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    Quantum Entanglement : has there really been an unambiguous experimental basis? - troubled non-physicist
    By Johann Cruz | December 31st 2013 04:57 AM | 94 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Johann

    I'm a Chemical Engineer. Currently taking Masters Degree in Material Science and Engineering I have participated in studies on nanocomposite materials...

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    I been having nightmares (a little exaggeration) on trying to contemplate if the arguments stated in EPR paper may have been correct. It is not clear to me whether Bell really did disprove the hidden variables theory.
    Is the reality of Quantum Entanglement still an open question?

    If we have two entangled particles A and B as an example, has there been any experiment measuring particle A's and freezing that state for a time and measuring B's value anytime later? Most of the experiments I see are continuous streams of photons or particles, split-ted and fed to detectors. But not two isolated systems clearly showing that "spooky action at a distance".

    Comments

    Careful Mr Cruz, poking the bear (elucidating flaws in modern scientific theories) may result in a violent mauling by said bear… (if you are lucky they will simply ignore you)

    Halliday
    Johann:

    You have multiple issues/questions here.

    1. You question whether Bell's Theorem actually precludes all possible hidden variable theories.
    2. You question whether experimental tests of entanglement are "unambiguous."
    3. In addition, you have some questions about at least some of the details of the experimental setup.

    First off, Bell's Theorem is a (mathematical) theorem in the true sense of the term:  That means that it has been proven (mathematically) that if the conditions of the theorem are met, then the consequences will follow, without fail.  However, it may be important for you to know that the conditions, of the theorem, are, essentially, the definitions of (Bell's) hidden variable-type theories.  So the results of the theorem are how the measurement statistics will work out for such hidden variable-type systems (Bell's Inequality).

    Now, while Bell's definition of a hidden variable-type theory is eminently reasonable, and appears to be rather broad, there is a possibility that it may not cover all possible hidden variable-type theories.  Therefore, if one were to be able to formulate a hidden variable-type theory that does not fall under the definition given by Bell, then Bell's Theorem cannot be used to constrain the measurement statistics.

    Now, as far as the EPR-type (entanglement) experiments are concerned, I don't remember whether the EPR paper made such things clear, or whether they simply assumed their audience already knew, but there are a number of important experimental considerations:

    1. You must have at least two systems (particles will do) that are in a state of "entanglement" (at least two entangled particles).  (Entanglement is a particular type of Quantum Mechanical (QM) state that has no true Classical analog.)
    2. You must be able to make at least two different measurements on each of the systems, and the nature of each measurement must be such that one cannot make more than one such measurement on a QM system without interference (the QM operators must not commute), like measurements of position and momentum in the same direction.
    3. You must make the measurements on all of the systems such that there is no possible causal connection between the various measurements.

    Without these conditions, there are Classical, speed of light or slower, means whereby the results predicted by QM could be simulated (no "spooky action at a distance" required).  All the special care that goes into creating good EPR-type (entanglement) experiments is really all about closing all the possible "loopholes" whereby the QM results could, possibly, be simulated by Classical means.

    So, your question about whether there are any "unambiguous" entanglement experiments really boils down to whether there have been any such experiments performed that closed all the possible "loopholes".

    Unfortunately, as far as I know, right now, there are none, though the possible "loopholes" keep getting smaller and smaller, with more of them being closed almost with each new experiment.

    David

    cruz_johann
    Thanks for the reply David,
    What I'm thinking is that Quantum Entanglement can be clearly shown to be true by the following experiment, if it is possible to perform:

    Two entangled particles A and B are separated at a distance. We hold/measure the spin of particle A and then at some time later we measure the spin of particle B if we get the same anti-correlation at any time in the future then we may prove entanglement.
    In other words nearly eighty years after the EPR publishing Einstein's (et. al.) critiques of quantum theories still have not yet been disproven. The fact that a self-proclaimed non-physicist is having "nightmares" and is still dreaming ways of disproving it speaks VOLUMES.

    Good Luck!

    P.S. Schrodinger STOLE his "cat" from Einstein.

    Halliday
    Johann:

    Please go back and reread the three (3) "important experimental considerations", above.

    What you seem to be proposing cannot "prove" (Quantum) entanglement, using your proposed setup, because one can obtain the same anti-correlation (or correlation, as the case may be) with a purely Classical, hidden variable theory with causal (speed of light or less) interactions (absolutely no need for any "spooky action at a distance").

    Do you see that?

    David

    cruz_johann
    Thanks again David. Forgive my naive grasp of the principles. I now understand that "definiteness" favors EPR's classical arguments and this is what Bell attacked. Now please enlighten me once more: QM says that two pairs separated at a distance would be entangled and it also says that we cannot be definite about it. For one thing, entanglement disappears once you made the measurement. It is like saying "it is true (entanglement) but you cannot be certain of it". 
    Halliday
    Hello, Johann:

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "definiteness", here.  Are you wanting some set of measurements that don't have to be analyzed statistically?

    If we were only looking for "spin up" vs. "spin down", or "left-hand polarized" vs "right-hand polarized", etc.  Then, yes, we could be "definite", but we would also, again, be able to get the same result using a local, Classical, causal, deterministic (hidden variable) theory.  So we would not be able to distinguish between such vs. Quantum Mechanics (QM).

    If one is attempting to determine whether QM is a better fit to experiment/observation, one needs to find experiments/observations that (preferably, maximally) distinguish between the alternatives.

    Such is the case for distinguishing between any theoretical alternative explanations.

    You say:  "QM says that two pairs [actually, two particles of an entangled pair] separated at a distance would be entangled and it also says that we cannot be definite about it."  Now, if by "we cannot be definite about it" you mean that the statistical nature of the measurements on entangled pairs of particles are such that one cannot know, just from measuring one particle, what measurement must have been performed on the other particle (so as to be able to use such entangled pairs of particles for "faster than light" communication), yes, you are quite correct.

    However, if the two researchers have already agreed upon a particular measurement, with only two possible outcomes (up-down, left-right, etc.) then one can be certain (given 100% detection efficiency, of course) what the results will be or were of the measurement of the other, just from a measurement of the one on hand.  Very definite, but indistinguishable from having the particles already predetermined.

    If you go a step further, and have the two researchers set up a protocol of such two state experiments (say start with left-right, then up-down, then two left-right, then ...), then, once again, such can be quite definite.  On the other hand, a sufficiently "knowledgeable" predetermined sequence of particle pairs can accomplish the same thing.

    So, to "definitely" show that one has Quantum Entanglement, rather than some (sophisticated) local, Classical, causal, deterministic (hidden variable) system, instead, one must be more clever.  Unfortunately, this means that neither researcher can know what the other is doing, until they come together and compare notes.

    The Bell inequality is all about the limits on the statistics that a (Bell-type) hidden variable theory could achieve under such a situation.  Then compare that to the Quantum Entanglement case, and chose measurements so as to maximize the statistical differences, and voila!  You have something that is as "definite" as we seem to be able to get, in trying to distinguish such possibilities.

    Does this help?  Or did I completely miss the "definiteness" concept you were driving at?

    David

    vongehr
    However, if the two researchers have already agreed upon a particular measurement, with only two possible outcomes (up-down, left-right, etc.) then one can be certain
    David, I may misunderstand you here, but what he talks about is "counter/contra factual definiteness", and that can only be empirically seen in the statistics at arbitrary relative angles (between Alice and Bob's measurement devices). So what you write here is at least misleading.

    Johann: Deleting my comment while keeping the pseudoscientists that still advertise Joy Christian may not be so wise.
    Halliday
    Hello, Sascha.  Long time...

    It is certainly quite possible that what Johann is trying to refer to is, indeed, "counter/contra factual definiteness".  However, I would prefer he be the one to express that that is what he was trying to get at, since there are many other possible things he could be alluding to or seeking.

    David

    P.S.  I have to agree about the "pseudoscientists that still advertise Joy Christian" thing, but this is Johann's 'blog, after all.

    cruz_johann
    By definiteness I mean that, having made a measurement on particle A, we are definite by QM arguments, that particle B has a certain measurement even if we do not perform an actual measurement on it (B). Same as what's stated in the paragraph:

    " You say:  "QM says that two pairs [actually, two particles of an entangled pair] separated at a distance would be entangled and it also says that we cannot be definite about it."  Now, if by "we cannot be definite about it" you mean that the statistical nature of the measurements on entangled pairs of particles are such that one cannot know, just from measuring one particle, what measurement must have been performed on the other particle (so as to be able to use such entangled pairs of particles for "faster than light" communication), yes, you are quite correct."


    I appreciate your help in correcting my misconceptions Dave, you're a very good teacher. 

    P.S.

    Nightmares are to continue, since now its clearer that QM is extremely weird.  

    Hi Johann,

    Hopefully you are not intimitaded by the ad hominems above. Certainly there is no place for bullying in a discussion of this sort. I am not sure why you still want to think that QM is "extremely weird"? It's not. Uncertainty is a natural phenomem of wave processes. And since entanglement is just an illusion, there is nothing weird there either. What may be a bit strange is the notion that space has unique spinor properties. But it is not all that strange if you have studied the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Have you had any quantum mechanic courses?

