm wrote:
The alternative is clear. You would have to abandon the Principle of Sufficient Reason

Indeed, such is not only the foundation of discourse but central to scientific inqury itself and thus it is no wonder that so many scientists have reacted to quantum physics with outrage, incredulity and cognitive dissonance. But the scientists must hold to an even more important and founding principle in science and that is accepting the verdict of experimental tests.
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Re: Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Postby hyksos on April 17th, 2017, 1:31 am 

That is complete nonsense with respect to information theory which measures the loss of information to noise. But according to your bizarre assertion, this noise includes even more information and then there is no loss of information but only gain.

I agree with this signal-to-noise ratio you speak about, however Algorithmic Information Theory entails that random information is more difficult to compress than ordered data (assuming no errors in conversion).

I have a few questions about physics that I hope you can provide a professional opinion.

1. Is it reasonable to say that an individual particle has a temperature, T?

2. Do the range of temperatures of a particle associate with higher excited states of that particle's wave?

3. In your professional opinion, is there a difference between a particle's translational kinetic energy versus the energy is possesses on account of its temperature alone?

4. Neutrons are used in spectroscopy of protein molecules. Is there a reason that neutrons work so well for this type of structural imaging of molecules at room temperature?

5. Have you heard of the Thermal deBroglie wavelength? In your opinion, why would temperature have any affect on that quantity?
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Re: Riding Thermals

Postby Faradave on April 17th, 2017, 11:57 am 

~Random Opinions~

hyksos wrote:1. Is it reasonable to say that an individual particle has a temperature, T? ... 3. is there a difference between a particle's translational kinetic energy versus the energy is possesses on account of its temperature alone?


Assume "particle" is fundamental, i.e. not a composite having vibrational and rotational modes of kinetic energy. "Temperature" is an emergent phenomenon like pressure, an average kinetic energy of a particle collection, appropriate when the collection is too large to count. There is no need to employ such a statistical approach with smaller collections or a single particle. However, if a single particle is considered within a large collection, an average kinetic energy over time would not be unreasonable if the period is sufficient that the particle's motion may be considered chaotic.

hyksos wrote:2. Do the range of temperatures of a particle associate with higher excited states of that particle's wave?

Yes. But it helps to model "energy" and "wave" from first principles.
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Re: Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Postby hyksos on April 17th, 2017, 1:21 pm 

faradave,

Are you the adopting the position that the energy associated with temperature is only ever available as kinetic motions of entire particles?
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Re: Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Postby hyksos on April 17th, 2017, 1:24 pm 

No Local Hidden Variable theory could possibly reproduce all the predictions of quantum mechanics.

I wholeheartedly agree with this claim. It is theoretically valid and experimentally valid. In fact, let me quote myself as discussing such, and linking such on this very forum. November 14, 2015.
Einsteinwaswrong.png

A dire miscommunication has gripped this forum.

No.1 I am not espousing a local hidden variable theory.
No.2 I do not, nor have I ever on this forum ever denied non-locality.
No.3 My variables are not hidden. They are real, and in principle, measureable events.

That's right. I have never adopted the position that an invisible sub-luminal signal travels between entangled quantum systems. Ever. In fact, I am the very person who linked the loophole-free Bell's Inequalities experiments from Colorado and the Netherlands onto this forum. You are talking to that person. It is me. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=29703
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Re: Temperature in Degrees

Postby Faradave on April 17th, 2017, 1:35 pm 

It's simpler that way. Going back to the Boltzman-Maxwell-Bernoulli statistical derivation of the universal gas law, it was helpful to start with an "ideal gas".

Composite particles come with additional degrees of freedom in which kinetic energy is expressed. Avoiding that keeps things simple. Alternatively, one could choose to ignore those modes, as might be approximated with helium atoms.
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Re: Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Postby hyksos on April 17th, 2017, 2:11 pm 

If there is inexplicable randomness in our universe, we should first consider the actual particles and forces within our own actual universe as the primary suspects. This should happen far prior to positing the existence of angels dancing on the heads of pins, whose behavior is independent of any and all matter and energy everywhere in our universe, as the go-to explanation for the randomness.

One should make sure to explain that these inter-cosmic interactions would certainly be non-local physics. Because otherwise you run the risk of a miscommunication : and you are quickly attacked for espousing a so-called "Local Hidden Variable Theory". Here I am using the phrase, inter-cosmic to mean that the primary origin of the randomness is within our own universe. "extra-cosmic" would mean either independent of all matter/energy/information in our universe.

Extra-cosmic might entail the physical existence of something outside our own universe, or it might not. That is a matter of one's metaphysics.
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Re: Temperature in Degrees

Postby hyksos on April 17th, 2017, 2:18 pm 

Faradave » April 17th, 2017, 9:35 pm wrote:It's simpler that way. Going back to the Boltzman-Maxwell-Bernoulli statistical derivation of the universal gas law, it was helpful to start with an "ideal gas".

Composite particles come with additional degrees of freedom in which kinetic energy is expressed. Avoiding that keeps things simple. Alternatively, one could choose to ignore those modes, as might be approximated with helium atoms.

