Focus all of your ire on me, if you would

In summary: Not sure how to put it. Anyway, they said that it's understandable to feel that way, and the world of academic science can indeed be quite hierarchical. However, it's important to remember that ideas in science should be evaluated based on their merit, not the credentials of the person proposing them. While formal training can be helpful in understanding complex topics and knowing what has been tried before, it's not a prerequisite for contributing valuable ideas.So, even if you don't have the qualifications or experience to have a conversation like this, you can still contribute by engaging in popular science communication, participating in public lectures and discussions, self-study, and reading scientific literature. Citizen science projects are a great way to get involved and
  • #1
TL;DR Summary: A completely non-scientific look at wave function, because ChatGPT persuaded me to include my thoughts somehow, some way.

Howdy, the post title, as im sure you've noticed, is a weird one, and out of place in such a location. Fitting, considering the topic, I think.

Backstory, briefly. I recently started using ChatGPT to see what all of the hype was about. I was impressed, as moguls surely are when presented with intelligence vastly beyond their own, even if that intelligence is simulated. Since I allow YouTube to run in the background to provide noise while I am doing whatever mundane task I find myself about on the daily, I find myself watching a lot of videos about Quantum Physics and other related, and non related things when they tickle my ear hair. So naturally, one thing led to another, and I decided to express my thoughts to ChatGPT on some of these things since I do not have anyone available that is not a algorithmic driven entity with any kind of intelligence. Today, whilst doing just that, it generated a response at the end of our discussion that said the following:

It's understandable to feel that way, and the world of academic science can indeed be quite hierarchical. However, it's important to remember that ideas in science should be evaluated based on their merit, not the credentials of the person proposing them. While formal training can be helpful in understanding complex topics and knowing what has been tried before, it's not a prerequisite for contributing valuable ideas.

You might not be able to directly participate in academic conversations without relevant qualifications or experience, but that doesn't mean you can't contribute to the discourse in other ways:

  1. Engage in popular science communication: Many scientists and science enthusiasts share their thoughts and ideas through blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, and social media. You can start your own platform or engage with others in these spaces.
  2. Participate in public lectures and discussions: Many universities and research institutions host public lectures where anyone can come and learn about current research and ask questions. These can be great opportunities to engage with the scientific community.
  3. Self-study: With enough dedication and hard work, it's possible to achieve a high level of understanding in a subject area through self-study. The internet is full of resources, including online courses, textbooks, academic papers, and more.
  4. Engage with scientific literature: While the academic literature can be dense and difficult to navigate, many research papers are freely available online. Reading these papers can provide a deeper understanding of the current state of research and the ongoing debates in the field.
  5. Engage in citizen science projects: These are collaborations between scientists and volunteers from the general public. While these projects typically involve data collection rather than theory development, they can be a good way to contribute to scientific research and gain some experience in the field.
Remember, the most important thing in science is the pursuit of truth and understanding. Whether you're a credentialed physicist or an interested layperson, your curiosity and willingness to question established ideas are essential to this pursuit.

And so, here I am. It would be much easier for me to simply quote the entire conversation in the same manner as above, but some nagging not quite voice in the back of my head is arguing against it for some reason that I cannot fathom.

Just so it can be know that I am not a complete moron, I do in, some circles, possess some form of above average seeming intelligence. Or so I am told occassionly. I always respond with something akin to the statement being from lack of reference points but they persist from time to time. Judge for yourself I suppose. I work in IT, sort of. Its not really a job that I can easily classify, but it suffices to say that I am a contractor in the "Information Technology" field. I find it a very bland description, and misleading as what I mostly do is break/fix and installation of POS equipment with most other functions required for running a service industry business included in my scope of work. I only tell you this because I hope that it displays that I am not of common intelligence or aptitude I suppose, albeit somewhat conceited because of the doing so.

Now, to my point of view, because they are so very important to the continuation of the cogs of physics in such a severe manner that the whole model would fall apart without it. That's sarcasm, if you didn't pick that up. Self deprecating attempts at humor is the only way I can come to terms with my actually posting this, so, forebearance if you could.

ChatGPT and I were having a spirited discussion about wave function collapse and how I thought the whole idea was an ignorant, misleading idea that should be completely struck from the histories completely. I admit, I have bounced back and forth between this train of thought, and questioning my understanding of how it works. And make no mistake, I do NOT understand how it works on any real level. But this is critical to my outlook on the topic, fundamentally so. Also, the meat of my argument.