    Best,

    Fred

    Halliday
    Fred:

    I know you are a fan of Joy Christian, so I'm sorry if you took Sascha's comment as an ad hominem "attack" on you?  (Or do you feel it's an ad hominem attack on Joy Christian?)

    One of these days, I hope to have enough time to really check into Joy Christian's claims, even though it is quite easy to see that his claims to have "a classical local realistic hidden variable counter-example" to Bell's Theorem (especially with its generalization), or, in his words, a "Disproof of Bell’s Theorem", does not seems to hold up, without his, apparent, modification to the actual measurements produced by the experimental apparatus.  (Instead of the measurement apparatus only producing readings of ±1 [elements of S0], or some equivalent [for the two polarization results that are produced by actual polarization detectors]; he uses an apparatus that yields any value in S3 [isomorphic to unit quaternions, which, in turn, are isomorphic to SU(2) {highly related to the "spinor[s]" of Dirac's equation in QM}].)

    So, don't worry, my objections to Joy Christian's claims are most certainly not ad hominem.

    David

    Hi David,

    There is no modification of the measurement results in Joy Christian's local realistic model. You still get +/- 1 for the results. Yes, I would advise you to check into the model more thoroughly. It's the future. And I would be more than happy to help with any questions you might have as I know the model very well. For a long time a major complaint was that there was no computer simulation of the model. Now there is which you can find more info about by clicking on my name.

    David,

    You wrote: "I hope to have enough time to really check into Joy Christian's claims."

    This suggests that you have never actually read any of my papers, let alone understood my argument. I find it rather strange that, having confessed to not having checked into my "claims", you then deem it appropriate to make technical comments about them. This gives the false impression that you know what you are talking about. How can you object to something you have never "checked into." Sadly, you are not the first person to make such a mistake.

    I suggest you make at least a flying visit to my blog before making any claims about my work: http://libertesphilosophica.info/blog/

    Joy Christian

    Halliday
    Joy:

    (I'm replying with the assumption that I am actually replying to Joy Christian.  Of course, y'all know what they say about "assume".)

    I certainly would not have commented at all had I not looked into your work to at least some extent.  Perhaps I should have emphasized the "really", there, as in "really deeply" or "really thoroughly".

    I have already made "at least a flying visit to [your] blog before making any claims about [your] work:  http://libertesphilosophica.info/blog/".  I made my comment based precisely upon your (claimed) Disproof of Bell’s Theorem page.

    So, while I do not consider myself as having completed an extensive check into your claims, I have seen enough to provide me with a suggestion as to where the issues may lie.  I've been considering posting a query or two on your site, to make sure I understand what you are actually claiming (especially with your equation (1) vs. (2) on the [claimed] Disproof of Bell’s Theorem page).

    So, we shall probably meet again.

    David

    Very good, David. I hoped that much, because you seem to be a reasonable and rational person.

    As for the equations (1) and (2) you mention, please look at their left-most sides. They are identical, and they are exactly what Bell proposed, namely +1 or -1 results. The crux of my argument is on the right-most sides, which are the codomains of the measurement functions proposed by me and Bell, respectively. But that innocent-looking change in the codomain of the measurement functions makes all the difference. It changes the *topology* of all possible measurement results, both actual and counterfactual. Moreover, in the end what is summed over is nothing but the results +1 and -1, so your worry---and similar worry of many others---is unfounded. If there was any doubt, it has been put to rest in the five different numerical simulations of my model, independently produced by four different authors.

    I hope this addresses your worry to some extent.

    Joy

    Halliday
    Joy:

    (As before...)

    If what you mean by you equation (1) is as you say, then I would most certainly not write it as you have, since, clearly, while the ±1 on the left-hand side of Bell's equation (your (2)) relates directly to the codomain (AKA range, AKA image space, AKA the space of values "returned" by the function) of S0={+1, -1}; the ±1 on the left-hand side of your equations (1) is only a very tiny subset of what you claim for your codomain of S3~SU(2)~unit quaternions.  (Not to readers, I'm using the "~" symbol for "isomorphic to".  It's not "approximately", or some such.)

    Since the definition of codomain (AKA range, AKA image space) is, as I used above, the set of values that a function (the map) is allowed to produce for any and all values in its domain (the space of values that are allowed to be "passed" to the function, as "arguments"), Bell's "measurement function" A(a, λ) can only yield values of +1 or -1, while your "measurement function", of exactly the same form and domain, is, according to the codomain given, able to return any value within S3~SU(2)~unit quaternions (with +1 and -1 being only two values out of the uncountably infinite number allowed by the codomain).

    So, are you simply using mathematical sophistry, by using the ±1 to symbolically represent any element of S3~SU(2)~unit quaternions (something that can actually be done in some computer languages, by the way), or are you applying some projection from that codomain to S0={+1, -1}?

    If the latter is the case, then a more appropriate way to express the function that ultimately yields the measurement (of +1 or -1, only) would be as a functional composition of your "measurement function" and some "projection function" that takes as its domain S3~SU(2)~unit quaternions, and yield as its codomain S0={+1, -1}.  (Of course, this "projection function" need not only operate upon the result of your "measurement function", but may take other "arguments" [in other words, may augment its domain with products with other spaces] as you may desire.)

    However, then one would not have what you have expressed as your subsequent equations, but would have to include the "projection function" in all such cases.

    Now, you state that "If there was any doubt [as to whether the only measurement values that are produced and used are +1 or -1], it has been put to rest in the five different numerical simulations of my model, independently produced by four different authors."  This is why one of the things I was going to investigate, as I go deeper and more thorough, was to investigate both your prescription for the computational code as well as these coded examples.

    Fortunately, I do know my way around computer code, in several different languages.

    David

    David,

    We are making progress. It is nearing midnight in Oxford, so I will be brief. There is no projection from the codomain S^3 to S^0={+1, -1}. But you are correct that only subsets of S^3 are S^0. The trick is to view a given S^0 as a limiting case of a general quaternion belonging to S^3. Please look at the details discussed in this paper:

    http://libertesphilosophica.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Book-Ch...

    The limiting process is discussed in equation (9.21) on page 216. Two of the five simulations are discussed in the appendix of the paper, which starts on page 238.

    Also, can we please move to my blog for further discussion? I don't want to take up too much space on this blog for our private discussion.

    Joy

    Hank
    (I'm replying with the assumption that I am actually replying to Joy Christian. Of course, y'all know what they say about "assume".)
    Right, since both that and the Fred D. anonymous comment have the same URL (if you highlight their names) it's hard to know who is who and if anyone is real.
    "...it's hard to know who is who and if anyone is real."

    Including you.

    Hank, I was always under the assumption that Fred D. was Joy Christian. I think that there may be many here, and all over the web, who use multiple avitars, in fact I have suspected for a long time that you also post comments anonymously. I don't think that this is unusual or unethical.

    Keep up the great work, and once again, I continue to get an enormous amount of entertainment and laughs from this blog site.

    Hank
    No, I am always me. But it seems Fred D and Joy are the same.

    You don't think it is unusual? It seems a little strange to me. Or a certain vanity. I don't need to comment on my own article anonymously to know I am right. If I wrote it, I know I am right. :)
    You have just proved that you are either a fake or addicted to lying. If you really were the money maker of this commercial joint, then you could have easily checked the IP addresses of Fred D and I to know that we live on different continents and in different time-zones. QED

    Hank
    I think the physics community has already established which of us is the paranoid crackpot. Hint: It is you.
    vongehr
    "One of these days, I hope to have enough time to really check into Joy Christian's claims"

    Yes, why not help popularize an obvious fraught who feels it necessary to have sockpuppets on fringe sites. David - one day I would really like to understand what the f is wrong with people like you. Is it that you conserve a feeling of superiority if dealing with pseudos rather than collaborate with worthwhile projects?
    Halliday
    Sascha:

    It's not at all that I "conserve a feeling of superiority if dealing with pseudos", or anything like that.  After all, I let the people I deal with show their "true colors", rather than judging them on other terms.

    Besides, I have an open an inquisitive mind.  (Hopefully not too open, of course.  ;)  )

    I do like to "collaborate with worthwhile projects", when I can.  Unfortunately, when I was trying to put together code (in JavaScript, for the greatest Internet compatibility) for your project, I found that China was blocking your access to the libraries I was trying to use.  I just haven't had time to "regroup" on that project.  Besides, this way I can produce a mockup that will provide a test with Joy's concept.  Especially since, if his claims, to me, are true (about the actual output of the "measurement functions"), then the actual "condomain" is, in actuality, just as Bell expressed, and the only "sophistication" is in the way the outputs, of ±1, are calculated.  (After all, anything else is sophistry.)

    (I have printed out a couple of code examples, that he already claims to reproduce his results, and will be translating to a platform I have readily available.  If his claims work out, I will be quite surprised.  If, on the other hand, his code fails as expected, then we shall see what he claims about my code.  [That will allow him to show his "true colors".])

    I'm sorry if you think of me as "betraying the cause", or something, but I must do as I see fit.

    David

    David,

    Two codes are already available on my blog: http://libertesphilosophica.info/blog/

    Any code by itself is of course completely meaningless without some "sophistry."

    Joy

    Halliday
    Joy:

    I have the codes, and the papers.

    If by your saying that 'Any code by itself is of course completely meaningless without some "sophistry"', you mean that "Any code by itself is of course completely meaningless without some" sophistication and understanding, I agree.

