lördag 21 januari 2017

The Origin of Fake Physics

Peter Woit on gives on Not Even Wrong a list of fake physics most of which can be traced back to the fake physics character of Schrödinger's linear multi-dimensional equation, as exposed in recent posts.

Woit's list of fake physics thus includes different fantasies of multiversa all originating from the multi-dimensional form of Schrödinger's equation giving each electron its own separate 3d space/universe to dwell in.

But the linear multi-d Schrödinger equation is a postulate of modern physics picked from out of the blue as a ready-made and as such like a religious dogma beyond human understanding and rationality.

Why modern physics has been driven into such an unscientific approach remains to be understood and exposed, and discussed...

The standard view is presented by David Gross as follows:
  • Quantum mechanics emerged in 1900, when Planck first quantized the energy of radiating oscillators.
  • Quantum mechanics is the most successful of all the frameworks that we have discovered to describe physical reality. It works, it makes sense, and it is hard to modify. 
  • Quantum mechanics does make sense, although the transition, a hundred years ago, from classical to quantum reality was not easy. 
  •  The freedom one has to choose among different, incompatible, frameworks does not influence reality—one gets the same answers for the same questions, no matter which framework one uses. 
  • That is why one can simply “shut up and calculate.” Most of us do that most of te time. 
  • By now...we have a completely coherent and consistent formulation of quantum mechanics that corresponds to what we actually do in predicting and describing experiments and observations in the real world. 
  • For most of us there are no problems.
  • Nonetheless, there are dissenting views. 
So, the message is that quantum mechanics works if you simply shut up and calculate and don't ask if it makes sense, as physicists are being taught to do, but here are dissenting views...

Note that the standard idea ventilated by Gross is that quantum mechanics somehow emerged from Planck's desperate trick of "quantisation" of blackbody radiation 1900 when taking on the mission of explaining the physics of radiation while avoiding the "ultra-violet catastrophe" believed to torpedo classical wave mechanics. Planck never believed that his trick had a physical meaning and in fact the trick is not needed because an explanation can be given within classical wave mechanics in the form of computational blackbody radiation with the ultraviolet catastrophe not showing up.

This is what Anthony Leggett, Nobel Laureate and speaker at the 90 Years of Quantum Mechanics Conference, Jan 23-26, 2017, says (in 1987):
  • If one wishes to provoke a group of normally phlegmatic physicists into a state of high animation—indeed, in some cases strong emotion—there are few tactics better guaranteed to succeed than to introduce into the conversation the topic of the foundations of quantum mechanics, and more specifically the quantum measurement problem.
  • I do not myself feel that any of the so-called solutions of the quantum measurement paradox currently on offer is in any way satisfactory.
  • I am personally convinced that the problem of making a consistent and philosophically acceptable 'join' between the quantum formalism which has been so spectacularly successful at the atomic and subatomic level and the 'realistic' classical concepts we employ in everyday life can have no solution within our current conceptual framework; 
  • We are still, after three hundred years, only at the beginning of a long journey along a path whose twists and turns promise to reveal vistas which at present are beyond our wildest imagination. 
  • Personally, I see this as not a pessimistic, but a highly optimistic, conclusion. In intellectual endeavour, if nowhere else, it is surely better to travel hopefully than to arrive, and I would like to think that the generation of students now embarking on a career in physics, and their children and their children's children, will grapple with questions at least as intriguing and fundamental as those which fascinate us today—questions which, in all probability, their twentieth-century predecessors did not even have the language to pose.
The need of a revision, now 30 years later,  of the very foundations of quantum mechanics is even more clear, 90 years after conception. The starting point must be the wave mechanics of Schrödinger without particles, probabilities, multiversa, measurement paradox, particle-wave duality, complementarity and quantum jumps with atom microscopics described by the same continuum mathematics as the macroscopic world.

PS Is quantum computing fake physics or possible physics? Nobody knows since no quantum computer has yet been constructed. But the hype/hope is inflated: perhaps by the end of the year...

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