The Nature of Reality

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posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 02:37 AM
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Last night I was watching some physics doco's and I felt like rambling about some of the thoughts which crossed my mind. I ended up writing this long thread which you may or may not find interesting. This probably isn't the best time of day to post a thread on ATS but I don't expect this thread to go too far anyway. I'm going to start off with a bit of quantum mechanics and the prospect of virtual reality. Then we'll shift gears and really push the laws of physics to their limits as we theorize about the nature of time. Now I'm not a physicist so feel free to criticize anything I say.

What does quantum mechanics tell us about reality?

Well if it tells us anything, it tells us reality is nothing like we originally thought it would turn out to be. Consider the double slip experiment for a moment. Does that experiment tell us that things don't really exist until we observe them? Many people will try and argue it does, but I don't think it tells us that. When we attempt to observe which slit the electron actually goes through, we collapse the wave-function, and the electron goes back to behaving like a normal particle instead of a wave. This is of course amazing.

Einstein was famous for rejecting quantum mechanics, saying that he refuses the believe the moon only exists when he looks at it. However, even when we're not observing the particle, it still exists as a wave. Particles still exist in some sort of weird quantum wave state even when we're not observing them, and we can prove they were in that state by using experiments like the double slit experiment. But if particles actually become these weird wave things when we're not looking at them, does "matter" really exist at all?

Quantum mechanics appears to imply that when we aren't directly observing small quantum objects, they "revert" back into a more primitive "state". This wave state that they go into almost seems like some sort of abstract informational state. The wave state is always hidden from sight, experiments have shown there's no way to observe the particle without collapsing the wave state. The experiments indicate that particles only behave as normal particles when they're required to (when observed), and at all other times they're simply a hidden "background calculation".

In other words, we can say that particles do indeed exist when we're not looking at them, because we can shoot these quantum particles through the two slits and then see an interference pattern. So even though we were not observing the particle on it's path between the apparatus firing the particles and the fluorescent screen that the particles hit, we can still see that the particle must have travelled from point A to point B because the interference pattern on the screen proves it, and also proves that the particle was acting as a wave between those points.

So even though we can't directly observe it, we know there was some sort of "background calculation", some sort of process was happening which determined where those particles would end up. And even though the nature of the particle-wave is inherently probabilistic, like a "smeared out cloud" of probably positions, we still know there was some sort of deterministic process happening which made the particles end up where we expected it to end up, within a certain range of probability. If we stop looking at the moon we can still guess where it'll be 100 years from now.

Does this suggest we may be living in a simulated reality?

Think about the way a video game hides the things which aren't being observed by the player. Some times you will enter a new area in a game and you will see objects pop out of no where (ideally these objects should be loaded into the game right before they are required for observation). But even when you aren't directly observing something on your screen, you still know that the game is calculating information in the background which will determine the future placement and state of those objects (eg off-screen moving objects like NCP's).

Quantum mechanics has many features which seem to indicate we may be living in a computer simulation. Everything in quantum mechanics is "quantized" into discrete units, even the smallest unit of length, the Planck Length, indicates space may be quantized in this way. Then we also have upper limits built into the laws of physics, such as the maximum velocity of any object, which is of course the speed of light. This is exactly what one would expect to see in a universe being generated on a computer with upper and lower computational and memory limits.

Now lets look deeper to see just how viable this concept may be. If the universe is being generated by a computer, just how powerful would that computer need to be? Consider this post I made a few weeks ago in this thread which was discussing the possibility of a simulated reality:

Originally posted by ChaoticOrder

While I think it's a very real possibility we live in a simulation, it's still a very low possibility imo. The reason I think this, is because our Universe is so enormous. Mind numbingly enormous. And every single atom in the Universe is extremely complex. To simulate every single atom in a single living cell with real physics, requires a computer 1000x more powerful than the most powerful supercomputer on Earth. Imagine trying to simulate a whole person, or the entire planet, or even our entire solar system, or our entire galaxy. The amount of power required to achieve such a feat is beyond comprehension... let alone trying to simulate the entire Universe.

