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    Of Quantum Non-Locality And Green Cheese Moons In Many Worlds
    By Sascha Vongehr | June 8th 2012 04:39 AM | 45 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Sascha

    Dr. Sascha Vongehr [风洒沙] studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (electro-mag) & MSc (stringtheory)...

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    The fourth FQXi essay contestWhich of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong? is underway.

     

    Wittgenstein knew precisely which one; I am all about that one as you may know, but we are idiosyncratic, of German culture, and incomprehensible to many. Thus I humbly ask you to return the sweat I have put into this already and please criticize the following constructively in order to help me to get the difficult message across. Tell me where the text starts to sound awkward / idiotic / unintelligible/ hopelessly nonsensical; tell me in the comments or privately. All suggestions are welcome (Title stupid? Structure upside down? Figure suggestions? …).

     

    The first half of the total essay “Direct Realism falling in Wittgenstein’s Silence: Accelerating the Paradigm Change that Renders Relativistic Quantum Mechanics Natural” has already been revised with lots of helpful hints from readers (thank you all very much indeed). Here is the second half:


    Spooky Non-Locality more Unreal than Modal Realism


      All the above is crucially relevant to the advancement of QM, which can be didactically most easily clarified with the Einstein Podolsky Rosen (EPR)paradox [4]. EPR’s violation of John Bell’s famous inequality [5] is usually presented as leaving two options, namely either so called non-locality or modifying realism. Non-locality is usually seen as less suspicious, because realism is widely confused with, for example, the scientific method generally. This situation is aggravated by the difficult to fully grasp the profound nature of QM non-locality. Even after having studied Bell’s proof [6] against hidden variables and all of that, many physicists still opine that the indicated non-locality is merely a ‘really complicated’ correlation, but in the end not profoundly different from the correlation that ensures Alice getting the left sock of a pair if Bob gets the right sock. “Really complicated” feels not as ‘ghostly’ as anti-realism.


      Einstein,although he could not find the solution in his lifetime, already understood the problem much better, and therefore he did not just say “well, so it is non-local and I am fine with that”. He called it “spooky” {Footnote a} for good reasons. Einstein would not casually throw away relativistic micro causality{Footnote b}, the arguably most successful ingredient in all of modern physics still today, just in order to prop up a kind of realism which then, via non-locality, becomes a ghost story nevertheless. QM non-locality destroys DR anyway, as shall become ever more obvious as you read on. You are far more conservative if you accept modal realism – still a realism after all.


    {Footnote a: In 1947, Einstein wrote to Max Born that he could not believe that quantum physics is complete "because it cannot be reconciled with the idea that physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky actions at a distance." (Emphasis added)}

    {Footnote b: “Relativistic micro causality” is very roughly that stuff needs to bump against each other, that there is no mechanism for instantaneous interaction at a distance (in a direct realism (DR)). This limit derives from how one can measure.}


      Today it is known why QM non-local correlations are so spooky: They are correlations with non-actualized alternatives! It is the entanglement with counter factual possibilities, which has been empirically verified for instance in interaction-free bomb-testing [7,8]. This very core of QM is precisely what makes QM correlations stronger than any classical hidden variables could possibly provide. QM correlations can be profoundly more correlated than even complete classical correlations could ever deliver, because QM correlations are moreover/additionally fixed between the many alternative worlds that classical physics ignores.


     Variations of Bell’s inequality [9] have been violated by diverse experiments, most impressively by closing the so called “communication loophole” [10] and quite recently again by confirmation of the Kochen-Specker theorem [11]. Desperate attempts at saving unmodified realism try to exploit the so called “detection loophole”, but they have by now retreated to claiming what Shimony called a conspiracy {Footnote c} – one not much different from a creator god planting a fossil record to actively deceive us. As Einstein said: spooky!


    {Footnote c: “… there is little that a determined advocate of local realistic theories can say except that, despite the space-like separation of the analysis-detection events involving particles 1 and 2, the backward light-cones of these two events overlap, and it is conceivable that some controlling factor in the overlap region is responsible for a conspiracy affecting their outcomes.” [Abner Shimony, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/bell-theorem]}


      Two clarifications should be mentioned right away in order to understand QM non-locality and the confusion around it (although these clarifications will be much better understood later on):

      1) If you consider a direct reality suitably misinterpreted as a lonely world being ‘really out there’, locality is crucially relevant. If space is a box with all objects ‘really’ at certain locations inside, localism is implicit. Non-locality in a direct realism (where spatially separated events outside of a past light cone are merely unknown yet not fundamentally undetermined/indeterminate) requires superluminal interaction. The huge success of relativistic micro causality argues against such, but is not as relevant as the following: Locality is implicitly assumed precisely because non-locality observed in an internally relativistic, micro-causal billiard table, implies that there is something else, something spooky that interferes in the mere mechanical, supposedly dynamically self-sufficient, independent ongoing of a classical box! Correlations that are proven to be faster than the fastest velocity inside the game board (its ‘velocity of light’) are a sure sign of players (gods) messing around with the game pieces {Footnote d}.

    If however you modify realism, you start undermining the tacit assumption about ‘space really being out there’. In a modal realism, localism is not implicit. Therefore, if for example Smerlak/Rovelli, Bousso, Deutsch, Zeh, and so on state that QM is fundamentally local, do not confuse them with those who desperately cling to naïve directly real (DR) models and hidden variables.


