Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
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13-11-2013, 06:11 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 04:20 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  When it comes to uncertainty, I am uncertain if there is inherent uncertainty or if it's simply the way in which we attempt to detect each of the values.

If you are bouncing a photon off an electron to determine it's position, the very act of "bouncing" (non technical term) is also altering the position and momentum of that electron, but you can gain one of the values you are looking for.

http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes...ciple.html

The uncertainty isn't inherent. The uncertainty comes from our methods of detection
As those methods change, we'll get a more accurate view.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_(physics)

Quote:Historically, the observer effect has been confused with the uncertainty principle.
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13-11-2013, 06:30 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 05:53 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(13-11-2013 05:32 PM)Chas Wrote:  Gotta disagree with you on this. The uncertainty is a product of measurement, it is not inherent in the particle. Heisenberg said it.
"It can be expressed in its simplest form as follows: One can never know with perfect accuracy both of those two important factors which determine the movement of one of the smallest particles—its position and its velocity. It is impossible to determine accurately both the position and the direction and speed of a particle at the same instant."

What you and Rhan are talking about is the Observer effect which is not the same as uncertainty.

It is Heisenberg's statement. So, there's that.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-11-2013, 06:30 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 05:53 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(13-11-2013 05:32 PM)Chas Wrote:  Gotta disagree with you on this. The uncertainty is a product of measurement, it is not inherent in the particle. Heisenberg said it.
"It can be expressed in its simplest form as follows: One can never know with perfect accuracy both of those two important factors which determine the movement of one of the smallest particles—its position and its velocity. It is impossible to determine accurately both the position and the direction and speed of a particle at the same instant."

What you and Rhan are talking about is the Observer effect which is not the same as uncertainty.

No we aren't.

Imagine you are blind and you are facing a pool table with the cue ball within reach and another ball somewhere on the table.

You blindly hit the cue ball several times and on one of the shots you hit the other ball. For the sake of simplicity we're going to say the cue ball bounces back to you and you are able to feel the force that it bounces back with. No matter where the other ball was on the table, the cue ball returns to you in the same amount of time so you are unable to tell the position of the other ball.

You also have no idea what the position and momentum that the other ball has now, after you have hit it.

Now let's say instead of hitting the cue ball straight to the other ball, you bounce it off a rail. The rail alters the force of the cue ball, but when you measure the angle that the cue ball returns, you can discover the position of the other ball. The force of the cue ball that returns to you doesn't give you an accurate measurement of the momentum of the other ball.

Again, You have no idea what the position and momentum that the other ball has now, after you have hit it.

This example gives an idea of what we are saying uncertainty is how the method of discovery makes it uncertain.

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13-11-2013, 09:17 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 03:22 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Yeah, but that's wrong.

Things exist as combinations of wave functions. Interactions of those wave functions physically change them.

That whole "well we can't know, but they're still defined somehow anyway" bit? That old schtick you're using here?

I... guess you don't realize what you're doing.

Because that's precisely the sort of hidden variable business we (I say 'we' generally but I remind you that in this case it includes you) have already discounted in this very thread.

So I have to ask: just what exactly are you attempting to argue? Just what do you believe here?

It's not coming across very coherently.

When you measure the spin on Zed axis, before you measure it, it is either up or down with 50-50 chance of being either. How does the wave function "know" to collapse on up or down? With a roulette wheel, the velocity of the ball, the spin of the wheel, the coefficient of friction, etc all determine whether the ball will land on black or red. At the quantum level variables like those do not exist.

The result is random.....but we know randomness is really just ignorance. So what are we ignorant about? What determines that when we measure the spin of a particle it will be up or down? I can say God determines that. You can't say you don't know because you know it isn't some hidden physical variable. So what do you say? Randomness just is? That's silly. I'd rather believe in some non physical(i.e. supernatural) hidden variable because then my determinant world view stays intact.
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13-11-2013, 09:19 PM (This post was last modified: 13-11-2013 09:44 PM by cjlr.)
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 06:30 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  
(13-11-2013 05:53 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  What you and Rhan are talking about is the Observer effect which is not the same as uncertainty.

No we aren't.

Imagine you are blind and you are facing a pool table with the cue ball within reach and another ball somewhere on the table.