Don't even try to imagine how much power that would require because I can tell you that none of us here have the ability to comprehend how much computing power that would require. We have trouble even comprehending the distance to the nearest star in our own galaxy, or the distance between our galaxy and the nearest galaxy. Keep in mind there are billions of galaxies in our Universe. In fact the Universe may be infinite for all we know, we can only see so far, and no matter how far we look there appears to be no end. These facts lead me to believe we are in a "genuine" Universe, and not a simulated one. But I'm not completely convinced either way.


I had some good responses to this post. One of the key questions was this: if the universe is a computer simulation, wouldn't it be like a game where they just hide everything when we're not looking at, and wouldn't that explain how a computer could generate the entire universe? Well consider what we just learned about particles: even though they may revert into a simple type of abstract informational wave state, there are still background calculations going on there. It's not as if things entirely disappear when we stop observing them.
edit on 10/2/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 02:37 AM
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For example, if we observe a far off star in a far off galaxy, we can look at that star at some point in the future and be able to guess with a fairly high degree of probability, what stage in the life cycle that star will be in. So there's a retaining of information happening there, and calculations to determine how that retained information will be configured at any point in the future. Therefore we can still conclude that every particle in existence requires a certain level of continuous computational power in order to perform these background calculations.

This means that my above quoted argument still holds true because it doesn't matter if we are observing the object or not, there's still calculations which need to be done behind the scenes. At this point I'm still not convinced it's feasible or viable for any intelligent species to create a computer powerful enough to generate the universe we find ourselves in. I can still admit to the suspicious nature of quantum mechanics, but I think there may be other ways to explain why quantum mechanics is the way it is. But once again, I'm trying to remain on the fence here.

What does the nature of time tell us about reality?

The most important thing you need to know about time, is that it changes depending on several factors, one of which is speed. The faster you go, the slower time flows, relative to external observers with an inertial frame of reference. This is called time dilation, and is a result of Einstein's theory of Special Relativity. One of the very weird consequences of this is called the Twin Paradox, which states that if two twins are born and one leaves Earth close to the speed of light and then turns around and flies back to Earth and returns 5 years later, his twin will be an old man and he will only be 5 years older.

Experiments with atomic clocks have shown this is true and would happen. If you travel around the world in a jet at several times the speed of sound, time on that jet will slow down very slightly. Thus when you land back on Earth you have essentially time travelled into the future. This directly opens up the door for time travelling into the future, however there would be no way to return back to the past. At speeds close enough to the speed of light, it wouldn't take much time before hundreds and even thousands of years passed on Earth. Imagine returning to Earth after 10,000 years and you're only 10 years older.

If you watch that video about the Twin Paradox, one of the most amazing aspects of this phenomena, as Neil deGrasse Tyson explains, is that all the matter and particles which are travelling along with the twin who's moving close to the speed of light, actually slow down. Not only that but your entire physiology slows down, which is why the twin doesn't notice time slow down inside his ship. His mind is actually processing information slower, since every single particle in his body is slowed down. Thus time appears to flow normally for the twin, his perception of the speed of time never changes.

So if the twin had a watch on the ship it would always appear to tick along at a normal speed, despite his moving velocity. Now if an external observer with an inertial frame of reference could actually keep observing the twin as he moved along close to the speed of light, and they took a peak at his clock, they would actually see it ticking slower than expected. In fact, if the first twin continued to observe his space fairing brother for those 5 years, he could watch the clock tick through 5 years of time, whilst the Earth clock next to him would tick through 50 or so years.

Thus, when his twin arrives back on Earth, he will be an old man and his brother will be a young child still. But perhaps now the old man wont be so amazed when he sees the time on the clock which was on his younger brothers ship, because he observed it tick slowly from Earth. In reality he would probably have trouble observing the clock in motion, not just because the clock would be moving at a ridiculous speed, but because the ship would also appear to shrink in length, which is another weird phenomena called length contraction.
edit on 10/2/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 02:37 AM
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What if the twins had a method of instant communication?

