• Gnomon
    3.5k
    I did not say that. Ignore my evidence if you want, make up your own fantasies about little fairies dancing on the taiji, but don't misrepresent what I wrote. I always thought you were a little goofy, but I didn't think you were dishonest too.T Clark

    What evidence? You posted your opinion implying that the common Yin Yang symbol was used as input for the process of photographing entangled photons (not your literal words). I asked, "for what scientific purpose?" and you gave no response. I asked you to post a quote to support your nonsensical opinion, but you gave no response. Am I supposed to accept your non-expert opinion as evidence to support your own opinion? Talk about "dishonest". Show me the money (er, photon)! :smile:

    GOOFY SCIENTISTS TAKE A PICTURE OF A PICTURE AND CALL IT A PHOTON
    220px-Goofy_Duckipedia.png wpc2259ae6_06.png
  • T Clark
    13k


    Just stop lying about what I wrote and leave me out of this.
  • wonderer1
    1.5k
    You posted your opinion implying that the common Yin Yang symbol was used as input...Gnomon

    Have you looked at the original paper? (Which T Clark linked early in the thread.)

    I just took a look and the caption under the only picture of the Yin-Yang symbol says:

    a, Coincidence image of interference between a reference SPDC state and a state obtained by a pump beam with the shape of a Ying and Yang symbol (shown in the inset). The inset scale is the same as in the main plot. b, Reconstructed amplitude and phase structure of the image imprinted on the unknown pump.
  • flannel jesus
    736


    It appears to me that wonderer has made a very good case that the yin Yang symbol appeared in the output of the experiment because the yin Yang symbol was used as an input to the experiment. I think you've been just a little bit unfair, gnomon. Take a step back and consider the possibility that you misinterpreted what was going on.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    You posted your opinion implying that the common Yin Yang symbol was used as input... — Gnomon
    Have you looked at the original paper? (Which T Clark linked early in the thread.)
    I just took a look and the caption under the only picture of the Yin-Yang symbol says:
    a, Coincidence image of interference between a reference SPDC state and a state obtained by a pump beam with the shape of a Ying and Yang symbol (shown in the inset). The inset scale is the same as in the main plot. b, Reconstructed amplitude and phase structure of the image imprinted on the unknown pump.
    wonderer1
    Thanks for that information. I asked TC where he got the information to support his assertion that the Yin Yang image was both input & output, and he did not respond. I guess I was supposed to take his word for it. But he didn't state his qualifications as an expert on the subject.

    No, I didn't look at the original paper. I'm not qualified to interpret such technical data. For example, what is a "pump beam"? So, I was hoping someone else would. This confirms my suspicion that the Yin Yang symbol had nothing to do with the shape of entangled photons. There are lots of other images in the paper that also don't mean anything to me. So the published Yin Yang image seems to be a Red Herring*1. What does it reveal about entanglement? In what sense is the published image a "visualization of the wave function"? Can you enlighten me?

    seems to be accusing me of being a "gullible New Ager". But I expressed my skepticism in the OP. "The relevant question here : is the image a mere coincidence or a consonance?" Apparently, it's neither. Just an irrelevance. But it served the purpose of the OP : "A secondary question that might be illuminated : is this forum polarized along physics vs metaphysics, eastern vs western, science vs philosophy lines on an evocative topic like this?" TC seems to have established his polarized position on that question. :smile:


    *1. u]Red Herring[/u] : "a clue or piece of information that is, or is intended to be, misleading or distracting." ___Oxford
  • wonderer1
    1.5k
    Can you enlighten me?Gnomon

    No. The paper is too far over my head to grasp, without reading a lot more than the paper itself, and life is short.
  • flannel jesus
    736
    So the published Yin Yang image seems to be a Red Herring*1. What does it reveal about entanglement? In what sense is the published image a "visualization of the wave function"? Can you enlighten me?Gnomon

    Do not assume that just because you managed to misinterpret the meaning of it, that it was MEANT to be misinterpreted. You said yourself that you're not qualified to interpret the paper.