You blindly hit the cue ball several times and on one of the shots you hit the other ball. For the sake of simplicity we're going to say the cue ball bounces back to you and you are able to feel the force that it bounces back with. No matter where the other ball was on the table, the cue ball returns to you in the same amount of time so you are unable to tell the position of the other ball.

You also have no idea what the position and momentum that the other ball has now, after you have hit it.

Now let's say instead of hitting the cue ball straight to the other ball, you bounce it off a rail. The rail alters the force of the cue ball, but when you measure the angle that the cue ball returns, you can discover the position of the other ball. The force of the cue ball that returns to you doesn't give you an accurate measurement of the momentum of the other ball.

Again, You have no idea what the position and momentum that the other ball has now, after you have hit it.

This example gives an idea of what we are saying uncertainty is how the method of discovery makes it uncertain.

Eh. Sorry guys, but that is indeed a different phenomenon. The examples I gave were supposing perfect measurement!

The nature of wave packets is such that a function (ie position) and its time-domain Fourier transform (ie momentum) cannot be simultaneously arbitrarily localised. That's purely mathematical, and is, as we say, 'agnostic' (it does not depend on the specifics of any given system or measurement). Or, put another way, the product of statistical uncertainties for non-commuting operators is never less than the expectation value of their commutator.

However, and here is where confusion arises, one may say that the "total" uncertainty (such as with an imperfect real-world measurement) is then a product of measurement error and statistical uncertainty. In theory the measurement error can be made arbitrarily small. In practice, not so much. Heisenberg himself was indeed only concerned with measurement error at first.

Perhaps the issue is that theoretical physicists are only ever concerned with statistical uncertainty, and experimental physicists are only ever concerned with measurement uncertainty!

EDIT: more detail. Non-commuting operators do not share eigenfunctions; therefore a state of one operator is necessarily a linear combination of states of the other operator. Therefore due to being such a combination there is statistical uncertainty in the expectation value of said operator (it admits of more than one possible outcome). Thus the uncertainty in measuring two non-commuting operators. This is measurement-agnostic.

(13-11-2013 05:32 PM)Chas Wrote:  Gotta disagree with you on this. The uncertainty is a product of measurement, it is not inherent in the particle. Heisenberg said it.
"It can be expressed in its simplest form as follows: One can never know with perfect accuracy both of those two important factors which determine the movement of one of the smallest particles—its position and its velocity. It is impossible to determine accurately both the position and the direction and speed of a particle at the same instant."

Heisenberg didn't know everything Tongue.

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13-11-2013, 09:22 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 09:19 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(13-11-2013 06:30 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  No we aren't.

Imagine you are blind and you are facing a pool table with the cue ball within reach and another ball somewhere on the table.

You blindly hit the cue ball several times and on one of the shots you hit the other ball. For the sake of simplicity we're going to say the cue ball bounces back to you and you are able to feel the force that it bounces back with. No matter where the other ball was on the table, the cue ball returns to you in the same amount of time so you are unable to tell the position of the other ball.

You also have no idea what the position and momentum that the other ball has now, after you have hit it.

Now let's say instead of hitting the cue ball straight to the other ball, you bounce it off a rail. The rail alters the force of the cue ball, but when you measure the angle that the cue ball returns, you can discover the position of the other ball. The force of the cue ball that returns to you doesn't give you an accurate measurement of the momentum of the other ball.

Again, You have no idea what the position and momentum that the other ball has now, after you have hit it.

This example gives an idea of what we are saying uncertainty is how the method of discovery makes it uncertain.

Eh. Sorry guys, but that is indeed a different phenomenon. The examples I gave were supposing perfect measurement!

The nature of wave packets is such that a function (ie position) and its time-domain Fourier transform (ie momentum) cannot be simultaneously arbitrarily localised. That's purely mathematical, and is, as we say, 'agnostic' (it does not depend on the specifics of any given system or measurement). Or, put another way, the product of statistical uncertainties for non-commuting operators is never less than the expectation value of their commutator.

However, and here is where confusion arises, one may say that the "total" uncertainty (such as with an imperfect real-world measurement) is then a product of measurement error and statistical uncertainty. In theory the measurement error can be made arbitrarily small. In practice, not so much. Heisenberg himself was indeed only concerned with measurement error at first. But

Perhaps the issue is that theoretical physicists are only ever concerned with statistical uncertainty, and experimental physicists are only ever concerned with measurement uncertainty!

