QM question: What causes wave collapse?
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01-04-2014, 12:40 AM
QM question: What causes wave collapse?
What do you think causes wave collapse? It seems a lot of physicists believe consciousness is directly involved, though this obviously has tremendous ramifications for materialism (since consciousness appears to be a recent phenomenon on our planet) and hence, many other physicists a priori reject the fundamental role of observers. What's your take?
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01-04-2014, 01:06 AM
RE: QM question: What causes wave collapse?
Can you define the wave you're specifically referring. It seems any moving system will work here. And I may be wrong.

Please break it down a bit. I draw a disability check because I am dis-functional in all science related areas.

Before I go any further in research on the topic, my first thought is that an irregularity in the motion implied in wave function becomes irrational somehow or simply stops. Who knows?

Please someone help me here to exorcize my disability. This is of the devil, right?

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01-04-2014, 01:51 AM
RE: QM question: What causes wave collapse?
(01-04-2014 01:06 AM)Dee Wrote:  Can you define the wave you're specifically referring. It seems any moving system will work here. And I may be wrong.

Please break it down a bit. I draw a disability check because I am dis-functional in all science related areas.

Before I go any further in research on the topic, my first thought is that an irregularity in the motion implied in wave function becomes irrational somehow or simply stops. Who knows?

Please someone help me here to exorcize my disability. This is of the devil, right?

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_function_collapse
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01-04-2014, 05:01 AM
RE: QM question: What causes wave collapse?
(01-04-2014 12:40 AM)Pickup_shonuff Wrote:  What do you think causes wave collapse? It seems a lot of physicists believe consciousness is directly involved, though this obviously has tremendous ramifications for materialism (since consciousness appears to be a recent phenomenon on our planet) and hence, many other physicists a priori reject the fundamental role of observers. What's your take?

By talking about conciousness being involved you are referring to the Von Neumann-Wigner interpretation[1], not the common Copenhagen interpretation[2]. It is an interpretation largely excluded by quantum eraser experiments[3][4] that show machines can collapse quantum superpositions without the need for a human mind to be involved at the time of the collapse, although a human mind is eventually involved in analysing the experimental results.

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I tend to fall somewhat in the many worlds camp, a variant of which is the notion that various superposed quantum systems can become entangled with each other and kind of... synch up. That we can create isolated systems that exist in superpositions but that through measurement it becomes synchronised with and entangled with our quantum system.

There are a wide range of viable interpretations[5] and it is somewhat irrelevant as to which you choose to think in terms of until one is verified by making surprising reliable predictions.

More here:


.

Currently the motto of quantum mechanics is "shut up and calculate":




[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann...rpretation
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_interpretation
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_cho...tum_eraser
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_eraser_experiment
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretat..._mechanics

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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01-04-2014, 10:13 AM
RE: QM question: What causes wave collapse?
(01-04-2014 12:40 AM)Pickup_shonuff Wrote:  What do you think causes wave collapse? It seems a lot of physicists believe consciousness is directly involved, though this obviously has tremendous ramifications for materialism (since consciousness appears to be a recent phenomenon on our planet) and hence, many other physicists a priori reject the fundamental role of observers. What's your take?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Why?

Because there is no such event as wave collapse. Or wave function collapse. It is merely the description of going from probability to actuality for the observer.
Nothing happened to that which was observed. The only change is in the observer's knowledge.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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01-04-2014, 12:20 PM (This post was last modified: 01-04-2014 12:24 PM by Pickup_shonuff.)
RE: QM question: What causes wave collapse?
(01-04-2014 10:13 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(01-04-2014 12:40 AM)Pickup_shonuff Wrote:  What do you think causes wave collapse? It seems a lot of physicists believe consciousness is directly involved, though this obviously has tremendous ramifications for materialism (since consciousness appears to be a recent phenomenon on our planet) and hence, many other physicists a priori reject the fundamental role of observers. What's your take?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Why?

Because there is no such event as wave collapse. Or wave function collapse. It is merely the description of going from probability to actuality for the observer.
Nothing happened to that which was observed. The only change is in the observer's knowledge.

Are you sure about that Chas? I haven't read anything like that in my quest to understand the various interpretations of QM thus far (this statement not withstanding: "It is merely the description of going from probability to actuality for the observer.")

Some even go so far as to say, "to be is to be perceived."
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01-04-2014, 01:16 PM
RE: QM question: What causes wave collapse?
(01-04-2014 12:20 PM)Pickup_shonuff Wrote:  
(01-04-2014 10:13 AM)Chas Wrote:  Nothing. Nothing at all.

Why?

Because there is no such event as wave collapse. Or wave function collapse. It is merely the description of going from probability to actuality for the observer.
Nothing happened to that which was observed. The only change is in the observer's knowledge.

Are you sure about that Chas? I haven't read anything like that in my quest to understand the various interpretations of QM thus far (this statement not withstanding: "It is merely the description of going from probability to actuality for the observer.")

Some even go so far as to say, "to be is to be perceived."

Right, because sub-atomic particles keep looking over their shoulders. No

The idea that something is actually happening because of conscious observation is absurd. Think about it - the universe popped into existence some 3 million years ago when homo became conscious? With all of the 13+ billion year old light already on its way? The same arguments against YECs works against that the idea of consciousness creating reality.

The key word is 'interpretation'. There is no good evidence that any interpretation of QM is any better than any other of the 29 or so.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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01-04-2014, 01:27 PM
RE: QM question: What causes wave collapse?
I agree that is absurd. Why do you think so many PHYSICISTS (not exactly the group of people I'd expect to reach such strange ontological conclusions) prescribe to these interpretations? I just want to make sure I'm not trivializing the data.
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01-04-2014, 01:29 PM
RE: QM question: What causes wave collapse?
If by "a lot" of physicists, you mean "nearly none", then, yes, "a lot" of physicists grant privilege to conscious* interaction. Mostly people like Deepak Chopra**.

*that there are no particularly useful or coherent definitions of consciousness notwithstanding
**not really a physicist

Wave functions don't really collapse per se; they collapse in one measurement basis, and they do so by assuming a corresponding different state in all other measurement bases, with all the usual invariance and conservation applying. This happens due to interaction, and anyone I've spoken to would deprecate usage of 'observation' as a poor term.

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01-04-2014, 01:58 PM
RE: QM question: What causes wave collapse?
I wouldn't put Deepak Chopra in the same conversation as John Von Neumann, Eugene Wigner, and Henry Stapp. But I take your point.
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