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Does the hup essentially represent the wall or curtain of the universe?

  1. Feb 20, 2012 #1
    does the hup essentially represent the "wall" or "curtain" of the universe?

    what i mean is, when you don't have any observable ability of whats going on behind a white curtain, if occurrences behind the curtain produce spots on the curtain which we see but we do no see their cause, we can only conclude that the spots appear at random.

    i think its possible that an electrons behavior is so erratic that using probability to model the electron can achieve what some people regard as very precise predictions.

    i myself think that if electron behavior was truly probabilistic then qm would be infinitely more precise, perhaps giving absolute correct predictions, an that qm precision is incredibly imprecise compared possible levels of precision.

    the fact that we can only know so much doesnt bother me.

    its that i feel our minds our incredibly capable of intuitively understanding the actual nature of the universe, and possibly the most stubborn believer of this, einstein, was smarter than anybody on this forum. anybody who believes "God" plays dice or that there is such thing as a fair coin in this universe... i dont think they should be in physics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2012 #2
    Re: does the hup essentially represent the "wall" or "curtain" of the universe?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell's_theorem[/PLAIN] [Broken]

    John Bell essentially addressed the concern that you are expressing. It has been shown that all the simple kinds of deterministic underlying physics are incompatible with observed facts. After all, observations is what we must build physics on.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  4. Feb 20, 2012 #3
    Re: does the hup essentially represent the "wall" or "curtain" of the universe?

    One goes to war with the technology one has in hand.
  5. Feb 20, 2012 #4
    Re: does the hup essentially represent the "wall" or "curtain" of the universe?

    Hardly our experience to date.

    There is not even evidence of any 'actual nature'
    of the universe.
  6. Feb 20, 2012 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Re: does the hup essentially represent the "wall" or "curtain" of the universe?

    QM is a probabilistic theory - but of a different type than usual probability theory. The difference has to do with the behaviour of so called pure states - in ordinary probability theory they are discreet - in QM you can go from one to the other continuously.

    The HUP follows mathematically and rigorously from the commutation behaviour of the observables involved and is a natural consequence of the principles of QM - not a separate principle.

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  7. Feb 20, 2012 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    Re: does the hup essentially represent the "wall" or "curtain" of the universe?

    Einstein was smarter than probably anyone on this forum but there have been guys just as smart as Einstein who disagreed with him - eg Feynman and Landau who along with Einstein are considered to have a frightening ease with the substance behind the equations of physics - which is really what sets them apart. Its not mathematical ability - although Feynman was a virtuoso, Landau probably as well, but Einsten, while good at that, was not great. Its understanding what they are trying to say. And it was not the 'God Plays Dice' thing as the popular press like to have people believe that was the issue - Einstein was perfectly OK with that - in fact he even believed in the Ensemble interpretation of QM that has that as its foundation - what he disagreed with was the Copenhagen interpretations view that it was the fundamental theory of nature - he did not believe it was incorrect - just incomplete. And who knows - he may be right.

    Yes and no to our minds being able to intuitively understand the nature of the universe. Experiment reveals its nature which at first can seem weird but after long acquaintance it seems much more intuitive and we can usually find ways of looking at it that is quite intuitive - such as the view QM is simply probability theory with pure states you can continuously go from one to other. IMHO our minds are quite adaptable but it is experiment that sets it on the right direction. This happened many times eg it is often forgotten that when Newton first proposed his gravitational theory he was in some quarters laughed at - but as over time it became so well accepted it now seems quite intuitive.

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  8. Feb 21, 2012 #7
    Re: does the hup essentially represent the "wall" or "curtain" of the universe?

    wait, its my understanding that einstein never reneged on his view that god ie the universe does not play dice. From what i understand he fought the aspect of randomness till the end of his life. and feynman said when he presented his findings that even he did not understand them.

    we regard qm to be true because of its predictability precision. couldnt you view our view of qms precision as being high compared to normal levels of measurement precision as a human intuition that precision equals truth? in other words you cant rule out a theory that explains hup without the assumption that the electons behavior is completely random can you? people used to assume the world was FLAT through observation. It took thinkers to suppose on what the reality truly was.

    probability has traditionally been used to model reality using the unreal concept of randomness. if electron behavior approaches theoretical true randomness, then of course qm theory which states that an electrons behavior IS random will be unbelievably precise. but using randomness as an assumption to get maximum predictability out of qm does not mean you cannot rule out the possibility of a theory that is more predictable, or less, but consistent with causality
  9. Feb 21, 2012 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: does the hup essentially represent the "wall" or "curtain" of the universe?

    Whoa, doggie! There is no meaning here to your comment about people believing the world is flat. A better theory is always welcome. You have to *find* it first. Einstein "hoped/believed" such a theory existed, and yet here we are 80 years later and nothing to date.

    As to your second comment: you need to understand Bell's Theorem to see that in fact, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle does not support the idea of non-commuting particle attributes existing simultaneously. This is where the randomness is introduced.
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