Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Not to reveal to us the real nature of things

Much of the confusion over the interpretation of quantum mechanics concerns whether the mathematical wave functions reveal to us the true (ontic) nature of electrons and photons.

Henri Poincare explained it in his famous 1902 book:
The object of mathematical theories is not to reveal to us the real nature of things; that would be an unreasonable claim. Their only object is to co-ordinate the physical laws with which physical experiment makes us acquainted, the enunciation of which, without the aid of mathematics, we should be unable to effect. Whether the ether exists or not matters little — let us leave that to the metaphysicians; what is essential for us is, that everything happens as if it existed, and that this hypothesis is found to be suitable for the explanation of phenomena. After all, have we any other reason for believing in the existence of material objects? That, too, is only a convenient hypothesis; only, it will never cease to be so, while some day, no doubt, the ether will be thrown aside as useless. [Science and Hypothesis, chap. 12, 1st paragraph]
Yes, I could not say it better today. The object of mathematical theories is to make sense of quantified experiments, not to be a perfect description of the real nature of electrons.

The aether is a convenient hypothesis, because our best theories assume a pervasive and uniform quantum field. Even in a vacuum, it has energy, Lorentz symmetries, gauge fields, and virtual particles. Quantum electrodynamics is all about perturbations to that quantum vacuum. In the early XXc the aether was cast aside as useless but it keeps coming back under different names.

It is foolish to think that the true nature of the electron is its wave function. That is just a mathematical device for predicting observables. Attempts to clarify the nature of electrons with hidden variables, as by Bell and his followers, are even more foolish.


  1. That's all said and nice Roger,
    But what do you do when the mathematical models which aren't really informed by anything except statistical heuristics are being used to pander absurdities that have not, and most likely can not be observed?

    I would counter that what is being done is closer to bad metaphysics than physics already because its adherents have abandoned any pretense of understanding how things actually work whatsoever. I really have no respect or patience for a 'scientific' culture which demands to be supported through government mandates then throws up its hands with trying to understand particle structure while embracing indestructible strings, two dimensional brane spaces, and meaningless multiverses ad nasueam. This kind of nonsense should be funded privately at the expense of those who wish to subscribe to it.

    With this line of thinking applied to our not too distant past, we would still be fumbling around blindly with epicycles trying to reconcile our reality with unrelated math models.

    If you have to wave a heuristic mathematical magic wand around to get your prediction, I'm not interested in what you have to say about process, because you don't have one. I might as well go the oracle in Delphi or claim 'tis God's will' and call it a day, and I can do that far more cheaply than what it costs HEP quacks to blather about.

    1. CT, you are talking to some autistic from UCLA. These people are retards with no ability to discern anything supernatural. Sununu, Tao, Hawking and gang are overrated losers that we have only given a self-esteem boost. And before you dump another load of paragraphs on me, watch my video. It's a very serious rebuttal to what ALL of you guys are doing: Physicists Outsmarted

    2. Here is the link from my dropbox in case of copyright's artificial scarcity racket: Proof of Physics Racket

  2. Sorry Matthew,
    I have to drop a paragraph regardless,
    Your first link does not work due to some content violation. As to the second link, I am very amused by certain people who love blame everything including death, taxes, bad sex, and the kitchen sink on the CIA.

    1. It doesn't work because computer idiots like yourself can't understand the definition of fair use and use a bunch of moron automation. Who is blaming the CIA? Your low-life operation is debunked. Playing with billiard balls doesn't impress me. You guys are low-IQ bimbos debating superficialities. Look beneath the surface and or shut your "pie" hole.

    2. Matthew,
      Please don't type when you are off your meds as you become next to unintelligible. As to your CIA comments, I based it off your second link which had quite a few references to the CIA being responsible for war via conspiracy.

      Billiard balls don't impress you? Ok. Didn't know we were talking about billiards, but what the hell, I'm entirely uninterested professional wrestling and what?

      Physics is about moving things and how they interact and affect one another. Physics is not math. Math does not move, nor does it obey any physical laws, because math is not a 'thing', it is an abstraction based on logical rules and operations that can pretty much be used (much like modeling clay or language) to model whatever you would like, possible or not, actual or imaginary. Mathematics doesn't have anything to do with determining what is real or unreal, just a glance at black hole theory should make that self evident, want infinite mass in zero volume, go for it! Want a universe popping out of nothing in an instant because seven day creationism is passe, fantastic! Want to sneer at religion while employing miracles, invoke some broken symmetries and all is forgiven. Math is no different than programming in one major respect: Garbage in, garbage out. Just because you use an internally consistent logical system you are not assured that your outputted answers are correct if your premises and assumptions are crap to begin with.

      As to my IQ or being a bimbo, you would appear to be very uninformed on both counts. We don't need more ever complex math from arrogant schmucks, we need better theory and models which are informed by evidence, not rent seeking academic priesthoods.

    3. To watch that video and not pick up the allusion is astonishingly idiotic. Your academic priesthood are people that can't move beyond childhood. We just pretend they are smart people. You refuse to see the supernatural, no matter how much empirical evidence I provide. You need speed meds just to get any eye cue. That what the term means, by the way.