    I'm not qualified either, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would guess they were trying to use a shape - ANY shape, they just happened to choose yin Yang - to demonstrate some kind of stability of the measuring device or stability of a signal or something like that. "The input image remains legible in the output, so that means xyz".
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    Do not assume that just because you managed to misinterpret the meaning of it, that it was MEANT to be misinterpreted. You said yourself that you're not qualified to interpret the paper.flannel jesus
    I didn't "misinterpret the paper", and I didn't "interpret the paper", because I didn't read the technical paper. I did request that others, more qualified, would interpret the significance of the symbol relative to the experiment.

    The OP was based on the linked article that was reproduced by several other science publications. All have a big colorful Yin Yang image next to a brief description of a technique that was supposed to produce a "visualization of the wave function". And there was no indication that the YY image had nothing to do with photons or functions. I hope the articles were not "meant" to be misinterpreted. But the fact that they are misleading, led me to post the OP. What would you "interpret" if you saw the symbol and the quote below? :smile:

    PS___TC has portrayed me as a "gullible New Ager", who could, presumably due to hippie-flower-child beliefs, "manage" to misinterpret the juxtaposition of an apple & orange as symbols of Peace & Love. For the record : I am not now, nor have I ever been a hippie, or "New Ager". I will admit to being an amateur philosopher. And I do think the Yin Yang symbol represents a valid philosophical concept : Holism. I also think -- along with Schrödinger & Heisenberg -- that entanglement is literally Holistic (i.e. an integral System), in the sense that the parts (e.g. photons) are not particular until the system "collapses". But I don't interpret that scientific notion with any idealistic metaphysical moral. Anyway, it's all irrelevant to this thread about a misleading science article. Which has devolved into smarter-than-you condescension. :cool:

    wpc2259ae6_06.png
    Researchers at the University of Ottawa, . . . . recently demonstrated a novel technique that allows the visualization of the wave function of two entangled photons, the elementary particles that constitute light, in real-time.
    https://phys.org/news/2023-08-visualizing-mysterious-quantum-entanglement-photons.html

    Note --- Speaking of "collapse of wave function", how would you take a picture of Schrödinger's Cat when it's both dead and alive?

    shutterstock_227038018__1_.webp?fm=jpg&fl=progressive&w=330&h=216&fit=fill
  • flannel jesus
    736
    Note --- Speaking of "collapse of wave function", how would you take a picture of Schrödinger's Cat when it's both dead and alive?Gnomon

    You wouldn't. By the time you can take a picture of something, the quantum superposition has already decohered.

    It's good to see you've accepted the arbitrariness of the yin yang symbol in the context of this experiment.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    You wouldn't. By the time you can take a picture of something, the quantum superposition has already decohered.
    It's good to see you've accepted the arbitrariness of the yin yang symbol in the context of this experiment.
    flannel jesus
    I agree : picture-taking is an observation/intervention, that -- like silver & vampire -- is incompatible with mystery-shrouded superposition. And the irrational "arbitrariness" of the symbol/article juxtaposition is exactly why I started this thread. I was not trying to assert --- as some posters have assumed, and the quoted article seems to imply --- that Yin Yang is a "hard" scientific concept, instead of a "soft" philosophical conjecture.

    Instead, I was using this "arbitrary" association of symbol & science to ferret-out some diametrically-opposed worldviews on this forum. One way to define those clashing perspectives on reality is by labeling them as A> Classical/Deterministic or B> Quantum/Statistical. Ironically, my BothAnd philosophy straddles those opposite shores : Objective Realism & Subjective Idealism. The latter takes the idealizing Observer as an active component of Reality.

    I've recently been looking into Quantum Bayesianism (QBism)*1 as a way to make sense of these antagonistic views of what is Real, as opposed to Ideal. Just today, I found an article online that deals with QBism. On the question whether Quantum Superposition is real & objective (Classical Physics) or ideal & subjective (Statistical Physics), the author says: "Objective states . . . . are what classical physics is all about . . . . However, things are very different in quantum mechanics. Quantum states can be “superposed, meaning a particle can have many values of position and momentum at the same time." Hence, superposition of entangled photons is a statistical state, not a deterministic state. Quantum mechanics is unavoidably uncertain. And the interpretation of statistical averages is inherently subjective. Thus, the need for QB probabilities.

