Thought vs Matter/Energy

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

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby charon on February 6th, 2020, 11:15 am 

But the question is whether the same thing that keeps planes up is what keeps bicycles up...

... not to get distracted :-)
charon
Active Member
 
Posts: 1971
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby bangstrom on February 6th, 2020, 6:25 pm 

charon » February 6th, 2020, 10:15 am wrote:But the question is whether the same thing that keeps planes up is what keeps bicycles up...

... not to get distracted :-)

No one knows how either one works.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/v ... tion=click
bangstrom
Member
 
Posts: 710
Joined: 18 Sep 2014


Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby Serpent on February 6th, 2020, 8:17 pm 

charon » February 6th, 2020, 10:15 am wrote:But the question is whether the same thing that keeps planes up is what keeps bicycles up...

No, it's the kick-stand. If you don't have one of those, the bicycle falls over. I've done this experiment 103 times, with and without prayer, with and without a magic wand -- same exact result.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3881
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 6th, 2020, 11:19 pm 

Serpent » February 7th, 2020, 12:15 am wrote:
TheVat » February 6th, 2020, 10:06 am wrote:I had just started reading my February copy, with that article, when I saw this post. I was happy to discover that aerodynamic lift was not maintained by passengers intensely thinking "dear God please don't crash" and thus exerting a telekinetic force on the wings.

Reg Prescott will soon fix that little misconception!




Fixing is not my business, good sir.

Seems to me, though, like another case of grabbing the glory where none is to be had.

Weren't the Wright brothers bicycle mechanics?

What next? Thank science for French chicks with hairy armpits?
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 416
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 6th, 2020, 11:22 pm 

I must agree, though, Flying thrills me about as much as root canal work.

Here in Taiwan, China Airlines' frequent dier ... oops, flier, program is entitled "Dynasty".

We call it "Die Nasty".
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 416
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby charon on February 7th, 2020, 1:32 am 

No one knows how either one works.


I know, that's why I posted it.
charon
Active Member
 
Posts: 1971
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby Serpent on February 7th, 2020, 1:37 am 

Reg_Prescott » February 6th, 2020, 10:19 pm wrote:

Fixing is not my business, good sir.


Which elicits the question - What is?
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3881
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby lateralsuz on February 8th, 2020, 11:25 pm 

Hyksos

I apologise for the length of this reply, but so many things have been thrown at me.

I am truly astonished by the level of contention that my comments on maths and inevitability have generated in you.

I have not said that the mathematics of QM is invalid, nor that proves things which contradict the traditional laws of physics. It isn’t and it doesn’t. Neither have I said that Dr.Arkani-Hamed doesn’t believe in that mathematics. I don’t know why you suggest that I have, because I believe that he does justifiably do so.

But the mathematics of QM does approach things in a fundamentally different way to traditional mathematics – and that fundamental difference lies in the deployment of probabilities to account for different outcomes. That said, if the factors we observe do allow us to narrow the odds to 100% then QM will exactly recreate traditional laws.

I thought it was undeniable that the mathematics of Newton and Einstein produces single outcomes as part of a balanced equation. However where experiments repeatedly produce more than one outcome to a given start point, for unknown reasons, then the use of probabilities is the only way in which the mathematics could cope with it.

We might speculate that it is down to hidden factors, (determinist theory), or we could accept that true randomness and spontaneity exist – ie.
Spontaneity – an outcome without a prior cause
Randomness – more than one outcome from a specific/precise start point

The case is not proven either way, and you cannot say that it has been. But if true spontaneity or randomness do exist then it must surely be true that traditional maths could not work because the equations wouldn’t balance.

It would be foolish for anyone to deny experimental results that give us multiple potential outcomes from a precise start point, so nobody denies the validity of using QM maths with probabilities, but that doesn’t answer the philosophical point of what is causing those differences.

In terms of inevitability Dr.Arkani-Hamed said these specific words….
“These two ideas about Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are so incredibly constraining that they make the structure of the universe around us, inevitable. So you can imagine that if you handed some reasonably competent theoretical physicist the laws of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and locked him up in a room; didn’t allow him to observe the outside world; and asked him just from the power of his thoughts, to describe what the world could possibly look like, ….. he should come out and describe the world exactly as we see it.

This is a quite amazing fact, and you need both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics for it to be true. So in a sense, the structure of the world around us is inevitable. That’s one of the real intellectual triumphs of the 20th century.”


That comment is very specific and unequivocal, and it is very much in line with determinist principles and the basis of traditional maths. It doesn’t say anything about the factors which we observe but struggle to explain. But as we see, he does state specifically that they do lead to inevitability.

