Do many people believe in false QM ideas

  • Thread starter Trollfaz
  • Start date
  • #1
83
8
When I first started QM i found all sorts of wild ideas on the internet, such as consciousness affects the experiment and the universe needs observers to exist. The articles also somehow misrepresent experiments such as the double slit experiment and the delayed choice experiments to claim that the ideas are proven. I believed in all those ideas until i seeked clarification from here.

I am wondering if there are many people out there who subscribe to those cranky ideas.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
16,530
6,890
When I first started QM i found all sorts of wild ideas on the internet, such as consciousness affects the experiment and the universe needs observers to exist. The articles also somehow misrepresent experiments such as the double slit experiment and the delayed choice experiments to claim that the ideas are proven. I believed in all those ideas until i seeked clarification from here.

I am wondering if there are many people out there who subscribe to those cranky ideas.
Hoards of them, but not among real scientists. Pop-sci and new age books sell quite well; probably better than serious books about actual science. I mean, after all, something like (depending on what poll you believe) 40% of Americans believe in angels, ghosts, space alien visitations, etc.
 
  • #3
  • #4
Lord Jestocost
When I first started QM i found all sorts of wild ideas on the internet, such as consciousness affects the experiment and the universe needs observers to exist. The articles also somehow misrepresent experiments such as the double slit experiment and the delayed choice experiments to claim that the ideas are proven. I believed in all those ideas until i seeked clarification from here.

I am wondering if there are many people out there who subscribe to those cranky ideas.
Some ideas about quantum mechanics seem only strange in case one prefers to mentally keep oneself in the 19th century.
 
  • Like
Likes phinds and AlexCaledin
  • #6
Lord Jestocost
When I first started QM i found all sorts of wild ideas on the internet, such as consciousness affects the experiment and the universe needs observers to exist......
I have never understood why the term “consciousness” is so often associated with strange magical effects when discussing quantum mechanics. When quantum mechanics was coming up, some physicists immediately realized that “physical theories” of an "out there" are – so to speak – built upon our mental impressions/images of observed phenomena which must not be identical with the objective, intrinsic nature of phenomena. That was the farewell to the 19th century physics. Confusion arises merely in case one mixes up the "projections of observed phenomena on the inner screen of our consciousness" with the "objective, intrinsic nature of phenomena".

Here is a passage from the book “THE NATURE OF THE PHYSICAL WORLD” by Arthur Stanley Eddington:

Besides the direct knowledge contained in each self-knowing unit, there is inferential knowledge. The latter includes our knowledge of the physical world. It is necessary to keep reminding ourselves that all knowledge of our environment from which the world of physics is constructed, has entered in the form of messages transmitted along the nerves to the seat of consciousness. Obviously the messages travel in code. When messages relating to a table are traveling in the nerves, the nerve-disturbance does not in the least resemble either the external table that originates the mental impression or the conception of the table that arises in consciousness.* In the central clearing station the incoming messages are sorted and decoded, partly by instinctive image-building inherited from the experience of our ancestors, partly by scientific comparison and reasoning. By this very indirect and hypothetical inference all our supposed acquaintance with and our theories of a world outside us have been built up. We are acquainted with an external world because its fibers run into our consciousness; it is only our own ends of the fibers that we know; from those ends we more or less successfully reconstruct the rest, as a paleontologist reconstructs an extinct monster from its footprint.

* I mean, resemble in intrinsic nature. It is true (as Bertrand Russell has emphasized) that the symbolic description of structure will be identical for the table in the external world and for the conception of the table in consciousness if the conception is scientifically correct. If the physicist does not attempt to penetrate beneath the structure he is indifferent as to which of the two we imagine ourselves to be discussing.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Likes AlexCaledin

Related Threads on Do many people believe in false QM ideas

Replies
4
Views
949
Replies
34
Views
6K
Replies
18
Views
12K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
59
Views
9K
  • Last Post
7
Replies
150
Views
36K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
25
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
18
Views
3K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
27
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
2K
Replies
90
Views
9K
Top