Sunday, February 05, 2017

Yet more quantum for you...

A couple more papers spotted on arXiv:

Can the Many-Worlds-Interpretation be probed in Psychology?

Shades of Aldous Huxley in this paper - here are some extracts to give you an idea:

So, his actual suggestion for a psychological test of the many-world:

Seems to be a good idea for a movie script, at any rate.

The second paper has, I think, more of a philosophical tone.  It's by Nicolas Gisin, a Swiss physicist with a lot of experimental and practical experience.  His paper Collapse.  What else? has the following abstract:

We present the quantum measurement problem as a serious physics problem. Serious because without a resolution, quantum theory is not complete, as it does not tell how one should - in principle - perform measurements. It is physical in the sense that the solution will bring new physics, i.e. new testable predictions, hence it is not merely a matter of interpretation of a frozen formalism. I argue that the two popular ways around the measurement problem, many-worlds and Bohmian-like mechanics, do, de facto, introduce effective collapses when "I" interact with the quantum system. Hence, surprisingly, in many-worlds and Bohmian mechanics, the "I" plays a more active role than in collapse models. Finally, I argue that either there are several kinds of stuffs out there, i.e. physical dualism, some stuff that respects the superposition principle and some that doesn't, or there are special configurations of atoms and photons where the superposition principle breaks down. Or, and this I argue is the most promising, the dynamics has to be modified, i.e. in the form of a stochastic Schrodinger equation.
 Actually, the paper itself reads better than the abstract.   Here's the section on many-worlds, which I find the most interesting part of the paper:

His point about the "many-worlds" interpretation meaning that the initial state of the universe had to have been "encoded in some infinitesimal digits of some quantum state" is not an objection that I had heard of before.

It's also not clear to me what he would think of Frank Tipler's argument that many-worlds actually supports free will - which I noted in a post last month.

So, the many-worlds idea continues to intrigue everyone.   Here's a suggestion: the election of Trump might be evidence we've accidentally slipped into a totally unexpected parallel world.  If it can happen, truly, anything can...

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