But Dr.Arkani-Hamed does go on to say that Relativity and QM pose some impossible questions in relation to time and the scale of the universe etc., (ie. questions of origin), so they almost certainly need to be modified in our next description of reality. Indeed, (as I mentioned before), he says that

“Almost all of us believe that spacetime doesn’t exist – spacetime is doomed, and has to be replaced by some more primitive building blocks. And it is also conceivable that …. we may have to put limitations on Quantum Mechanics.”

And he says this by reference to resolving some aspects of cosmology, and also why the ‘microscopic universe’ (as he describes it), exists at all.

To be honest, I hear this a lot from almost all of the senior physicists I have heard/encountered. It is nothing new – and nothing which I thought was in dispute. But it is also very different from our ability to predict the outcomes of particular QM experiments.

It is true that the widest versions of Quantum Theory have allowed people to explore wider possibilities, but they are not proof and have certainly not nailed the philosophical questions.

As mentioned before, I personally do believe in some level of true randomness and spontaneity, but the thing that stops me from expecting chaos is that generally the range of possible outcomes in most scenarios is limited – which implies that there is some form of pattern/structure that stops an infinite set of possibilities in all circumstances. But the truth is that none of us really know.

You asked me to be specific about where physical principles seem to be being broken as a way of showing the potential for a 2nd type of stuff – but ignore the 3 examples that I have already given.

The various permutations of the dual slit experiment, from ‘Wheeler’s Delayed Choice’ to the ‘Quantum Eraser’ experiments have thrown out a series of dilemmas that cannot be resolved on existing principles about the nature of matter. Wave particle duality was a vague notion to describe the observed effects but not to explain them, at least, not in any way that we understand physical matter to work normally. Even the very nature of a wave, (as described), is at odds with the descriptions which some people throw out.

Whether we look at waves on the surface of a pond created by someone’s finger, or pressure waves caused by a train going through air, it is not the finger or the train which transforms to generate the waves – it is the pool of fluid through which the finger or train is passing that produces the wave. Yet wave particle duality says that it is (effectively) the finger or the train which magically transforms into a wave – contrary to everything we know and understand.

Neither does this notion of wave particle duality explain the various experimental results above, without suggesting and relying on a particle’s supposed ‘sense’ of what is coming and in some cases, going back in time to change previously detected results. Doesn’t sound very convincing to me.

On the other hand, a hidden/undetected pool of other stuff would explain all results very simply and in ways which conform to our basic understanding of how physical matter operates. The only thing that stands in the way of that simple explanation is the fact that we haven’t detected any other type of stuff. The same could be said of Dark Energy – which might be a potential candidate for this stuff. But whatever it is, it could equate to a dualist 2nd type of stuff.

In relation to my second example, while I am not a theoretical physicist, I have heard the outcomes of the experiments to test Bell’s Theorem, in different ways but with the same basic conclusion. On a UK science programme, (Secrets of Quantum Mechanics), which I saw recently, a well known physicist (Jim Al-Khalili) described the essence of experiments to track paired particles which had been structured in such a way that the results could never possibly/logically generate a value greater than 2 – but it did – time and time again. The principles had therefore been broken.

The same is true of the faster than light experiments – and by the way, I never said that the paired particles communicated via some hidden messenger particle – just that the effects equated to faster than light communications – by many orders of magnitude.

So please, let’s have your responses to these specific examples that I gave before.
lateralsuz
Member
 
Posts: 50
Joined: 19 Dec 2018


Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby hyksos on February 15th, 2020, 1:38 pm 

lateralsuz,

I worry you are no longer talking to us. At least 80% of your post is clearly passages copied from a book, or a website or some other source. In particular,

The various permutations of the dual slit experiment, from ‘Wheeler’s Delayed Choice’ to the ‘Quantum Eraser’ experiments have thrown out a series of dilemmas that cannot be resolved on existing principles about the nature of matter. Wave particle duality was a vague notion to describe the observed effects but not to explain them, at least, not in any way that we understand physical matter to work normally. Even the very nature of a wave, (as described), is at odds with the descriptions which some people throw out.

It is baldly obvious that you are not the author of this paragraph. If I had to guesstimate, I would assume you copy-pasted this passage out of a book by Finipolscie.

So please, let’s have your responses to these specific examples that I gave before.

I have effectively, pointedly, relevantly replied to everything you have posted in this thread, and you just persist on repeating yourself.

As mentioned before, I personally do believe in some level of true randomness and spontaneity, but the thing that stops me from expecting chaos is that generally the range of possible outcomes in most scenarios is limited – which implies that there is some form of pattern/structure that stops an infinite set of possibilities in all circumstances. But the truth is that none of us really know.