Quantum entanglement opens up the tantalizing possibility that we may be able to achieve instant communication, however it remains to be seen. But lets just say it can be done, and that our twins have this technology, enabling them to communicate messages to each other instantly, regardless of how far apart they are. The twin on Earth is still skeptical that time can really slow down, that a moving group of particles can really have their motion slowed down compared to the motion of the particles on Earth. It just seems too unbelievable for him to grasp.

So he proposes the question: what will happen if they try to have an audio conversation using this instant communication device, when time is supposed to be flowing at a different speed on the ship compared to Earth? Would the voice of the twin in the ship sound slow to the twin listening on Earth, and would the voice of the twin on Earth sound fast to the twin listening on the ship? This should be the case, since time dilation should cause time to slow down on the ship, causing the motion of everything in the ship to slow down, compared to the motion of things on Earth.

So we know that the particles on the ship should slow down, but what about the light? According to the theory of special relativity, which I mentioned earlier, light will always appear to move at the same speed, regardless of the observers velocity and frame of reference. So if you're moving at 99.9% the speed of light, photons will still appear to whiz past you at the speed of light, as if you were standing still. So even though the motion of the particles on the ship slow down, the photons in the photon clock in the ship do not slow down.

As demonstrated in the time dilation video, when the ship moves faster, the photon in the photon clock has to move a further distance. So naturally it's going to take a longer amount of time, however time dilation comes into play and slows down the matter and mind of the observer watching the clock. Thus, even though the photon must travel a further distance, the observer on the ship watching the photon clock doesn't notice any difference in the speed. A photon clock on Earth appears to tick at the same speed as a photon clock on a high velocity space craft.

So if they connect up the clock to the instant communication device, such that the twin on Earth can hear the ticks of the clock on the ship, what would happen? Well actually the twin on Earth should hear the clock on the ship ticking slower than his clock on Earth. Since time on Earth is running faster than on the ship, his frame of reference reveals the fact that the photon is actually travelling a longer path as it moves through space with the ship. Likewise, the twin on the ship should hear the clock on Earth ticking faster than his clock.

Does time on Mars flow differently than time on Earth?

Mars has a wider orbit than Earth and a different orbital velocity around the Sun. If our thought experiments above show us anything, it's that time can flow at different speeds at two different places in space, hence the reason we call it space-time. We can describe any section of the universe as a section of space-time, in which the fabric of space and the fabric of time are flexible variables (space being distorted by mass and time by moving mass). Our twin on Earth even has the ability to measure how much slower time is flowing on the ship by observing the clock on the ship.

Now when we measure the velocity of anything, we're talking about velocity relative to our own frame of reference, which is typically the Earth. So when we measure the speed of a spacecraft exiting the Earth's atmosphere we say it's travelling at a certain speed, relative to our position on Earth. But we also know the Earth moving. The true velocity of the craft is not what we measure it to be from our frame of reference, it's only true from our frame of reference.
So the twin on Earth can observe the difference in speed between his Earth clock and the clock on the ship.

But what is the velocity of Earth relative to? It can't be relative to the speed of light, because light behaves according to the theory of special relativity. Well what else can it be based on if we can't even detect the end of the observable universe? How can we even define what "truly stationary" even means? It's all relative unless we have some sort of fundamentally stable reference point, but there is no such point. But if you recall, there is a strict limit placed on the speed of light and it requires infinite energy to reach the speed of light, so how the hell can it be entirely relative?
edit on 10/2/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 02:38 AM
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Consider this post I made a few months ago in this thread:

Lets say we have a particle accelerator which accelerates a particle to something like 99% the speed of light, something our particle accelerators often do. From our frame of reference (standing still on the Earth), we can measure the speed and say it's travelling at 99% the speed of light.

But what happens if we were to account for the speed of our planet through the solar system, or our solar system through the galaxy, or the galaxy through the universe? I'm pretty sure the total speed of that particle would be greater than the speed of light, which seems to bring up some problems.


Taken a step further, our "universe" may travel through a greater multi-verse. In fact, according to the most current theories, our universe is most likely flat and infinite, meaning we have infinite space, and probably an infinite number of other universes out there. There just isn't a base reference point, and that's why when we're speaking of "velocity" we're always talking about two separate frames of reference and their relationship to one another. Both frames always have velocity, but a velocity relative to what?



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 04:44 AM
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Quantum mechanics has many features which seem to indicate we may be living in a computer simulation


Or is that those who theorise quantum mechanics already believe a supposition to be true and are merely writing 'laws' and 'theoretical models' which seem to prove them true? If a person already holds occultist beliefs that we are merely divine energy in a divine consciousness, does it not follow that that person will discount all contradictory evidence that this is NOT a computer simulation and latch onto evidence which seems to support his belief? Quantum mechanics isn't proving a lie as truth in reality, but it is proving a lie as truth in minds which want it to be true.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 05:55 AM
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Originally posted by WhoKnows100

Quantum mechanics has many features which seem to indicate we may be living in a computer simulation


Or is that those who theorise quantum mechanics already believe a supposition to be true and are merely writing 'laws' and 'theoretical models' which seem to prove them true?

Well I'm not quite sure exactly what your problem with QM is. I mean it's strange and weird sure, but it's grounded in well tested facts... at least the stuff I mentioned here is. This is just basic QM stuff and the sooner we can all begin to accept the fact that reality operates according to these strange rules, the sooner we will begin to make real progress with QM.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 06:09 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


I love threads like this.

Good brain exercise.
I don't think I have any trouble comprehending the vast distances of the universe. Or maybe I just think that I don't, and my brain is really just protecting it's self?



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 06:24 AM
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Originally posted by watchitburn

I love threads like this.

Good brain exercise.

Glad to see you found it stimulating.


Originally posted by watchitburn

I don't think I have any trouble comprehending the vast distances of the universe. Or maybe I just think that I don't, and my brain is really just protecting it's self?

Well some of us are better at this type of thing, but I don't think many of us can truly comprehend the full scope of things like the distance between our galaxies and other galaxies. We can get a general idea of the distances involved, but most of us don't truly appreciate the size of the observable universe (let alone what we can't see).



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 10:05 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 

You've done a lot of watching and thinking.
Concerning quantum mechanics, it isn't so much that particles turn into waves and vice versa so much as that they are always something that could be either a wave or a particle, depending (literally) on how you look at it. The way you're looking at it right now, the nature of absolute reality still depends on the observer. In sober fact, it doesn't—as you know, for if it did, pigs would sprout fairy wings, and all sorts of implausible things would happen constantly.

I wonder whether instantaneous communication between objects travelling at relativistic speed relative to one another is possible. Here's why: there is no absolute frame of reference and hence no Universal Clock. As you correctly explain, time elapses at different rates for observers moving relative to each other at different speeds. What this really means is that one and the same event, observed by both, appears to occur at different times. Now, if the members of an entangled particle pair are likewise moving relative to one another at such speeds, could a change in the entangled state still be simultaneous? After all, the two entangled particles occupy different frames of reference in which time is running at different rates.

You see the problem. Imagine that, ten years after your ship departs, an enterprising engineer at Mission Control decides to send an accomplice on the crew that day's winning number in the Grand Interplanetary Lotto, with instructions to relay it back immediately. The message is sent using some device based on the principle of quantum entanglement, and it works perfectly; the communication is instantaneous.

Now aboard the ship, only ten months have gone by since leaving solar orbit. So the doughty and enterprising starfarer manning the entanglement device receives the engineer's message a mere ten months after the ship's date of departure, and transmits the winning number back to Earth immediately—where it is received by the crafty engineer a full nine years and two months before he sent the message...

I alluz knew there wuz gold in them thar entangled pairs.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 11:50 AM
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A 250-qubit array would contain more ‘bits’ of information than there are atoms in the entire universe.

So all you would need is a 250 qubit computer do simulate an entire universe at the atomic scale.

Consider that IBM is already working on a quantum computer where they have a device that contains 3 qubits, and they want to link up thousands of these devices to create a powerful super-computer. The more qubits you add to a quantum computer, the more it goes up exponentially in power.

I believe I read somewhere that you would need about 64 qubits to have the same performance as a powerful desktop computer today. The more that's added is an exponential curve.

It can be easily done.

I want to give you this video from youtube. It's 10 mins long, and is mostly going through special relativity and quantum mechanics and the differences and the results of what reality is and what we are, basically illusory. It's a good read. And one part in there states: QM: particles represented as functions are being solved only as and only when needed which is computationally efficient and akin to the rendering of off-screen computer graphics within a video game.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 11:59 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Originally posted by Astyanax

You've done a lot of watching and thinking.
Concerning quantum mechanics, it isn't so much that particles turn into waves and vice versa so much as that they are always something that could be either a wave or a particle, depending (literally) on how you look at it. The way you're looking at it right now, the nature of absolute reality still depends on the observer. In sober fact, it doesn't—as you know, for if it did, pigs would sprout fairy wings, and all sorts of implausible things would happen constantly.

Well I think it does depend on the observer to a certain extent. One of my theories on that, is that the complexity of a system dictates how much "uncertainty" any "object" will have. For example cells and larger macroscopic objects are complex systems which don't show much quantum behavior. In fact nothing really visible with the naked eye will exhibit quantum behavior. However when we move down into the smaller scales, and we start looking are more fundamental/simple particles, they start to exhibit quantum behavior, which is generally an increase in the level of uncertainty. When we are observing these particles, we become apart of the particle's system by linking our equipment to the particle in some way in order to observe it. This increases the complexity of the system in which the particle is participating, causing its level of quantum uncertainty to immediately collapse (wave-function collapse). And when we aren't observing the particles, their position becomes so uncertain that they behave like a wave.


Originally posted by Astyanax

I wonder whether instantaneous communication between objects travelling at relativistic speed relative to one another is possible. Here's why: there is no absolute frame of reference and hence no Universal Clock. As you correctly explain, time elapses at different rates for observers moving relative to each other at different speeds. What this really means is that one and the same event, observed by both, appears to occur at different times. Now, if the members of an entangled particle pair are likewise moving relative to one another at such speeds, could a change in the entangled state still be simultaneous? After all, the two entangled particles occupy different frames of reference in which time is running at different rates.

I was hoping someone would bring this up. I was going to dig deeper into this question but the thread was already long enough as it is. This thought experiment seems to reveal the fact that FTL communication might be impossible because it would violate Einstein's laws. As I explained, all the particles on the ship should actually slow down as time slows down... but how on Earth can two particles be entangled in a way which permits them to communicate information instantly, if each particle is supposed to be doing things at a different speed? Quantum entanglement tells us that if we manipulate one particle, the other should react instantly.

So you tell me how one particle in motion can instantly act out the life of its entangled partner, if the one in motion (relative to its partner) is supposed to be experiencing a slower rate of time? That seems like a clear violation in the laws of physics to me. Either quantum entanglement is wrong, or our understanding of time dilation is not correct. How can this be reconciled, if quantum entanglement is a well tested phenomena and we know it's true... but time dilation is also a well tested phenomena and we know it's true. This leaves us with a real dilemma imo.


Originally posted by Astyanax

You see the problem. Imagine that, ten years after your ship departs, an enterprising engineer at Mission Control decides to send an accomplice on the crew that day's winning number in the Grand Interplanetary Lotto, with instructions to relay it back immediately. The message is sent using some device based on the principle of quantum entanglement, and it works perfectly; the communication is instantaneous.

Now aboard the ship, only ten months have gone by since leaving solar orbit. So the doughty and enterprising starfarer manning the entanglement device receives the engineer's message a mere ten months after the ship's date of departure, and transmits the winning number back to Earth immediately—where it is received by the crafty engineer a full nine years and two months before he sent the message...