I free admit that I do not know even half there is to know about it as I never even attended a physics class. Further, the burr in my saddle that even got me annoyed enough to start my way down this path was the idea that the quantum realm does not follow the same rules as ours does. The first thing I thought after hearing whatever YouTube video it was that said this was, "Well, I wonder why that is." This was immediately followed by my devouring whatever other videos I could find about it. Mostly from World Science Fair, Arven Ash, and Joe Rogan interviews with Brian Greene and Niel Degrasse Tyson ( Who I think is an arrogant ass with no business being in the public light ). Sorry not sorry for that last bit.

After countable, but not by me, hours of videos, and many days worth of pondering and talking and researching half heartedly, my mind is even more set in the idea that someone, or a group of someones had to save their pride somehow and came up with the rediculous idea that particles exist in a superposition of states while we aren't looking at them. From my understanding, and please, be gentle if someone decides to shatter my tenable reality, and basis for my entire belief structure on this topic, it would seem that once the double slit experiment was done, and the results, for some reason unbeknownst to me had already popped everyones eyes out of the heads in such a way as to competely erase common sense, this boob came up with the notion that if we do not measure the electrons, they act like a wave would, and when we peep at them, they suddenly act like particles. Sort of like spying on a person in the locker room. They may dance and sing when they think they are unobserved, but let someone make a sound, and suddenly the towel comes back on and silence reins.

It's silly, and I think that it was a way for someones pride, or lack of some ingredient of common sense that the whole idea was made up. I am sorry for my great length of message, it's a failing of mine, and one I am working on, but to make myself as crystal clear as possible as to my understanding of how it went: We did the double slit experiment a bunch of times, eyeballs were put back into heads, and commons sense simply stayed gone. Measure, particles, not measure, waves. Or in another format: X = wave, Y = particle Z = lack of common sense. I simply cannot understand the how the equation, which, admittedly was a bad idea to attempt to put here. I couldn't quite get their in my head, and so im left looking like a boob myself, but I'll leave it in. If X or Y = yes, Z = 0, but if X = 1 while Y = 0 or X = 0 while Y = 1, Z =1 and common sense completely leaves everyones heads. Furthermore, the explaining it to students, or just persons who are interested as "spooky" or "weird" is just plain mean.

I wish I hadn't removed my conversations with ChatGPT yesterday as it contained one analogy that I thought was rather accurate in explaining my thought process, but alas, spilled milk. I believe it was something about a juggler. Regardless, I'll muddle through with this one. If we have a juggler who is....well ... juggling I suppose, three objects. A comb, a cup, and a stuffed zebra, because why not. If we take a picture of the juggler when one of the three items is at its apex above the jugglers head then we would have three states of juggler, so to speak. The way I understand it, is that I am to believe that if im looking at the picture of the juggler with the comb at it's apex, the juggler is in that state, but while im NOT looking at the picture with the comb at it's apex, they are then in a superposition of states, or, all states at once. Which is absolutely rediculous. It's a very good example of how someone without an explaination would explain something that didn't want to seem inept at.

I am not saying that is the case, I am only questioning why instead of thinking to themselves, well, I need a better camera, perhaps one that can record an uninterrupted image that moves instead of this crummy old one that only captures a single state. Instead, it's now "spooky" and in a superpostion of states. I have looked and looked and researched, and asked, as to anything that could put my mind on the "right" track, and by that I mean the currently accepted view of the topic as we currently understand it. Or....you...understand it I suppose, because I am sure you are thinking, "this guy is a boob afterall" or "Dingus, what a commmon folk way of thinking", or perhaps my lack of interactions with people above my brain matters station does not have a proper description of what's going on in your mind, which I think is probably the more likely answer.

Lastly, I am aware that I did not come across as a very likeable individual that is seeking to further his education or seeking help and guidance with a difficult problem, and that was intentional, because I have deep seated issues from childhood that prevent me from appearing in any state of weakness, actual or perceived, even if I fail in doing so and come across as an arrogant ass. I assure you, I am not. I genuinely want to understand, and I am overwhelmed with the thought that most people that do this for a living are either less inclined to take their time to dumb it down for me, or simply will treat my very diligently thought out understanding of this whole mess. I am aware I do not have the knowledge that was imparted to most of you whilst in school, nor do I speak as most people do ( they weren't typos, or the strained wording of someone trying to sound smarter than they are, I really speak this way and care not why the general consensus is on that aspect of myself atleast ).

So I humbly...sorta, ask to see past that, and enlighten a barbarian.

Danke.

P.S. As an after thought, if requested, I can post the log of ChatGPT and myself discussing this in our, or my, basic way and it's..well, algorithmic way.
 