    I make a definite distinction between "sophistry" and "sophistication".  (I can explain the distinction, if anyone needs such.)

    David

    vongehr
    David, I am not crying about you betraying anything; I was not even thinking about instead supporting any of my projects (there are hundreds of worthwhile projects out there that have nothing to do with me); I just am in a crisis these days about that I consistently overestimate other person's abilities - my fault - I lack the social capabilities and misjudged (but Science20 has helped me a lot to understand about the limitations of my fellow humans - one reason I do not write much anymore - there is no such audience here that I thought may exist). What you write here for example, well, sorry, but I am honest here, I really thought you were smarter than this. You still have not understood that the guy is a cheater? And you think that the QRC can be beaten??? It seems you have not understood the physical core of Bell's proof, which I suspect since the day we discussed "bulk processing".

    (and about China blocking stuff - what kind of excuse is that? You are not in China, anybody with a brain can get around all the blocks in China if she wants, and ... ah forget it. Have a great time with Joy or photodaddy or whatever his sock puppet happens to be these days David.)
    The QRC is "rigged" as is Bell's framework. It is impossible to choose any hidden variable(s) and still match the physics of the EPR-Bohm scenario. Thus you have made the same subtle mistake that Bell made. However, a parallelized 3-sphere topological framework does the trick and produces the predictions of QM.

    Halliday
    Johann:

    Actually, when you say "By definiteness I mean that, having made a measurement on particle A, we are definite by QM arguments, that particle B has a certain measurement even if we do not perform an actual measurement on it (B)", you seem to be moving along the direction of "counter/contra factual definiteness".  (The "counter/contra factual" aspect has to do with "even if we do not perform an actual measurement", while the "definiteness", along with that, indicates that even without performing the measurement in question, the system has that, or some "definite" value that one would "definitely" measure if one were to actually perform the measurement in question.)

    However, "what's stated in the paragraph:"

    "QM says that two pairs [actually, two particles of an entangled pair] separated at a distance would be entangled and it also says that we cannot be definite about it."  Now, if by "we cannot be definite about it" you mean that the statistical nature of the measurements on entangled pairs of particles are such that one cannot know, just from measuring one particle, what measurement must have been performed on the other particle (so as to be able to use such entangled pairs of particles for "faster than light" communication), yes, you are quite correct.

    is not especially about "counter/contra factual definiteness", but is about how the statistical nature of QM is such that, regardless of the "interpretation" one uses, causality is still preserved:  One can still not send "information" faster than the speed of light.

    (The EPR paper was very much about using "counter/contra factual definiteness", with QM entanglement, to be able to violate Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.  However, it has been shown that if one has both locality [as EPR assumed] and counter-factual definiteness [as it did], then Bell's Inequalities hold [sort of a generalized Bell Theorem*].  Therefore, one cannot replicate the results of QM under such situations.)

    Now, as I tried to express, if one performs only a restricted pair of compatible measurements (like measuring polarization or spin along the same direction), then ("even if we do not perform [one of the] actual measurement[s]", one can be certain (with 100% efficient measurements, of course) what the measurement "would have been".  (Under such conditions, QM gives a 100% probability for such a measurement, since the system is now in an eigenstate of said measurement.)

    This is why Sascha insisted that the "true nature" of QM entanglement (vs. "imposters") "can only be empirically seen in the statistics at arbitrary relative angles (between Alice and Bob's measurement devices)."  (As I know he knows, one need not look at all, or even very many "arbitrary relative angles" to have such "be empirically seen".  One need only judiciously choose a very few angles, with the intent of maximizing the empirical distinctions.)

    So there are a few subtleties, here.

    David

    *  It is not at all uncommon for a later researcher (or mathematician) to generalize a theorem so as to obtain the same result under even broader conditions.

    The problem with Bell's theorem is that it is strictly about linear probabilities and it is well known that the probabilities of QM (EPR-Bohm scenaro) are not linear. So it is quite clear that Bell's theorem does not match the physics of EPR-Bohm right off the bat. And Bell's original paper was supposed to be about the EPR-Bohm scenario. Quantum entanglement is just an illusion because the proper topology of space has not been taken into consideration. You can learn more at this link,
    http://libertesphilosophica.info/blog/

    Your "nightmares" will be over. :-)

    Without commenting on the validity of Christian's arguments, his book proves my first comment on this post; anyone who goes against the established politically correct norms will be "mauled by said bear." Truth or reality makes absolutely no difference, in fact it is ALL about control and power - NOT the sciences.

    Here is a link to the reviews of his book on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/Disproof-Bells-Theorem-Illuminating-Entanglement/p...

    Clearly the sub-controversy surrounding the EPR paper, and thus the validity of quantum mechanics itself, has several parallels to the controversy surrounding Anthropogenic Global Warming. If you show any resistance to the acceptance of the promoters of either of these theories you will be viciously "mauled." Personally I believe in anthropoMORPHIC Global Warming, that is the PROJECTION of human qualities onto the natural cyclic climatic system.

    I also believe that the current state of quantum mechanics is akin to alchemy, in the sense that there are indeed numerous golden nuggets of truths that can be found in it, but there is a whole lot of statistical chaff that needs to be filtered out before it will ever evolve into what could be considered anything close to the evolution of alchemy into modern chemistry.

    "I am well aware that no causality exists in relation to the observable; I consider this realization to be conclusive. But in my opinion one should not conclude from this that the theory, too, has to be based on fundamental laws of statistics. It is, after all, possible that the (molecular) structure of the means of observation involves the statistical character of the observable, but that it is expedient in the end to keep the basis of the theory free from statistical concepts."
    --Albert Einstein

    Halliday
    Fred:

    Of course Bell's theorem used linear (Classical) probabilities:  His theorem is all about the closest one can possibly get, with a (sophisticated) local, Classical, causal, deterministic (hidden variable) theory, to the answer Quantum Mechanics (QM) would yield for a Quantum Entanglement scenario.  (He certainly knew how to do the QM calculations.)

    So, as always, it's all about the intent, and whether he achieved it.

    David

    David,
    If his theorem is strickly about linear probabilities, then how exactly could it ever apply correctly to the physics of EPR-Bohm? It simply can't. And why do you think that "classical" has to mean "linear"?

    Good Grief Fred D. now you are "poking the bear" and the swarm is forming! But at least Sacha called him out on his "Ivory Tower" academic B.S.

    (By the way I'm still waiting for the solution for how to calculate the momentum of a photon without using Plank's constant or any other experimental data.)

    Halliday
    Fred:

    The "linear probabilities" used by Bell were and are precisely the kind of (Classical) frequintist statistics that one should use both for the analysis of the best expected statistical outcome one can expect from any (Bell-type) local, Classical (in a slightly different use of that term, but still non-Quantum Mechanical [non-QM]), causal (all interactions at the speed of light or slower), deterministic, hidden variable theory—precisely the kind of theory (essentially) called for by the EPR paper—as well as in the analysis of the (Classical) frequintist statistics of the results of an EPR-type experiment, regardless of whether the cause of the results are QM entanglement, or something else altogether.

    Bell was not trying to recreate a QM statistics, since Quantum Mechanics already does that, but to show the limits of what a (Bell-type) local, Classical (in a slightly different use of that term, but still non-QM), causal (all interactions at the speed of light or slower), deterministic, hidden variable theory can do, for an EPR-type experiment.

    That's it.  That's what his Theorem is trying to do.  Nothing more, and nothing less.

    Furthermore, as a Theorem, in the true Mathematical sense of that term, it is proven to be true—proven to do precisely what it purports to do.  (No experiments involved.  Only pure Mathematics.  [After all, experiments can never truly prove anything one way or another.  The best that experiments can do is to provide evidence, one way or another, for Theory vs. physical reality, but that is quite important in its own right, and provides a separate service that Mathematical proof can never replace.])

    Now, if you want to do QM statistics, you will be using a different form of probability, or if you wish to define some other form of "probability" altogether, then that's fine, but don't expect that to be what Bell was "supposed" to do, because it wasn't, and isn't, and never will be.

    David

    Proposing that mathematical abstractionism and pure theory can overrule, supersede, or even supplant experimental evidence is EXACTLY the mistake that Aristotle (the godfather of the scientific method) made.

    Good Grief, lets not keep on repeating the monumental mistakes of history…

    Halliday
    PhotoDady:

    If you actually think I "Propos[ed] that mathematical abstractionism and pure theory can overrule, supersede, or even supplant experimental evidence", then I have to worry about your reading comprehension.

    Please go back and reread for comprehension.

    David

    If I understand David correctly he is pointing out that Bell starts with simple frequentist statistics. This is just about counting events and then doing some sums. It has nothing to do with quantum mechanics. So, unless you are proposing a form of counting which is non-linear (I have five digits on my left hand and five on my right; making eleven in all) the probability theory as such must be linear.

    Hi David,

    Thanks for pointing out exactly the mistake Bell made with his assumptions. Which were that a classical local realistic hidden variable model could only have linear probabilities as applied to the EPR-Bohm scenario. It is simply not true.