    {Footnote d: No ‘new atheism’ here, but a fundamental description of the totality of possible creators/creations (e.g. QM decoupling of ‘creations’ from ‘creators’) is beyond the scope of this work. All I say here is that such ghostly issues afflict any non-local relativistic DR.}


      2) The local/non-local distinction is almost precisely parallel to the determinism versus indeterminism one: QM is fundamentally a determinism (~ unitarity), and if it were not, then a more fundamental theory would be anyway, because totality is totally determined as all that there is (including all times etc.). However, this very fact allows the phenomenal world that we perceive to show in-determinism. Modal realism (MR) assures our experiencing QM in-determinism. The same goes through for locality: QM is fundamentally Einstein-local (micro causality, no correlations faster than light), but MR allows the classical worlds that we seemingly find ourselves in to appear QM non-local. Admittedly, without an intuitive model, I would find this last statement suspiciously mysterious. I therefore promote Many World (MW) models which greatly clarify these issues in visually intuitive ways.



    Everett Relativity: Einstein could have Known


      Quantum physics is our starting to find the mathematical description that does not neglect any possibilities. At first it was thought such encompasses only the alive and dead Schrödinger cats in our particular universe, but this immediately includes all the ways a universe may be described to unfold internally as its own Schrödinger box, so it contains anyway all possible universes; everything possibly phenomenal is included in the ultimate description, else it is not the ultimate description. The core insight is not quantum; already with classical determinism would an ultimate description contain all possible worlds. "Many worlds" are tautologically true. The core of QM is the interference (entanglement) between alternatives. Ignorance about non-actualized alternatives is no longer an option. But is it news?


     Theoretical quantum gravity considerations have lead Gibbons and Hawking to propose an ‘anti-realistic’ observer dependent definition of particles already in the seventies, clearly endorsing “something like the Everett-Wheeler interpretation of quantum mechanics” [12]. Zeilinger stresses anti-realism for a number of years, recently with a novel setup [13]. Black hole complementarity (holographic horizons), and the cosmological measure problem all point to local, observer dependent ‘causal patch’ descriptions that crucially deny ‘real reality’ to what lies beyond horizons. The horizons are wrapped ever closer around the observer. Why do we still largely ignore the paradigm change? Answering that is a different essay, but for now, the message is that perhaps the following should not surprise:


     Einstein could conceivably have anticipated QM long before even the Everett relative state description in 1957 [14]. Although EPR is commonly misunderstood as a clash between relativity and QM, Everett relativity is only suspect without special relativity {Footnote e}. Special relativity (SR) is more than merely a ‘temporal modal realism’. SR already deconstructs the classical world into a collection of past light cones, which each are an ‘observer’s’ individual determined past. Assuming otherwise immediately implies a fully pre-determined, directly real block universe where any phenomenal indeterminism is divine pre-arrangement. SR already demanded MR to enter physics. Einstein locality and micro causality are yet more important than already widely recognized. They prepare QM, which merely (see VI first part) adds correlations between alternative “determined pasts”.


    {Footnote e: A branching MW model illustrates why: A non-relativistic universe would have to branch everywhere at once, into infinitely many different ones, all the time. SR is thus prerequisite for understanding QM, because apparent “world branching” only occurs at observation events (interactions).}


      In fact, I expect that the following argument will be made rigorous: SR and the demand that at least some possibilities should be unobservable, both together imply that there is some “mechanics” that lets different alternatives interact: Quantum mechanics’ interference. In this way, Einstein could have conceivably understood QM and resolved the EPR paradox right away.



    Many World Models – Just Models (!) – That Though Immensely Clarify


     Relational Quantum Mechanics (RQM) [15] provided a resolution [2] of the EPR paradox. Its abstractness lacks an intuitive, didactic picture and also does not yet, so it seems to me, aim at deriving the QM Born probabilities (which I believe can be done by considering the fact that Alice and Bob, the two famous participants in the EPR setup, must exchange information about the relative angle setting every time, not just the outcome of the spin measurement). My own work [16] has contributed many world (MW) models which clarify vital aspects in an intuitive way – you can kind of sort of “really see it” (again, it is modal realism). Allow me to convey a few lessons that such models taught me, as I constructed them somewhat by accident and they subsequently indeed taught me these lessons with a clarity that I did not expect to be possible before.


     However, I must first stress with the strongest possible emphasis that I do not imply any ontology, do not imply that MW ‘branch counting’ does not mess up normalizations in the measure problem, and do certainly not claim that any particular model is on the same level as tautological truths. The model I refer to never claimed more than proving that 1) MR resolves EPR while preserving Einstein locality and 2) that the QM probabilities become possible with the precise step that destroys the DR description. I suspect a certain way in which the model offers to derive the correct QM probabilities instead of just allowing violations of Bell inequalities, but even that was never claimed yet.


      It is far beyond the current work to introduce whole MW models, but I think it is not impossible to understand the following even without having a model, which look initially like sausages incidentally, in front of one’s inner eyes.


      1) One aspect is that MW and MR can be classical. The initially classical model already has many worlds, but they do not interfere. They are literally parallel worlds (but of course QM orthogonal states). Therefore, a little arrow, literally a little arrow labeled “DR”, can pick out the one world that a direct realist believes to be the only real one.


      2) The nature of the QM non-locality is illuminated: The mere classical non-locality in the form of the (anti)-correlations are already present in the classical model, even at all relative angles between Alice’s and Bob’s measurement crystals. However, the Bell inequality cannot be violated, because it is still a classical model. The deeper QM non-locality arises at the very point, again literally the very space-time point, at which the number of worlds in the MW model branches according to how different alternative worlds correlate (interact) locally. Let me refer to this vital step as the “last local branching”. Thus, the QM non-locality is very clearly separated into its classical part and the QM component, the latter being necessarily correlations between alternative worlds.


      3) QM indeterminism: Looking at the model, all possible alternative outcomes are already there {Footnote f} and thus everything is determined. You can point arrow DR to any of the resulting worlds where certain outcomes are known. However, if the last local branching is QM, there is no preferred path that DR can follow from one initial world to a certain final one.


