Quantum theory and the implications on human life

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DevilsAvocado
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@atyy & Demystifier: I have posted my replies in the more proper thread for this discussion (hope this is okay), my answer will be in post #9 in this thread:

How does the pilot wave theory explain the double slit experiment?
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=732604
 
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DevilsAvocado
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@.Scott: I'm sorry, but I'm short of time today... I have to come back later/tomorrow.
 
  • #28
DevilsAvocado
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I was not arguing for either determinism or the lack of determinism. I was only noting that Heisenberg uncertainty does not imply a lack of determinism.
Okay, but isn't it just a little bit frustrating to never be able to nail down those little bast*rds? :smile:

I have no evidence either way, but I would argue for determinism on two grounds:
1) The scientific method starts with a hypothetical model that can be tested. Introducing a model that simply asserts that the results are truly random, with no cause what-so-ever, rails against the common scientific attitude and practice.
And others would prefer Occam's razor in favor of gazillion forked universes or heavy deterministic 'overcoats' without any experimental verification whatsoever...

When I wrote "as random", I was thinking of using QM to generate a very long binary random string - where the measurement of randomness would be the ability to find ways of reliably compressing the binary string. If WinZip can compress it, it isn't random.
Okay... maybe I'm misinterpreting... you are not claiming that WinZip has the capacity to refute QM, right?? :uhh:

(Even though it would be pretty cool to have a hacker receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics! :biggrin:)

I agree - but there's some confusion here. In a double slit experiment, we usually never find out which way the electron went - because it didn't take any specific path. If we ever (before or after the experiment) identify which way the electron traveled, it becomes a classical experiment.
Agreed! :thumbs:

It's actually pretty tricky to pose the question you intended to ask. What you're asking (approximately) is whether we will ever be able to predict which detector will be struck when two detectors are placed so that each one is obstructing one of the slits. My answer is, assuming the experiment is set up correctly, it should be theoretically impossible for us to collect enough information to make predictions better than random guessing.
Agreed!

But to understand why the question is still not posed correctly, imagine that we have a fully entangled duplicate of the system. It should act exactly as our original system and provide a method for predicting the results - or would it?
Nope, entanglement and interference don't party together.

In any case, if a method was found to make the prediction, the act of collecting the data on which the prediction is to be based would drive the electron to the predicted slit and, if the detectors are removed, would spoil the interference pattern.
Yup! This is the same conclusion Richard Feynman makes, and he is famous for always hitting the right knobs! :wink:
 

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