    I have no problem with Bell's theorem as a mathematical theorem. But all it shows us is that linear probabilities can't beat non-linear probabilities. Nothing more; nothing less. There is a big difference between mathematical theorems and physical theory and one must be very careful when applying a mathematical theorem to actual physics. But fortunately a classical local realistic hidden variable counter-example exists that shows that Bell did in fact make a mistake in his assumptions.

    Halliday
    Fred:

    See my comment, above.

    David

    If you were to talk to Dr. Christian about his experience, I am sure you would learn that he has probably been much more than "viciously mauled". So no argument about that. And his model only supports what Einstein thought about quantum mechanics that it was an incomplete theory of nature. And his model also supports that quantum mechanics does in fact work right and that the quantum experiments support his model. A much more profound discovery is that of the origins of quantum correlations.

    http://libertesphilosophica.info/blog/origins-of-quantum-correlations-2/

    Sorry Johann,

    I did not mean for this thread to become so preachy. I'm assuming that you are looking for a good subject for a post graduate thesis. I would definitely recommend a different subject, that is unless you have a very well thought out argument relating to the EPR theory or any of its derivatives.

    Barring that, in pursuing your original questions, there are many more fruitful career moves that would be much, much less controversial. (going against the proverbial grain will only put you on the fast track to the unemployment line)

    Again, Good Luck in all of your pursuits!

    I can't help but post a shameless plug here . . . you are all exactly the kind of readers I'm trying to reach!

    I'm a HUGE fan of Physics, especially the jump "into the mysterious" with Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, etc. While I don't have an answer to the original question (and can't help but notice that a lot of smarter people on here do have answers), I would love it if any of you would read my book on Amazon.com! It goes on sale January 17th, so it drops from $2.99 to $0.99, so I'd recommend waiting these couple of weeks . . . but I'd love to hear from those of you who love Physics and crime thrillers to check it out and leave a review if you like it! If you don't . . . tell an enemy about the book. I put a lot into crafting the complicated story so I'm rather proud . . . hence the shameless plug.

    http://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Entanglement-Mark-K-Bennett-ebook/dp/B00H5...

    John Duffield
    Johann: you're right to query this. Take a look at J.S. Bell’s Concept of Local Causality by Travis Norsen. Note this:

    “Many textbooks and commentators report that Bell’s theorem refutes the possibility (suggested especially by Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen in 1935) of supplementing ordinary quantum theory with additional (“hidden”) variables that might restore determinism and/or some notion of an observer-independent reality. On this view, Bell’s theorem supports the orthodox Copenhagen interpretation. Bell’s own view of his theorem, however, was quite different.”

    It’s rather different to what you usually hear. As regards that bear, I'm afraid there are some who peddle "quantum magick" in order to promote themselves. Such people can be utterly venomous towards people like Joy Christian who attempt to offer a rational scientific explanation. Because a rational non-spooky explanation would destroy their reputations. The public would think they were crazy quacks spouting nonsense. By the way, have you seen Sascha's blog on suicide?

    As regards robust rational physics, also check out weak measurement work by Aephraim Steinberg et al and Jeff Lundeen et al. Think of a photon as something like a seismic wave. It isn't some little point-particle thing. It isn't at all mysterious that it goes through two slits at once. Then take a look at the Optical Fourier Transform and think of detection at one slit as operating along the same lines.
    Halliday
    John:

    The use of Wave Mechanics for Light works eminently well (and has worked so for more than a couple of centuries) for all phenomena save two:  Black-body Radiation (where Planck's constant originated); and the Photoelectric Effect (which has many solid state analogues).

    Of course, this is to say nothing of particles that, otherwise, appear to be quite "normal", classical, point-like (at least, very small) "particles", but, nonetheless, also exhibit wave-like interference phenomena.

    Now, such phenomena, alone—without trying to "explain"/predict such behavior as precisely as possible (at least so far)—does not lead, inextricably, to Quantum Mechanics (or, more especially, Quantum Field Theory).  The real "rub" is in trying to "explain"/predict such behavior as precisely as possible.  Hence, the Mathematics.

    Can you produce a theory that actually reproduces all applicable observational and experimental results, at least to within experimental/observational error?  If so, congratulations, you have passed the first test, and you must go on the the second challenge.  If not, you have failed the first test, and must go back to the drawing-board.

    The second challenge is to predict new, testable results (called predictions) that are measurably different from those of current theories.  Testable predictions are predictions that are, at least in principle, testable by observational and/or experimental means.  (For instance, unobservable aspects of one's theories are not testable, because they are unobservable.)  The differences need not even be measurable with current apparati (plural of apparatus, though I have noted that many dictionaries claim that apparatus is also plural, though many will also accept apparatuses*), but there must be, at least in principle, the ability to devise some future apparatus that could measure such differences.

    How are you doing on these two tests/challenges?

    David

    *  As an English teacher of mine once remarked, "we're speaking English, not Latin".

    John Duffield
    David:

    I agree that the rub is in trying to explain such behavior, and of course we need mathematical rigor and prediction too. No, I can’t produce a theory that reproduces all observational and experimental results, but I can point to Steinberg and Lundeen, and I can point out the experimental evidence that ought to assist with understanding existing theory.

    For example electron diffraction should be a salient reminder that an electron is a wave. Pair production reminds us that we can create an electron along with a positron from a photon in pair production. E=hf and E=hc/λ reminds us that the photon is a wave. Magnetic dipole moment reminds us that the electron isn’t some point-particle thing, and that it is indeed quantum field theory. It isn't quantum point-particle theory. Then the Einstein-de Haas effect ought to remind us that spin is “is indeed of the same nature as the angular momentum of rotating bodies as conceived in classical mechanics”. It shouldn't be something mysterious because of a planet-analogy non-sequitur. In similar vein atomic orbitals ought to tell us that electrons “exist as standing waves”. In pair production you start with a wave propagating linearly at c, it interacts with a nucleus, and you surely (?) end up with two waves going round and round at c such that they look like standing waves. Standing wave, standing field. Then after electron-positron annihilation two 511keV photons are off like a shot, these two waves can't accelerate instantly to c from a standing start. So we can surmise that the waves ceased going round their Dirac’s belt spin ½ paths and started going straight. And meanwhile we can remember that waves aren't local things, they do take many paths. They do go through both slits. And they can undergo superposition.

    I can’t offer any new predictions, but I can point you towards the spindle-sphere torus and Planck length l=√(ћG/c³). Then I can ask you to replace √(ћG) with 4πn where n is a suitable value with the appropriate dimensionality. Then retaining that dimensionality, I can ask you to set n to 1 and work out 4πn/√(c³). Then I can ask you to note the binding energy in this blue torus, and show you this. And then I can ask you to drop all dimensionality and work out √c / 3π.

    How am I doing on those two tests/challenges? Not so good. But I'd rather refer to all the above in preference to settling for "surpasseth all human understanding" and a many-worlds "multiverse" that will forever remain untestable and beyond the reach of science.
    HenryB
    "...of course we need mathematical rigor..."

    Since you realize this, it would probably be a good idea to try to put your ideas into math.  A lot of mistakes can hide behind vague ideas and phrases, and trying to put things down in specifics simultaneously exposes them to real scrutiny and the opportunity to learn from how the idea fails.

    In the beginning you can even just mostly rework out the math from some article you like or something.  Doug often 'takes' large derivations from things he reads, and only by working them out himself does he learn what parts he actually understands and which parts he needs to learn more about.  He's learned a lot this way.  You already have an account here, try writing your stuff out.

    I don't know if you saw my other reply to your claim about invariant mass of a point particle changing along its path in GR, but I'm even willing to work out and post some solutions on a blog here as well if you are willing to give it a try and work out the GR exercise yourself and post it.  This will help the experience be a little more two-sided and hopefully you'll learn more as well.  Don't shy away from the math, it is preventing you from learning about many of the great advances of modern physics.

    So please, take the time to work out the math for some of your claims.
    I think you will learn a lot, and the GR exercise would be a great place to start since it is so straight-forward.

    -------

    BTW, I get the impression from your repeated mentioning that the electron is not a point particle but a wave, that you think this makes the electron "non-local" and can explain the "non-local" effects in quantum mechanics.  This is not what is meant by non-local. For the evolution of the wave-function in quantum mechanics is described by local physics, even in the Bohmian mechanics interpretation which you seem to like.  (If one insists on not using decoherence to explain micro -> classical macro, then I guess one could say a postulated literal "collapse" due to measurement would be non-local, but since Bohmian mechanics uses decoherence to explain a lot of stuff, I assume you are okay with decoherence.)  What is "non-local" about quantum mechanics is that if one insists on a 'realist' interpretation of physics, to explain the results in quantum mechanics, you need to resort to a non-local theory.  In Bohmian mechanics for instance, which is a realist attempt at describing quantum mechanics, the forces on the particles from the 'pilot wave' are non-local.