No. We do know this pattern/structure that limits. Quantum mechanics does not always entail these sorts of "interesting" 50/50 probabilities studied by condensed-matter physicists and debated by "philosophers" on the internet. You can tune an optics experiment to get 100% outcomes. That 100% is, in fact, predicted by QM itself.


In terms of inevitability Dr.Arkani-Hamed said these specific words….

I am a huge fan of this man , and I have followed him for years. Your attempts to put words into his mouth and speak for him to me, as if I need your help understanding him -- this is both parts insulting and blasphemous.

What Nima is communicating to the room is that QM and GR are not a "Free-for all" that allows anything. Quite the opposite, those theories are highly constraining, in terms of the kinds of universes they permit. On other parts of this forum, I have quoted Nima in regards to how finely tuned the laws of physics are. If some of these fundamental constants were off by 1 part in trillions, the universe wouldn't even form stars. It is those things that Nima is pointing to when he says that our existence here is near "inevitable".

One example is that if the cosmlogical constant were off by 1 part in 10^-27, the universe would be completely empty. To hell with stars, there wouldn't even be rocks. So yeah, it's highly constraining.

The same is true of the faster than light experiments – and by the way, I never said that the paired particles communicated via some hidden messenger particle – just that the effects equated to faster than light communications – by many orders of magnitude.

It's good that you didn't say that. That would be Hidden Variable Theory. Nobody adopts this position anymore. No respectable scientists says this. Your stuffing this into the mouths of working scientists is frankly annoying.


We might speculate that it is down to hidden factors, (determinist theory), or we could accept that true randomness and spontaneity exist – ie.
Spontaneity – an outcome without a prior cause
Randomness – more than one outcome from a specific/precise start point

The case is not proven either way, and you cannot say that it has been. But if true spontaneity or randomness do exist then it must surely be true that traditional maths could not work because the equations wouldn’t balance.

Yes. You are rubbing up against a principle that is called Laplacianism. I told you this already, but your brain did not digest it. Will you persist in repeating yourself and will we go in circles?

The universe is not a big deterministic machine. This statement is not my "internet guy opinion". In 2020, mankind and his civilization can measure the effects of vacuum fluctuations on cold superconductors. Under experimental conditions to boot, and then publish graphs of the quantified results.

In 2020, mankind has performed Loophole-free Bell's Inequality experiments. Nature defied the inequalities yet again, just as it had been doing for the last 30 years.

This thing we live in, this universe, is not a machine. The vacuum of space will 'bump' electrons around a superconductor and cause them to re-organize into higher states of order, even when those electrons have no energy. That is vehemently impossible according to classical physics. This is not 1973. This stuff is not speculated on chalkboards anymore. It is observed.

I don't expect layman outside of condensed matter physics, or laymen outside a university to know these things. That would be an unfair expectation on my part. If you want to get into this topic, here are the keywords to google

{ condensed matter physics }

{ quantum phase transition }

{ quantum phase transition superconductor }

{ quantum field theory vacuum }

{ Bell's inequalities }

{ Hidden variable theory }

I could give you two dozen examples just like the one below. But this should give you a good idea of what you should be looking for and finding. This is an abstract from a peer-reviewed article published in the journal, Nature, in 2018. You should know that the authors of the such papers cannot make claims in the ABSTRACT that cannot be demonstrated concretely. You cannot put speculation or opinion in an abstract. I have placed bold onto the parts that should pique your attention.

some random CMP pub wrote:Superconductor-insulator transition is one of the remarkable phenomena driven by quantum fluctuation in two-dimensional (2D) systems. Such a quantum phase transition (QPT) was investigated predominantly on highly disordered thin films with amorphous or granular structures using scaling law with constant exponents. Here, we provide a totally different view of QPT in highly crystalline 2D superconductors. According to the magneto-transport measurements in 2D superconducting ZrNCl and MoS2, we found that the quantum metallic state commonly observed at low magnetic fields is converted via the quantum Griffiths state to the weakly localized metal at high magnetic fields. The scaling behavior, characterized by the diverging dynamical critical exponent (Griffiths singularity), indicates that the quantum fluctuation manifests itself as superconducting puddles, in marked contrast with the thermal fluctuation. We suggest that an evolution from the quantum metallic to the quantum Griffiths state is generic nature in highly crystalline 2D superconductors with weak pinning potentials.


The quantum fluctuations are manifest. Further, they are markedly different than the phenomena of thermal fluctuation, as is stated directly afterwards.

(Let me translate that into english) : The electrons in a superconductor are being bumped around by fluctuations that are not heat, and not some un-accounted for residual heat. The authors call that "thermal fluctuation" and state , that aint it,brother. The electrons are being bumped by ...something else... something of a markedly different nature. What would that be?