    {Footnote f: Given a random angle setting w.l.o.g.; multiplying by all angle alternatives would be very bothersome. Also: those are not equally distributed. All aliens throughout the universe experiment at the Bell angles (n Pi /8) where it makes most sense to do so.}


      4) QM probability (empirical, Bayesian) is very different from the classical, circular “fair randomness” and its regress error: DR cannot, say via hidden variables, be initially rigged to end up in any certain one of the new worlds (their numbers depend on the relative angle that is not yet determined in the beginning). It may, via randomness added from outside of the model, be made to point to a particular new world, but such interference does not touch the classical probabilities. The classical measure stays the same while the empirical probabilities of observers violate the Bell inequality. Inside of an MW model, observers have neither access to the classical probability measure nor can they directly count other worlds. But they remember and add to their records, and those predominantly reflect the QM probabilities.


      5) In a modified realism, QM non-locality comes for free: The expected phenomenal observations, i.e. the empirical data that the different worlds contain, depends primarily on the number of “new” worlds (especially the “extra branching” {Footnote g} that Wallace so despises [17]). Therefore, once MW and thus MR is in place and you, the god of the model, add branching of worlds into new worlds, you may change the model’s parameters to let the inhabitants find locality in their perceived worlds, or non-locality, or even, if you micromanage enough to change the numbers of worlds at will at every measurement separately, that the moon is made from green cheese! If the realism is so modified that all is 'only in your head' instead of “out there” to such a degree that the moon may as well become green cheese dancing over the mountains, obviously it does no longer matter whether the moon “is really at a certain locality”. The distinction between local and non-local lost its relevance, because the model can adjust it arbitrarily; it can tune down the QM non-locality until it vanishes.


    {Footnote g: “Extra growth” does not necessarily mean that the total number rises (new worlds), because the changing of microstates means that information is also “forgotten”, i.e. distinctions not relevant to the measurement in question disappear.}


      6) In nature (not a model on paper), you cannot change the parameters at will. Some consistency fixes the tuning so that we find non-locality instead of locality or cheese moons. But what consistency? I suggest two ways to think about it:

    6.1) The Born probabilities in the EPR setup are constrained by the consistency between the quantum (~ microcosm) and the classical (~ macro world) descriptions. In the former alone, photons may as well just go 50-50 into the two different beam splitter channels without leading to Bell inequality violation, but in the latter, you know from playing with polarized sunglasses that polarization filters act on the light’s electromagnetic vectors, thus they diminish intensity via a sine-squared law – nothing else would make sense in a macro world. (This point 6.1 should possibly be put before mentioning MW models.)

    6.2) The MW model shows that the numbers of new worlds are proportional to the dot product between Alice’s and Bob’s measurement axes in order to get probabilities consistent with experiments. This suggests that the neglected microstates which carry the information about the relative angle setting are what distinguish these worlds (because the resolution of an angle measurement depends on the total spin available).



    Conclusion


    What do you think will be the conclusion? Or do you think I should not add one and instead add another 2000 words to make the above clearer? Please let me know.



    Acknowledgements


    I am sincerely grateful for the many crucial questions and revision suggestions that readers of the internet draft have contributed in order to make this text as accessible and clear as possible.


    [1] Ludwig Wittgenstein: “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London (1922)

    [2] Smerlak, Matteo, Rovelli, Carlo: “Relational EPR." Found. Phys. 37,427-445 (2007) http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0604064v3

    [3] Lewis, David Kellogg: “On the Plurality of Worlds.” Blackwell (1986)

    [4] Einstein, A., Podolsky, B., Rosen, N.: “Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality be Considered Complete?” Phys. Rev. 47(10),777-780 (1935)

    [5]  Bell, J.S.: “On the Einstein Podolsky Rosen paradox.” Physics 1(3), 195–200 (1964); reprinted in Bell, J.S.Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics. 2nd ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004; S. M. Blinder: “Introduction to Quantum Mechanics.” Amsterdam:Elsevier, 272-277 (2004)

    [6]  Bell, J. S.: “On the problem of hidden variables in quantum mechanics.” Rev. Mod. Phys. 38,447–452 (1966)

    [7] Elitzur, A.C., Vaidman, L.: “Quantum mechanical interaction-free measurements.” Found. Phys. 23, 987-97 (1993)

    [8] Paraoanu, G.S.: “Interaction-free Measurement.” Phys. Rev. Lett. 97(18),180406 (2006)

    [9] Clauser, J.F., Horne, M.A., Shimony, A., Holt, R.A.: “Proposed Experiment to Test Local Hidden-Variables Theories.” Phys. Rev. Lett. 23,880-884 (1969)

    [10] G. Weihs, T. Jennewein, C. Simon, H. Weinfurter, A. Zeilinger: “Violation of Bell’s inequality under strict Einstein locality condition.”Phys. Rev. Lett. 81, 5039-5043 (1998)

    [11] G. Kirchmair, F. Zähringer, R. Gerritsma, M. Kleinmann, O. Gühne, A.Cabello, R. Blatt, C. F. Roos: “State-independent experimental test of quantum contextuality.” Nature 460, 494-497 (2009)

    [12] Gibbons, G. W., Hawking, S. W.: “Cosmological event horizons,thermodynamics, and particle creation.” Physical Review D 15(10), 2738–2751(1977)

    [13] Radek Lapkiewicz, Peizhe Li, Christoph Schaeff, Nathan K. Langford, Sven Ramelow, MarcinWiesniak, Anton Zeilinger: “Experimental non-classicality of an indivisible quantum system.” Nature 474, 490-493 (2011)

    [14] Everett, Hugh: “‘Relative State’ Formulation of Quantum Mechanics.” Rev Mod Phys 29, 454-462(1957), reprinted in B. DeWitt and N. Graham (eds.), The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, Princeton University Press (1973)

    [15] Rovelli, Carlo: “Relational Quantum Mechanics.” Int. J. Theor. Phys. 35,1637-1678 (1996)