    And while you may already know this, for others reading this, let me point out that the wavefunction for electrons, positrons, etc. in QM is not a "wave" in the sense that many laymen seem to think.  I've even seen students come out of intro QM classes thinking every particle has its own wavefunction.  They get this mis-understanding because many simple example problems are one-particle math exercises; so to them, the only 'non-intuitive' feature is superposition.  But if there are a hundred particles there is not 100 wave functions; there is a SINGLE wavefunction.  While it is not a sum of individual particle wavefunctions, it is also not even possible in general to write it as a product of functions for each particle (ie. it is not always separable).  This is what gives us entanglement.
    John Duffield
    All points noted Henry. But I have to say they aren’t my ideas. When I was trying to talk to Doug about gravity I was referring to Einstein and bona-fide sources including hard scientific evidence. And with respect, the mass deficit is not some idea of mine, and maths doesn’t help understanding the situation when you drop that 1kg mass into a black hole. But please do post something on a blog here and I’ll respond. I didn’t intend the nature of the electron to explain photon entanglement by the way. Nor did I think that every particle has its own wavefunction. The hydrogen atom has a wavefunction.
    HenryB
    ...including hard scientific evidence.
    You keep using that phrase.  Are you claiming your "interpretations" of GR differ from modern physics in predictions for experiments?  If so, what experiments?
    But I have to say they aren’t my ideas.
    They are your ideas.  You have all these snippets you've gleaned from reading descriptions of things, and tried to mash them together into some coherent whole.  What you have obtained is clearly your own separate ideas, since if you work out that exercise I suggested, you will see that GR does NOT predict the invariant mass of a point particle to change as it is free falling.  Because of some misunderstanding you have, you are misjudging or misinterpreting sources.  You often link articles that don't support your conclusions.  So more quoting of other people, etc. it not useful here.  You need to stop avoiding the math and actually check some of your claims.  Work out the prediction of GR yourself, check it yourself.

    If you just work out that simple exercise you will see unambiguously that the invariant mass of the point particle does not change along its path.  As I said, if you are willing to work out the solution and post it on your blog here, I'll do the same to help.  But if you are unwilling to do so, I am not going to spend my free time writing up a blog post with math, only to have you respond to it with more quotes.  I need you to actually go into the math. 

    You don't need to re-invent everything.  There's no need to rederive Schwarzschild's metric (unless you disagree with it), or explicitly show a coordinate transformation to show there is a free-fall frame that is locally like an inertial frame, etc.  You can even just take the solved geodesic equation from somewhere else, and then calculate the particle's energy and momentum as it falls. Then use this to calculate the invariant mass.  Another option is along the lines where you already said the four-force acting on a free-falling particle is zero.  That's a useful starting point as well.  What's that say about the change in the components of the four-momentum?

    You said you can handle the math for GR, so let's use that to check your invariant mass claim.  Okay?
    Halliday
    John:

    I don't know where you get the "surpasseth all human understanding" idea (other than the oft quoted idea that if one "claims" to fully understand Quantum Mechanics [QM], it only shows they have little or now actual understanding of QM).  I certainly do not hold such a view.  (Furthermore, to the extent I may have ever considered QM to be beyond "comprehension", or "incomprehensible", I have considered that to be more of a fault with QM, or "interpretations" thereof, than with "human understanding".)

    (I certainly agree with 'a many-worlds "multiverse" that will forever remain untestable and beyond the reach of science'.  However, that has little or nothing to do with QM, per se, and is not the case for all forms of "multiverse".)

    David

    Hi John,

    Yeah, I think there is a definite trend in the 21st century here that some of quantum mechanics is explainable in more classical local realistic terms. And a few people take that as possibly meaning that quantum mechanics is wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth. All it means is that Einstein was right about QM not being a complete theory of nature. There does seem to be some kind of strange perverse thing happening to want to keep QM mysterious. Now, the tough nut to crack in this regard of more classical explanations, is going to be Hardy's fifth axiom,

    http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0101012

    "Continuous reversibility: There exists a continuous reversible transformation between any pair of pure states."

    Which he basically has as the only real difference between classical and quantum theory as far as axioms go. Now, I am not sure if Hardy's fifth axiom has been experimentally validated. Probably has but maybe someone here knows.

    Halliday
    Fred:

    Thanks for the reference to Hardy's "Quantum Theory From Five Reasonable Axioms".  Of course, since I haven't read it, yet, I cannot judge its validity or applicability.

    Has it been published in any peer reviewed journals?  (Unfortunately, the ArXiv page gives no indication of such.)  It's not that something "must be published in a pear reviewed journal", or some such, in order to be "judged" "worthy", "valid", or whatever.  All it means is that it has been reviewed by some set of "peers" and deemed "worthwhile to publish" (in whatever publication).  So, it's simply another "data point".

    Just wondering.

    David

    Hi David,

    Lucien Hardy is a very highly respected researcher in quantum foundations. This is probably an update of the previous linked paper,

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.1538
    Also,
    http://arxiv.org/find/grp_physics/1/au:+hardy_lucien/0/1/0/all/0/1

    Anyways, read it and decide for yourself.

    John Duffield
    Noted Fred. I'm with that trend that rejects surpasseth all human understanding. I'm with Einstein too, and guys like Jeff Lundeen who thinks wavefunction is something real that's right there in the lab. I'll check out Lucien Hardy's paper. Thanks. I don't care if it's peer-reviewed, I'll take it on its merits, and I'll think for myself rather than let somebody else do my thinking for me or dictate what I should or should not read.

    Meanwhile I hope nobody here thinks that I think quantum mechanics or quantum field theory is "wrong". I don't think it's wrong, I think it's a work in progress.
    The bottom line here is that the EPR arguments have NOT been disproven, despite the efforts of many in the last eighty years in modern physics. In fact the practicing quantum theorists of today ARE practicing their craft by using no more than experimentally unproven mathematical abstractions and/or pure theory. While the totality of all the experimental evidence obtained thus far may provide sufficiently precise and/or accurate predictions, within acceptable limits, this is NOT a sufficient proof of any theory. (I'm not arguing that they eventually won't be proven, just that they haven’t yet.)

    This is why I abstained from commenting on the validity of Christian’s argument, it provides a mathematical argument and a possible experiment but there is still NO experimental evidence to support it.

    Ptolemy's theory also provided sufficiently accurate predictions but was hopelessly trapped in a reference frame that prevented him from “seeing” the truths that reality had to offer. It was only with a more general reference frame that Copernicus used was this “golden nugget of truth” in reality revealed. In their respective reference frames they were indeed BOTH correct. It is ONLY in the more general reference frame where Ptolemy was proven wrong. By the way, the apparent retrograde motion of the planets was explained by Ptolemy as being “random” or possibly even a “hidden variable” while the heliocentric theory, provided by Copernicus, shows the apparent retrograde motion was explicably a simple consequence of the different reference frame used.

    Now lets make a couple of comparisons, Newtons reference frame is far more general than Einsteins, Einstein’s reference frame does NOT contradict Newtons, it merely supplements it. On the other hand, quantum theories are LESS general than either Einstein’s or Newton's and they CONTRADICT both of the previous reference frames. The logic here is not very hard to see and you don't need an advanced degree to see it. (Not a proof in itself but a very good indicator of a huge philosophical red flag of fallacy waving in the wind.)

    My apologies to Johann since he was undoubtedly blind sided by the ongoing quantum controversies. I also sympathize with him since he is most likely stuck in the post-graduate world of having to continuously butter himself up to his high priests (PhD's) on his track to becoming accepted into the higher church as one of their own.

    I reread every comment in this post and the only ad-hominem attacks here came from two of these “high priests” preaching from their “ivory towers” (pointing out a valid philosophical fallacy is NOT an ad-hominem attack) by tossing around the "pseudoscience" accusation in their attempts to "poison the well." Again, proving my first comment in this post. Human behavior protecting positions of power and control are soooooo predictably unpredictable. (By actually calling for the active suppression of anyone who may disagree with them, I have no expectations that this comment will itself survive.)

    Once again, I WISH NOTHING BUT GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!

    You shall know the truth, and that truth shall set you free.

    Hi PhotoDady,

    "This is why I abstained from commenting on the validity of Christian’s argument, it provides a mathematical argument and a possible experiment but there is still NO experimental evidence to support it."

    The quantum experiments that have already been done do in fact support Joy Christian's framework. His proposed experiment is for a test to see if his framework also holds macroscopically. A proper macroscopic test has never been done as far as I know.

    "The path to truth is thinner than a razor's edge."

    I agree, if quantum mechanics were actually ever successfully "proven" to be valid it would have to also hold true in a more general macro level. Thats part of the the reason for the "philosophical red flag of fallacy waving in the wind."

    I'll be looking forward to his macro experimental results.

    Also, the lack of macro level quantum mechanics validation lies at the heart of Einstein's comment: "I like to think the Moon is still there, even when I'm not looking at it."

    Halliday
    PhotoDady:

    It is quite unclear what you take as "proven" vs. what you take as "disproven".

    While Mathematics has a clear definition of what "proof" means, Science has no such clear definition, and "philosophers of science" have had many disagreements on even less stringent forms, such as "falsify" vs. "refute" vs. "invalidate" vs. "validate" etc.

    Most scientists don't seem to adhere to much of the "requirements" that "philosophers of science" seem to want to place upon science.  So, hopefully, you can pardon us for not adhering to your concepts of "proven" vs."disproven".

    If you would like to better understand what scientists actually do, and how scientist actually do it (in quite a diverse manner), you would do well to check out the Understanding Science (how science really works) site:  at http://undsci.berkeley.edu/.  It is actually quite an extensive site, with many facets, and growing.  So you would do well to explore the site extensively.