    The author proposes, what he calls a "radical conclusion", which agrees with my own understanding of the quantum scale foundation of Reality*2."Instead, quantum states are about our knowledge of the world. They are descriptions encoding our interactions with particles. QBism would say it’s not the particle’s state — it’s your state about the particle .QBism leads not with ontology — a story about what fundamentally exists independent of us — but with epistemology: a story about our information about the world. That change makes all the difference." {my bold} By "your state" he means a belief or conjecture about the future deposed state of the currently superposed particle.

    Classical Physics was fatalistic, in that its progress was rigidly determined --- according to Newton by God --- from the beginning of creation. But the QB author has a different idea : "The answer QBism produces is as radical as it is mundane. By turning away from an impossible (and paradoxical) God’s-eye view of the Universe, QBism puts human beings squarely in the middle of the scientific enterprise". So, our universe is determined by stable Laws of Nature, but it is indeterminate in the degrees of freedom allowed by the uncertain/statistical nature of Quantum Nature. Both top-down determined by law, and bottom-up arbitrary & unrestrained by selfish & willful agents. :smile:

    PS___This may sound off-topic, but since it's my topic, it's right on course. Do you find human arbitrariness compatible with lawful Science?


    *1. QBism : The most radical interpretation of quantum mechanics ever :
    "offers a radical interpretation of quantum physics, suggesting that quantum states are not objective realities."
    https://bigthink.com/13-8/qbism-quantum-physics/
    Note --- The author, "Adam Frank, is an American physicist, astronomer, and writer. His scientific research has focused on computational astrophysics with an emphasis on star formation and late stages of stellar evolution. His work includes studies of exoplanet atmospheres and astrobiology". ___Wikipedia

    *2. Foundation of Reality :
    The ancient fundamental particle was the Atom : "hard, massy & solid". But the classical search for that particular Holy Grail has passed through several soft bottoms : aggregate molecules, Rutherford/Bohr atom, Electrons, Photons, Quarks. Yet, even ghostly mathematical quarks are defined in six delicious flavors, which seem to indicate that even the Quark is not the essential particle of reality. At the moment the physical foundation of physics is open to question.

  • jgill
    3.5k
    My best friend, who passed away seven years ago, was a physics major up until the required introductory senior level course in quantum theory. He switched to mathematics and retired a fellow professor. A very bright guy - certainly smarter than me - but math made more sense at the time, easier to understand.

    I think dropping a physics major at this crucial point of transition in thinking happens fairly frequently. Some become engineers, a profession using physics that moves along Newtonian lines. Well, maybe not so much electrical engineers.

    It's a shame the forum doesn't have quantum physicists who might elucidate better than philosophical minded novices. But this is not a physics forum. Our best is not good enough.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    ↪Gnomon
    My best friend, who passed away seven years ago, was a physics major up until the required introductory senior level course in quantum theory. He switched to mathematics and retired a fellow professor. A very bright guy - certainly smarter than me - but math made more sense at the time, easier to understand.

    I think dropping a physics major at this crucial point of transition in thinking happens fairly frequently. Some become engineers, a profession using physics that moves along Newtonian lines. Well, maybe not so much electrical engineers.

    It's a shame the forum doesn't have quantum physicists who might elucidate better than philosophical minded novices. But this is not a physics forum. Our best is not good enough.
    jgill
    After Quantum Physics introduced Uncertainty into Science, and substituted Virtual Particles for Real Atoms, I suspect that quite a few disillusioned undergrads dropped-out of their physics programs. The most famous expression of the "switch" you noted is Feyman's "shut-up and calculate" quip*1. Since then, physics divided into large teams of experimental scientists (atom smashers) and a few individual philosophical (theoretical) scientists. But both groups are "chasing rainbows" that are more & more elusive. Also, the empiricists are typically distrustful of un-tethered Philosophical Reasoning for epistemological knowledge of Material Reality.