    [16] S. Vongehr: “Many Worlds Model resolving the Einstein Podolsky Rosen paradox via a Direct Realism to Modal Realism Transition that preserves Einstein Locality.” arXiv:1108.1674 [quant-ph] (2011)]

    [17] D. Wallace: “Quantum probability from subjective likelihood: Improving on Deutsch’s proof of the probability rule.” SHPMP 38, 311-332 (2007)

    Comments

     {Footnote c: “… there is little that a determined advocate of local realistic theories can say except that, despite the space-like separation of the analysis-detection events involving particles 1 and 2, the backward light-cones of these two events overlap, and it is conceivable that some controlling factor in the overlap region is responsible for a conspiracy affecting their outcomes.” [Abner Shimony, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/bell-theorem]}
    Not so long ago I assumed that this was an essential and accepted part of decoherence. It would be interesting to learn why this "loophole" is deprecated. At first sight it seems to offer direct realism (mixed cheers and boos from the audience) and locality at no cost.
    Thor Russell
    I am interested to know your interpretation of things, for example in light of this paper:

    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0604064v3 

    There seem to be a number of ideas here regarding realism and locality

    1. Section 2.4 Separability of the above paper, 
    "a pair of twin entangled photons must in fact be regarded as a single, inseparable system, described by a global quantum state". This seems like some kind of non-locality with a slightly strange distance metric. Does it mean that the distance from one entangled photon to the other is always zero in terms of one affecting the other? If not what exactly does distance mean in this case. This is still DR right?


    2. "anti-realism" I think it is called as presented in the main idea in the paper. If I understand it right you can only talk about different interacting systems and there isn't some view that lets you see all of them at once.
    Does this necessarily imply QMW or can you have anti-realism without it. 
    3. QMW as described in the essay
    4. Regarding your comment, are you saying that direct realism and locality isn't dead? Can you explain how that is different to apparent crackpots like JC and the Quantum Randi Challenge?


    If you don't have QMW, then the question I have is how does the collapse happen, in terms of the randomness required. If one outcome of many is somehow special and more real than the ones that could have happened, then what has chosen it? Does the universe have some fundamental randomness generator that isn't a regress error.
    Thor Russell
    Gerhard Adam
    Perhaps I'm missing the point, but it seems that the argument is being presented backwards.  There's all manner of discussion regarding QM, but this is counter-intuitive.

    If I ask a 12-year old what "reality" is, they will be able to give me a basic description based on what they've experienced.  There will be no footnotes.  No, theories.  It will be based exclusively on their personal experience and how it has been cobbled together to form their idea of "reality".

    Therefore if the point is to demonstrate that such an idea is wrong, then it seems that that must be our starting point.  Why should any of us believe that it is wrong?  What should such an idea be replaced with?  Why does it matter if it is wrong?

    From this, we can begin [emphasize BEGIN] to examine the physics to show the arguments necessary for such a modification. 

    While it may be argued that people that don't understand or accept the physics don't matter, but then the argument can equally be reversed and the point made that this concept of "reality" also doesn't matter if it isn't something that can be generally presented.

    In short it seems that the actual proposed concept needs to be presented, regardless of how strange it sounds, and then the supporting evidence can be presented to counter arguments against it.  To begin with all the theoretical framework simply makes the entire concept seem contrived and not genuine.
    Mundus vult decipi
    vongehr
    Therefore if the point is to demonstrate that such an idea is wrong, then it seems that that must be our starting point. ... the actual proposed concept needs to be presented, regardless of how strange it sounds, and then the supporting evidence can be presented to counter arguments against it.

    So you are saying that you already completely forgot the very gist of the first part, that not even the slightest bit of what was at length explained with the help of poor Wittgenstein has had any effect at all? If this is how it is, people simply do not have what it takes. I guess this kind of insight is in fact reserved for the very few like Wittgenstein and perhaps future generations augmented by AI.
    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, no.  I'm saying that if one has to remember the "gist of the first part", then it's already over.  If we aren't already well prepared to consider alternatives, the second part certainly won't contain anything more convincing.

    As I said, perhaps its just me. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    vongehr
    Gerhard - what is "already over"??? I have no idea what you mean. How do you propose to change the essay so it is not over too soon?
    Gerhard Adam
    What I mean is that people are left to be guessing at what is being discussed.  It's almost like there's all manner of arguments being presented to prove something without ever clearly stating what that "something" is.  As a result, the point is lost.

    My point is that people should already know what you're intending to demonstrate within the first two-three paragraphs.  They may be shocked by it, they may be resistant to it, but it should be clearly, and unambiguously stated as to "what is wrong with our concept of physical reality".

    It doesn't have to be an absolutely accurate statement, since that can be refined as the discussion progresses.  Once that occurs, then it is possible to advance arguments that can lead to real insight. 

    I was struck by that today when I was reading something again about biological evolution.  The controversies around teaching the subject are primarily due to overly simplistic understandings, while those that explore it in more depth will gain more and more nuanced interpretations of this particular paradigm shift.  However, the entire concept is approachable because even the rudiments provide some idea of what is to come, even if it is initially misunderstood.

    My concern with this topic is that it doesn't even afford the opportunity to be misunderstood.  In effect, my feeling is that paradigms change because a new, radical perspective is introduced, which is largely misunderstood but which provides some insight into a few individuals.  Each of those people will provide more explanations, which may also be more misunderstood, but eventually the overall view changes, so that the majority grasp the essence of what is different. 