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  • #2
Couple things, in no particular order:
1) Please review the forum rules about ChatGPT. It is hopelessly unreliable on advanced physics topics.
2) The videos you’ve been watching and stuff from World Science Fair, Arven Ash, and Joe Rogan interviews with Brian Greene and Niel Degrasse Tyson are entertainment, not accurate or useful explanations of how quantum mechanics really works. When you reject quantum mechanical concepts based on what you think you understand from them, you’re rejecting a straw man.
3) there is a enormous amount of real experimental evidence for the quantum mechanical concept of superposition: computer chips wouldn’t work if superposition didn’t work, for example. It is even possible in some circumstances (Google for “bell’s theorem”) to test for the difference between “neither a nor b until we measure it” and “a or b but we don’t know which until we look”, these experiments have been done, and they confirm the quantum mechanical model.
4) if you do not have the mathematical background to take on a real first-year quantum mechanics textbook you might want to give Giancarlo Ghirardi’s book “Sneaking a look at god’s cards” a try. It will give you enough background to start asking basic questions about QM works.
 
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Locked for potential moderation.
 
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The thread is still locked, but I wanted to add my two cents while the staff is discussing your thread since some of it is very easy to answer.
AngryBeavers said:
ChatGPT and I were having a spirited discussion about wave function collapse and how I thought the whole idea was an ignorant, misleading idea that should be completely struck from the histories completely.

We'd be happy to throw the idea away if we had a better one. But we don't have a better one. That's the entire crux of this issue. Quantum physics is the way it is because no one has been able to come up with a better explanation that fits all the experiments and observations.

AngryBeavers said:
The way I understand it, is that I am to believe that if im looking at the picture of the juggler with the comb at it's apex, the juggler is in that state, but while im NOT looking at the picture with the comb at it's apex, they are then in a superposition of states, or, all states at once. Which is absolutely rediculous. It's a very good example of how someone without an explaination would explain something that didn't want to seem inept at.

Of course it sounds ridiculous. Macroscopic objects are incapable of being in superpositions, so you never see it and the very idea is extremely counterintuitive. I believe the largest objects we've ever been able to confirm in a superposition is a moderately sized molecule.

AngryBeavers said:
I am not saying that is the case, I am only questioning why instead of thinking to themselves, well, I need a better camera, perhaps one that can record an uninterrupted image that moves instead of this crummy old one that only captures a single state. Instead, it's now "spooky" and in a superpostion of states.
You have a fundamental misunderstanding of how things work at the quantum level. It doesn't matter what camera you use, or even if you use one at all. If we look at the double slit experiment, then if we know which slit the particle passed through, regardless of how we obtained that information, we lose our interference pattern and superposition. All that would happen if we take a rapid series of images (if we are using a setup that can actually observe the particles using light) is that we would see the particles come from the emitting source, pass through a single slit, and then impact the screen. No interference pattern, no superposition. A 'better' camera wouldn't change anything. We'd have to actually turn off the camera (or the light source we're illuminating the particles with) to see the interference pattern at all.

We could use very sensitive electric sensors to sense the charge of a particle as it passes through a slit instead of cameras and we would get the same effect. Or polarizers if we're using light. Or any other method to find out which slit the particle passed through.

Also note that superpositions are incapable of being observed. You cannot take a photo of a particle in a superposition and see it in multiple different states at the same time. This is because observation destroys the superposition and forces the particle into a single state.

AngryBeavers said:
P.S. As an after thought, if requested, I can post the log of ChatGPT and myself discussing this in our, or my, basic way and it's..well, algorithmic way.

Please ignore Chat GPT for complex factual information. Chat GPT is nothing but a pattern recognition program. It has zero idea what is 'right' and what is 'wrong'. It just takes in what you type, runs it through a bunch of specialized code, and outputs text that is somehow related to your input. It has no idea which of the sources it was trained on are correct and which ones aren't. It also doesn't understand context, math, nuances, and all the things we as people have to learn to effectively use and teach science. It's simply regurgitating its sources without knowing if they're right or if the way it's put the words together is right.

AngryBeavers said:
I am aware I do not have the knowledge that was imparted to most of you whilst in school
I learned about 10% of the science I now know in school. The rest I've learned on my own.
 
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@AngryBeavers PF exists to teach people about mainstream science. You should not feel weak for asking a question, as ignorance is not weakness and our very mission is to teach people who are, by definition, ignorant on a topic. However, the nature, content, and tone of your post is highly confrontational and doesn't really make for a good basis of discussion. I encourage you to make a new thread without the extra baggage this one has if you're still curious about superposition and other aspects of quantum physics. This thread, however, will remain locked. Please contact myself or another mentor if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.
 
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