    Theoretical Physicists are mostly mathematicians*2 instead of empiricists. And what they are exploring is the Logical Structure of Reality, not the Material Stuff of classical physics. But the pioneers of Quantum Theory were primarily classically-trained empirical-lab-laboring scientists, who were baffled when their real-world experiments returned weird results. Instead of just shaking their heads, and "doing the math", several turned to Eastern philosophy for clues to the mysteries of Reality's foundation. Perhaps they concluded, as I have, that a material world with mental observers is both Real and Ideal. Moreover, Quantum Superposition is not just Uncertain, it is inconceivably Complex*3.

    Since I am neither a Physicist nor a Mathematician, I turn to the experts for information about the non-classical under-pinnings of Reality. But, although I think it's a Holistic/Statistical state, I don't rely on New Age gurus to explain the nuts & bolts & symbolism of Quantum Superposition. Speaking of quantum experts, I just ordered a copy of Heisenberg's 1958 book : Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science. He was already doing the math, but saw a need for philosophical generalizations to make sense of Quantum non-sensical specifications. What do you think he would make of the juxtaposition of Photon photography and Yin Yang symbol? :smile:


    *1. Shut-up and Calculate :
    N. David Mermin coined the phrase "Shut up and calculate!" to summarize Copenhagen-type views, a saying often misattributed to Richard Feynman and which Mermin later found insufficiently nuanced
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_interpretation

    *2. Theoretical Physicists today :
    Hawking, Higgs, Guth, Smolin, Weinberg, Penrose, Greene
    https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=theoretical+physicists+today

    *3. Superposition Complexity :
    The principle of quantum superposition states that if a physical system may be in one of many configurations—arrangements of particles or fields—then the most general state is a combination of all of these possibilities, where the amount in each configuration is specified by a complex number.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_superposition

    HOLISTIC SCIENCE : Holism in science, holistic science, or methodological holism is an approach to research that emphasizes the study of complex systems. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holism_in_science
    wpc2259ae6_06.png
    SYSTEMS THEORY : Systems theory is the transdisciplinary study of complex systems, i.e. cohesive groups of interrelated, interdependent components that can be natural or human-made ___Wiki
    Systems%20Theory%20Symbol%20complexity.jpg

  • jgill
    3.5k
    Here's a quick look at ground zero in quantum studies by Mark John Fernee for Quora:

    Quantum mechanics is the governing theory. It's fundamental quality is that a system can be described by a vector in an abstract space, called a Hilbert space. The Hilbert space is the space of all possible measurement outcomes, so it is distinct from 3D space that describes the position of objects. For instance, the Hilbert space can be, and often is, infinite dimensional. A vector in Hilbert space has complex-valued coefficients and must be normalised to unity length. For an infinite dimensional space it must be square integrable.

    Physical observables are described by hermitean matrices that act on the Hilbert space vector such that measurement outcomes are real-valued. The vector in Hilbert space evolves according to rotations induced by various interactions described in the Hamiltonian operator (or Lagrangian density). This is called unitary evolution, as the vector is just rotated preserving the normalisation.
    Following a measurement, the Hilbert space vector is projected onto the measurement outcome. This evolution is considered non-unitary, as it is not a smooth rotation, but a projection.
    So that is the underlying theory of quantum physics.

    For quantum mechanics, we consider particles as immutable with various properties. This restricts the possible evolution of the associated Hilbert space. However, for fundamental particle physics, the particles appear to be transmutable. Therefore, the theory required a mechanism to allow for this.
    The first transmutable particle was the photon. The quantum theory of the electromagnetic field identified a set of non-hermitian operators that corresponded to the creation and destruction of photons as energy quanta in the electromagnetic field. This was the first field theory. The key to this theory was the mapping of the electromagnetic field to the quantum simple harmonic oscillator in order to identify quantum operators that satisfy the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. These field modes can be used to construct any field configuration using the superposition principle according to the Fourier decomposition of the field. This opened the gates to modern quantum field theories. Other fields were introduced that gave rise to particles as excitations of the field in a way analogous to the role of the photon in the electromagnetic field.

    From here is gets complicated as various symmetries need to be satisfied and self-interaction terms need to be dealt with. However, the theory is essentially the same, just with more widgets added to satisfy the properties observed in experiments. The Hilbert space is still there. Unitary evolution is still there. Hermitean operators are still there. The measurement procedure is still there.

