söndag 22 oktober 2017

The Principles of Qspeak

Qspeak was the official language of Quantum Mechanics and had been devised to meet
the ideological needs of Modphys or Modern Physics. 

It was expected that Qspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak (or Classical Physics, as we should call it) by about the year 2050. Meanwhile it gained ground steadily, all Party members tending to use Qspeak words and grammatical constructions more and more in their everyday speech. 

The purpose of Qspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Modphys, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Qspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Modphys — should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words.

Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of un-orthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever. 

To give a single example. The word position still existed in Qspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as ’One cannot speak about the position of an electron’. 

It could not be used in its old sense of ’position here or there’ since position no longer existed even as concept, and were therefore of necessity nameless. Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispensed with was allowed to survive. 

Qspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum.

Qspeak was founded on the English language as we now know it, though many Qspeak sentences, even when not containing newly-created words, would be barely intelligible to an English-speaker of our own day:
  • wave-function-collapse
  • quantisation
  • Hilbert-space
  • mixed-state
  • spin
  • photon
  • gluon
  • lepton
  • quark
  • fermion
  • boson
  • baryon
  • quit
  • uncertainty-principle
  • correspondence principle
  • complementary principle
  • exclusion principle
  • superposition principle
  • entanglement
  • interference
  • phase coherence
  • plum pudding model
  • hyperfine 
  • bra-ket-notation
  • mixed-state
  • strangeness
  • probability-amplitude
  • matrix mechanics
  • CP violation
  • observables
  • indistinguishable-particles
  • intrinsically-identical-particles
  • supersymmetry
  • superpartner.
If needed The Party can use Qspeak in a form of Shut Up and Calculate, which eliminates any remaining tendency of heretical questioning.

If you think you understand Qspeak, you don't understand Qspeak. (Richard Feynman)

Those who are not shocked when they first come across Qspeak cannot possibly have understood it. (Niels Bohr)

 It is safe to say that nobody understands Qspeak. (Richard Feynman)

In physics we deal with states of affairs much simpler than those of psychology and yet we again and again learn that our task is not to investigate the essence of things—we do not at all know what this would mean; but to develop those concepts that allow us to speak with each other about the events of nature in a fruitful manner using Qspeak. (Niels Bohr)

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth, in Qspeak. (Niels Bohr)

When asked ... [about] an underlying quantum world, Bohr would answer: There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about Nature, according to Qspeak. (Niels Bohr)

I think there is a moral to this story, namely that it is more important to have beauty in one’s equations in Qspeak than to have them fit experiment. (Paul Dirac)

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