lördag 15 augusti 2015

Popper vs Physics as Finite Precision Computation

Today, physics is in a crisis....it is a crisis of understanding...roughly as old as the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics...(in 1982 Preface to Quantum Theory and the Schism in Physics)

Karl Popper's vision expressed in The Postscript to the Logic of Scientific Discovery (with the above book as Vol III), is a science of modern quantum physics which shares the following characteristics of classical physics:
  1. Realism
  2. Determinism                           (A)
  3. Objectivism.
Popper compares this paradigm of rationality with the ruling paradigm of modern physics being the exact opposite as an irrationality characterised by:
  1. Idealism
  2. Indeterminism                        (B)
  3. Subjectivism.
The crisis of modern physics acknowledged by all prominent physicists of today, can be viewed as an effect of (B). It is no wonder that (B) being an irrational opposite to a rational (A), has led to a crisis. 

The reason the paradigm (A) of classical macroscopic physics was replaced by (B) when Planck-Bohr-Born-Heisenberg shaped the ruling (Copenhagen) paradigm of modern physics, was a perceived impossibility to (i) explain the phenomena of black-body radiation by classical electrodynamics and (ii) to give the standard multi-dimensional (uncomputable) wave function of Schrödinger's equation describing microsopic atomic physics, a physical meaning.  

I have been led to a version of Popper's paradigm (A) viewing physics as
  • finite precision computation  
where (i) and (ii) can be handled in a natural way and the resort to the extreme position (B) can be avoided. This paradigm is outlined as Computational Blackbody Radiation and The World as Computation

In particular I have explored a computable three-dimensional alternative version of Schrödinger's equation conforming to (A) and I will present computational results in upcoming posts. In particular, it appears that this (computable) version explains the periodic table more directly than the standard (uncomputable) one. More precisely, an uncomputable mathematical model is useless and cannot be used to explain anything.

PS The crisis in physics rooted in the Copenhagen interpretation has deepened after Poppers 1982 analysis, following a well known tactic to handle a pressing problem, which appears to be unsolvable: make the problem even more severe and unsolvable and thereby relieve the pressure from the original problem. Today we can observe this tactic in extreme form with physicists flooding media with fantasy stories about dark matter, dark energy, parallel worlds and cats in superposition of being both dead and alive, all phenomena of which nothing is known. The Dark Ages appears as enlightened against this background.

2 kommentarer:

  1. Are you suggesting that Nature performs something like 32-bit floating point arithmetic (like my computer uses), and that Planck's quantum is the result of the inescapable rounding error?

  2. Yes, that is the idea, but Nature's computing is presumably analog and not digital.