Child’s History of Reality in Physics Post Heisenberg

Two weeks ago, I returned from Nepal, where I was asked to
speak on a well-defined topic: how can we create a new worldview which rationally,
consistently COMBINES belief in objective reality with not only belief but active
immersion in spiritual reality? In truth, my seven days in Nepal and two days
in Qatar were mainly about the spiritual side and about “the watch,” but those
are too complicated to talk about here today. Today I will review a few basic facts about
objective reality in physics, and even make a few new observations which no one
has written yet in plain English.

There are many, many areas of human life where people survive
based on hypocrisy. They are taught one set of beliefs in childhood, and learn
to repeat the right things reliably whenever asked. And then they learn
patterns of behavior which are quite different, often contradictory.
Personally, I was born with what psychologists call a “low tolerance of
cognitive dissonance’; I feel very uncomfortable with those kinds of
inconsistency. But psychologists tell us that society needs many different
kinds of people, for different situations, so I won’t say much more here about
the broader implications of things like hypocrisy.

But I should say a LITTLE more. Using a large computer system, my wife says she found the
connection between the Bohr family and the Werbos family from the early 1800’s,
when both were in the region near Trier or Mosel. Niels Bohr basically argued
that there is no harm in modeling an electron as a wave on Mondays and
Wednesdays, and as a particle on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He called this “the
principle of complementarity.” I believe we have a natural instinct, which we
should not resist, to try to develop a more general, universal model to predict
our experience, but when we haven’t yet learned how to do that, there is always
the need to survive in the short term even if we hope and strive to learn more.

The “apostle’s creed” of quantum mechanics, taught in all
first year classes and in high school preview classes, teaches quantum mechanics
according to Heisenberg. Heisenberg’s version actually IS a universal model, not just a model for Mondays and Wednesdays. It has several key principles, the __four commandments according to Heisenberg:__

1. __ ____1.__ There is no such thing as objective reality.
People like Einstein believed that objective reality changes over time, such
that the universe is in some state S(t) at every time t. (Einstein also said that
time is more like space than people used to believe, but that is another story
for later.)

2.

__ 2.__ To make numerical predictions of what we will
see in experiments, we give up the idea of S(t). Instead, we base everything on
a mathematical object ψ(t), the “wave function.” Ψ(t) represents all of our
knowledge at time t, reflecting our uncertainties.

3.
__3.__ To predict how our knowledge changes, to predict
what our knowledge of the future is as a function of our knowledge of the
present, we use the “Schrodinger’s equation” (dψ/dt)=ihHψ. (He didn’t call that
one the Schrodinger’s equation, but that’s how people call it today.)

4.
__4.__ To predict what we would actually see at some
future time, when we do a measurement, we use a totally different set of
mathematical rules, which I would call the “Heisenberg measurement formalism.” In
that formalism, we predict different results depending on whether we believe
that cats have souls, because only proper metaphysical observers with the proper
ontological hermeneutic form of consciousness are able to invoke the magic of
measurement. Of course, there are many people who really love that aspect, and
would sooner let women become priests than give it up.

So that’s the childhood religion. Some people, like some
kinds of priests, spend their whole lives “preaching the word” by repeating and
at times enforcing the childhood version. Others move on to studying actual experiments
in areas like electronics and photonics, especially, where they learn what actually
works in predicting actual experiments. Because of their own low tolerance of
cognitive dissonance, many philosophers and theorists adhere strongly to the
view that all the many versions of quantum mechanics predict the same things,
and that the childhood religion works 100% of the time exactly as it was taught
by Heisenberg. But when it was my job in the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to oversee the review of the many ways
that people actually make predictions of quantum phenomena in electronics and
photonics (fields dominated by new experiments and devices), I learned more and
more that the real world of experimental physics simply does not fit that
ancient narrative.

In truth, there are MANY issues which have yet to be
resolved about the correct way to formulate quantum mechanics. Some of that was
obvious when I started overseeing what goes on in that part of experimental physics.
(

https://arxiv.org/abs/0709.3310.)
I published a few of my early observations in the well-known journal
International Journal of Theoretical Physics (

https://arxiv.org/pdf/0801.1234). I updated and corrected that part of the story in a more recent paper (

http://vixra.org/abs/1707.0343).

Even in the early work, I explained why Heisenberg’s second
commandment (“2”) yields WRONG predictions. No, the catechism does not make the
same predictions as modern versions, or the correct predictions. It yields wrong predictions. I
learned what the simple, clear situation ACTUALLY is, back when I was part of
the team at NSF reviewing proposals for the new
emerging area of quantum computing. (The IJTP paper does tell this story too.)

Many, many theorists would submit proposals for quantum
computers based on the Heisenberg catechism. The proposals would be reviewed by
a mix of people – some theorists, and some folks deeply expert in studying how
the actual components of these proposals actually work. The second group included people like solid
state physicists who know how electronic components work, and like quantum optics
people who know what works in optics. Many times the theorists would love their
proposals, which assumed that every object in the experiment (except for the
cat or the graduate student watching what the final output looks like coming
out of the computer) would obey what they call “unitary dynamics”. They assumed
that a definite wave function ψ(t1) describes what we know before light or
something else reaches a solid object, and that the solid object results in a new
wave function ψ(t2) for what comes out. The solid state or quantum optics
people patiently explained why the proposed system simply would not work as advertised,
because that is not a correct model of what we actually now know about how
these objects work.