I don't quite follow, I think you may be misunderstanding how this would work. Only ten months may have passed on the ship, but time is still ticking faster on Earth and many years have passed; hence the reason why the message can be sent from Earth in the first place. Sending a message back from the ship will not sent it back into the past even if the message is instant. It's like I said, the rate of time flows differently at these two locations in space (ship and Earth). So if people on Earth were to observe the ship, the clock on the ship would appear to be running slow, but the people on the ship don't realize it because they are also undergoing the effects of time dilation since they are moving at the same velocity as the ship.
edit on 10/2/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 





What does quantum mechanics tell us about reality?


What baffles me is the fact that quantum mechanics seems to completely sidestep many traditional big questions concerning nature of reality.

Is reality deterministic? Is reality stochastic? Is the universe unique or just part of a multiverse? Is reality local or nonlocal? Does the observer play a role? Are particles still there when nobody is looking?

You will find interpretations of quantum mechanics where any of these can be true or false, and they all seem to make sense. IMHO, it shows QM describes level of reality human mind has not evolved to comprehend, thats why it looks so strange to us.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 01:09 PM
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reply to post by DaRAGE
 


I had to give you a star for that video alone. They did a great job of summing up the simulated reality theory. This part in particular freaked me out:

Entangled particles are not in fact separate entities but rather a projection of the same single entity within the computer. A shared memory area from which different manifestations of the same entity or information are created. Faster than light signaling is thus an illusion.

If that's true then the number of truly individual particles in the universe may be much lower than what we think. It would certainly save a lot of memory if you could produce a huge universe based on the same fundamental particles copies over and over again. It's brilliant really and that's why I find that theory so spooky.

But here's one thing I want to put forward to you. Assuming we do live in a computer simulation, a natural conclusion we can draw from that assumption is, that we'll never be able to create a computer more powerful than the one we live in since we are limited to the upper limits of this one we live in.

We can draw at least one interesting conclusion from this. We know that for any intelligent being living inside a computer simulation, they will only ever build a computer which is a fraction of the power of the one they live in. This indicates that the beings who created the computer we live in are not themselves in a simulation.

Here's why. Each particle in the universe gives us access to the processing power of the computer we live in. We can use the quantum nature of those particles to build powerful quantum computers. However, to harness the full power of the computer we live in, we would need to utilize every quantum object in existence.

The amazing thing about what I just explained is that we can actually calculate the total power of the computer we (might be) living inside of, if we can calculate the total amount of matter/energy in the universe. The problem is we can't see the end, and all the evidence indicates there probably is no end.

That's one of the things which really seems to indicate to me that maybe this isn't a simulation, unless the computer has infinite computational power. Of course you might also argue the universe is just large enough that we'll never be able to observe the end, assuming it's a simulation designed for us.

But getting back to the point, if our potential "creators" lived in a simulation themselves, we know that they will have the same trouble as us when it comes to creating super powerful computers. There's a very low chance they would have the computational ability to generate this universe we live in.

Only if they lived in a "true" universe would they potentially live in a reality where the laws of physics permit them to build computers powerful enough to run simulation experiments like the one we may be living in. This is just my line of logic on the situation, although it seems pretty solid to me.
edit on 10/2/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 01:44 PM
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reply to post by Maslo
 



What baffles me is the fact that quantum mechanics seems to completely sidestep many traditional big questions concerning nature of reality.

Is reality deterministic? Is reality stochastic? Is the universe unique or just part of a multiverse? Is reality local or nonlocal? Does the observer play a role? Are particles still there when nobody is looking?

You will find interpretations of quantum mechanics where any of these can be true or false, and they all seem to make sense.

QM actually answers most of those question.

Is reality deterministic?
This is easy to answer. QM shows us that the true nature of reality operates according to probabilistic functions, like mathematical functions, which have associated with them a truly random nature. The outcomes of quantum events are only predictable with a certain range of probability, but never completely predictable. This kills any idea of determinism, in the sense that the universe is not a predictable clockwork machine.

Is reality stochastic?
My answer to your last question would appear to indicate that the answer to this is yes.

Is the universe unique or just part of a multiverse?
QM does not generally attempt to answer this question because QM deals with the realm of small objects, where as this question concerns the realm of huge objects. However QM does give us some hints. It tells us that this universe may have arisen from spontaneous quantum fluctuations. Coupled with the concept of an infinite flat universe, our most rigorous theories indicate we live in a multiverse.

Is reality local or nonlocal?
I'm not sure I can answer this adequately, but my answer would be to say reality is both local and nonlocal, depending on the circumstances. A bit like the particle-wave, a wave under some circumstances, and a particle under other circumstances. Or perhaps it's more like how we don't see weird quantum behavior under normal circumstances, but we can observe that odd behavior under controlled conditions.

Does the observer play a role?
The observer obviously plays some sort of role. QM makes that much clear enough. How the observer plays a role is the real question. Is the observer changing the nature of the particle because he creates reality, or because there's a dynamic at play which creates that illusion?

Are particles still there when nobody is looking?
I tried to examine this question in some detail in the opening posts (did you read that part?). QM tells us that the particles are still there in some form or another. If we lived in a simulation as QM seems to suggest, the particles would still exist as "background calculations".



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


Hello Chaoticorder.

If as you say things only exist when we observe them. Does that mean their is a possibility that reality exists only in the mind of the observer.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 02:01 PM
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Originally posted by purplemer
reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


Hello Chaoticorder.

If as you say things only exist when we observe them. Does that mean their is a possibility that reality exists only in the mind of the observer.

My answer to that is contained in my last post above this one.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


What I've always found interesting is how this universe is supposedly the result of chaos. It all came from one single solitary point in space, which transformed into not only a vast range of physical matter that just happens to interact like a chemical jigsaw puzzle, but laws that ensure these reactions take place appropriately. All from an explosion? And then all the way up to our birth...that just seems too incredible for me. In my experience, chaos has always included an inherent line at which everything just collapsed and started over. That's the meaning of chaos. If anything can go wrong, chances are, it will. But it seems there's a focused intent that aids the development of our reality despite the chaos that constantly threatens to overwhelm it...

But the most intriguing part is how this intent (I hesitate to call it intent because of temptation for dogmatic labels) seems to USE chaos in order to break down what is imperfect and then recreate it to suit an ever-changing environment. Order seems to use chaos to further itself. Everything I mentioned before is pretty puzzling by itself, but that last is just breathtaking. It's like your username. And because our observation skills are so limited, we're unable to see the order in the chaos. We're unable to see how chaos fits into the scheme of order.

And that, I think, is the suspicious nature of quantum mechanics you were talking about. I know, you didn't want to jump on it, but I can't really ignore it. It's a beautiful thing, it really is, but I agree with your decision to now draw any conclusions or jump to assumptions. But it's exciting!
edit on 10-2-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 07:42 PM
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Originally posted by ChaoticOrder
reply to post by Maslo
 



Are particles still there when nobody is looking?
I tried to examine this question in some detail in the opening posts (did you read that part?). QM tells us that the particles are still there in some form or another. If we lived in a simulation as QM seems to suggest, the particles would still exist as "background calculations".


The term 'looking at' and 'observing' invites the wrong way of thinking when it comes to how quantum mechanics works. A better term would be 'measuring'. The moon is still there, regardless of if everyone on Earth was looking or not. What quantum mechanics states, is that the moon does not exist on a set quantum scale until we measure it on that quantum scale. By definition, on the quantum scale, quantum particles have no constant value, as they are superposed with differing values, and on the act of measuring, the observer only interacts with one of these values.

