Regarding the below, that Einstein was 'wrong'. Curious how quick we are to suggest something (Quantum Mechanics) very few know much about, proves Einstein was incorrect. I thought I suggest something to ponder. Perhaps Einstein was right after all. Perhaps Quantum Mechanics is accurate as well. They actually can co-exist. Quite possibly it is this that has kept the blinders on humans. Consciousness can affect the mechanics of the subatomic world. Ordered consciousness will in fact alter the 'disorder' of wave-particle action. Mind over matter (pardon the pun). But this thought does seem to bind together so many facets doesn't it??? East, west... Up. Think about it...
God does currently play dice here. Hardly I'd say this place is full of order consciousness. But, God does NOT have to play dice at all, if WE so choose. firstname.lastname@example.org
said "God does not play dice"
to indicate his displeasure with the theory of QuantumMechanics
. Trouble is, the chances are astronomically high that God does
play dice. - but cf. QuantumPhysics.
- Um, doesn't QuantumPhysics these days generally agree that GodDoesNotPlayDice?
- Nope, it's the other way around. And Einstein meant that he didn't believe in quantum physics. He spent tremendous energy over some decades trying to disprove it, and in the process strengthened it, since all of the bizarre implications he discovered from it turned out to be true (e.g EPR paradox, Bell's Theorem). Einstein was wrong about this.
- Can you provide a source for Einstein thinking QM was wrong? And exactly what Einstein thought QM was at the time he thought it?
- Einstein said about QM: "The more successes it has, the sillier it looks." But this is not necessarily Quantum Theory but rather the actual experiments that look strange. We live in a strange world. - CP
- Ummm... every single book and article by Einstein, or about Einstein, that mentioned QM, without any exceptions? I'm not claiming something controversial; Einstein's vehement opposition to QM is legendary. And modern QM was directly shaped by Einstein's objections -- by addition of the bizarre implications he discovered in an effort to disprove it, so the "QM" that Einstein disagreed with was no different than the modern version, despite new discoveries. -- anon
- How do you know? Without exception, every single ancient book on QM was full of utterly absurd gibberish about wave collapse and non-determinism. So how do you KNOW that Einstein disagreed with the essence of QM instead of the crap that seemed to be intrinsically attached to it?
- A rather strong adjective for a theory that makes predictions accurate to better than one part per million, but there is an enormous amount of confused writing. Some of which has been resolved. - CP
- Every single book and article about QM mentions the Copenhagen Interpretation as if it were a single thing. It's false of course. There are two separate Copenhagen Interpretations and they are mutually exclusive to each other.
- Every single book and article about QM mentions the CI as if it were sensible, coherent, meaningful, and scientific. It's not controversial. Well, everybody's wrong and the CI is none of those things, as has been thoroughly proved.
- "Everybody knows" that Einstein was a devout Christian; aren't all the references to the divine in his speeches enough? Well, everybody's wrong since Einstein was a humanist, socialist, and devout atheist. And I DO have the quote from a detailed letter to prove it.
- My comment was intended for an audience that knows nothing about the subject; many are surprised that Einstein disagreed with QM. You are perceiving disagreement on topics I didn't intend to be talking about in the first place. I've warned before that you are prone to this.
- Also, physics is a mathematical subject. There's no point in arguing it philosophically.
- Mathematical, or do you mean empirical? While math and physics are joined at the hip; and physics is one discipline where the mathematical models are developed ahead of the empirical evidence that verifies 'em (the research being hard and expensive to do), at the end of the day any theory that disagrees with experimental results is discarded. Indeed, the history of phyiscs is one of "nice" mathematical models of HowTheWorldWorks? being overthrown and replaced with more complicated ones.
- QM has always been exceedingly philosophical. Of the important figures, only RichardFeynman formally refused to be sucked into metaphysics. And even he didn't resist for very long. It's disingenuous of you to imply there is an easy separation between the mathematics and the metaphysics. In fact, it's disingenuous of you to imply there is ANY separation between the math of QM and its metaphysics, since metaphysics is what dictates the relation between math and reality. You can't refer to math in physics without dragging in philosophy, it's just not possible.
- Actually, mostly what I mean is the other way around: that you should mellow out on the topic until you study the mathematical aspects of physics, rather than basing strong opinions purely on the philosophical aspects.
- Yes, Einstein disagreed with his age's version of QM. But of course, his age's version of QM was utter crap. Did Einstein disagree with our version of QM? I don't know at all, and I find it remarkable that you can so cavalierly assert he did.
- I find it galling for you to claim your comments were intended for a naive audience. Because if they were then you deliberately misled them! You should know as well as I that the naive views of probability, chance and nondeterminism (all those things associated with "dice") are nonsensical, meaningless, non-mathematical, anti-scientific GIBBERISH. In fact, the mathematical concept of probability has no resemblance at all to its naive version since it formally relies on the idea of many-worlds, and has done so since it was originally formalized. Yet you claimed that physics had "proved" all that mystical doubletalk of chance?! How could you?! -- rk
- My claim is that Einstein disbelieved in QM. It is well-documented that that much is true. Note BTW that quantum physics is a very large field, and QM is just its start point, not the whole of it.
- Certain aspects of QM are supported by experiment to 15 decimal places, better than literally any other theory of physics, including Newtonian mechanics. That doesn't mean it is completely right. But it does mean that aspects of it are the best we've ever done, and those aren't the aspects of QM that you have a problem with -- I haven't seen you arguing that the experiments were done wrong. So in that sense, Einstein was wrong about QM.