    Anyway .... as I said, perhaps it's just me that isn't connecting with it, but every time I try to get into it, I'm left with a feeling of "so what"?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hope you're on-line before Squasha deletes this comment Gerhard, but for what it's worth, if I understand him correctly, he defines something he calls "totality" to be all possibilities. He already departs from Wittgenstein at this point because W included facts. The motivation for using "possibilities" is that you can definitely put a circle around those things that are possible, withing a given description ("theory") whereas you cannot decide, from the theory, which ones are true and which ones false, such as "Sascha is wearing yellow socks". Realists then have the problem of deciding which are true (real, factual), which is approached through observation. Unfortunately, "totality" does not define a factual observation, it only defines a possible one. Hence there is no reason why we should prefer our own possible observation when we possibly observe it; other possible observers have their own possible observations and no doubt would insist that they are the only reality if they are realists. 
     
    You will notice that this is more-or-less incomprehensible to the human mind because of two things. Firstly I have deliberately replaced the word "modal" with "possible" in order to cut through the magic imported by the more technical word. Secondly, possibly more importantly, the human mind screams "but I *know* that some things are real and other possibilities don't actually happen". However, totality is defined as all possibilities and all possibilities MUST include all possible observations; it is therefore incapable of distinguishing real from non-real.
     
    There are three options

    1 Dismiss the argument as sophistry (preferred) and insist that the whole point about the word "possible" is that it invites inspection of reality to find out whether the possibility is actual i.e. true. 

    2 Accept the lot as the last word, dismiss the notion of a clear-cut reality and interpret the "description", i.e. the fundamental physics, as defining what can happen consistent with particular observations. Thus every single observation pins down its own "world" but there is no requirement that observations (in what we must now call different worlds), to be consistent, indeed, when it comes to QM the best treatments insist they they be inconsistent - Schrodinger's cat, for instance, must be alive in a world where it is observed to be alive and dead in a world where it is observed to be dead but *never* both at the same time see note 1. However, observation of one or the other does not get rid of the alternatives.

    3 Go completely nuts and deny all concept of reality, truth etc. Fill your head with anti-real drugs. Go and live in Tibet see note 2 , expecting to find a friendly monastery and get shot by the Chinese. Learn the truth the hard way.
     
    The term "modal" used to refer to words like "possible": the electron *possibly* went to the left. However, reality that depends on who is looking at it seems to get the same name.
     
    Hope the above helps just a little. 


    Note 1
    <sings>"What never?" "No never!" "What, never?" "Well, hardly ever!"
    Quantum pedants who are fans of Gilbert and Sullivan will get the point, the rest of you should get out more.

    Note 2
    <sings> "So play the game 'Existence' to the end - Of the beginning, of the beginning."
    Remember, the sound of one hand clapping is heard by those who only listen with one ear. Are you listening with both, Gerhard?
     
    vongehr
    defines something he calls "totality" to be all possibilities. He already departs from Wittgenstein at this point because W included facts.
    Not sure why the facts are not included in all possible facts but in case you criticize departing from W: Of course! I must already in order to connect to "many worlds", because W's use of "world" does not fit.
    Pft! - a possible fact is not a fact. That's why "possible" is called a "mode", rather than a "property".  Even you should know that much.




     
    vongehr
    Sorry mister pft, but if you do not grasp that your understanding of "reality" determines your terminology in this case, it is you who is the idiot. If you want to argue that your terminology is better, flesh it out in full, but don't just refer in hidden ways to single definitions of your private Chinese somewhere in comments ranting about Tibet and claim that pft this is the way I have to do it. Properties/facts are actualized relative to worlds in my description - if you do not like it, say you do not like it instead of behaving like a kid. It starts to become tiresome.
    Properties/facts are actualized relative to worlds in my description
    Yawn.
    Thus every single observation pins down its own "world".
     
    vongehr
    people should already know what you're intending to demonstrate within the first two-three paragraphs.
    But don't I do that already clearly in the abstract? And don't I in the introduction quite clearly state that it is against DR as the biggest mistaken assumption and about the description being a description?
    What is it that I left out?
    Anyway .... as I said, perhaps it's just me that isn't connecting with it, but every time I try to get into it, I'm left with a feeling of "so what"?
    "so what" if people can see the emergence of QM non-locality as natural rather than spending 100 years fighting each other like crazy (see Joy Christian debate etc)???
    Again: I do not want to fight with you about the content. Tell me what you would write different in order to make these points as clear as it would have taken for you to get them the first time around.
    The following constructive criticism is worded somewhat harshly, but not meant to be taken as a person affront.

    * Is "falling" or "failing" meant in the title?

    * "This situation is aggravated by the difficult to fully grasp the profound nature of QM non-locality." The intended meaning appears to be "This situation is aggravated by the difficulty of fully grasping the profound nature of QM non-locality."

    * "QM non-locality destroys DR anyway, as shall become ever more obvious as you read on." The second clause adds nothing; anything that is really obvious doesn't have to be pointed out to the reader.

    * "(in a direct realism (DR))." Direct realism is a short phrase that is not in wide general useage. The space saved is not worth making the reader work to remember the acronym is the argument is evaluated. Also, the usual stylistic convention is not to define terms for the first time in a footnote even if you use defined terms.

    * "It is the entanglement with counter factual possibilities", entanglement of what with counter factual possibilities? Key pillars of an argument should not be implied but should be spelled out explicitly.

    * "than any classical hidden variables could possibly provide." The last three words are surplusage that unnecessarily complicate the sentence.

    * "QM correlations can be profoundly more correlated than even complete classical correlations could ever deliver, because QM correlations are moreover/additionally fixed between the many alternative worlds that classical physics ignores." - "could ever be" not "could ever deliver", a correlation is correctly described by a passive rather than an active verb. "moreover/additionally" choose one and move on - in an exposition of a complex idea don't unnecessarily add to the complexity of the argument with your sentence structure.

    * "Variations of Bell’s inequality [9] have been violated by diverse experiments," - Do you mean to say "deviations from Bell's inequality" (which implies that Bell's inequality is true), or "inequalities equivalent to Bell's inequality", which is how it reads now and implies that Bell's inequality is false?

