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# Topic: Quantum indeterminacy

 THE COPENHAGEN INTERPRETATION OF QUANTUM MECHANICS This is the philosophical essence of the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum theory. By Einstein's statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics, however, an electron has a discrete position and momentum at all times during its flight, such that the wave function (and the Airy disk) is only meaningful as a statistical description of the behavior of a large number of particles -- not of an individual particle. The great distances between particle 1 and particle 2 are used to prohibit the possibility that the determination of the momentum of particle 1 to calculate the momentum of particle 2 somehow communicates a definite momentum to particle 2 ("collapses its wave function") by a signal which moves at the speed of light or less. www.benbest.com /science/quantum.html   (5608 words)

 Quantum indeterminacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Quantum indeterminacy is the apparent necessary incompleteness in the description of a physical system, that has become one of the characteristics of the standard description of quantum physics. Indeterminacy in measurement was not an innovation of quantum mechanics, since it had established early on by experimentalists that errors in measurement may lead to indeterminate outcomes. Quantum indeterminacy is the assertion that the state of a system does not determine a unique collection of values for all its measurable properties. en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Quantum_indeterminacy   (1533 words)

 Uncertainty principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This is analogous to the relationship between momentum and position, and there is an equivalent formulation of the uncertainty principle which states that the uncertainty of energy of a wave (directly proportional to the frequency) is inversely proportional to the uncertainty in time with a constant of proportionality identical to that for position and momentum. The uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics is sometimes erroneously explained by claiming that the measurement of position necessarily disturbs a particle's momentum. The fundamentally non-classical characteristics of the uncertainty measurements in quantum mechanics were clarified due to the EPR paradox which arose from Einstein attempting to show flaws in quantum measurements that used the uncertainty principle. en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Uncertainty_principle   (3555 words)

 Quantum Mechanics and Hidden-Variables Determinism A quantum physics theory that holds that the universe is in-principle predictable is a (linear, in-time) determinist theory. A quantum physics theory that holds that the universe is not in-principle predictable is an indeterminist theory (or a randomness-asserting theory). A quantum physics theory that holds that the universe is possibly in-principle predictable and is timelessly deterministic (entanglement and hidden variables) is a vertical-determinism theory. www.egodeath.com /QMHiddenVariablesDeterminism.htm   (3545 words)

 Artilect: Evolutionary Quantum Computation   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23) Abstract: An evolutionary quantum computer (EQC) is a physical system that maintains an internal ensemble of macroscopic "quantum subsystems" manifesting significant quantum indeterminacy, with the property that the ensemble of quantum subsystems is continually changing in such a way as to optimize some measure of the emergent patterns between the system and its environment. A quantum system exists in a probabilistic superposition of states rather than a single definite state; in the many-universes interpretation, a quantum system is thought of as existing in a number of parallel universes, one for each possible state. The equations of quantum theory tell us that all subjective views are in a sense "equivalent" -- but they are not equivalent to the "objective" or intersubjective universe, which is the collection of all possible subjective views, and is therefore a probability distribution rather than a definite entity. artilect.org /evoquantum.html   (5605 words)

 Lets make an experiment I myself thought once upon a time (when I had less knowledge about neural processes in brain) that quantum indeterminacy could open a room to the free will that appears to be an indeniable fact to some one who experiences it. That There may be a fundamental indeterminacy in nature as quantum theory suggests. Even if they were within the limits so that quantum indeterminacy could play an important role, there is no obvious reason to assume that there is a fundamental indeterminacy in quantum events as I tried to explain in chapter. physics-qa.com /html/kitqmr3.htm   (2285 words)

 mike king | writings | Artificial Consciousness - Artificial Art There is a growing sense that quantum indeterminacy may allow a window in the deterministic universe for free will (downward causation), and that quantum wholeness is directly related to the binding problem of perception (upward causation). For her the main question in the creative act is the selection of one outcome from all the possible outcomes, a process that she associates with the collapse of the wave function: this is the function of consciousness. However, in the context of quantum theory and proponents of quantum consciousness as the ultimate creative principle in the universe, artificial consciousness is, at present, the missing ingredient. www.jnani.org /mrking/writings/earts/artcon.html   (7416 words)

 What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping, Anyway? Quantum physics pioneer Erwin Schrodinger, imagined an experiment in which a cat is placed in a sealed box with a vial of poison gas. In other words, if quantum indeterminacy is true and the electron only acquires a definite spin when measured, the second electron also must acquire a definite spin at the same instant. Therefore, the electrons must have acquired their individual spins back when they were together, and quantum indeterminacy must simply reflect our ignorance of the spins before they are measured, and does not reflect a fundamental fact of nature. homepage.mac.com /zenbabe/zb/onehand.html   (1651 words)

 FT November 2001: Matter, Life, and Soul   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23) With the advent of quantum theory—which showed that the laws of physics predict only the probabilities of future events—many philosophers and physicists have come to think that such a reconciliation might be possible. The most formidable is the fact that quantum indeterminacy usually only plays a significant role in events at the atomic scale, whereas neurons, generally thought to be the basic building blocks of the brain, are a great deal larger. The reason that physicists can see quantum indeterminacy in action is that they are able to build special devices, such as Geiger counters, that amplify the effects of quantum indeterminacy at atomic scales to produce results that they can observe with their (macroscopic) sense organs—audible clicks, for example. www.firstthings.com /ftissues/ft0111/reviews/barr.html   (1938 words)

 The Quantum World Once the photon hit the filter, a quantum measurement was made, and subsequent events ensured that after that time the box contained either a dead cat or a live cat. Quantum theory is supposed to be the fundamental basis of all physics. Take one state from the array of "dead cat" quantum states and another from the array of "live cat" states and, by standard technical means, combine these two mathematically into a single state that partakes equally of each possibility. www.idmon.freeserve.co.uk /quant7.htm   (1346 words)

 Timothy Ferris-Quantum Weirdness Quantum weirdness arises when a quantum system is enlarged to a macroscopic scale and then measured in a way that would violate the indeterminacy principle if all the measurements were fruitful. His insistence on examining quantum weirdness in a broad context further separated him from most of his fellow scientists, among whom arose the common judgment that he was a talented physicist who had squandered his potential by mucking about in philosophy. In his view, quantum weirdness is a keyhole through which we have caught a first glimpse of another side of nature, one in which the universe is neither deployed across vast reaches of space and time nor harbors many things. www.stanford.edu /dept/HPS/WritingScience/Ferris.htm   (9628 words)

 InterText v1n1: Schrödinger's Monkey by Greg Knauss Quantum mechanics is a method of calculating values on the atomic and sub-atomic level, a little like Newtonian mechanics can be used to calculate values on a larger scale. Quantum mechanics will return a number of answers, one of which might say that the cat has been killed, another of which might not. Some quantum event far back in the past prevented whatever it was that eventually became bananas from mutating in a certain way. www.intertext.com /v1n1/monkey.html   (1084 words)

 Define Schrodinger's cat - a definition from Whatis.com - see also: quantum indeterminacy, quantum measurement ...   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23) Schrödinger's cat is a famous illustration of the principle in quantum theory of superposition, proposed by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. Schrödinger's cat serves to demonstrate the apparent conflict between what quantum theory tells us is true about the nature and behavior of matter on the microscopic level and what we observe to be true about the nature and behavior of matter on the macroscopic level. This situation is sometimes called quantum indeterminacy or the observer's paradox: the observation or measurement itself affects an outcome, so that it can never be known what the outcome would have been if it were not observed. searchsmb.techtarget.com /sDefinition/0,,sid44_gci341236,00.html   (439 words)

 Quantum Consciousness Quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that at the Planck scale in the vacuum of empty space, quantum fluctuations produce a foam of erupting and collapsing virtual particles which may be visualized as topographic distortions of the fabric of spacetime. To provide a description of the quantum mechanical geometry of space at the Planck scale, Penrose (1971) introduced "quantum spin networks" (Rovelli and Smolin, 1995a; 1995b) in which spectra of discrete Planck scale volumes and configurations are obtained (Figure 3). In Orch OR, the microtubule quantum superposition evolves (analogous to a quantum computer) so that it may be influenced at the instant of collapse by hidden non-local variables, or quantum-mathematical logic. www.quantumconsciousness.org /penrose-hameroff/moreneutral.html   (5160 words)

 Structure of Intelligence: Chapter 11 - Consciousness and Computation According to quantum physics, no physical entity is ever in a definite state; the most one can ever say about a given entity is that it has certain probabilities of being in certain states. This sort of indeterminacy is a proven scientific fact, inasmuch as quantum theory is the only known theory that correctly explains the behavior of microscopic particles, and it predicts only probabilities. In his classic treatise on quantum theory, John von Neumann (1936) introduced the "projection postulate", an addition to the basic principles of quantum physics which states that, when an entity is measured, it reduces to a definite state. www.goertzel.org /books/intel/chapter_eleven.html   (5615 words)

 Archive of Astronomy Questions and Answers   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23) Niels Bohr believed that the quantum world was inherently indeterminate, while Einstein believed that behind the quantum world there was a hidden reality of conctrete objects and forces operating along Newtonian principles. Einstein thought that quantum indeterminacy was just a result of observational inadequacy and imprecision. Quantum indeterminacy, therefore, is not going to go away by adding some hidden process that involves faster than light interactions. www.astronomycafe.net /qadir/q1068.html   (414 words)