Nowadays, we know that we need to use a mathematical object
called a “density matrix” or “density operator” ρ(t) to describe our knowledge
at any time t in these experiments, simply in order to get correct predictions.
This is not about a different INTERPRETATION from Heisenberg’s four
commandments. It is about a different theory, or rather a set of theories, which
yield different predictions. We know that "collapse of the wave function", with a definite ψ(t) coming in and a MIX of possibilities coming out (represented by a density matrix) happens all the time in macroscopic objects, without any metaphysical observer being involved at all. If you don't want to take my word for it, look at highly respected books like Walls and Milburn, like Carmichael, or just google on "Lindblad form master equations."

Furthermore, there is a neat connection here to a particular
theory of quantum mechanics, due to Everett, Wheeler and David Deutsch, called
the “many worlds theory of quantum mechanics.” In that theory, we give up Heisenberg’s first commandment. We
assert that ψ(t) describes the actual state of objective reality, not just our
knowledge of it. According to the
dynamic systems version of realism, if the state of reality at any time t is
given by a mathematical object S(t), our knowledge is fully summarized only by Pr(S(t)),
the probability distribution, a function much more complicated than S itself.
In the many-worlds viewpoint, it makes sense that the STATE of reality is
described by ψ(t), but we need something more complicated to describe the state
of our knowledge.

By the way, at the end of the
day, after probing all kinds of dirty linen which the priests do not want people
to talk about, I have concluded that the only correct form of quantum mechanics
to describe what we can do in electronics and photonics is a NEW VARIATION of the
many-worlds theory (MQED), which uses a new measurement formalism deduced from
the dynamics and from the boundary conditions, without metaphysical observers. (

http://vixra.org/abs/1707.0343). I
have many life-or-death issues on my to-do list; one of them is the need to
somehow get the inexpensive experiments done
to prove that the new measurement formalism is better than the old one, no matter
what version we assume for the dynamics and reality and such. Even MQED is only
an approximation, however; because it represents the proton as a point
particle, we know that the approximation starts to break down at a distance
scale on the order of 1 femtometer.

-------------

But now, here is something new, a bit more radical than MQED.

In the many-worlds picture, where ψ(t) gives us the present state of reality at time t, the state of our knowledge should be described in general by a probability distribution Pr(ψ(t)). The density matrix ρ(t)
is much simpler than that. IS EVEN the density matrix enough to handle all
experiments correctly??

People who know modern quantum statistical thermodynamics
could easily come up with an excuse for why ρ might be enough. They have shown
that certain values of ρ, called the “grand canonical ensemble”, do represent
the mix of possible states which can exist in equilibrium, for a universe described
by a wave function ψ following Heisenberg’s
third commandment. If those are the only states we actually encounter, then ρ
should be enough.

Or should it? Most of physics is based on states we create
using free energy which are far from thermodynamic equilibrium. If we truly believe
that the many-worlds dynamics are the WHOLE STORY, then we really should
support efforts to design new types of experiment, aimed at creating Pr(ψ) not
fitting what is described by a specific density matrix ρ, proving that we need
even more information, and proving that we can do things not permitted under
the ρ story. Or else somehow proving that such experiments are truly
impossible?

But I personally do not expect that such experiments are possible.

PLEASE DO NOT READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU FEEL ABLE TO STUDY THE
ISSUE OF MQED ON ITS OWN MERITS, WITHOUT FALSE ENTANGLEMENT WITH OTHER ISSUES.
If you are the kind of person who would just laugh at special relativity and everything
else that Einstein ever did, after his prediction for the EPR experiment was
proven false, you should not read further. But if physics for you is about
truth and about theories and experiments, and not about personalities, do read
further.

=====================

AFTER one accepts MQED as the correct version of QED, there
are MANY approaches available for building on MQED to try to understand the
rest of physics. It turns out that ONE of the possible choices is to do exactly
what Einstein called for, before he moved away to variations of differential
geometry far more complex than general relativity. “Local realistic” models of
the underlying physics are again allowed under MQED. It is possible to explore
the possibility that MQED is a consistent statistical approximation to something
deeper, maybe even something “deterministic” as ‘tHooft still claims he
believes. (

https://arxiv.org/abs/1405.1548).

In

http://vixra.org/abs/1704.0264,
I evaluated some possibilities for what a local realistic model might look
like. Based on those evaluations, I now see other models in that same general
family as more promising – but in any case, how could we explain an object like
ρ and the “Schrodinger equation” as an emergent statistical outcome of that kind
of simpler underlying model? The main part of the answer lies in some new
mathematics which I developed years ago:

And so, in my approach, I would assert that ρ(t) is enough,
because the underlying reality is much simpler than ψ or pr(ψ).

But it would be interesting if anyone could devise and
perform a counterexample with a real experiment.

======

And yes, folks, this is all quite simple compared to what I learned in the past two months. Two minutes to see, two hours to type, versus weeks to see in still partial form. Lamar Smith has successfully cracked down on this kind of heresy, and the old NSF building is being evacuated at this very moment, even as his district (and Cruz's) is experiencing serious stuff as well. Who really knows where all of THAT will go?