    * Footnote c: Not in proper citation form.

    * "Two clarifications should be mentioned right away in order to understand QM non-locality and the confusion around it (although these clarifications will be much better understood later on):" Dreadful prose. Perhaps you mean to say something like, "In order to understand QM non-locality and why it can be confusion it is important to consider the following two points:"

    * " 1) If you consider . . ." This paragraph is a train wreck. Make it stop! There are too many ideas for one paragraph, more or less in the exact opposite of logical order, that internally contradict each other (GR is the reason, or maybe not a reason), using a metaphor that is assumed without being introduced mid-paragraph and then has to be explained after the fact in a footnote!

    * "QM is fundamentally a determinism" Determinism is an idea, not a thing. QM can be fundamentally deterministic (although the conventional useage would be to say that QM is stochastic as opposed to being deterministic"), but there is no such thing as a "determinism."

    * "Modal realism (MR)" abbreviating this term rather than spelling it out again distracts the reader from the argument for no compelling reason.

    *"Quantum physics is our starting to find the mathematical description that does not neglect any possibilities." You mean, I think, "Quantum physics is the first step towards developing a mathematical description that does not neglect any possibilities."

    * "At first it was thought such encompasses only the alive and dead Schrödinger cats in our particular universe, but this immediately includes all the ways a universe may be described to unfold internally as its own Schrödinger box, so it contains anyway all possible universes; everything possibly phenomenal is included in the ultimate description, else it is not the ultimate description." Multiple issues here: (1) the full stop was invented for a reason, the sentence reads like it was written while on an LSD trip, (2) "such" is ambiguous in this context, it appears that you mean "quantum mechanics" but it could be referring to something else, likewise to what does "this" after the fiirst comma refer, (3) "phenomenal" is a false friend that in an adjective meaning "really great" not an adjective meaning "phenomenologically possible", (4) "the ultimate description, else it is not the ultimate description." the word "else" needs to be preceded by the word "or" and the concluding phrase "ultimate description" demands an "of . . . ." to complete the thought.

    * "Assuming otherwise immediately implies a fully pre-determined, directly real block universe where any phenomenal indeterminism is divine pre-arrangement." This is the best written sentence in the entire post. The pargraph that begins " 3) QM indeterminism:" is also well written.

    * "What do you think will be the conclusion? Or do you think I should not add one and instead add another 2000 words to make the above clearer?" Clarity comes from fewer words, not more. It is harder to write a short, clear and direct statement of the idea, but saying the same thing multiple times invites version inconsistency.

    * "I expect that the following argument will be made rigorous:" If you will indeed make a more rigorous argument later in the paper then the first three words are inaccurate. If you won't, then the correct word to us is "can" rather than "will."

    * "so it seems to me," in formal written English, the "so" is omitted.

    * "you can kind of sort of" this phrase does not belong in the published written work of anyone over twelve years old. It is too colloquial for this context and undermines the apparent rigor of the rest of the argument.

    * "which look initially like sausages incidentally," this is an otherwise good metaphor which is deployed right in the middle of a sentence which would otherwise be clear and flow smoothly.

    vongehr
    Hey - somebody who is actually helpful? Man - I want to throw my arms around you. Thank you for all these. Some are about stuff that is just here so because it is on the internet and in two parts (like the definition "DR" which I gave before but now must give again and that I also need as a label, that is why I use it a lot), but almost every single line tells me specific things that may be misleading to many people and that thus need to be improved somehow. This is useful interaction on the internet rather than comment thread flame wars. Hurray for ohwilleke! You made my day - all hope is not lost.
    I second ohwillweke's suggestions with one exception, likely a typo:

    "In order to understand QM non-locality and why it can be confusion it is important to consider the following two points:"
    I believe ohwillweke intended "confusing," or maybe he intended to excise "and why it can be confusion.?" Regardless, better options exist. Perhaps:
    "QM non-locality is not an easily grasped concept; for clarity, consider the following two points:"

    I also agree with eliminating many or most uses of acronyms. I forget the "standard", but personally, I dislike the idea of defining a term once. Could be a personal problem, but sometimes need to refer back for a reminder.

    Finally, I love that someone took the time to provide thoughtful, constructive, feedback in an Internet comments section. Amazing! Almost makes me wish for an Internet wide editing department.

    Lex Anderson
    What do you think will be the conclusion? 
    I vote for an ending with an "Aharonov-Bohm Effect" twist that dismisses the notion of locality altogether.
    vongehr
    ??? I am not sure how I could possibly dismiss phenomenal locality any more after having effectively already equated it with green cheese moons. In case you mean dismissing Einstein locality/micro causality: Sorry, but I am no cracked pot.
    Lex Anderson
    Sascha, you are the least cracked pot in the China shop! The conclusion I think you will draw is that reality is modified rather than locality. The intriguing counter-argument I am hoping for is whether your model is commutative to one that modifies locality and keeps reality?

    Thor Russell
    Same, but people unfortunately either seem to love or hate MWI.
    Thor Russell
    vongehr
    So you are saying that my essay's second part is somehow not getting one of its main points across, which is that "modified locality" is not the "reality" you wish for anyways?
    Lex Anderson
    Your reasoning is fairly clear to me even without the math, but in terms of a wider audience such a conclusion might not be so evident. 
    blue-green
    I am trying to think of how people in later generations will say “of course, 
    how could things be otherwise?” … kind of like the way sensible people use
    “evolution” as a key to understanding a great many things.

    The evidence that is all around is the way we each and all pretty much live
    in separate realities. The unity and commonality that was part of the
    “western experience” during the rise of classical physics started to unravel
    with the beginning of ... cable TV! That wasn't the only sign, and yet,
    there it was … only to be repeated with the rise of the Internet and
    new mobile devices. People can now be so detached from each other in their
    driving experience, thanks in part also to our insulated and air-conditioned
    bubbles on wheels, that the risk of collisions occurring because of the
    separated realities is real enough to make it illegal in several states
    in the USA to both drive and talk on a cell phone.