- Einstein, like me did not like the experimental results. They don't make sense. Nutty things happen. Feynman advised students not to think about it too much lest they lose their minds, or something like that. CP
- My claim is that I don't know at all whether Einstein disbelieved in QM. That GodDoesNotPlayDice is not evidence of even mild dislike of QM. That GodDoesNotPlayDice is CORRECT, in contradiction to your claim. And finally, that if Einstein did hate QM, he was well within his rights to do so given that QM in his age was intertwined with lots of utterly revolting crap that no sane person should have ever believed in. So if Einstein hated QM then that doesn't make him "wrong" so much as it makes him a person of highly discerning taste.
- Heh. :-) Well, ok. Anyway he disliked something related to the topic.
- Einstein sensed that QM theory was incomplete. That remains to this day. - CP
Actually, the above fest pertains to open questions http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/General/open_questions.html
and Copenhagen is still regarded as "mainstream" with no conclusive experiment to decide the issues one way or the other being even sketched so far. But the philosophical platitudes of rk strike again.
Actually, chances are astronomically high that there is no God. It cannot be denied that, to our parochial sensibilities, the universe is a very bizarre place.
- It's true Copenhagen is mainstream, but it's theoretically impossible to distinguish the two experimentally, so it's a philosophical issue (like modern Lorentz ether theory vs. special relativity). Einstein co-developed the notion of quanta, and Schrodinger's math was just math that matched experiments. It's very clearly the philosophical peculiarities of Copenhagen - non-determinism, and more importantly observers creating reality - that Einstein found abhorrent, as his quotes show. Incidentally, Schroedinger felt the same way. However, at the time no other interpretations were available. Now that they are, most physicists simply aren't interested in the philosophy, and so support the standard they were taught. However, there are serious problems with Copenhagen as a coherent system, and those who consider it in detail generally find it lacking; there are many arguments against, but few for. There's not much more to say about Einstein's supposed error here. He was wrong about the cosmological constant at least once, but it's hard to tell which time. And of course, he was probably wrong many times in day-to-day matters..
- The cosmological constant is a constant of integration, I believe. I am a little prejudiced about constants of integration. Having solved the big hard differential equation, I think of the constant as an afterthought. He put it in, took it out, now folks are using it again to characterize the dark force. I hope to see an answer before I die. - CP
So, the next time someone quotes Albert Einstein (or anyone else to you) as an
attempt to prove just how wrong you are, you should immediately respond "God does not play dice". You will win the argument for non-sequitur value, if nothing else. (-:
Ummmm - well that's not exactly true. The existence or non-existence of any divine or God-like entity whatever its form or nature is something that can't be tested empirically, by its very nature. So the whole idea that you can create a probability
for God is absurd. A statement involving the probability of God is meaningless.
- The existence of an infinite number of invented things cannot be tested, so it is my understanding that science defaults to requiring some kind of evidence, else there is general agreement invented things are false. I know many folk who view this in terms of probability but the numbers are infinitesimal. - CP
Of course God plays dice. Haven't you read about the UrimAndThummim
? -- PatrickParker
Of course God plays dice. I beat him at craps just last tuesday ;)
Interestingly enough, quantum mechanics takes us back to minimalism and BrooksLaw
. Part of the problem with quantum mechanics, as compared to the theories of relativity, is that quantum mechanics was "discovered" by a bunch of people, each of which took a slightly different approach to the problem. How does that interact with program design?
That's a wonderful question that also partly anticipated the WikiUncertaintyPrinciple
by about eighteen months (program design and wiki evolution being analogous given the UltimateTestForJointOwnership
aspirations described by Ward in HistoryOfExtremeProgramming
). In fact, I feel like a time-traveller even being on this page.
The following link is quite interesting: http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2000/06/04/stifgnusa01007.html
Lines from the article:
"SCIENTISTS claim they have broken the ultimate speed barrier: the speed of light... particle physicists have shown that light pulses can be accelerated to up to 300 times their normal velocity... transmitted a pulse of light towards a chamber filled with specially treated caesium gas. Before the pulse had fully entered the chamber, it had gone right through it and travelled a further 60ft across the laboratory."
An article with more detail and less astonishment is at http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/053000sci-physics-light.html
- While the peak of the pulse does get pushed forward by that amount, an early "nose" or faint precursor of the pulse has probably given a hint to the cesium of the pulse to come.
- "The information is already there in the leading edge of the pulse," Dr. Milonni said. "You can get the impression of sending information superluminally even though you're not sending information."
- The cesium chamber has reconstructed the entire pulse shape, using only the shape of the precursor. So for most physicists, no fundamental principles have been smashed in the new work.
- I have seen this in a paper which supports your last statement. - CP
My money goes on Einstein. There are numerous deterministic theories of the quantum including my own http://WikiWorld.com/wiki/index.php/QuantumEventTimeSpace
. Schroedinger's equation itself is deterministic in nature. It is simply our inability to compute the effect of everything in the universe at one point that forces us to consider what happens there random. -- JimScarver
- A deterministic theory must involve hidden variables, I believe. Some "No hidden variables proofs" have been written. Some have been found wrong. I do not know if this has been resolved but there are convincing arguments that hidden variables cannot be the answer. There seems to be an inescapable quantum chaos. - CP
If many-worlds theory is correct, then Einstein was also correct. The evolution of the wavefunction under many-worlds is completely deterministic; you just can't "predict" which branch "you" end up in, because you end up in all of them. -- EliezerYudkowsky?
- This is not what Einstein meant; he didn't believe in a many-worlds version of quantum physics, either. (I should've known Yudkowsky would show up on at least one page here! :-)
One hadn't been proposed yet, so that's beside the point; it answers his objections.