Casaubon's Book

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I was on WHYY in Philadelphia the other day talking about canning with _Food in Jars_ author Marisa McClellan.  ‘Twas awesome!


  1. #1 Sweetmai
    July 23, 2012

    I generally agree with your poitns with the exception of point 8:”Interpretation of quantum mechanics is an unsolved problem that waits for a savior”I’m not sure about the “savior” thing but I otherwise agree with the above statement.On short, I’ll explain why.Usually Bell’s theorem is presented as a proof that classical local determinism (or realism if you want) is incompatible with QM so those who hope to find a local hidden variable theory behind QM’s formalism are necessarily wrong.However, Bell’s theorem is based on the assumption that the detectors’ orientations are free parameters (the freedom assumption in Bell’s words). It is easy to show that such an assumption is most probable wrong in the context of a strictly deterministic theory.As an example we can think about gravity. Can we assume that we can freely move Pluto’s orbit without changing the rest of the solar system? Would have Shoemaker-Levy collided with Jupiter if Pluto were in other place? I think not.Therefore a deterministic hidden variable theory that denies the freedom assumption is not affected by Bell’s theorem.I would further propose a toy mechanism that could bypass Bell’s theorem. Three assumptions are needed:1. a pair of entangled particles is only emitted if two suitable absorbers (detectors) exist. That is, the source will only emit after a signal from the two detectors (containg information about the position/momenta of each quark/electron in them) arrives at the speed of light.2. the source can “extrapolate” the state of the two detectors at the time of detection given the available information (this is not something unheard of in physics, we see such extrapolations in electromagnetism for uniform motion and general relativity for both uniform and uniform accelerated motion)3. the source emits a pair of entangled particles, according to Malus’s law, towards the extrapolated position of the two absorbers.Whether these assumptions can be used to build a credible interpretation of QM I do not know, it is possible that the math does not allow such an idea to go too far. But as an example of a mechanism that it is both local and realistic and gives the required results it should be good enough.Regards,Andrei Bocan

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