    People who do not accept “evolution” or the fall of direct realism are
    fundamentally mono-theist who pray to one king who rules “on earth as in heaven."
    For a short spell of human history and solidarity, it seemed to be a sensible tact,
    however, long before it and long after it, there is no such understanding or belief.

    For people outside of the era of mono-theism, different tribes and different types of phenomena are presumed to be in non-overlapping (perpendicular) worlds of their own which rarely interpenetrate. When interference zones do occur, these collisions used to be experienced as being terrifying, magical and miraculous. They are moments of “last local branching” rife with indeterminism.
    I personally feel that there isn't another word needed to make this paper any more clear. I am truly looking forward to your conclusion.

    The conclusion that I have come to is: My world does not come first as an absolutely "real" place. It is created from the intricate interactions of all the possibilities that the totality allows and beautifully "real"izes.

    Thor Russell
    When you say "Correlations that are proven to be faster than the fastest velocity inside the game board (its ‘velocity of light’) are a sure sign of players (gods) messing around with the game pieces"You could compare this to the ftl neutrino hypothesis where if the ball leaves the table, then the speed of light is much faster and it would also give ftl results without gods messing with things. Is this different because its only in one reference frame for the hypothetical ftl neutrino, but all frames for the QM correlations? 


    How does the MW splitting work then at Planck energies where you mentioned relativity is expected to break down? 


    I see what you mean about some people not liking the MWI. Is this the case of arxiv in general?
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0607057v2.pdf 
    Thor Russell
    vongehr
    if the ball leaves the table, then the speed of light is much faster
    than it is obviously not the fastest velocity of the game board
    Thor Russell
    Then you could just as well define the speed of correlation to be the fastest speed of the game unless its proven to be infinite.And in some board games (chess) pieces are allowed in some situations to hop from one side of the board to another and its not called divine.
    Thor Russell
    vongehr
    You have some weird chess games where stuff jumps without players. I guess those game pieces have free will, too. But I see already how the use of "game pieces" is again something that would be marvelous writing for a big name talking nonsense while here it is a convenient excuse to distract from the core message by wistfully misunderstanding it. Well done. So I will remove it.
    Thor Russell
    Well you are probably right about it being capable of misinterpretation. Anyway regarding "coming out" I think that MWI is at least as likely as other interpretations of QM, however people rejecting it for the wrong reasons doesn't make it correct. I don't have the knowledge to be any more certain than this, and would just be believing something to be more so. Unfortunately I never see a balanced discussion of interpretations, people either ignore or write seeming rubbish against MWI or are strong supporters of it. From what I gather Aaron wants to see the same.
    Thor Russell
    vongehr
    I see - so you mean I have not sufficiently distanced myself from the MWI. I will fix that.
    Thor Russell
    ? don't know what you mean. Deutsch etc position is referred to as MWI from what I have seen.
    Thor Russell
    Does SR not imply a four dimensional Block Universe view of time, in which every event in (each observer's) present, past and future is equally "real" and existing, presumably even eternally in time (even though SR and GR? actually say nothing about when events do take place as there is no present flow in time)?

    ref: e.g. http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/2408/

    I was just wondering.

    vongehr
    I am sure that if you define it suitably enough, "block universe" is actually a model for something (and some may weasel their way out by claiming the tree of all many world branches to be the "block"). If I may add a personal advice: Those who still today write at length about special relativity without considering the elephant in the room (which would be quantum mechanics), well, they are somewhat of a waste of time. Think for yourself: You have QM indeterminism or that all is just a painting by the great man in the sky.
    blue-green

    Allow me to suggest a bit more on how you can flesh out this paradigm change you have highlighted several times. You explicitly state in the title that it “Renders Relativistic Quantum Mechanics Natural.”  Terrific. Now bring the promethium fire down from the heights for readers to fathom the implications. Stock Market pundits and money managers bandy the phrase “paradigm shift” every week. It has lost its luster. Make it shine. What do YOU mean by this paradigm shift. Spell it out and don't hold back the punches, even if it is as crazy as “losing the human form” as I noted earlier. I don't exactly endorse or follow transhumanism. However, if that's where you are going to end with it, then let it be in your conclusion so that you can be done with this task and dream of your double or whatever you have up your sleeve.

    To your credit you write, “Why do we still largely ignore the paradigm change? Answering that is a different essay …”

    Well, maybe the conclusion can follow up with a bit more as to where this strip tease is headed. Since “paradigm change” is in the title, why not get to it more fully in the article at hand?

    So here is a bit more as to how I view the shift.

    Future generations will look back at our "one world" "uni-verse" “we are one” mantra as a flat-earth myopia wherein centralism and inequality reigned supreme. It was when different high cultures postured themselves as being at the center of the earth and even existence itself … and felt licensed to wreck havoc on otherness.

    It was a bit like identifying the tangent spaces at one's particular point with the tangent spaces everywhere else. In a flat geometry, this is a perfectly natural thing to do. However, even with a Minkowski flatness, universality is challenged and there cannot even be agreement in space-like separated events as to whether they are before or after one another. There is no universal now or simultaneity. This is yet another reason why the slowly building paradigm change is not about just quantum mechanics (the elephant in the room) but Relativistic QM.

    vongehr
    1) Your comment indicates that I have not made sufficiently clear what I mean the paradigm change is, although I called it "modal realistic paradigm" already in the abstract?!?

    2)
    Future generations will look back at our "one world" "uni-verse" “we are one” mantra as a flat-earth myopia
    Yes, they will do precisely that, but please consider that I cannot talk about that. You can always reinterpret/redefine to say that totality is what was "actually" meant by "uni-verse" and so on. I go ahead and give a superior description and people take it or leave it.
    blue-green

    "Modal realistic paradigm "gets stuck in my mouth like a big wad of cotton and never gets processed by my little brain.