    With particle physics, one focusses more on the scattering terms in the Hamiltonian (or Lagrangian density). These are generally expanded as a perturbation series with the high order terms truncated. This allows the calculation of scattering cross sections that are applicable to particle physics experiments.

    For math, one starts with calculus, then real and complex analysis, then functional analysis for Hilbert spaces, etc.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    Here's a quick look at ground zero in quantum studies by Mark John Fernee for Quora:jgill
    Thanks for that quickie quantum update. I assume the article is interesting to Theoretical/Mathematical Physicists. But, can you tell me, in a few jargon-free words, what that account means -- in the real world -- to a non-mathematical layman, or to an atom-smashing CERN physicist, or to a matter-molding Chemist?

    The Quora excerpt refers to "an abstract space, called a Hilbert space". In the Medium Blog*1, the author says : "Space in “Hilbert Space”, is a mathematical construct and not the “space” which we normally understand". Not the factual “space” which we normally know as a place for real things. Am I correct to say that as a "mathematical construct" it's not a Real physical space -- housing material objects -- but an Imaginary metaphysical space -- containing non-euclidean "inner products" (mathematical objects)? If so, what significance does it have for a pragmatic non-mathematician? Or for an empirical physicist?

    In Werner Heisenberg's Physics and Philosophy, he describes the revolutionary transition from 17th century Classical physics, to 20th century Quantum physics. He labels the before & after as "old physics" and "new physics". In David Lindley's Introduction, he says "in the early 1920s, the old quantum theory . . . . had become over-elaborate and unwieldy". Which sounds like descriptions of a previous epochal change in philosophical worldview, from Ptolemaic epicycles to Copernican models of the universe.

    Ironically, it was pragmatic Heisenberg, who proposed "that one should write down the mechanical laws not as equations for the positions and velocities of the electrons, but as equations for the frequencies and amplitudes of the Fourier expansion". Thus began the transformation of physics from manipulating Matter to imagining Mathematical constructs. And that change of attitude marked the transition of "Physics" from observable Aristotelian phusis (corporal Nature) to imaginary Quantum mathematos (abstract knowledge).

    Heisenberg said it's a question of translation : "the conventional language of physics is fashioned according to the world we experience . . . . the quantum world is not a world of waves and particles . . . . the thing measured and the thing doing the measurement are inextricably intertwined". Thus, in the New Physics, Real and Ideal have become entangled, just as illustrated in the Yin Yang symbol. :smile:


    *1. What is a Hilbert Space? :
    In this blog, I aim to develop a comprehensive understanding of hilbert spaces cutting through the mathematical jargon.
    https://medium.com/@brcsomnath/hilbert-space-7a36e3badac2
  • Moliere
    3.9k


    That's remarkably clear.

    I've struggled to put together a QM primer before only to put it aside because it's hard to even understand, and so even harder to simplify. Plus the class I took was explicitly taught in the Copenhagen interpretation, and a lot of the discussions around here try to differentiate between the interpretations and, at least as I learned it, there wasn't really a way to differentiate between the interpretations. (though maybe that's changing now)

    For chemists you're just expected to pick up the math along with the class :D. And then, to top it off, I went biochem since it seemed more employable -- and sometimes QM matters there, but not often. A rough hand-wavey understanding, or some of the simpler technically not true theories, of bonding are adequate for the predictions there.
  • jgill
    3.5k
    *1. What is a Hilbert Space? :
    In this blog, I aim to develop a comprehensive understanding of hilbert spaces cutting through the mathematical jargon.
    Gnomon

    That's nicely done. I suppose my point is that QM is all sophisticated mathematics and equally sophisticated experimental processes.

    Plus the class I took was explicitly taught in the Copenhagen interpretation, and a lot of the discussions around here try to differentiate between the interpretations and, at least as I learned it, there wasn't really a way to differentiate between the interpretationsMoliere

    :up:
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    That's nicely done. I suppose my point is that QM is all sophisticated mathematics and equally sophisticated experimental processes.jgill
    Yes. That seems to be the point that Heisenberg was making when he said " . . . . it's a question of translation : the conventional language of physics is fashioned according to the world we experience". But most of us don't directly experience the world on the subatomic level. So, it's an abstruse language for sophisticated initiates into the mysteries of the foundations of Reality. And easily misconstrued*1. The current issue (157) of Philosophy Now magazine has an article about Solving The Mystery of Mathematics. For the purposes of this article, the author -- Jared Warren -- rejects the Ideal definition of math as presented by Plato, and also the Real definition of math as "like the physics of this reality". Instead, he prefers a linguistic definition : "this is the idea that mathematical truths are a byproduct of our linguistic conventions".