Yep -- there are situations where you can ignore those modes. Below a certain temperature, hydrogen gas will exhibit a flat constant curve in its specific heat. But at higher temperatures, the specific heat of hydrogen starts to rise. Interestingly this rise is not smooth. It happens in stair-steps. Some textbooks say that these degrees of freedom are "freezing out" at the lower temperatures.
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Re: State relates to participation rate

Postby Faradave on April 17th, 2017, 3:37 pm 

Right. And Einstein explained that while substances (at least for solids) tend toward similar specific heat at high temperatures they will differ at low temperatures. Because vibrational energy is quantized, at low temp. there is insufficient energy for all atoms present to participate. This effectively reduces the amount of the substance exhibiting the property reducing the apparent specific heat of the sample.

I expect this extends to fluids comprised by composite particles with vibrational modes.
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Re: Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Postby mitchellmckain on April 18th, 2017, 6:12 am 

hyksos » April 17th, 2017, 12:31 am wrote:
That is complete nonsense with respect to information theory which measures the loss of information to noise. But according to your bizarre assertion, this noise includes even more information and then there is no loss of information but only gain.

I agree with this signal-to-noise ratio you speak about, however Algorithmic Information Theory entails that random information is more difficult to compress than ordered data (assuming no errors in conversion).

Mmmm.... there seems to be something a little subjective in the measure of information. What if your intent is to study the noise in a transmission process? Then with respect to such a goal, you are gaining information rather than losing it in transmission.

hyksos » April 17th, 2017, 12:31 am wrote:I have a few questions about physics that I hope you can provide a professional opinion.

1. Is it reasonable to say that an individual particle has a temperature, T?

Yes. Boltzman's relation applies perfectly well to a single particle, and I can see it being used in a particle accelerator, for example. Just because a measure of some attribute involves averaging over a population does not mean it is invalidated when the population is one.

hyksos » April 17th, 2017, 12:31 am wrote:2. Do the range of temperatures of a particle associate with higher excited states of that particle's wave?

Yes and no. The Boltzman relation gives temperature as a function of energy and an excited state would contribute to the energy, so you could add this in, for some reason. But usually temperature is restricted to kinetic energy only and thus the potential energy of an excited state would not be included.

hyksos » April 17th, 2017, 12:31 am wrote:3. In your professional opinion, is there a difference between a particle's translational kinetic energy versus the energy is possesses on account of its temperature alone?

Interesting question. We know that a material's heat capacity derives from the different degrees of freedom it has in its motion. Thus the ability of molecules to store energy in other ways such as rotation increases the amount of heat it takes to raise the temperature. This implies it may be only the translational kinetic energy directly relates to temperature, BUT the energy which a body has because of its temperature includes all the motions it is capable of including rotation and oscillation (of the chemical bonds).

hyksos » April 17th, 2017, 12:31 am wrote:4. Neutrons are used in spectroscopy of protein molecules. Is there a reason that neutrons work so well for this type of structural imaging of molecules at room temperature?

While I answered the above questions off the top of my head, I had to look this up. Neutron spectroscopy is not something I have come across before. As for proteins all I can really say without a great deal of time reading is that the neutron spectroscopy of proteins is certainly an area of scientific interest generating quite a number of scientific papers over the last decade.

hyksos » April 17th, 2017, 12:31 am wrote:5. Have you heard of the Thermal deBroglie wavelength? In your opinion, why would temperature have any affect on that quantity?

This is another one I have not encountered before. Hmmm... deBroglie wavelength is calculated from the linear momentum. This is in turn related to the temperature, so you can see how this can connect with thermodynamics. The Thermal deBroglie wavelength seems to be a generalization of deBroglie wavelength to a different number of dimensions and thus might be used in situations where motion is confined to 1 or 2 dimensions. This suggests to me it might be used in solid state which is not something I have done much study or work in.
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Postby Faradave on April 18th, 2017, 10:46 am 

Re: Above Average Reply

mitchellmckain wrote: Boltzman's relation applies perfectly well to a single particle, ... Just because a measure of some attribute involves averaging over a population does not mean it is invalidated when the population is one.

As with pressure, a problem arises when considering a single particle in a box. What is it's temperature (or pressure)? If we have probes on all six surfaces, at most one will give an instantaneous reading at a time. Emergent properties need to be considered in the group from which they emerge or at the very least, as the mean value emerging from many measurements of an individual particle, typically within the group.

Group becomes important to the latter to impart randomness. Otherwise a single particle might oscillate between just two walls of a container, imparting "temperature" or "pressure" only to those walls.

Energy and momentum would be more useful in assessing a single particle while temperature and pressure may be misleading.

"Kinetic theory provides a microscopic explanation of temperature, based on macroscopic systems' being composed of many microscopic particles, ..." [1]
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Re:

Postby mitchellmckain on April 18th, 2017, 2:25 pm 

Faradave » April 18th, 2017, 9:46 am wrote:Re: Above Average Reply
mitchellmckain wrote: Boltzman's relation applies perfectly well to a single particle, ... Just because a measure of some attribute involves averaging over a population does not mean it is invalidated when the population is one.