    Does anyone else find “modal” to be a difficult word to hold in ones mind? If one means by it “conditional”  or  “qualified”  or  “bracketed”  or  “.....”  then why not just say so? I realize that “modal” comes from some stuffy school of logical philosophy, however, to give the paradigm shift its due, something more bouncy should be minted. Howabout  Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious paradigm?  I'm kidding of course, but “modal”? Ouch. Marketing matters.

    vongehr
    "Modal Realism" is just what it is called since for ever now, that is what it is, and all your "conditional" and so on would have perhaps been nicer right from the beginning, but certainly I cannot totally neglect the usual terminology and just start talking my private Chinese. It is Modal Realism since at least David Lewis, and it is Everett Relativity also, but the latter is easily misunderstood as being restricted to QM, while modal realism is more general. It just is modal realism, there is nothing I can do about that.

    (The Grim Reaper - poor Derek needs to get a cold again to become more constructive.)
    *oooh* i do love your spooky action at a distance, herr vongehr :) thanks for the article *waves*

    vongehr
    And here another instance of something I have no problem admitting goes completely over my head.
    awww :) i don't mean it in a derisive way, i'll guarantee you that ^^ keep up the nice work, herr vongehr x

    blue-green
    “Einstein's second century has to explode 'global reality' into many microscopic realities.”

    Hello Sascha and company. While away, I remembered the quote above by Wheeler from 1979 in commemoration of the centenary of Einstein's birth. The last 8 words may have been the title of the publication. I cannot find it quickly.

    I apologize for not including more of the surrounding text. I realize that Sascha is not into quoting or doting upon dinosaurs, and yet, I find the quote above to be sufficiently interesting and relevant to share here with others. And yes Sascha, it just might bolster your entry. It is of course worth noting that Wheeler was the thesis adviser way back in 1957 for Everett's Relative State Formulation. Wheeler was also the adviser for Feynman when Feynman created the Path Integral Approach to QM for his thesis (in 1942!). Wheeler was sufficiently excited about it that he personally talked it over with Einstein in Princeton. The path integral approach, sum over histories, sum of Feynman diagrams … these are in the foundation upon which Sascha is building something new … or maybe … it's what my relativity teacher called “old wine in new bottles” as he started his course using the new Gravitation tome by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler. While trying to find my reprint of the quote above, I came across the following quote which is also of relevance to most everything here.

    “Quantum theory goes further. It tells us that however permissible it is speak about space, it not permissible to speak in other than approximate terms of space-time. To do so would violate the uncertainty principle—as that principle applies to the dynamics of geometry.”

    This is from Albert Einstein March 14,1879—April 18, 1955 by John Archibald Wheeler, Feb. 15, 1979.

    One more tidbit. My suggestion above to replace "Modal Relativistic Paradigm" with Bracketed Relativistic Paradigm is in part an allusion to Husserl of Phenomenology.

    "Bracketing (also called epoché or the phenomenological reduction) is a term derived from Edmund Husserl (1859–1938) for the act of suspending judgment about the natural world that precedes phenomenological analysis.

    Bracketing involves setting aside the question of the real existence of the contemplated object, as well as all other questions about its physical or objective nature; these are left to the natural sciences. For example, the experience of seeing a horse qualifies as an experience, irrespective of whether the horse appears in reality, in a dream, or in a hallucination. By bracketing the horse as object of this experience (and, ordinarily, the entire objective world to which the horse belongs if it is real), the phenomenologist puts aside all questions concerning its objective existence or non-existence and considers only the experience that he or she has of it."

    ~ Eat your heart out Derek ~

    vongehr
    “Einstein's second century has to explode 'global reality' into many microscopic realities.”

    This may fit to my "disintegration into many observers past light cones", then again, the term "microscopic" seems misleading.

    About "Bracketed Relativistic" and Husserl Phenomenology - well as you say yourself, "Bracketing involves setting aside the question of the real existence of the contemplated object, as well as all other questions about its physical or objective nature; these are left to the natural sciences." So although there is some overlap, I and also FQXi are of course very interested in the natural sciences. So  I find Husserl just a few steps too far into the useless realm - but perhaps I will be there, too, in ten years or so, "finally getting it". Who knows - maybe Derek.

    blue-green

    I too was puzzled by Wheeler's choice of the word “microscopic.”

    As you know, he was deeply versed in three levels of gravitational collapse: (1) a universe-wide big crunch (in the past or future), (2) the collapse of stars into black holes (and them coalescing (irreversibly)) and (3) collapse (being done and undone) at the Planck scale. The later quantum effect is what inspired him to come up with foam and a Superspace, whose points covered an entire range of possible three-geometries, even topological variations, warped by matter. Technically, each point was an equivalence class of objects. Where "microscopic" fits in that range, I don't know, however, Penrose had an interesting diagram in which the scale of man was right smack in the middle between cosmological and Planck scales ~~ kind of like da Vinci's measure of man. Maybe Wheeler was second guessing the nano range (before "nano" was popular).

    I wished I had asked Wheeler what he meant by microscopic. A professor named Ford was handling Wheeler's papers and memoirs at his time of death. Maybe Ford knows something. I wish we had more participation here from Wheeler's wide range of students and colleagues. Wheeler would approve and yet he would understand how everyone gets too busy wrapped up in their own bubbles.

    You have a very inspiring way of exploring and sharing your thoughts. It is very uncommon nowadays, lots of sites and blogs having copy pasted or rewritten info. But here, no doubt, info is original and very well structured. Keep it up. !!

    vongehr
    Thank you. It is original perhaps, but definitively could be much better structured. Trying.