    It could be helpful to also check out Richard Feynman's Caltech commencement address given in 1974, entitled "Cargo Cult Science", in which Feynman instructs these new scientists on how to avoid becoming "cargo cult" scientists.

    Another that you may also find helpful is Feynman's "What is Science?" talk presented at the fifteenth annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association, 1966, in New York City, and printed in The Physics Teacher Vol. 7, issue 6, 1969, pp. 313-320.  A couple of quotes:

    ... what science is:  the result of the discovery that it is worthwhile rechecking by new direct experience, and not necessarily trusting the [human] race['s] experience from the past.  I see it that way.  That is my best definition.

    ... I can also define science another way:  Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

    David

    Perhaps you should learn about semantical argumentative fallacies, not necessarily logical fallacies in of themselves, but since I understand your motives, in this context, I can assume that it most definitely is. This type of argument is quite commonly used to derail skeptics of any argument.

    Science is a SUBORDINATE branch of general philosophy, as such, the methods for testing the validity of any scientific argument are inherited FROM it, and nowhere else. This is the very crux of the problems Einstein (et al.) had, and still have, with quantum physics.

    For a good example of proponents of a dubious unproven theory co-opting a subject with semantical arguments check out the wikipedia article on "polar vortex" where you will find about 250 edits by AGW alarmists, just in the last day or two, promoting the (yet another experimentally unproven) assertion that the "polar vortex" as being caused by anthropogenic global warming.

    Yet another reason to flush wikipedia down the toilet.

    Halliday
    PhotoDady:

    While many laypeople (AKA the general public) will complain that questions concerning the definitions of terms are simply "arguments over semantics", I would expect someone that seems to be arguing by way of philosophy would recognize that philosophical arguments are principally about the meanings of terms.

    I don't know what "motives" you claim to "understand" as being mine, but I had no other motive than to clarify terminology, including providing some helpful (in my opinion, anyway) resources on the terminology I tend to use.

    Unfortunately, it seems that, all too often, people ascribe to others the motives they, themselves, harbor.  I hope this does not suggest any ill motivation to you.

    I hold no malice toward you or anyone else here, or anywhere, nor do I use guile or subterfuge or trickery.  I approach all with genuineness and an open heart.

    David

    So with knowing nothing about me you assume that I am a "layperson" while I do have formal training in quantum physics as well as formal applied training in the quantum modeling of solid-state physics and semiconductor design.

    Again an ad-honmen attack from your "ivory tower" trying to "poison the well" by accusing me of not being qualified enough for me to argue with someone so brilliant as yourself.

    My arguments here are not some crazy delusion that I have in which I might influence someone as yourself, instead they are for someone who has not been so completely indoctrinated. It disturbs me to see just how little appreciation that "Doctors of Philosophy" (PhD's) have for philosophy, in fact what I actually experience is mostly contempt for it, especially from the quantum physicists.

    Durring Newton's time there actually was an appreciation for and a will to remove the black art from alchemy, it also disturbs me that there presently does not seem to exist the same will to remove the black art from quantum mechanics.

    Again I wish nothing but good luck to all...

    Halliday
    PhotoDady:

    If you thought I was assuming that you are a "layperson", then, again, I have to worry about your reading comprehension.

    Please reread for comprehension.

    (Note:  I contrasted what I would expect of a "layperson" with what I would have expected of you, based upon my observation that you tend to argue from a philosophical standpoint, and if you think that that expectation is reflective of some "contempt" for philosophical argument, then again, I am concerned.)

    David

    Seriously? Are you by chance related to Sheldon Cooper?

    Actually his character is a brilliant dead on prototype for the typical modern theoretical physicist.

    "Its funny because its true."
    --Sheldon Cooper

    Halliday
    PhotoDady:

    Of course I can't be "related to" a fictional character.  :/

    Of course you would consider this fictional character to be "a brilliant dead on prototype for the typical modern theoretical physicist."  The character was designed to be considered that way by those that do not know the real things, in their great variety.  (However, I do admit that the writers have known a few "professor" types and graduate students upon which they based this character.)

    (You do know that the concept of something being funny because the "joke" is so "true" far predates "The Big Bang Theory" television series.  [I assume the "its" in your quote is a typo for "it's", of course.])

    David

    Clearly you have no idea of how big a buffoon Sheldon Cooper's character is, and just like him, you seem to have no working concept of sarcasm nor what it was that I was implying.

    You also seemed to have completely missed the irony of this in his quote, predictably you made me smile in this proof of comparisons ;-)

    Hank
    I can settle the argument. David isn't even in the top 5 the physicists most like Sheldon Cooper on this site :) He is downright measured and reasonable. Cooper is an archetype for comedy because it's prevalent in science and engineering and math. Everyone knows at least one person they can claim must be the inspiration for the guy.
    I agree with you Hank, he is very knowledgable and usually does have very good and valid points that can clarify things enormously. The problem is that on the occasions when he is wrong he does not own it, in fact he usually doubles down on his blunders by going into incomprehensible rants. This, unfortunately, makes him an unreliable source, in my humble opinion.

    When I was being serious here, I was merely parroting Einstein and siding with his arguments. History has proven time, and time again, that when you go against Big Al you only succeed at making a fool of yourself.

    Keep up the great work with this blog site, I think that it is doing a great service to us all. It is also very entertaining, informative, and a proven source for great humor.

    Halliday
    PhotoDady:

    At the risk of becoming the "butt" of one of your "jokes", are you referring to me when you say "The problem is that on the occasions when he is wrong he does not own it"?

    The thing is, I have never had any problem admitting when I am wrong, when I know that I am.  As I have stated before, I am straightforward and genuine to all.

    Now, on the other hand, I am not at all timid about going up against even "Big Al", if I disagree with him.  (Admittedly, in my younger days, I would have shied away from such confrontation, to the point that if I had known that a certain model I evaluated, back when, was his, I probably would not have found the flaws I did.  However, it was experiences such as that that taught me that even "Big Al" can be wrong.  As R. P. Feynman said, "science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."  Of course, that goes for me, as well [hence the reason for what I wrote in my profile].)

    Now, if you want to be serious, straightforward, and genuine, with something positive to contribute, I will be glad to engage you.  If, on the other hand, you are simply here to entertain yourself at the expense of others ...

    David

    P.S. If what I say is ever "incomprehensible" to you, or anyone, all you, or anyone, ever need do is ask.  Please don't assume such is a "rant".  I will most certainly let you know if I ever go into a *rant*.

    Wow, I'm jealous! The view from your unusually tall ivory tower must be spectacular. You obviously have not followed any of my (actually mostly Einstein's) arguments. I'm sure Ptolemy was able to justify all the proper logic in all of his arguments without resorting the the logical fallacies that you seem to easily favor.

    There are currently four possibilities when it comes to modern physical theories:
    1) Relativity and Quantum mechanics are both correct, the theories are simply incomplete.
    2) Relativity is correct while Quantum theories are hopelessly stuck in an improper reference frame. as was Ptolemy.
    3) Relativity is incorrect but Quantum mechanics is correct, but it is still currently incomplete.
    4) Both Relativity and Quantum mechanics are incorrect, we must still be open to the possibility that the totality of our universe may indeed be incomprehensible to humanity.

    If you are as closed minded as you have portrayed yourself here, if you are no longer considering that Quantum mechanics may actually be false while at the same time admitting that it is, at best, still an incomplete theory, then you are no longer practicing science. You would be practicing a religion.

    Again thank you for your generous offer of gracing me with your brilliance, I'm not worthy. If you don't mind I will continue to divert my eyes for fear of becoming blinded. Until you can definitively PROOVE which of the above four possibilities is the philosophically valid and proper one I will pass on taking scientific advice from any priest practicing his religion.

    My apologies if indeed that you have already presented your fully vetted Theory Of Everything (TOE) and I was too dense to have picked up on that...

    Halliday
    PhotoDady:

    You obviously have no understanding of where I'm "coming from", whatsoever.  (It seems you are way too locked into your "Sheldon Cooper[esk]" model of what a "modern theoretical physicist" must be like to actually see the reality.)

    Too bad.  So sad.

    David

    As I thought, you simply choose to ignore any possibility of any philosophical falseness of your positions and arguments.

    Mr. Halliday,
    I intentionally have NOT previously addressed YOU personally here. Instead, I've been addressing the quantum funding industry as well as the science community at large. Thank you so much for being such a pleasant, but ultimately very predictable, example of the modern problems with the sciences in general and bolstering my own personal theories of just how science has been so easily co-opted by those with agendas of political power and control, much to the dismay of Einstein's (et al.) predictions and warnings. Most of these arguments often degenerate into very vicious and degenerative cesspools of nonsense.

    Any coincidental relations to The Big Bang Theory here were merely icing on the cake :-) Don't be surprised that when you pitch a fastball into the sweet spot, that it gets spanked out of the ballpark.

    Hank, the new Captcha sucks!!!