    I like to think that pure & embodied & semantic notions of Math are all true in some contexts. Yet, like some of the Quantum scale objects of Physics, he notes that "mathematical objects : numbers, points, sets, functions, groups . . . These are non-physical". Which, for philosophical purposes, makes them Meta-physical*2 (mental concepts). He adds "Mathematical objects are not out there in any sense of the term". Moreover, "clearly, our mathematical knowledge comes to us in special ways. No experiments are performed . . . . no data catalogued, no observations made." We know math by reason (inference), not by sensory experience. By the same token, current theoretical Physics experiments are not done in a laboratory, but in a mind. For example, Einstein was once asked where his laboratory was, and he simply held up a pencil.

    Modern quantum-scale Physics, unlike Classical Physics, is not mechanical, with direct transfer of force from cog to cog. It is instead, non-local, and involves "spooky action at a distance". In place of hard, massy Atoms, it describes the fundamental object as a Quantum Field*3, not a cloud of physical particles, but intangible mathematical Points, which are imaginary objects in hypothetical space. And it's these spooky improvised definitions that the quantum pioneers found to be weird.

    So, Warren focuses, not on the physical substance of physics, but on the language of Math that tends to enshroud its Ontological & Epistemology essence in abstruse technical dialects. He refers to his approach to physics as Conventionalism (based on or in accordance with what is generally done or believed). He notes that "our conventional rules for using mathematical terms like "number', 'zero', 'plus', "set" 'functions", etc, determine our mathematical concepts. Conventional rules are also the source of mathematical truth." Therefore, he concludes : "Mathematics is mysterious. To solve the mystery we must fit mathematical practices into a reasonable picture of the world." {my bold}

    That's what the quantum pioneers, like Heisenberg & Schrödinger, tried to do, when they adopted some Eastern cultural concepts --- like "holism", non-separability", "interconnection" --- to describe the strange entangled behavior of subatomic particles. Some of them transferred such other-worldly concepts into their social world to support religious & mystical intuitions. Therefore, as Heisenberg warned : "it's a question of translation". Some translate quantum reality as Fields of non-spatial mathematical points, while others prefer ghosts of spiritual ectoplasm. Who's to say which conventional translation is True or False? Show me the evidence! :smile:

    PS___ This post is not trying to prove anything. Just something to think about, when one man's conventional language & beliefs conflicts with another's. It's not Physics, just Philosophy.


    *1. Quantum Mysticism :
    "A signature feature of quantum mysticism is its misappropriation of physics terminology in a wider, every-day context"
    "it draws upon "coincidental similarities of language rather than genuine connections" to quantum mechanics."
    Note --- Mystical entities (ghosts) are just as "reasonable" to some people, as Mathematical entities (quarks) are to others. Each community has its own conventional words & ideas.

    *2. Meta-Physical : not supernatural, but merely non-physical, i.e. mental phenomena
    Derived from the Greek meta ta physika ("after the notes about nature"); referring to an idea, doctrine, or posited reality outside of human sense perception. In modern philosophical terminology, metaphysics refers to the studies of what cannot be reached through objective studies of material reality.
    https://www.pbs.org/engloss/metaph-body.html
    Note --- In modern Western culture, we are comfortable with the concept of invisible Photons & Electrons causing things to appear and to move, but even with sophisticated technology, we never directly sense the entities referred to by those words.

    *3. Quantum Field :
    According to our best laws of physics, the fundamental building blocks of Nature are not discrete particles at all. Instead they are continuous fluid-like substances, spread throughout all of space. We call these objects fields. The most familiar examples of fields are the electric and magnetic field.
    https://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/tong/whatisqft.html
    Note --- Doesn't that sound ghostly?
  • jgill
    3.5k
    Einstein was once asked where his laboratory was, and he simply held up a pencil.Gnomon

    :cool: Nice.

    "this is the idea that mathematical truths are a byproduct of our linguistic conventions".Gnomon

    The interplay is certainly interesting.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    "this is the idea that mathematical truths are a byproduct of our linguistic conventions". — Gnomon
    The interplay is certainly interesting.
    jgill
    Yes. I think you could safely say that Mathematics is a mental philosophical language that is used by Science to describe it's sensory observations precisely. Ancient math concepts were originally devised by desert civilizations -- Egyptians & Mesopotamians -- in order to understand why the stars (gods?) formed patterns that reminded men of terrestrial things & events : Astrology. Later, Greek logicians (e.g Euclid), with cloudier skies, refined geometry to make it more abstract and less subject to variable interpretations : Astronomy.

    Ironically, modern Physics has been transformed from a Classical Empirical science into a more Philosophical Interpretive science. I continue to read Heisenberg's book, as he describes the "history of quantum theory". After noting some of the complexities & contradictions & paradoxes that the Q pioneers had to deal with, he noted : "Bohr was well aware of the fact that the quantum conditions spoil in some way the consistency of Newtonian mechanics". He went on to suggest that "asking the right questions is frequently more than halfway to a solution of the problem". Then he addressed some of those philosophical "how" & "why" questions : "How could it be that the same radiation that produces interference patterns, and therefore must consist of waves, also produces the photoelectric effect, and therefore must consist of moving particles?" Their compromise solution was not to choose True/False or Either/Or, but to accept that both of those logically incompatible observations must be true, depending on the context. And that productive Quantum holism led me to my BothAnd search for a middle ground on contentious questions.

    The quantum pioneers in Europe were forced by the paradoxical evidence to engage in a series of philosophical arguments over many years. Heisenberg noted that they gradually became "accustomed to these difficulties". Then he summed it up as "this was not sufficient to form a consistent general picture of what happens in a quantum process, but it changed the minds of the physicists in such a way that they somehow got into the spirit of quantum theory". The "spirit of quantum theory" is an attitude of compromise : to meet in the middle. That's why the Copenhagen Interpretation was called a "compromise" or "accord", to allow squabbling practitioners with different inter-pretations to "shut-up and calculate"*1. Perhaps that's what you meant by inter-play.

    Heisenberg also offered his "impression that Bohr's theory gave a qualitative but not a quantitative description of what happens inside the atom"*2. Such a BothAnd compromise between flakey Philosophy and factual Physics did not go down smoothly for those with strong opposing beliefs. But it did allow all parties to "shut-up" about their incompatible opinions, and get-on with their calculations. Ironically, I get the strong impression that some posters on The Philosophy Forum are not willing to compromise their Black/White & True/False beliefs for the sake of philosophical accord. They won't accept that New Age interpretations of Quantum Physics are philosophical, and not subject to the same numerical criteria as Classical Mechanics. For example, Holistic Philosophical opinions are not in the same game as Reductive Scientific facts. So, instead of annihilating each other, they can offset each other's weaknesses, to form a complete system of knowledge, as the Yin/Yang symbol suggests. :smile:

    PS__Absolute uncompromising Rules require perfect knowledge. For the rest of us, accommodation & adaptation is necessary for survival of a still-evolving species.

    *1. Philosophical Physics :
    The Copenhagen interpretation is a collection of views about the meaning of quantum mechanics,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_interpretation

    *2. Qualia vs Quanta :
    A Quantitative (mathematical) description provides abstract numerical values.
    A Qualitative (philosophical) interpretation produces meaningful human values.

