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Theoretical physicist: Recent claim about big quantum mechanics find is “silly”

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Recently, dramatic claims about overturning quantum mechanics walloped through the science media:

When quantum mechanics was first developed a century ago as a theory for understanding the atomic-scale world, one of its key concepts was so radical, bold and counter-intuitive that it passed into popular language: the “quantum leap.” Purists might object that the common habit of applying this term to a big change misses the point that jumps between two quantum states are typically tiny, which is precisely why they weren’t noticed sooner. But the real point is that they’re sudden. So sudden, in fact, that many of the pioneers of quantum mechanics assumed they were instantaneous.

A new experiment shows that they aren’t. By making a kind of high-speed movie of a quantum leap, the work reveals that the process is as gradual as the melting of a snowman in the sun.

Philip Ball, “Quantum Leaps, Long Assumed to Be Instantaneous, Take Time” at Quanta

Theoretical physicist Vystavil Luboš Motl responds,

Needless to say, they haven’t found anything that would disagree with the predictions of quantum mechanics, as defined by the Copenhagen folks and derivable from the Copenhagen rules, which is why their statements that they have refuted some Copenhagen ideas is just completely wrong. But a general problem with the culture of science writing as of 2019 is that it doesn’t seem to matter to many people in the “system” that the experimenters haven’t found anything that violates the predictions by the Copenhagen QM. Instead, they just do some experimental masturbation that isn’t new in any way and use this masturbation as an excuse to write completely silly personal opinions of the experimenters about theory. –


vystavil luboš motl, “Experimenters and especially journalists can’t write good far-reaching interpretations of QM experiments” at The Reference Frame

He expresses himself a little, shall we say, roughly, around the edges. Maybe the main thing to see here is that lots of people would love to falsify or tame quantum mechanics, the way they would like to falsify the Big Bang or fine-tuning and it won’t be their fault for lack of trying.

See also: Sabine Hossenfelder: Black Holes Vs. Quantum Mechanics = Something Has To Give

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5 Replies to “Theoretical physicist: Recent claim about big quantum mechanics find is “silly”

  1. 1
    Nonlin.org says:

    The reason why they don’t like QM is because it DISPROVES determinism… and here’s a thought experiment that shows this:
    We have a double slit experiment with single photon emissions and the target area separated in 10 different sections labeled 0 to 9. Once a section is hit, it stays on (cannot detect multiple hits) Determine the output sequence? Is it 012…9? Is it 8754219036? What is it? Even if you have “many worlds”, the output is still not determined in either of those worlds.

    Furthermore, if you roll a fair die, “a number from 1 to 6 will be obtained” and that’s the extent of Determinism. What number will be obtained is Random. If one gets 4 or 2, etc, no one in their right mind would say “that was predetermined” …this aside from “many worlds” being a totally retard fantasy to begin with…

  2. 2
    PaV says:

    News:

    Maybe Ron Sheldon wants to weigh in on this. Can we expect to hear from him?

  3. 3
    News says:

    Yes, soon.

  4. 4
    AaronS1978 says:

    Now I’m not the greatest want to comes to quantum physics, I know a few things, But could somebody run me through the relevance of this

  5. 5
    PaoloV says:

    The more we know, the more we have to learn.
    We’ve seen much, bu we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

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