    Halliday
    As I said, you obviously have no idea (no clue)...
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Ha ha, yes too bad David and definitely very sad! PhotoDady appears to have no understanding of where you are coming from and from my own personal experience he couldn't be more wrong about you being in an ivory tower or preaching to people or blinding them with your brilliance. I think the following quote from Photodady maybe gives us some insight into where he is coming from :-
    Again thank you for your generous offer of gracing me with your brilliance, I'm not worthy. If you don't mind I will continue to divert my eyes for fear of becoming blinded. Until you can definitively PROOVE which of the above four possibilities is the philosophically valid and proper one I will pass on taking scientific advice from any priest practicing his religion.
    PhotoDady maybe you should add your 'proove' quote to this list of mispellings of prove quotations at Wiktionary?
    proove  see http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/proove
    English
    Verb
    proove (third-person singular simple present proovespresent participle proovingsimple past prooved or provepast participle prooved or prooven)
    1. Obsolete spelling of prove[16th-18th century]
    1. Common misspelling of prove quotations
    • 2007, Rapra Technology, Pharmaceutical Polymers[1], Science, iSmithers, ISBN 9781847350176, page 63:   
    • The influence of the polymer on the application must be understood, established and continuously prooven!  
    • 2009, David Eugene Wilkins quoting Law 17, Documents of Native American Political Development[2], Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195327397, page 53:  
    • … and he can proove it was done accidently he shall not pay, if it can be prooven, that he did it intentionally he shall pay the owner.  
    • 2010, Amit Gupta, Resurrection of Tutankhamun[3], Sci-Fi, Glory Graphics, ISBN 9788184651980, page 39:  
    • Which has some base to solidfy our theory which is not been prooven yet.  
  • I think you made some good points and asked some interesting questions but that you are unfairly attacking David.


    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Halliday
    PhotoDady:

    Are you admitting to having degenerated into sarcasm?

    I have been straightforward and genuine with you and everyone.

    I'm sorry you seem to have trouble being the same.

    David

    P.S. I really don't care "how big a buffoon Sheldon Cooper's character is".  I don't watch that show, nor do I watch TV, these days.  (Other than watching videos, I have't watched much TV at all in the last five years or so.)

    One possible "loophole" is a non-linear evolution of the state vector. Weinberg mentions this in his recent textbook , page 82 with citations to GRW theory. I am skeptical on those possibilities just wanted to provide a place where the OP could investigate.
    My own view is not important except to disclose bias. I think QM is simple, elegant as set out by Dirac by latest 1930 and it would be a shame if it were required to adhere to the naive views of reality that we humans insist on. Likewise SR is simple, elegant and set out by 1910 so it too should not be required to adhere to our naive views of reality. We can keep Lorentz invariance and strict locality if we accept that reality is subjective and emergent.

    Yes, but SR is very simple and straightforward. We already know from the mathematicians that perfectly consistent geometries exist which are not Euclidian. THEREFORE only experiment can determine what sort of spacetime we live in. It turns out that a locally Minkovski spacetime explains all the wierd SR effects as nothing more than a trick of perspective. This is very different from QM where the existence of superposition (non-eigenstates) means that, in some sense, all possibilities happen at once. Any kind of unique reality is impossible - reality can only be reasserted in a summation of relative realities. In SR I can insist that even if our clocks differ, there is an objective spacetime and our different measurements of time are just the projections of an invariant separation onto our respective proper time axes. In QM, I do not even exist in the vast majority of worlds, and what I am pleased to think of my really-real world is not a projection of an objective "wavefunction of the universe" onto a preferred basis as some would have us think, but a wholly arbitrary projection of one of an infinite number of possible (and presumably co-existing) state vectors onto one of an infinite number of possible bases. There is nothing to pin down any kind of objective reality, nothing to make my world of experience a perspective on a fixed reality "out there".

    it would be a shame if it were required to adhere to the naive views of reality that we humans insist on

    Given the above, it would be even more of a shame if QM were shown to be complete as there would then be nothing recognisable as reality at all, naive or not. [shrug] Que sera sera.

    Halliday
    DHP:

    I sounds like you fall within the "Many Worlds" interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (QM).  (Of course, this should not be confused with the "multiverse" concepts that are trying to address quite a different "problem".)  Is that a fair characterization?

    Have you read Hugh Everett III's “‘Relative State’ Formulation of Quantum Mechanics”, Reviews of Modern Physics, 29: 454–462?  Some claim that it is nothing different than the "Many Worlds" interpretation that is also claimed (at least by DeWitt and Graham) to have been created by him.  Personally, I see something different in the "Relative State" interpretation vs. the "Many Wolds" interpretation.

    "Your mileage may vary."

    David

    sounds like you fall within the "Many Worlds" interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

    Well I loathe and detest MWI. However I am not sure there is any room for any other interpretation. Schrodinger's equation leads to superposition and superposition is Many Worlds. But if experimental QM finds anything similar to the wavefunction collapse, I shall run outside and kiss the solid earth that is suddenly and unambiguously real like I intuitively think it should be. Of course there isn't a snowflake in hell's chance of this happening.

    Re Everett's RS paper, it happens that I'm half-way through reading it. I've just got to the exciting bit where he models an observation by a short period when the interaction between two systems (an observation) creates a new Hamiltonian for them both and thus creates an entanglement that remains for evermore. Thus the observer is an integral part of each world and not just an on-looker watching the results of the world splitting. So I'd agree, it is significantly different from "old MW".

    John Duffield
    There maybe is something similar to wavefunction collapse: the optical Fourier transform. See Steven Lehar's web page. An extended-entity plane wave interacts with a glass lens to yield a pointlike image on a screen. Replace the plane wave with a photon, replace the lens with an electron's electromagnetic field, and you can envisage that detection suggests that the interacting entities are pointlike when they aren't. IMHO the right interpretation will turn out to be something like the De Broglie–Bohm pilot wave, but where the pilot wave is the only thing there. Think of the electron as something like a cyclone. The "eye" is the centre, but that isn't what the cyclone is. In similar vein the electron isn't some tiny little thing that's "got" an electromagnetic field, just as the E=hf photon isn't some tiny thing. A photon can have a wavelength of a metre or a kilometre or more.
    I don't think that's credible. The old quantum physicists could just about live with "the electron" being a wave-particle and thus entitled to go through "both slits". What the extended-wave concept does not explain is how all of the wave disappears in all of space instantaneously when absorbtion occurs. This is nothing to do with tiny electrons, the detector is macroscopic, a real photomultiplier that you can buy on Ebay. Note that absorbtion/detection can be switched in just as the wave front arrives. There is then no time for the rest of the wave (which may be thousands of meters away) to realize that it has been absorbed. If the photon were not localized then it could easily turn up in two places at once. Yet the photon is NEVER detected twice. The non-locality that we are interested in is not to do with whether an electron is a tiny point-like particle, but whether the wave communicates with itself instantly over great distances.

    On the matter of Fourier transforms, Alfred Lande pointed out in _New Foundations of Quantum Mechanics_ that a point particle can interact with a diffraction grating "as a whole" according to its spatial frequency components. The particle thus goes through one slit, not both/all of them, and can only ever be intercepted in one slit at a time. However the interaction is completely non-local: the conjugate quantity of spatial frequency is momentum and the electron therefore receives a sideways kick. These kicks are distributed according to the FT of the diffractor. Thus the pure particle theory gives exactly the same result as a pure wave theory. Only there is a non-local interaction to exchange momentum instead of the non-local collapse and absorbtion of a wave.

    John Duffield
    DHP: the optical Fourier transform might not be ideal, but I'd rather think along those lines than a many-worlds "multiverse". We don't actually know that the wave disappears from all of space instantaneously. And besides, you shouldn't think of electrons as being tiny. The electron's field is what it is. There is no detectable "billiard ball" in the middle. IMHO inferring a small size from scattering experiments is like probing a whirlpool with a bargepole, and saying this thing must be very small because you couldn't feel something hard. And look at this animation of an ocean wave to appreciate that it isn't localised to its wavelength. Mentally upturn another ocean and put it on top of the first. Now you can't see any surface wave. You just "see" the angular momentum diminishing vertically above and below the horizontal centre line. That wave takes many-paths through that bulk.

    I can't empathize with waves communicating with anything instantly over great distances I'm afraid. These waves propagate at c, I know of no way to send a message instantly over great distances. If somebody manages to do this, then I'm wrong. But until then, I'm with Einstein.

    Nor can I empathise with the assertion that a point particle can interact with a diffraction grating as a whole I'm afraid. I just can't empathise with the idea that the electron is a point particle. It comes back to field is what it is. It's quantum field theory, not quantum point particle theory. Or at least, that's what I think it ought to be. Because you can diffract electrons, and refract them as per Ehrenberg and Siday. Maybe it's because I'm just an IT guy, but to me this point particle thing is like saying the cyclone is the eye of the storm. It leaves me cold. Because that isn't where the cyclone is. That's where the cyclone is not.

    NB: the cyclone isn't a bad analogy actually. Imagine you place a cyclone down near an anticyclone. Opposite vortices move linearly together. Now throw your cyclone past your anticyclone. They swirl around one another too. Draw radial linear "electric field lines" around an electron. Then draw concentric "magnetic field lines" around it. Now remembering that the electron has an electromagnetic field, morph the radial and concentric field lines together and take a cue from gravitomagnetism. See it? Have a read of this. Sorry we don't agree on everything. But if we did, what would we talk about? And it's good to talk. But sorry, look at the time, I must go.
    Sorry we don't agree on everything.

    We don't even agree about that! It's not that we don't agree about everything: we don't agree about anything. We don't even agree on what we are disagreeing about. I suppose we agree that we are disagreeing but I am beginning to wonder about even that :-)
    the optical Fourier transform might not be ideal, but I'd rather think along those lines than a many-worlds "multiverse". We don't actually know that the wave disappears from all of space instantaneously

    I have not mentioned a multiverse and would not mention such a thing. Decent multiverse theories are way beyond my knowledge, and anything else is just arm-waving speculation no better than science fiction. The interpretation of superposition is many-worlds, not multiverse.
    I'm not sure why you think we don't know that the wave disappears instantly everywhere. Absorbers can be turned on and off electronically. The wave cannot disappear before the absorber is turned on. It cannot persist afterwards or there would be a chance of observing it twice, which never happens. It cannot even collapse to a localized packet as that would preclude diffraction.
    IMHO inferring a small size from scattering experiments

    ... is irrelevant? :-)
    We are not talking about the size of a photon. I specifically said "This is nothing to do with tiny electrons (I should have said photons), the detector is macroscopic, a real photomultiplier that you can buy on Ebay." The point is, the apparatus places limits on how far a photon could spread regardless of whether photons are point-like, wave-like, vortex-like or ripe-banana-like. Yet the entanglement occurs over distances far greater than coherence length, packet length, beam width or any other measure of how big the photon may be. And it happens instantly. Sorry if it's not easy to empathize with, I'm afraid God didn't consult with me when He invented physics. I'd have advised Him to make it simple ;-)

    Halliday
    John:

    First off, you do know, I would hope, that the "size" of a photon is not, necessarily, related to its wavelength.  Right?

    Secondly, you do know, I would hope, that a photon with a definite energy (frequency) and momentum (wave vector) is, exactly, a plane wave?

    Of course, the "nice" thing about Quantum Mechanics (QM), as well as its "curse", is that one may choose other parametrizations of things such as "photons" that have other characteristics (like spherical waves, for instance).  (Such is precisely related to "superposition", and "superposition" follows, completely, from the linear differential equations of QM.)

    Now, since we have "learned" (via General Relativity, and its myriad of successful tests) that our spacetime "seems to" have non-linear characteristics, it may seem reasonable to suppose that QM may be a linear approximation to a non-linear dynamics, of some kind (possibly "wave" like, or "particle" like, or neither).

    Unfortunately, at least one experiment has been done looking for hints of "non-linear" characteristics in quantum systems, and they came up "empty".  (Unfortunately, I am not intimately familiar with the experiment, nor the concepts used in its formulation, so I do not know how broadly this negative result can actually be applied.)  However, I hold out hope, like you and "PhotoDady" (and, undoubtedly many others, even within the "ranks" of Physicists, like myself) that there is, yet, something more.

    After all, we have three great theories, or areas of Physics, that, while they do eminently well within their own respective "spheres" of applicability, they do not mesh well.  These areas/theories are:

    1. Quantum Mechanics (QM):  Without serious "peer" (alternative theory) within the realm of the very small, and low energy (well below the Planck energy).
    2. General Relativity (GR):  The only serious "peers" are those that are significantly more complex, with "tweakable" parameters containing full GR within their parameter spaces (so they can never be completely eliminated, since one can simply "tweak" the parameters to be "close enough" to GR so as to be indistinguishable based upon the experimental precision, or lack thereof).  Its realm is large scales, and high energies (well above the Planck energy).
    3. Thermodynamics (TD) or Statistical Mechanics (SM):  This one is often forgotten about when contemplating "great theories" that don't "play well with others".  Some seem to think they have been able to get it to "play well" with QM, but when one considers its domain of applicability...  Seriously?  Its realm is systems with large numbers of indistinguishable components in "thermal equilibrium", and has only been formulated within the Galilean/Newtonian space and time pseudo-inner product space (a vector space with a non-positive definite [actually, singular] pseudo-inner product).  So it can only handle large scales, very low energies/temperatures (below the Planck energy/temperature), and slow motions (well below the speed of light).  (I have seen some tentative steps in trying to bring this into the Lorentzian/Einsteinian/Minkowskian spacetime of Special Relativity, so as to even have a possibility to "mesh" with either QM or GR, but such is far from a complete formulation, even independent of QM and GR.)

    So, the short synopsis of all this is that we know that the picture we have is incomplete.  The arguments are "what" is incomplete, and where do we go from here.*

    David

    * There are those that claim that QM is quite complete, and the only "holdout" is the gravitational "approximation" of GR.  (Of course, they neglect TD or SM.)

    On the other hand, there are those that cling to GR, and "proclaim" that "Einstein was right, that QM stuff can't be completely correct".  (Of course, they likewise neglect TD or SM.)

    There are some others who try to approach all this from a SM-like perspective, and try to "complete" both QM and GR.

    Who is right?  Or are they all wrong together?

    Are there experimental realms that may be further investigated to provide us with experimental guidance?  Where shall we look?

    First off, you do know, I would hope, that the "size" of a photon is not, necessarily, related to its wavelength. Right?

    Just for a laugh I once calculated the scattering cross section and photon density for the CMB (using huge approximations, simplifications and a formula normally used at energy levels thirty-odd orders of magnitude higher) and discovered that, once a year, a couple of photons might bounce off each other (or whatever they are supposed to do) in a space characterized by the distance from here to Alpha Centauri. Is that helpful? :-)

    Oh dear. I seem to be monopolising this blog. Sorry Johann. Time to fade away.

    John Duffield
    David: yes, I know that the "size" of a photon isn't necessarily related to its wavelength. I gave DHP an ocean-wave analogy that hopefully indicated this. No, I don't know that a photon with a definite energy-momentum is exactly a plane wave. Perhaps I've misunderstood something there, you're doubtless aware of work by Miles Padgett et al. I share your hopes for meshing together different theories. I tend to think in terms of QED and classical electromagnetism plus GR myself. Yes, the picture is incomplete. As to where we go from here, yes, there's plenty to talk about there. NB: I have to go away for a few days, and expect to have no free time for internet access.
    Halliday
    John:

    Whether the light is linearly polarized, or circularly polarized, or elliptically polarized, etc., does not change the fact "that a photon with a definite energy-momentum is exactly a plane wave."  In fact, circular polarization is simply a linear combination (superposition) of two orthogonal linear polarizations, and linear polarization is a linear combination (superposition) of the two circular polarizations (left and right).

    I hope your trip is "free of incident", fruitful, and that you will have a good time.

    David

    yes, I know that the "size" of a photon isn't necessarily related to its wavelength. I gave DHP an ocean-wave analogy that hopefully indicated this

    Yes and DHP specifically pointed out that the actual size of the photon is irrelevant, it is confined by the apparatus to a space which is much smaller than the physical separation of Alice and Bob.

    If we have two entangled particles A and B as an example, has there been any experiment measuring particle A's and freezing that state for a time and measuring B's value anytime later?

    At the risk of sounding like Schrodinger's cat, "Yes and No".

    The yes answer. It's almost certainly been done deliberately simply by making one arm of the EPR set-up longer than the other. But even without deliberately doing so, it's inconceivable that every experimental set-up ever done has been perfectly symmetrical. So one detector is bound to trigger slightly before the other. There will always be a short period when one particle's properties have been measured and the other's have not. In any case, even with perfect simultaneity, this would be broken for a moving observer.

    The no answer. Be careful when you talk of freezing particle A's state! If you mean that you make a measurement and then restore the particle to what it was before the measurement was made, such a trick necessarily erases the measurement - which rather defeats the object.

    Most of the experiments I see are continuous streams of photons or particles, split-ted and fed to detectors. But not two isolated systems clearly showing that "spooky action at a distance".

    But that's the point of the experiements. EPR is not just about making measuremnts, A and B have to decide on what measurement to make. This can be delayed until the particles have nearly reached the detectors. A and B cannot signal their choices any faster than than the speed of light and so remain isolated for the time it would take for a signal to pass from one to the other.

    I meant, of course, | Schrodinger's ket. > :-)

    If we have two entangled particles A and B as an example, has there been any experiment measuring particle A's and freezing that state for a time and measuring B's value anytime later?

    At the risk of sounding like Schrodinger's cat, "Yes and No".

    The yes answer. It's almost certainly been done deliberately simply by making one arm of the EPR set-up longer than the other. But even without deliberately doing so, it's inconceivable that every experimental set-up ever done has been perfectly symmetrical. So one detector is bound to trigger slightly before the other. There will always be a short period when one particle's properties have been measured and the other's have not. In any case, even with perfect simultaneity, this would be broken for a moving observer.

    The no answer. Be careful when you talk of freezing particle A's state! If you mean that you make a measurement and then restore the particle to what it was before the measurement was made, such a trick necessarily erases the measurement - which rather defeats the object.

    Most of the experiments I see are continuous streams of photons or particles, split-ted and fed to detectors. But not two isolated systems clearly showing that "spooky action at a distance".

    But that's the point of the experiements. EPR is not just about making measuremnts, A and B have to decide on what measurement to make. This can be delayed until the particles have nearly reached the detectors. A and B cannot signal their choices any faster than than the speed of light and so remain isolated for the time it would take for a signal to pass from one to the other.

    Do you now see what happens when you "poke the bear" Johann? Very predictable, and it is nothing short of egomaniacs gone wild, strait out of an episode of the Big Bang Theory :-)