Category Archives: popsci

latest on killing copenhagen interpretation via fluid dynamics

⭐ ❗ 💡 😎 😮 ❤ hi all. bohr was transfixed by so-called "complementarity"; its said schroedingers cat is both alive and dead, and curiosity killed the cat. wikipedia states[n6]

In the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, the wave function is the most complete description that can be given of a physical system.

but wait, if that is against inquiring deeper, isnt that nearly an anti-curiosity-investigation-research position/ pov? and isnt anti-curiosity-investigation-research nearly anti-science? 😮

copenhagen interpretation is sometimes referred to as the shut up and calculate ideology by questioners/ challengers/ critics in a statement originating with one of them, Mermin, an adept popsci writer and fan of Bells work. here is a famous quote that sounds like a near restatement of the copenhagen interpretation by Feynman:

Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, “But how can it be like that?” because you will get “down the drain”, into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.

I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.

now how about a somewhat radical quote/ response from Daniel Sank, Phd working for Google QM labs?

The other day someone from the WSJ asked me to explain why quantum mechanics is weird.

I went off on a rather well-reasoned and carefully articulated rant about how it’s not weird and that people only say that to sound cool.

I even went so far as to say that Feynman’s famous statement that {anyone who thinks they understand quantum mechanics is wrong} is destructive, stupid, and should not be repeated.

whoa, strong words there! however maybe somewhat unexpectedly, both somewhat agree/ disagree! yet, alas, somehow think DS is not really intending to challenge the copenhagen interpretation with his dramatic excoriation of feynman!* DS is also on the (chat) record as averse to/ strongly rejecting “alternative interpretations”. which to me is not really scientific, where to me conceptual evolution/ scientific progress inherently entails/ involves never stopping/ ceasing questioning how can it be like that?

oh, coincidentally right around writing all this, just ran into another striking quote by John Rennie a very high ranking member of physics stack exchange on the “1st Law,” with high ranking mod ACuriousMind immediately agreeing:

no physicist shall discuss interpretations of quantum mechanics or by inaction allow interpretations of quantum mechanics to be discussed.

lol and now this seems to reach/ degenerate to the absurd levels of Epimenides paradox when one asks the simple question, are Bohr/ Heisenberg, the founders of the Copenhagen interpretation, physicists? …so is this physics or fight club? 😮 o_O 🙄

* further search jujitsu by me, managed to turn up another striking quote by DS expressly rejecting Copenhagen interpretation… more strong words!

Listen to me very closely: I am a quantum computing professional and I think the Copenhagen interpretation is not even self-consistent and therefore entirely inadmissible as a theory of Nature.

and to finish on a different note, think this captures something relevant/ accurate/ typically unspoken “between the lines” by mod ACuriousMind, a sort of “non-interpretation” approach at least )( admitted openly/ candidly/ honestly:

Of those named, Copenhagen is the most popular, but my impression is that a significant number of people actually doing quantum physics every day share my personal disdain for all the squabbles around “interpretations”.

(so then, bottom line/ in conclusion… Copenhagen as that which shall not be named? aka scientific omerta, “code of silence”) 😳 😮 🙄

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

have been collecting physics links on a diverse set of topics that are not unified yet but think will someday be unified. the general area is now sometimes known as Pilot Wave Hydrodynamics (PWH) also aka/ known as “oil drop dynamics experiments”. the Bohmian pilot wave was speculated on for many decades, and soliton theory combined with new experimental findings has given rise to a new reality, science, and growing research area/ program/ paradigm! but it exists alongside in a tension right now with “standard” quantum mechanics.

the stage has been set! its two large plates shearing against each other. when will the inevitable top/ pivotal showdown/ confrontation/ conflict/ earthquake occur? think its just a matter of time! (admittedly 1 is far much smaller than the other right now, but relatively shortly, predict that will flip-flop.) my feeling/ estimate/ prediction is there is at least 1 nobel to be won in the next 5-10 yrs in this area, and several in store over several decades!* signifying/ corresponding with an imminent genuine physics paradigm shift/ revolution in the 21st century at least on the scale of QM in the 20th.