(13-11-2013 05:32 PM)Chas Wrote:  Gotta disagree with you on this. The uncertainty is a product of measurement, it is not inherent in the particle. Heisenberg said it.
"It can be expressed in its simplest form as follows: One can never know with perfect accuracy both of those two important factors which determine the movement of one of the smallest particles—its position and its velocity. It is impossible to determine accurately both the position and the direction and speed of a particle at the same instant."

Heisenberg didn't know everything Tongue.

Translation: Rhan and Chas were describing the observer effect and not uncertainty.
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13-11-2013, 09:34 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 09:17 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  When you measure the spin on Zed axis, before you measure it, it is either up or down with 50-50 chance of being either.

Not necessarily, but that's not the point.

(13-11-2013 09:17 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  How does the wave function "know" to collapse on up or down? With a roulette wheel, the velocity of the ball, the spin of the wheel, the coefficient of friction, etc all determine whether the ball will land on black or red. At the quantum level variables like those do not exist.

I'm not sure if you did this on purpose, but I've already answered literally everything you're saying.

As I, er, already said:
(13-11-2013 10:58 AM)cjlr Wrote:  But never fear; there are still many points at which we must say "we don't know how/why/if such-and-such happens". So you can shove the ol' God of the Gaps back in yet!

(13-11-2013 09:17 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  The result is random.....but we know randomness is really just ignorance.

No. That's contrary to everything that's been gone over in this thread.

(13-11-2013 09:17 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  So what are we ignorant about? What determines that when we measure the spin of a particle it will be up or down? I can say God determines that.

Hmm:
(13-11-2013 04:14 PM)cjlr Wrote:  And like I said, if you really want to insist on the ol' God of the Gaps, you've just framed the wrong question.
"Why randomness?" has an answer.
"How randomness?" does not. So feel free to say 'God' until science gets there.

Thank you and good night.

(13-11-2013 09:17 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  You can't say you don't know because you know it isn't some hidden physical variable. So what do you say? Randomness just is?

Hmm:
(11-11-2013 02:12 PM)cjlr Wrote:  What you're saying amounts to,
"Why is the universe the way it is?"
To which the atheist answer is "don't know", and the theist answer is "God".

Thank you and good night.

(13-11-2013 09:17 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  That's silly.

Guy. The universe doesn't behave according to what you think is "silly". Also:
(11-11-2013 08:46 PM)cjlr Wrote:  All kinds of people (and even very, very smart people - Einstein!) absolutely could not stand the idea that reality is fundamentally not completely knowable or deterministic.

Thank you and good night.

(13-11-2013 09:17 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  I'd rather believe in some non physical hidden variable...

If you'd just said hidden variable that would be bad enough. There is absolutely no evidence of, nor even the beginnings of a compelling and coherent theory of any such hidden variable.

But no. You double down. Non physical, huh?

Ooooooooooooooooookaaaaaaaaay then. You do that.

(13-11-2013 09:17 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  ... because then my determinant world view stays intact.

"I don't like the implications so I will disagree with the results".

Well, at least you're honest about it.

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13-11-2013, 09:50 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
Many physicists and philosophers have objected to the Copenhagen interpretation, both on the grounds that it is non-deterministic and that it includes an undefined measurement process that converts probability functions into non-probabilistic measurements. Einstein's comments "I, at any rate, am convinced that God does not throw dice." and "Do you really think the moon isn't there if you aren't looking at it?" exemplify this. Bohr, in response, said, "Einstein, don't tell God what to do." Big Grin

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13-11-2013, 10:08 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 09:50 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Many physicists and philosophers have objected to the Copenhagen interpretation, both on the grounds that it is non-deterministic and that it includes an undefined measurement process that converts probability functions into non-probabilistic measurements. Einstein's comments "I, at any rate, am convinced that God does not throw dice." and "Do you really think the moon isn't there if you aren't looking at it?" exemplify this. Bohr, in response, said, "Einstein, don't tell God what to do." Big Grin

Those guys knew how to argue.
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14-11-2013, 02:43 AM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 09:34 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Well, at least you're honest about it.

I took a nap to today and dreamt about this and I realized there is a way out for you atheists. You don't need a dice thrower if the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is correct. All possibilities exist simultaneously.
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