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I Regarding consciousness causing wavefunction collapse

  1. Jul 27, 2017 #1
    What are the experiments that disprove the idea that consciousness causes wavefunction collapse?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2017 #2

    Demystifier

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    There are no such experiments (despite the fact that a paper coauthored by my brother (who is a psychologist by education) claims the opposite).
     
  4. Jul 27, 2017 #3
    Is there any proof for the consciousness causes collapses idea?
     
  5. Jul 27, 2017 #4

    Demystifier

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  6. Jul 27, 2017 #5
    I believe this idea was entertained by a few in the very early days of QM and only for a short time, but the mythology persists.

    Cheers
     
  7. Jul 27, 2017 #6

    atyy

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    Does consciousness cause wave function collapse in Bohmian Mechanics?
     
  8. Jul 27, 2017 #7

    bhobba

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    Of course not. Its very much like solipsism - inherently unprovable. Even the reason for its introduction, which leads to all sorts of weird effects - is no longer is relevant. Its very backwater these days - like Lorentz Ether Theory is to relativity. You cant disprove it, but modern presentations of SR based on symmetry make it totally irrelevant.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
  9. Jul 28, 2017 #8
    But didn't the scientists conducted the double slit experiment without anyone recording the results, but with the detector on?
     
  10. Jul 28, 2017 #9

    Demystifier

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    No, why do you ask?
     
  11. Jul 28, 2017 #10

    Demystifier

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    Yes, but scientists didn't check whether detector detected anything when nobody was looking at it.
     
  12. Jul 28, 2017 #11

    vanhees71

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    Hm, but you can look later on the photoplate or (nowadays) the digitallly stored measurement data and check what the detector has registered. The investigated system only "cares" about what it's really interacting with, i.e., the detector and not with some "consciousness" (whatever that might be) looking at the result (maybe 100 years later)!
     
  13. Jul 28, 2017 #12

    Demystifier

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    Yes, but if you look later, you only know what is there later. You cannot know what was there before. You can only assume that it was there before, but you cannot prove that assumption by scientific method. You can "prove" it by using some philosophy, but philosophy is not science, right? :-p
     
  14. Jul 28, 2017 #13

    vanhees71

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    Now you got me ;-).
     
  15. Jul 28, 2017 #14

    atyy

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    In Bohmian Mechanics, the wave function of the universe does not collapse. Yet Bohmian Mechanics says that predictions obtained with collapse are correct. Since objectively the wave function of the universe does not collapse, I thought wave function collapse in Bohmian Mechanics is subjective (ie. requires consciousness).
     
  16. Jul 28, 2017 #15

    Demystifier

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    This is very much like saying that validity of Bayes formula for conditional probability requires consciousness. Would you say that Bayes formula requires consciousness?
     
  17. Jul 28, 2017 #16

    vanhees71

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    With an argument involving Bayes and his (purely mathematical) theorem nowadays you can argue for anything you like, including a huge pile of bovine excrements. SCNR :mad:
     
  18. Jul 28, 2017 #17

    Demystifier

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    How that works? I would also like to know that general powerful technique of argumentation based on Bayes. :biggrin:
     
  19. Jul 28, 2017 #18

    vanhees71

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    Well, you can, e.g., create a whole new philosophy "of it all" called "quantum Bayesianism".
     
  20. Jul 28, 2017 #19

    atyy

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    I'm not sure. My instinct is to say it depends.

    If interpreted in a frequentist sense, then Bayes's theorem does not require consciousness.

    If interpreted in a subjective Bayesian sense, then Bayes's theorem does require consciousness.

    I don't believe the objective Bayesian approach makes any sense.
     
  21. Jul 29, 2017 #20
    Surely no need to "create" since the name at least is already in use? E.g.

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/quantum-bayesian/

    https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0608190.pdf

    http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~ericc/SQF2014/slides/Ruediger Schack.pdf

    etc.

    I know about this only because it is one of many interpretations discussed in Michael Raymer's July 2017 book from Oxford U. Press, Quantum Physics: What Everyone Needs to Know.

    And certainly @atyy is correct when he says "If interpreted in a subjective Bayesian sense, then Bayes's theorem does require consciousness"; here's a syllogism from the last link above, a slide show put together by Schack:

    A quantum state determines probabilities through the Born rule.
    Probabilities are personal judgements of the agent who assigns them.
    HENCE: A quantum state is a personal judgement of the agent who assigns it.​
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
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