* 😳 o_O (note, however, some fineprint/ hedging/ reality check on this superficially bold-appearing claim! nobels are clearly not comprehensive/ thorough/ totally evenhanded, eg Einstein did not win one for relativity! also, they are often awarded up to decades after the date of the actual accomplishment! therefore to thoroughly invalidate the claim might take decades!)

would like to write a comprehensive survey based on several years of juicy links but thats a herculean task. even just collecting/ writing up the latest batch is a formidable task. these are some of the big highlights for me.

there are a lot of boundary-pushing experiments in qm lately.[a]

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norbert blum P vs NP attack goes CYBER-SCIENCE-VIRAL!

⭐ 💡 ❗ 😀 😎 ❤ hi all! want to write a lot on this, have all kinds of impressions and things to say on one of my favorite topics in the world for 2½ decades now and which this blog is partly dedicated to, but am starting out by just collecting some links vacuumed up mostly today for others to check out, the top locations for commentary. unf there is not really a key/ central place so far where all the action is happening. will be adding to this post as time goes on. its very hard to figure out when to time a post wrt very fast moving developments like this, but my trigger just hit mostly right after RJLipton[a10] blogged about it. oh yeah, that comment by gowers that “I think it may reach the level where the experts feel that it needs to be checked” is highly triggering for me too (referring ofc to himself in 3rd person, maybe being more than a bit )( coy about this— doncha just love hardcore mathematicians! which reminds me of the joke about shoelaces…) … oh and then theres also fortnow who literally wrote the book on it! (oh yeah wrt that theres this by RJL too!) 😛

it looks like the Norbert Blum paper[a14][a15] basically went “pop/ scientific viral” today or so probably after mentions on Reddit[a8][a9] and Hacker News.[a11] of the experts Trevisan[a1] was the first to wager a reaction along with some curious onlookers like Baez[a2] and verging-on-jester-or-gadfly-or-even-troll Motl[a5] who along with some mild conspiracy theory about CS research(ers) (lol!) says, wrt the #1 top problem in TCS…

Except that unlike the case of string theory, there exists absolutely no rational evidence that there exists something stunning waiting to be discovered.

@#$% 😡 👿 ❗ whoa, fighting words and/ or near-sacrilege there! excuse me, what is “stunning” is that the problem with $1M prize over 1½ decade has eluded/ stymied/ thwarted the worlds greatest scientific minds for almost ½ century now! and the proof either way, in whatever shape or form, will be assuredly stunning to anyone who isnt jaded or a nihilist! hey physics bozo! think of a great experiment that guaranteed leads to an extraordinary answer either way! arent there any examples like that in your field anyway? or is maybe someone looking a little envious over there? or out of the loop or maybe dont even know how to flirt at all? :mrgreen:

the TCS stackexchange post by a n00b newbie (who didnt know enough to not ask! hows that for “zen beginners mind”?) is now up to 136-4 votes and 28K hits (thursday eve 8/17).[a3] (joy that the lame heavyhanded/ constricting/ dictatorial policy of the self-appointed cyber spoilsports and partypoopers also long criticized here in this blog, is overruled by striking mass opposition!) that post slipped my radar for a few days! found the paper on the 1st day (monday this wk) but thought it might stay “unviral” (you know, like those killer viruses locked in the… thawing… arctic, right?) based esp on the last Hauptmann attempt.[a12][a13]

discovered the big commotion today via reddit myself and spent excited hours poking through sites! but my hits on the Hauptmann blog post had been creeping/ climbing up massively all week, merely from google searches (many from germany), and figured it was due to questions on the Blum attempt. turns out theyre both profs at the same university! (Bonn/ Germany) pardon me but wtf?!?… some kind of story there eh? are any reporters listening?

cyberspace is such a joy sometimes, in my quasi-bipolar days, mostly-sometimes seemingly very flat for days, weeks, months, even years at a time, this is a massive manic spike for me… the adrenalin is flowing! didnt sleep as well this week! there is so much cybersynchronicity to this, must admit, its a very rare event, am myself (and defensively, some others are too) having a bit of a mini-cyber-orgasm so far… 💡 😮 o_O 🙄 ❗

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google gender/ diversity memo firestorm, other tech+gender stuff

hi all. what a firestorm this week. james Damore got fired over his memo analyzing gender differences at google, citing scientific research into evolutionary psychology. theres so much media froth on this feel sure that it will continue into next week, but my bookmarks runneth over at this point. “triggered”! like the essay itself: touched a nerve….