In layman's terms, quantum particles have no relative value for which they can be measured against, since other quantum particles act the same way. It would be like trying to measure how long a second is without having a relative value of which to measure it against (in our case, 1 second is equal to the degradation period of some amount of cessium, or something along those lines.) At least, this is the copenhagen interpretation of it all.
edit on 10-2-2013 by mr10k because: (no reason given)
edit on 10-2-2013 by mr10k because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 10:54 PM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


Yes a long thread but not much substance, good effort though and you do
sound a bit like joseph farrel.
About time. There is space and time ie 2 entities and einsteins space-time is
hopelessly flawed.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 11:07 PM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


Well I think it does depend on the observer to a certain extent. One of my theories... is that the complexity of a system dictates how much "uncertainty" any "object" will have... However when we move down into the smaller scales... they start to exhibit quantum behavior, which is generally an increase in the level of uncertainty. When we are observing these particles, we become a part of the particle's system by linking our equipment to the particle in some way in order to observe it. This increases the complexity of the system in which the particle is participating, causing its level of quantum uncertainty to immediately collapse (wave-function collapse).

What you outline here suggests that quantum effects are not observer-dependent so much as they are dependent upon the simplicity of the system. More complex systems fail to exhibit quantum behaviour. However, the observer is part of the observed system no matter how complex. What is different here is not the absence or presence of the observer, but the complexity of the system. I believe that is how most physicists look at it.

Perceived reality certainly depends on the observer, in the sense that it is limited to what the observer can perceive. But reality, unfiltered by organic perception, depends on no observer. It is self-sustaining.


As I explained, all the particles on the ship should actually slow down as time slows down... but how on Earth can two particles be entangled in a way which permits them to communicate information instantly, if each particle is supposed to be doing things at a different speed? Quantum entanglement tells us that if we manipulate one particle, the other should react instantly.

This is exactly why I suggested that FTL communication is impossible, entanglement or no entanglement.

I don't think you have quite grasped the 'different speeds' idea. Different according to which observer? Remember, there is no Universal Clock, no base rate at which time 'normally' progresses. Simultaneity in different frames of reference is meaningless.


So you tell me how one particle in motion can instantly act out the life of its entangled partner, if the one in motion (relative to its partner) is supposed to be experiencing a slower rate of time? That seems like a clear violation in the laws of physics to me.

Exactly, so...


Either quantum entanglement is wrong, or our understanding of time dilation is not correct.

Our understanding of time dilation, as you yourself stated earlier, is correct. Relativity has been experimentally verified many times over. Quantum entanglement is more problematic. We have shown that it exists in laboratory experiments, but in these experiments the apparatus (and the observed results) are all stationary in a single frame of reference. They are also physically proximate to one another. Does entanglement still occur when the members of the particle pair are light-years apart? Or when one is moving at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light relative to the other? And is entanglement limited in time, or is it for ever? If it is for ever, shouldn't we be seeing cosmological phenomena of some kind arising from it? The Universe has been producing entangled pairs since the beginning of Time.

We may need a real physicist to help us here.


I don't quite follow, I think you may be misunderstanding how this would work. Only ten months may have passed on the ship, but time is still ticking faster on Earth and many years have passed; hence the reason why the message can be sent from Earth in the first place. Sending a message back from the ship will not sent it back into the past even if the message is instant. It's like I said, the rate of time flows differently at these two locations in space (ship and Earth). So if people on Earth were to observe the ship, the clock on the ship would appear to be running slow, but the people on the ship don't realize it because they are also undergoing the effects of time dilation since they are moving at the same velocity as the ship.

The misunderstanding is not mine. What you are now proposing is not a simultaneous state change in the entangled pair, but one that occurs after ten years in the frame of reference of one particle, and only ten months in the frame of reference of the other. Understand that the two particles—the one on Earth and the one aboard the ship—are not in physical communication with each other. It is simply that one changes state when the other changes. If one changes state in ten years (as it appears in that particle's frame of reference), then how can the other undergo the complementary change in a mere ten months (as it would in its own frame of reference)? That isn't simultaneity—it's two separate events occurring at two separate times.





 
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