    *3. Both/And Principle :
    My coinage for the holistic principle of Complementarity, as illustrated in the Yin/Yang symbol. Opposing or contrasting concepts are always part of a greater whole. Conflicts between parts can be reconciled or harmonized by putting them into the context of a whole system.
    https://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page10.html

    *4. BothAnd Dilemma :
    Binary human nature – animal motives & rational choices – allows us to navigate a course between the Sirens of Good and the rocky shoals of Evil. But long experience indicates that the least bad solution and the safest good option are usually in the middle range of moderation between extremes.
    Fixed Rules for Life can never fit all situations. But Wise Character adapts to changing conditions.
    There is no perfect answer to these common dilemmas :

    When to be . . .
    • General vs Specific
    • Figurative vs Literal
    • Typical vs Targeted
    • Synthetical vs Analytical
    • Holistic vs Particular

    When to prefer . . .
    • Ideal vs Real
    • Left vs Right
    • Liberal vs Conservative
    • Individualism vs Tribalism
    • Reasons vs Feelings
    • Self vs Others

    The BothAnd principle endorses general Wisdom instead of specific Rules.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    The interplay is certainly interesting.jgill
    JG, I'm not picking on you by posting long dissertations to your name. It's just that I'm on a roll here, expanding the topic of Quantum Entanglement is Holistic. And your math background may allow you to hold apparent paradoxes (counterintuitive results) in your mind, while keeping an open mind --- pax . For example, math has Paradoxes of infinity‎ ; of set theory‎ ; Probability theory : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Mathematical_paradoxes . But those "non-commutative" sub-sets don't invalidate the consistency of mathematics in general. Note --- I'm using that term in an unconventional way.

    A new forum post on the topic of Explaining Bell violations from a statistical / stochastic quantum interpretation seems to be parallel to this thread, although the lines may never meet :
    says, "even though realism is given up in a way compatible with the requirements of Bell's theorem*1, particles can still retain their definite properties as individuals in a realist way". responded with the "conclusion that the violation is strictly an artifact of the statistics. That is, it occurs in the aggregate but not identifiably for any individual". Taken together, these statements seem to be talking about an apparent BothAnd paradox of Statistical Holism and Sensory Particularism as complementary truths of both Ideality and Reality. In Quantum theory the "aggregate" is a statistical (holistic) value, while an "individual" property is the value of a single particle of matter/energy.

    Fortunately, as philosophers and mathematicians, we can hold Holistic notions (Fields) & Reductive concepts (Particles) as aspects of a complete / comprehensive set : the Logical / Physical Universe. I can imagine Quantum Entanglement as a Holistic-Statistical (non-local) state of being -- with unknowable properties --- which is also compatible with the Classical Mechanics concept of interacting (local) individuals -- with properties of position & momentum. One way to interpret that paradox is to define "Statistics" as an Ideal (Potential ; future) state, and Particles as Real (Actual ; now) states*2.

    All of this is just a long way to say, in philosophical terminology, that "quantum entanglement is holistic". Therefore, using the Yin/Yang symbol --- as a graphic illustration (not an actual photograph) of entangled photons --- is appropriate. Note that your term "interplay" occurs in the dictionary definition below*3. :smile:



    *1. Bell's theorem shows that no theory that satisfies the conditions imposed can reproduce the probabilistic predictions of quantum mechanics under all circumstances.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/bell-theorem/

    *2. Is statistics "real" math? :
    The way I see it statistics is a practice of expressing data recorded from observations of some kinds of events, so that one may be able to potentially use these expressions to make inferences about future events, or probability statements. Whereas other math, calculus for instance, deals with measurable parameters which can be used to find definite answers.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/math/comments/46tulr/is_statistics_real_math/
    Note --- Another way to answer that question is to say that "Statistics is Philosophy with numbers". It doesn't produce here & now hard facts, but projections into the future.

    *3. Yin Yang : philosophical meaning
    the two complementary forces that make up all aspects and phenomena of life. . . .
    The two are both said to proceed from the Great Ultimate (taiji), their interplay on one another (as one increases the other decreases) being a description of the actual process of the universe and all that is in it. In harmony, the two are depicted as the light and dark halves of a circle.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/yinyang

    SIDE NOTE : Reality is a whole System ; Ideality is particular Categories
    Pinter begins by noting that the categories by which we parse the world are projected onto the field of view, not detected out there in the world. “Contrary to commonsense realism, the physical world has no pre-existing segmentation”. So, A> the Spaces separating things, and B> the Connections binding things together, and C>the Borders defining composite objects are drawn by the brain in order to make sense of random energy inputs.
    http://bothandblog8.enformationism.info/page10.html
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