It is the vacuum. The vacuum of space.

For emphasis, I repeat this is not a needle in a haystack. I could find two dozen more abstracts like this that say similarly crazy things about vacuum fluctuations. E.g. "...deviations of the mean field strength are accounted for by vacuum fluctuations." No, I'm not joking.
User avatar
hyksos
Active Member
 
Posts: 1734
Joined: 28 Nov 2014
TheVat liked this post


Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby hyksos on February 15th, 2020, 1:44 pm 

So yeah, you have all the key words which will act as portals into this topic. The ball is in your court to find the time and effort and motivation to read up and get prepared. Laplacianism (universe-is-giant-machine) was stated by Laplace 206 years ago. Two hundred and six.

The 20th century as a bombshell (in more ways than one). At the end of the day, you're dealing with a topic that caused even Albert Einstein to start rambling incoherently about God throwing dice. If philosophical speculation and opinion don't float your boat, you're in luck -> there are experiments.
User avatar
hyksos
Active Member
 
Posts: 1734
Joined: 28 Nov 2014


Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby TheVat on February 15th, 2020, 8:31 pm 

Hyksos, I will consider your long post, touching on CMP, Bell, etc. as a useful resource here, to return to. I appreciate the time you take on this sort of topic. LaPlace's demon has been pretty well exorcised. That old deterministic view of nature was what prompted Niels Bohr to make his famous quip: "Prediction is difficult, especially the future."
User avatar
TheVat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 7340
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby lateralsuz on February 20th, 2020, 10:59 am 

Hyksos / The Vat

I sometimes feel we are talking angrily at each other, when closer examination says that we are often on the same side - possibly with a slight twist.

We got onto these long diatribes because of an original comment which was trying to suggest the possibility of a 2nd type of stuff underpinning reality. If Strict Causality underpins the level of reality that we occupy, then evidence of randomness and spontaneity as defined, may point to another influence.

If we agree on the various examples you mentioned, including loophole free Bell inequalities - then that only strengthens the evidence for 'other factors' - whether that is hidden variables or true randomness and spontaneity.

Can there be any other possibilities than these 3?

If not, we are in agreement... again. But if there are , then I would genuinely like to know what the difference might be, in broad terms.

In terms of background / default positions within science - I did not put the words into Dr.Arkhani-Hamed's mouth. He said them all by himself - and he did specifically say that 'inevitability' was one of the great intellectual achievements of the 20th century.

He also specifically referred to it in relation to Quantum Mechanics - so I am not deliberately twisting his words - he said them. Yet, for the reasons I described, there are ways to reconcile my interpretation and yours. The two are not necessarily incompatible - but while you have committed to one perspective, I would like to keep options open when neither side is actually proven.

It remains true that mathematics generally only delivers a single outcome - which is why determinism has had such a long reign. The fact that so many scientists still do not wish to ditch their use of mathematics shows an intrinsic desire to retain its principles - even if we do recognise that multiple outcomes do seem to arise - particularly at the quantum level. So there is a considerable mixing of philosophies here.

The way we live our lives gives me the instinct that determinism cannot be the full story - even if it might be true for the majority of physical interactions at our level of reality. But the point remains, that true spontaneity and randomness would destroy the traditional maths that has described scientific principles to date. If you deny true spontaneity and randomness then there can only be hidden variables - isn't that true?

In your example, you suggested that the vacuum of space caused particles to bump around - but a vacuum in this context is a hidden variable - and in itself shouldn't be able to do anything as I thought it is the pressure and energies of occupied space that causes effects, (when a vacuum implies 'nothing').

So when I find, and then fully accept, the evidence of multiple outcomes etc. I wonder where the evidence will take us, (as I am sure we all do). Due to the use of probabilities, my sense is also that the mathematics of QM can only describe and not explain.

If I interpret you correctly, your preference and mine is to believe that the experimental results do make the world 'not inevitable' but in that case, crude logic would suggest that chaos should ensue. Yet it doesn't.

In terms of the topic of this thread, there are still a lot of determinists in the world, who believe that everything is inevitable - not just the actions of the physical world.
I think it is also worth re-opening the debate on Dualism for the reasons stated earlier.

Due to the strong separation of the reality that we occupy, and the different rules which seem to apply to sub-atomic particles (the quantum world) it may be that our speculation about a 2nd type of stuff may simply reflect the different layers of reality. But the old arguments surrounding the principles of dualism would still be valid in either case, I think.
lateralsuz
Member
 
Posts: 50
Joined: 19 Dec 2018


Previous

Return to Philosophy of Science

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests