# Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics - Where are the hidden variables ?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Plato, Jul 15, 1999.

1. ### PlatoRegistered Senior Member

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Quantum mechanics is perhaps the most debated field of contemporary physics while at the same time being the most succesfull.
Contrary to relativity a multitude of interpretations exist of the fundamentals of the theory. This is perhaps because unlike relativity, quantum mechanics was develloped by several people over more then two decades of time. There was no true authority who made some clear first principles and dirived the theory from there.
In http://www.uibk.ac.at/c/c7/c704/qo/philosop.html one finds a pretty good explanation of this phenomenon.
I am of the Copenhagen interpretation which doesn't really make an interpretation. It mearly states that since it is impossible to make any experimental statements about the supposed underlying structure, it is useless to believe in any underlying sturcture or variables who are controlling the real particle.

Have we stumbled upon a true border of knowledge ? Yes, I believe so. Not everything can be known, some things intrincically are unknown. This is not a failiure of science or mankind, on the contrary it is a recognition of our limitations and in a way a more mature look at reality.

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we are midgets standing on the backs of giants,
Plato

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3. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

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I thought Copenhagen interpretation did a little more than just dismiss the hidden variables. In fact, I was under the impression that the interpretation states that <u>no</u> formula describing physical behavior can or should be interpreted in terms of perceptual concepts. It states that natural laws can only be modeled in their entirety by pure math, and pure (non-interpreted, non-applied) math is the only way to optimize knowledge of the world. If I am wrong, someone please correct me, I'd really appreciate it.

As regards hidden variables per se, here's a re-posting of some of the stuff I've said elsewhere:

Let me give you another thought. Ages ago, a school of Greek philosophical thought believed that all matter was composed of atoms, which were indivisible but impossible to observe. They were dismissed with arguments much like the one Plato gave above. However, we now possess ingenious ways of not only verifying the reality of atoms beyond doubt, but even measuring their individual qualities such as weight, and imaging their very spatial extent. Similarly, the hidden variables may not be measurable currently due to limitations of our technology (perhaps one ought not use electromagnetism to measure these variables, but something else entirely, and perhaps even something presently unknown.) In light of such a possibility, the present speculation about hidden variables might easily remain fruitless until hundreds or thousands of years hence some phenomenon will give the speculation substance (akin to the alchemical observations that fundamental elements exist and combine in fixed proportions, that restored credibility to the notion of an atom.)

Finally, it is my position that all fundamental mathematical objects and concepts have evolved from sensory, empirical observation of reality and that reality's influence on evolution of thought centers in our brains has resulted in our ability to think deductively. Therefore, all mathematical concepts and formulas are grounded in empirical measurement, and thus do not exist in seclusion from inductive knowledge. Therefore, intuitive interpretation of all mathematical formulas is not only ultimately viable, but necessary by definition! Therefore I do believe that eventually things that are random to our modern eye will be ordered in the eyes of advanced science, much as has the motion of air in the room -- all unpredictability should eventually result simply from impossibility of knowing all initial conditions in their entirety -- which is the <u>real</u> limit on human knowledge.

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I am; therefore I think.

[This message has been edited by Boris (edited July 16, 1999).]

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5. ### PlatoRegistered Senior Member

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If you like some 'poetry' on the subject read :
http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_122.html

See Boris, it all boils down to faith, you believe in the hidden variables and in determinism and causality, I don't and we will never be able to prove who is right.
Amen.

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we are midgets standing on the backs of giants,
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7. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

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My only hope at present is that the zoo of particles will eventually result in an understanding of not just their various types and possible transmutations, but of the very fundamental structure that gives rise to the particular particles observed, and not to any others. That very same structure would also have to support the various quantum effects like non-locality, duality, etc. Maybe the strings...

But my belief is: just because you can't see the details, doesn't mean there aren't any. And causality cannot arise out of pure chaos. Take wind, for example. The motion of air molecules is pretty random, but together they nevertheless are capable of acquiring net momentum. This net momentum translates into a small percentage of the net per air molecule. Hence, air molecules have this 'variable' to them which can be individually unpredictable, but contributes to causal aggregate behavior. The same must be true of any and all objects, regardless of scale. Otherwise, I just don't see how causality can be mathematically justified.

Not to mention the fact that statistics always describes distributions of point results provided by a specific experiment. I don't believe it's correct to say that the cat is both dead and alive. Rather, it's correct to say that in fifty percent of measurements after one hour, the cat will be dead. And while we can't know the precise state of the cat, we know that at any time the cat is either alive, or dead, but not both. And there is even a way out of this conundrum: put an EKG electrode on the cat's heart and patch the cable through an air-tight hole in the box. Now you know exactly when the cat dies. So at least in this case, there is a way to measure the cat's state after all -- even if we can't use direct electromagnetic probing.

So I don't know about pure 'faith'. I'd say in my case it's more of a hunch.

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[This message has been edited by Boris (edited August 04, 1999).]

8. ### Mark DiGiambattista JRGuest

To fully understand the fields of quantom physics, one must first realize that space and time is not in a continuium but infact a series of slightly eliptical loops as the cause of gravity and inertia. if one understands that, then by using a new math form being a cross of trigonomitry, and calculus. infact when ppl think of the space time continuium these days they forget that everything other then man-made products is 3 demensional. hense the use of trigonomitry. that is why i have discovered how to surpass the speed of light by my theory of quantom physics. i however do not have a proper name for my theory, for i am only 13 and do not have any schooling bryond that of a public school 8th grade.

9. ### Mark DiGiambattista JRGuest

i made a typo...

my education does not go beyond that of a public school 8th grade.

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Um, wrong.

11. ### H-konRegistered Senior Member

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He he he.. So you all base this on getting a degree huh? As long as you have a title of somesort, you think you know better than anyone else. So if someone tell you about his or her theories, but at the same time don't have the same degrees as you have, the lesser "educated" party is wrong?

Man.. if that is the case, i am glad that i didn't go to any University.... Things like that pi me off.

PS: What kind of education did Mozart have when he started to write music? Give the guy credit for writing down his theories. And if the guy did think of a way to go faster than light, do you think he would write you the formulae?
Hmm.. think!!!

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"We didn't inherit this world from our parents, we are borrowing it from our children".

[This message has been edited by H-kon (edited August 11, 1999).]

12. ### Phantasm66Registered Member

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One day, when we can marry the theory of relativity with quantum mechanics, we will walk among the heavens.

Right now the two lines do not meet, but many people, including myself, believe that one day, they will. Perhaps this lies in your "hidden variables" or something like them.