Monday, January 15, 2024

Reality

Our one-level-up-from-apes brain barely sees, let alone understands the complexity of reality. Even the most brilliant among us (e.g., Albert Einstein) are baffled by the subject. I've long pondered this area as an amateur philosopher/physicist and am intrigued by both its depth and potential for future use.


Verschr√§nkung. That's the concept separating modern physics (quantum mechanics) from classical theory. Erwin Schr√∂dinger coined and translated the word as "entanglement." In 1935 Einstein and others disputed the existence of quantum entanglement for violating  the local realism view of causality: i.e., the universe's speed limit (how fast light can travel and transmit information). Einstein famously mocked the idea as "spooky action at a distance." (That's my favorite phrase in all of science).


The funny thing is, though, Einstein was wrong. Empirical tests later proved over and over that quantum entanglement exists. Entangled particles separated by great distances (farther than communication could be carried at light-speed) act together, united in some "spooky" way. As recently as 2015 an experiment verified the truth of quantum entanglement and disproved theoretical objections to it. And just two years ago the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists "for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science."


Where am I going with this? Well, how far are you willing to travel? The road leads to famous Hungarian physicist Eugene Wigner (a contemporary of Einstein who lobbied FDR to create the atomic Manhattan Project and later received a Nobel Prize in Physics [1964]), then slides into mathematics and its efficacy, heads on to Wigner's later philosophical musings about reality and the ultimate limitations of math and human observation, and finally confronts "the hard problem of philosophy" (i.e., consciousness) where, likely, the final answer resides to the fundamental question: why are we here? 


I'm drafting a paper on this subject which is too lengthy to discuss uninvited. If anyone's interested and has hot tea, hit me up. :) 

8 comments:

  1. Well, I am wearing my blonde hair today, but I'd still love to share a pot of hot tea with you! :) -Connie

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    1. Thanks, Connie. Let's talk about the nature of reality!

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  2. A heavy topic for Monday! Is that the same Schrodinger as Schrodinger's cat??

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    1. I know but I've been holding off on it for weeks. I figured few are reading blogs today so I'd slip it in. And yes, the same guy on the same point (that stuff in the universe is in quantum state until measured).

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  3. I think we discover why we are here the moment we leave. An evil ironic joke.

    You're doing some light thinking I see. Ha!



    Suzanne

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    1. I've always been curious about the "big issues" and never stopped wondering. Now I follow the thoughts of brighter minds than mine.

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  4. Ah, Schroedinger of the cat!! You are such an erudite person! I'd definitely take the tea and chat but I'd struggle to add a lot to the discussion unless you are very clear in your explanation- then I'll respond with points where I can! Scientific writings are not my area of expertise though my Dad would be well in there! Kezzie x

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    1. Here's the thing, Kezzie -- you know as much about this as anyone. Your intuition and life-experience gives you raw material to ponder the big issue. Scientists, ahead of us in one respect (the ability to process observation with logic), are ironically behind us in another (the ability to reach creatively beyond that). The true answer to life's essential mystery won't be found in science. Leading thinker, Eugene Wigner, realized this at the end of his career after doing science for decades. Life is stranger and more complex than humans comprehend. So, yes, your tea-chat will be perfectly welcome!

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