As with pressure, a problem arises when considering a single particle in a box. What is it's temperature (or pressure)? If we have probes on all six surfaces, at most one will give an instantaneous reading at a time.

Well pressure certainly is a little different. We think of it coming from the momentum imparted by collisions but it isn't the average per particle but the average over the area of the walls. Unlike temperature, the pressure thus depends on the number of particles and for a single particle the pressure would be practically zero.

Faradave » April 18th, 2017, 9:46 am wrote:Emergent properties need to be considered in the group from which they emerge or at the very least, as the mean value emerging from many measurements of an individual particle, typically within the group.

In principle yes. But the ultimate question in science is utility and if is useful to think of a single particle as having some emergent property then a population of one isn't much of a deterrent.

At first, I was thinking your example of a particle in a box is not a case where calculating the temperature of the particle is of much use. But I am not entirely sure that is the case when considering thermal radiation. Anyway, averaging over many such boxes is still an accepted (even standard) scientific practice.
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Re: Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Postby hyksos on April 19th, 2017, 5:30 pm 

Thanks for the reply. I have even more clarifying questions!

1.)
My understanding goes like this, and is likely wrong. Neutron spectroscopy works because at room temperature, the thermal deBroglie wavelength of neutrons is roughly equal to the wavelength of X-rays. (X-ray spectroscopy was, of course, a very successful imaging technique of molecules in the 20th century.) In short, deBroglie wavelength depends on temperature, and that's why neutron spectroscopy works well on protein molecules at room-temperature. Your thoughts?

2.)
Bell's inequalities have ruled out local hidden variable theories. But why have we so hastily excluded non-local interactions as a basis for the randomness upon measurement?
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Re: Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Postby mitchellmckain on April 19th, 2017, 11:14 pm 

hyksos » April 19th, 2017, 4:30 pm wrote:Thanks for the reply. I have even more clarifying questions!

1.)
My understanding goes like this, and is likely wrong. Neutron spectroscopy works because at room temperature, the thermal deBroglie wavelength of neutrons is roughly equal to the wavelength of X-rays. (X-ray spectroscopy was, of course, a very successful imaging technique of molecules in the 20th century.) In short, deBroglie wavelength depends on temperature, and that's why neutron spectroscopy works well on protein molecules at room-temperature. Your thoughts?

Oh I see, that is a more obvious meaning for the term "thermal deBroglie wavelength" than what I found when I looked it up, i.e. the deBroglie wavelength neutrons would have by virtue of the momentum on average they would have at that temperature. The only difficulty I am having with the concept is the idea of free neutrons as a part of a gas, since their temperature would usually be more associated with the source (i.e. with the nuclear process which produces them). But I guess it is not too far-fetched that with a halflife of 10 minutes they might reach thermal equillibrium with a surrounding gas provided their density is low and the temperature/energy they have from the source is not too far off that of the gas.

...though... remember they have no charge, so they wouldn't interact with molecules the way that atoms and molecules do. They would have to collide with the atomic nucleus in order for an exchange of momentum and that makes me think that 10 minutes is not enough to reach thermal equilibrium with a gas.

Again remembering I am a neophyte in this subject area, my guess is that neutron spectroscopy is useful in getting information about the vibrational motions of atoms in the molecules and this information is of particular interest in the study of proteins for some reason.

hyksos » April 19th, 2017, 4:30 pm wrote:2.)
Bell's inequalities have ruled out local hidden variable theories. But why have we so hastily excluded non-local interactions as a basis for the randomness upon measurement?

It is because local causality has been one of the basic assumptions of scientific inquiry for the last century. It is all well and good if physicists like Paul Davies write in popular books about the implication these findings have for the non-local nature of things in the universe. It is another matter entirely when it comes to the tools of the trade in scientific research. If there are no analytical tools for such a non-locality approach then you might as well be talking about gods or aliens.
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Re: Determinism and Hidden Variables.

Postby hyksos on April 27th, 2017, 1:54 pm 

mitchellmckain » April 20th, 2017, 7:14 am wrote:It is because local causality has been one of the basic assumptions of scientific inquiry for the last century. It is all well and good if physicists like Paul Davies write in popular books about the implication these findings have for the non-local nature of things in the universe. It is another matter entirely when it comes to the tools of the trade in scientific research. If there are no analytical tools for such a non-locality approach then you might as well be talking about gods or aliens.

I have this same feeling about non-locality and putting it under a disciplined framework. Non-locality in physics is kind of like pregnancy in people. Once you admit non-locality, you couldn't mean to say that you are referring to a "half-way" nonlocality. That would be like saying you are half-pregnant. Once you admit nonlocality, you cannot corral it just inside the orbit of Neptune.

"And by non-local, I mean, within a few miles of"

Once physics is non-local , the interactions can originate from a rock on Pluto -- A distant galaxy -- Halfway across the universe. Outside the observable universe. Way outside any distance we might 'reasonably' talk about. (gigaparsecs and what have you)
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