this comes at a very bad time for Google which was already under investigation for hiring balances by the US labor dept[a23] and female engineers are considering a class action lawsuit.[a14][a15] looks from here like Google is under pressure from multiple/ all sides/ fronts, maybe in a catch22/ no-win situation wrt this issue. aka a lightning rod, just like damore himself! its turned into a black eye/ PR nightmare for everyone involved…

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Mirzakhani math superwoman 1977-2017

205EAEF2-F2D9-4809-87A5-4AA8A211C433-641-0000007822AA4645😦 😥 ❤ a few years ago Mirzakhani was credited in this blog with her striking bolt-from-the-blue achievement, and now its with major regret to write this “postscript” in this case also a “postmortem”. (“bolt from the blue” is a turn of phrase used by Heisenberg to describe the Einstein EPR1935 paper and Bohrs response to it, which historical echo seems somewhat fitting/ apt here. coincidentally, it just now occurs to me, Turings amazing paper introducing or even “solving” the undecidability problem was released one year later in 1936. two problems that have been particular extreme focii of attn for me over the years, and is there maybe some deeper resonance that could be observed beyond superficial connections?)

ironic or a bit eerie that Mirzakhani died at age 40, exactly the cutoff age for the fields medal, a topnotch prize with a rare age limit (over the years, not without some element of professional/ expert questioning verging on controversy). on the other hand esp in “winner take all capitalism”, the golden rule is he who has the gold, makes the rules…

have long thought the fields medal prize value ought to be much higher. its status is far higher than the numerical reward in dollars. ($15K, ~1.5% of a Nobel despite being called the “Nobel of mathematics” or ~0.5% of the Millenium prize won by her cohort Tao [a8]—who btw apparently still has said absolutely nothing about his award(s) in all his copious blogging and advice pages and elsewhere!)… but maybe the comparatively micro-money-prize is fitting for mathematicians who tend to profess to be unmotivated by material rewards? or maybe better to avoid such “calculations”? 😮 🙄

(brief tangent, inserting prize trivia or nontrivia depending on your pov, am reminded some of the TCS $5k Godel and Knuth prizes. extremely prestigious, rather tiny by Trumpian standards. another interesting case study is the Turing prize which was apparently unfunded for ~¼ century, was $¼ million ($250K) for ~½ decade, and went to $1M the same year Mirzakhani won, 2014. yeah as iconoclast Kary Mullis observed, prize money awards are one of the most irrational things around… near miss with Nobel himself, long story…)

am not familiar with Mirzakhanis work in particular but the identification of it as “science fiction mathematics” is personally meaningful/ delightful (have myself admittedly consumed vast quantities in written/ visual/ hollywood form of the literary genre, no intention of pulling/ holding back on that in future). as regular readers know, there is a lot of flavor of dynamical systems analysis in these pages lately wrt Collatz conjecture, and there can be regarded as some rough/ abstract connection.

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3rd black hole merger, gravitational waves, etc

❗ 💡 ⭐ hi all, the 3rd black hole merger capture by LIGO was announced within the last week. a huge deal![f] have been tracking this area. its a “ringing/ rippling” excitement in physics and cosmology, its like christmas and even conservative scientists are talking in profound terms. a new detector is going online soon in europe (named Virgo in Pisa, Italy)[f11] and there are predictions that up to about 1 event per day may be observable after all the machines are finetuned!

☯️ this all coincides with a lot of theoretical commotion at the same time. ofc as long observed here, experiment and theory are like yang+yin, each energeizes and contains elements of the other, so to speak. its well/ widely acknowledged that GR+QM unification is a/ the big/ key open question of physics and there are a lot of new ideas circulating, and anything to do with gravity is nearly by defn highly coupled with GR.[b] this also ties in with new theories about big bang/ expansion.[e] theres some big contention going on.

am esp interested in Verlindes ideas about gravity as an “emergent phenomenon” that possibly is a solution to the “dark matter” problem.[c] have been promoting this rough conceptual idea myself for many years and feel it ties in naturally with pilot wave hydrodynamics and soliton dynamics (latest big writeup on that only ~½ yr ago). in short, an image to ponder: a wave-particle seems to continuously emanate waves out to infinity. what effect do those have collectively? is there some emergent property there?

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