 Physics Department, Trinity College Dublin - Quantum Theory   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23) This indeterminacy of the state of the cat arises because the cat's state is entangled with the state of a radioactive nucleus - if the nucleus is undecayed the cat is alive, if it is decayed the cat is dead. As soon as this observation is made the indeterminacy in the state of the cat is removed: the wave describing the state of the cat collapses to either the 'alive' wave or the 'dead' wave. The strange indeterminacy and entanglement of quantum states is the basis of exciting applications of quantum optics. www.tcd.ie /Physics/Schools/what/atoms/quantum/cat.html   (483 words)

 The Quantum and the Quasi-Classical: Jeffrey Mishlove interviews Murray Gell-Mann You suggest that perhaps the principle of indeterminacy, which occurs at the subatomic level, might be related to the free will which we seem to experience, and I would presume other animals might experience. For instance, one very distinguished physicist, student of quantum mechanics, has said that he doesn't like any such approach, because if it were right, then you should be encouraged to play Russian roulette for high stakes, since in one of the equally real worlds you would win. In fact any experiment that measures a quantum effect is one in which the quantum effect is aligned with the behavior of some heavy, macroscopic object; that's how we measure it. www.williamjames.com /transcripts/gell1.htm   (3410 words)

 THE SIMPLE AND THE COMPLEX Part I: THE QUANTUM AND THE QUASI-CLASSICAL with MURRAY GELL-MANN, Ph.D. You suggest that perhaps the principle of indeterminacy, which occurs at the subatomic level, might be related to the free will which we seem to experience, and I would presume other animals might experience. For instance, one very distinguished physicist, student of quantum mechanics, has said that he doesn't like any such approach, because if it were right, then you should be encouraged to play Russian roulette for high stakes, since in one of the equally real worlds you would win. In fact any experiment that measures a quantum effect is one in which the quantum effect is aligned with the behavior of some heavy, macroscopic object; that's how we measure it. www.intuition.org /txt/gell1.htm   (3475 words)

 [No title]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23) In quantum physics, this statement would be equivalent to the claim that there are hidden variables. The point is that quantum physics wins the day and the indeterminacy which it describes is unchallenged. Quantum indeterminacy means that initial conditions to an infinite degree of precision are not only not known but they simply do not exist. www.relspace.astahost.com /randomness.txt   (490 words)

 Quantum Mechanics & Free Will This indeterminacy may be grounded in the Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty. The quantum theory undermines determinism, but brings its own crop of difficulties concerning freedom, not least of which is the possibility of multiple realities. This indeterminism is a property of all quantum cosmological theories for which the universal wave function includes in its domain the set of all compact four-dimensional manifolds. www.cneuroscience.org /Topics/Will/Quantum_Free_Will.htm   (1847 words)

 A Condensed Outline of Hobbs, Chaos and Indeterminism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23) Indeterminacy is introduced by the act of measuring a quantum system. Wherever classical and quantum mechanics are in conflict, quantum mechanics is known to be superior. Theory of determinateness becomes meaningless in the face of the extent to which the quantum world seems to be indeterministic and the macro world is chaotic. www.u.arizona.edu /~lehrer/free_will/Outline_of_Hobbs.html   (1571 words)

 Is "quantum indeterminacy" a result of experiment design?   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23) When we change the experiment such that we remove the indeterminacy, we get a result that is equally predictable and compatible with the new experimental set-up. In this theory, the perceived randomness is due to our lack of information about the precise state of each particle and the pilot wave, so you make an assumption called the quantum equilibrium hypothesis which treats every possible state that's compatible with your knowledge as equally likely for the purposes of making statistical predictions. If we use classical and quantum approaches to sending electrons though slits, then only the QM approach will explain the interference pattern, which has nothing to do with experimental design -- the sample space actually covers probably thousands of experiments, many many slit configurations, and the conclusions are invariant; QM is right. www.physicsforums.com /showthread.php?threadid=107203   (4251 words)

 The Quantacized Atom The energy is then emitted as a photon, a quantum of electro-magnetic radiation, as explained by Albert Einstein in 1905 (the "photo-electric effect"), at a frequency and wavelength proportional to its energy, according to Planck's equation, E = When electrons drop down to the lowest quantum level, where angular momentum is zero, they emit photons in the ultra-violet part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The "Planck" units are of significance (1) as "natural" units of measurement, based on the Planck Constant, the velocity of light, and the Gravitational Constant (with Boltzmann's Constant used to convert the Planck Energy into the Planck Temperature), and (2) for the recent and promising physics of Strings and Super-Strings. www.friesian.com /quanta.htm   (5341 words)

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