No, we wouldn’t pay any attention either except that the story is from Nature and they don’t do April 1 in September:
In the world’s most famous thought experiment, physicist Erwin Schrödinger described how a cat in a box could be in an uncertain predicament. The peculiar rules of quantum theory meant that it could be both dead and alive, until the box was opened and the cat’s state measured. Now, two physicists have devised a modern version of the paradox by replacing the cat with a physicist doing experiments — with shocking implications.
Quantum theory has a long history of thought experiments, and in most cases these are used to point to weaknesses in various interpretations of quantum mechanics. But the latest version, which involves multiple players, is unusual: it shows that if the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics is correct, then different experimenters can reach opposite conclusions about what the physicist in the box has measured. This means that quantum theory contradicts itself.
Physicists are still coming to terms with the implications of the result. It has triggered heated responses from experts in the foundations of quantum theory, many of whom tend to be protective of their pet interpretation. “Some get emotional,” Renner says. And different researchers tend to draw different conclusions. “Most people claim that the experiment shows that their interpretation is the only one that is correct.” Davide Castelvecchi, “Reimagining of Schrödinger’s cat breaks quantum mechanics — and stumps physicists” at Nature
See also: Quantum mechanics: Pushing the “free-will loophole” back to 7.8 billion years ago
At Nature: For now, “uncertainty seems the wisest position” on the implications of quantum mechanics
5 Replies to “The cat is back: Is quantum theory dead, alive, AND contradicting itself?”
Give me a ring when they do exist.
Nothing to see here.
P.S. The standard interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is not Quantum Mechanics.
There’s a simpler reason why the experiment can’t be performed. It’s physically impossible to put a cat in a box.
The erroneous ‘subtle assumption’ lies here:
But exactly Who is observing Wigner to prevent Wigner himself from being in uncertain state? i.e. Exactly what is it that gives Wigner a privileged frame of reference as an observer, over and above the ‘uncertain’ observer, so that he himself does not exist in an ‘uncertain’ state?
The same objection, i.e. ‘exactly who does not exist in an uncertain state?’, would apply to the “two Wigners, each doing an experiment on a physicist friend whom they keep in a box”
To prevent an infinite regress of observers who exist in an ‘uncertain’ state it is necessary to postulate God as the ‘unobserved observer’.
Of related note: at the 8:12 minute mark of the following video, Schrodinger’s cat and the infinite regress of Wigner’s Friend is highlighted:
Also of note, the infinite regress of the von Neumann chain is discussed at the 2:09 minute mark of the following video.
To postulate that any particular human exists in an uncertain state whilst another human is not in an uncertain state, and that the ‘certain’ human can therefore collapse the ‘uncertain’ human to a certain state, is to privilege one human observer over another and is to fall into a trap of self refuting solipsism. A trap, which I remind, that apparently Wigner himself fell into at one time:
Again, in order to avoid solipsism and also in order to prevent an infinite regress of humans who exist in an uncertain state it is necessary to postulate God as the ‘unobserved observer’ Who is collapsing the ‘uncertain’ wave function for each of the ‘certain’ observers that He has created.
As Richard Conn Henry put it, “a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism”
And when we look at the fact that the wave function itself is mathematically required to be in an ‘infinite dimensional-infinite information’ state then it becomes readily apparent that mere humans cannot possibly be the ‘sufficient cause’ for why the “infinite” wave function collapses but that only omniscient and omnipresent God can possibly have the causal sufficiency necessary to collapse the ‘infinite dimensional-infinite information’ wave function:
Of related interest is Dr. Bruce Gordon’s detailed look into quantum mechanics:
BornAgain if you ever want to study actual QM I would recommend Griffiths. It’s the textbook I used in undergrad, and it would teach you the basics.
ETA: you’re going to want to make sure your Calc 3 is pretty tight, though, first. For that I’d recommend the last half of Stewart. If not, those triple integrals in spherical coords will be Rough.
random.dent thanks for the Griffith’s reference. Here, since you yourself seem to need a lot of help understanding the implications of QM, are solutions to various problems in David J. Griffiths’s excellent textbook Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Second Edition.
I would, as you seem to want me to do, just ‘shut up and calculate’ but alas I can’t avoid contemplating what it all means.
I tried to look up which particular interpretation of Quantum Mechanics that David Griffiths himself held to and, as far as I can tell, he explains all of the interpretations without solidly committing to any particular one.
Perhaps you know, if any, which interpretation of Quantum Mechanics he favors? And, by the way, which one do you, an atheist who has shown hostility towards Christianity, favor?
Myself, with the recent closing of the ‘free will loop-hole’ by Anton Zeilinger and company, I now think that the ‘instrumentalist approach’ is overwhelmingly empirically confirmed to be the correct interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Stephen Weinberg, an atheist who was integral in the eventual the development of the Standard Model, has basically given up ever understanding Quantum Mechanics.
Weinberg, again an atheist, boils down all the various interpretations of quantum mechanics as such. The ‘realist’ and the ‘instrumentalist’ approach.
Weinberg rightly rejects the realist approach because of the sheer absurdity of many worlds, (i.e. infinite parallel universes that split off from each other, etc..) and also since the realist approach really does not deal with the probabilities properly without making untenable ad hoc assumptions, but, on the other hand, it is interesting to note exactly why Weinberg, again an atheist, rejects the instrumentalist approach.
Weinberg rejects the instrumentalist approach because having free will figure so centrally in quantum mechanics at such a deep level, undermines the Darwinian worldview from within in that instead of humans being the result of impersonal physical laws, “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.”
Specifically Weinberg states, “the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.”
Moreover, (besides the fact that Anton Zeilinger and company have now closed the ‘free will loop-hole’ and have thus empirically confirmed the instrumentalist approach to be correct), it is simply, as a matter of logic, completely insane for Darwinists to deny the reality of their very own ‘free will’.
Yet, despite the fact that the denial of free will is blatantly self-refuting (in fact, it should be the very definition of a self refuting argument!), atheists continue, via methodological naturalism, to deny the existence of free will since to allow otherwise is to ‘allow a divine foot in the door’.
Luckily science itself could care less how atheists would prefer the world to behave.
In short, the present experiment from Zeilinger and company, validating the reality of free will in quantum mechanics, restores sanity back to science by undermining the atheist’s denial of his own free will.
Also see “Kochen-Speckter Theorem” in the Suarez link in the following OP
Of related interest to all this are these quotes from Anton Zeilinger which show how friendly Quantum Mechanics is to overall Christian concerns:
Quote and Verse: