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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Quantum stuff   Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:27 am

"Programming the Universe" by Seth Lloyd

Great book. Opened my eyes to the fact that quantum computers are to digital computers, as digital ones are to an abacus. The universe is indistinguishable from a quantum computer using qbits instead of digital bits, which can go a million different directions at once--to oversimplify it.

But while it does a good job of describing the universe in quantum terms, it doesn't really show how quantum mechanics works.

For that there isn't really a book, but there are popular references to the Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics by John G. Cramer, which I've been following as an interested layperson for several years. It explains all quantum weirdness including the uncertainty principle of the Copenhagen and Many-Worlds interpretations--which appear to have been ultimately overturned. See this short Analog article by Cramer:
http://www.analogsf.com/0412/altview.shtml
Quote :

Many (including me) have declared, with almost the certainty of a mathematical theorem, that it is impossible to distinguish between quantum interpretations with experimental tests. Reason: all interpretations describe the same mathematical formalism, and it is the formalism that makes the experimentally testable predictions. As it turns out, while this "theorem" is not wrong, it does contain a significant loophole. If an interpretation is not completely consistent with the mathematical formalism, it can be tested and indeed falsified. As we will see, that appears to be the situation with the Copenhagen and Many-Worlds Interpretations, among many others, while my own Transactional Interpretation easily survives the experimental test.

For a more visual treatment of the Afshar experiment and its controversy, see this Wiki article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afshar_experiment
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Quantum stuff   Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:17 am

I'm having a tough time wrapping my mind around the terminology and descriptions this morning. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my 1 year old is cutting teeth and kept me up for half the night. Suspect

In any case, I'll try and revisit it later.

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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Quantum stuff   Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:25 am

You might first wiki the Transactional Intepretation, and see the primary interpretations of Quantum Mechanics there are, as well as the simple explanation for what TI is.

Sorry about the teething. Too bad we aren't ducks.
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PostSubject: Re: Quantum stuff   Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:22 am

Yeah I'll give it a go again today. I slept a little better last night so maybe something will stick this time. study

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PostSubject: Re: Quantum stuff   Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:43 pm

The Paineful Truth wrote:
"Programming the Universe" by Seth Lloyd
Great book. Opened my eyes to the fact that quantum computers are to digital computers, as digital ones are to an abacus. The universe is indistinguishable from a quantum computer using qbits instead of digital bits, which can go a million different directions at once--to oversimplify it.

One quote from the book that I especially appreciate is in chapter 8. "The primary consequence of the computational nature of the universe is that the universe naturally generates complex systems, such as life." He goes on to ask, "In the beginning, the universe was simple. Now it isn't. So what happened?" These concepts tie directly into my understanding of God, Creation, and Evolution. To me, it suggests that Life and Consciousness were programmed into the cosmic computer from the start as intended outputs.
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PostSubject: Re: Quantum stuff   Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:07 pm

The Paineful Truth wrote:

Quote :

Many (including me) have declared, with almost the certainty of a mathematical theorem, that it is impossible to distinguish between quantum interpretations with experimental tests. .
Pragmatic, empirical quantum researchers don't concern themselves with interpretations. They go ahead to produce heretofore impossible applications---such as flash memory, which relies on quantum tunneling---even though they don't really understand how it works.

It's the impractical, philosophical quantum theorists who can't rest until they find an interpretation that fits neatly into their "normal" worldview. They seek truth, not just utility.

Seth Lloyd's book says, "in my opinion, the Many Worlds picture does injustice to the word 'really'" My marginal note to that has become an essential part of my own interpretation of Reality:
The Many Worlds interpretation overlooks a more common-sense answer. Instead of assuming one real world for us, and many unreal worlds for collapsed wave functions, we can simply refer to the Real World and the Ideal World. The Real world is composed of actual matter & energy. The Ideal world is made of potential stuff. Potential is logically possible, but not empirically actual. In the Ideal world only Information (ideas) exists---no matter or energy.
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PostSubject: Re: Quantum stuff   Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:33 pm

I don't want to hi-jack this thread, but I was reminded of a book that has been advertised in DISCOVER Magazine for the last several months: OUR UNDISCOVERED UNIVERSE: Introducing Null Physics: The Science of Uniform and Unconditional Reality; by Terence Witt.

My first impression was that this sounds like it could be another self-published crackpot attempt at a unified theory of everything. But a sneak peak inside the book is tantalizing for someone with Deistic inclinations. Unfortunately, it appears to be very heavy on math and technicalities that I'm not qualified to follow. I didn't find the book (or reviews) on Amazon, so I'm waiting for some adventurous soul to check it out and report back to this forum. Any takers?


NULL PHYSICS:
A breakthrough theory doesn’t need more data, nor does it need more detailed data. We
are drowning in data. What is missing is a comprehensive explanation of measurements
made over a century ago. There lies the glaring incompleteness. We have counted so many
trees; it is time to take a hard look at the forest and keep looking at it until it starts to make
sense. It is simply not possible to understand anything of importance about the universe if
we fail to understand its most fundamental mystery: Why does it exist?
This is the question
most cosmologists are convinced is beyond their reach now and in the foreseeable future.
Many would claim it unknowable. “Why does the universe exist?” casts a shadow of doubt
across all of the physical sciences. It is the gaping void in science itself.


http://nullphysics.com/
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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Quantum stuff   Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:46 am

Quote :
It's the impractical, philosophical quantum theorists who can't rest until they find an interpretation that fits neatly into their "normal" worldview. They seek truth, not just utility.

And both are necessary. The utilitarians make use of what we have, finding stuff that needs to be explained in the process; the theorists find the explanations and thereby continue to provide us with more to work with and material for further serendipity.

I think "why does the universe exist?" will always be a theological question, because natural law cannot be followed beyond the Big Bang(s). For one thing, we have no way to comprehend "always been" or something out of nothing, and there can be no formulae for natural law issuing from the supernatural, or from nothing, or having always been. It's the square root of infinity divided by minus one. We can't even call it a dead end, only an unknown.
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PostSubject: Re: Quantum stuff   Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:17 pm

The Paineful Truth wrote:

I think "why does the universe exist?" will always be a theological question...

I agree with the rest of what you said, but this is a philosophical question, not a theological one. Theology answers all questions with "God Did It". Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Quantum stuff   Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:46 am

My own opinion on why there is something rather than nothing is that absolute nothingness is paradoxical.
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PostSubject: Re: Quantum stuff   Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:25 am

Well yeah....now. But what about before when there was absolute nothingness--or whatever preceded absolute somethingness.
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PostSubject: Re: Quantum stuff   Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:58 am

I don't think being had a begining. I believe it is possible to create a model that explains why there is something rather than nothing in a completely logical framework. That is the basis for my essay The Paradox Of Nothingness which is the intellectual foundation of my Deism.

Most people here have probably read it but I will post it here so you can examine it for yourself. But it won't be right away. I'm too busy running emergency calls here in Tulsa after that ice storm hit.

So to me the question is not why does the world exist it's why is the world logical?
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PostSubject: Re: Quantum stuff   Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:40 am

It's logical because it is based on universal natural law. You could of course ask why is that?

If there's a God, it's so that we can have a basis for rational thought and therefore the ability to make rational decisions (whether we avail ourselves of that capability or not).

If there is no God, it's just happenstance or some inherently non-self-initiating/sustaining quality to irrationality.
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