Quantum Quackery Cracked? - Double Slit Experiment

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience Archive' started by Bravowon, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. Kennyc Registered Senior Member

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    Weren't we talking about the DOUBLE slit experiment:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment

    I see it mentions that Buckyballs exhibit the same behavior but are actual physical (visible) molecules. This is the part that warps my mind. If this happens with physical objects (not just with electrons or photons) it boggles my mind. It can only mean that the molecules are interfering with themselves or something is going on that we clearly just don't understand. (I know this gets rolled up under wave-particle duality, but that is not really an explanation to me, just a restating of observation. Perhaps it's because I don't know/understand the math behind it or maybe it's because the math has been co-opted to to support the explanation.
     
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  3. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

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    Um - the dots of light on the type of television set you grew up with are evidence of the reality of electrons. The speckle on modern CCD cameras is evidence of photons.
     
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  5. AlexG Like nailing Jello to a tree Valued Senior Member

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    You can't use the principle of Occam's razor in an information vacuum. You have no basis for judging.
     
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  7. Kennyc Registered Senior Member

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    What is this a response to?
     
  8. Kennyc Registered Senior Member

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    Alex, please include a reference to the post you are quoting from. It's hard to follow the discussion otherwise.
     
  9. CptBork Valued Senior Member

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    I agree with the OP's assertions about quantum quackery. Bravowon is talking about all the layman books and movies out there making rubbish claims about quantum physics having some kind of proven connection to spirituality and supernatural hocus pocus. A large portion of it can actually be traced back to a surprisingly small number of culprits, especially Oprah Winfrey and the woo woos she regularly invites onto her show.

    Anyhow, my suggestion for Bravowon is to try and study what physicists mean when they talk about a "wave function". When we say a particle is a wave, what we're really talking about are the probabilities for that particle to do various things- those probabilities are treated mathematically in the same way physicists have traditionally used for waves of light, waves of water, etc. As far as asking whether a particle is a wave or a dot, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle shows that you can never be 100% certain of the exact position a particle occupies, you can only make statements like "there's a 99.999% chance the particle is somewhere inside this box". Hence, particles always travel and arrive as waves, even when those waves get squashed down to look like a dot which is then "detected".

    Long story short: Even after a particle hits the screen and registers a dot, that dot is really just a smear, and if you were to look at that smear with a sufficiently precise piece of equipment, you'd see that the smear actually extends infinitely far in all directions, although it fades out very quickly as you move away from the center.
     
  10. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Or possibly you mean people who present their own speculations to the masses as scientific fact.
    If that's what you mean, I'm not in disagreement with you.

    There are a number of people ensconced as Professors in (usually American) Universities, who pronounce ex cathedra on matters scientific.
    eg, this annoying bastard

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    The "science communicator" Michio Kaku

    I want to put my boot through the TV set every time I see him.
     
  11. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

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  12. Kennyc Registered Senior Member

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    Yes! Me too! He drives me crazy!
     
  13. Kennyc Registered Senior Member

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    And if you watch that debate I linked here: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=2653927&postcount=10

    you'll want to throttle him(Deepak)!

    It was all I could do to make it through the whole thing and that took two runs at it. The only one of the four that comes across as competent is Sam Harris (and the Physics Researcher that asks a question at the end).
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  14. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

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    Is it not a fact that merely observing this type of quantum behaviour changes the behaviour of the quantum particle? If something is exhibited as a wave then I can see no logical reason as to why it shouldn't have a wavefront that can be affected by outside stimuli.
     
  15. CptBork Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah but the act of "observing" involves using some sort of physical instrument to do the interference, and we then write down what the instrument records when it's interfered with. No experiment has ever shown a relationship to consciousness like that retard Chopra always asserts. It's good to see Chopra getting called out for his nonsense on TV for a change, usually these guys only stick to friendly audiences, like George W. Bush would. I wanna show those debates to my roommate- she loves unquestioningly obeys Oprah, Chopra, and pretty much anything to do with woo woo, and she hates when I take a big piss on her nonsense.
     
  16. JuNie Registered Senior Member

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    I actually bought one of this guys books. Yeah, I agree he pushed pseudoscience to the forefront and people don't seem to be able to spot pseudoscience.
     
  17. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    Bravowon: I haven't read through the entire thread so this may have been addressed, but what you're envisioning is Bohmian Pilot Waves. This means that as an amateur (like myself) you've come up with a valid interpretation of the double-slit experiment and should be commended. I would much rather experience the same "eureka" moments on my own as the geniuses of the past did than read about it in a book.

    That being said, your initial attitude was probably a bit nonconstructive...
     
  18. Bravowon Registered Senior Member

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    Hey thanks man, I think that the attitude was more harsh in print then in my head.
    I get these ideas all the time but without formal training I hit my limit early on. Just a couple of words to those people in collage - lucky you. I wish I could be there in you place.

    I will put a bit more effort into my next post. I think I have worked out how to teach a computer to develop a consciousness. Too many people try to program the whole effort but my approach involves setting up tolerances and leaving the rest up to the computer. Of course I would need the right frame to put the “mind” into or the the personality might be a bit AAAHhhhh.
    Stay tuned....crazy pseudo-science to come.
     
  19. Kennyc Registered Senior Member

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    Don't bother, I already did that one about 25 years ago....

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  20. M00se1989 Banned Banned

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    It is aparently hard to spot pseudoscience from the real thing seeing as so many people were brought up on science fiction. It doesn't help that some guy a long time ago said, "Anything is possible". Some people will still believe anything.
     
  21. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    As a populariser of Cosmology and Physics, I think Roger Penrose strikes the right balance.
    He is very popular among educated people in the UK who have not studied the subject at degree level.
    Are people across the pond and through the centre of the earth (Australia) familiar with him?

    A recommendation Bravowon. If you aren't rich enough to buy all his books new, try the site www.abebooks.com
    I bet you'd buy the lot for $40 on it.

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    I don't understand all of what he says, but I prefer that to dumbing down.
    He make science as simple as possible, not science for simpletons.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  22. Farsight

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    He isn't the only one, not by a long chalk.
     
  23. Bravowon Registered Senior Member

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    You can be sure that at least some of these books will be devoured before the end of the year. I will be (reluctantly) learning to speak French in December/January but there is always time for a bit of science reading.

    It's interesting that Penrose argues in The Emperor's Mind that the known laws of physics are inadequate to explain the phenomenon of consciousness. I really want to know his arguments. Personally (in my humble opinion) I can just about see how it can work and lean greatly on the patchwork construction which is inherent in our evolution. It's a mental picture that presents itself on the fringes of what I can imagine and then flickers away at the slightest gust of robust interrogation. Actually, the method I have in mind involves the infusion of randomness into the equation of probability. I will try to make my case in a dedicated post and so benefit from the criticism more directly.
     

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