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tomhudson's Journal: Heisenberg was wrong 27

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To restate Heisenberg, the more you try to pin down one aspect of something, the greater the uncertainty about another dimension of the same thing. In the case of a particle in motion, the more you try to absolutely pin down its' position in space, the less certainty you can have about its speed, and vice versa.

So let's apply Heisenberg's own logic to his theory.

According to his own theory, you can't depend on what he says - after all, you can't know both that something (his theory) is absolutely true and know absolutely what it is being truthful about. The more you demand certainty, the smaller the subject matter scope. Think along the lines of "Knowing more and more about less and less, until you know everything about nothing."

So, if Heisenberg's theory was absolutely true, it would apply to nothing. From which we can deduce that his theory is not true (and we can then make the statement that, since we are not governed by Heisenberg principles, it is absolutely not true :-)

File it under the "self-negating propositions", along with "the collapse of the wave function" crapola.

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Heisenberg was wrong

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  • It's taking all my willpower to restrain myself

    *eye twitch*

    • by tomhudson (43916)
      It's a good one, isn't it?

      There's more ... we already know that the act of observation influences the object observed. Not just in the macro world, where, unless the thermometer and the test tube are at the same temp to begin with, sticking the thermometer into the test tube will change the temperature of what you're measuring ...

      It's also true in the case of single photons passing through one slit of a two-slit pair. The act of observing, even after the photon has passed through the slit, but before

      • I met Heisenberg twice. Almost didn't recognise him the second time, he'd changed so much.

        I missed his funeral. Got the address right, but I was two hours late.

      • by snowgirl (978879)

        That also means that perfect observation of more than one photon at a time would also result in zero interference. It is our imperfect observations that add "fuzziness" to the system.

        ... no. If we send multiple photons through a slit, then there will still be an interference pattern, because they are waves, and they will interference pattern when two waves collide. The two-slit experiment is interesting only because it produces interference patterns even with a single particle. The two-slit experiment is not interesting at all in the multi-particle case, because there will always be an interference pattern as the particles interfere with each other.

        ...but applying Heisenberg's principle to Heisenberg's principle

        YOU CAN'T DO THAT.

        So here's one question - since observing things changes both the observer and the thing observed, is it possible that the only reason we find sub-atomic particles below a certain scale is because we were looking for them?

        No. The "observer ch

        • by tomhudson (43916)

          .. no. If we send multiple photons through a slit, then there will still be an interference pattern, because they are waves,

          We've known for almost 30 years that the observed interference pattern intensity decreases with the accuracy of the observation made right at the slit - when the photon is known to go through only one of the two slits.

          It's been funny to watch people try to bend the rules to make "wavicles" fit the various observations when it's so much easier if we accept that light is a particle,

          • by snowgirl (978879)

            We've known for almost 30 years that the observed interference pattern intensity decreases with the accuracy of the observation made right at the slit - when the photon is known to go through only one of the two slits.

            In the case of a single particle. If we fire two photons simultaneously at a time through the slits, then the photons will interfere with each other and produce an interference pattern. We've known this for a VERY... VERY... long time. It's very simple to actually produce even (light interference patterns). And this is expected behavior even when one considers photons to be particles and not waves in any way.

            What was so interesting about the double slit experiment, is that the interference pattern held up e

            • by tomhudson (43916)
              Except that the closer we observe the pair of photons, the weaker the interference pattern. We've known that since 1987. :-)

              As for losing 1 dimension at a small enough scale, it's a LOT better than the BS of trying to "wrap 6 dimensions" into the same scale. It also provides a satisfactory explanation for something that we cannot otherwise explain except by resorting to ever-more-complicated theories - randomness and probability.

              • by snowgirl (978879)

                Except that the closer we observe the pair of photons, the weaker the interference pattern. We've known that since 1987. :-)

                Please explain what you're saying. What do you mean when you say "closer"? In which dimension? Spatially or temporally? Or do you mean the closer the photons are in wavelength? Velocity? What?

                Describe precisely the experiment that you're talking about, and the variable involved so that I can understand you.

                As for losing 1 dimension at a small enough scale, it's a LOT better than the BS of trying to "wrap 6 dimensions" into the same scale. It also provides a satisfactory explanation for something that we cannot otherwise explain except by resorting to ever-more-complicated theories - randomness and probability.

                I'm not going to defend string theory, because it's pseudoscience. (It's not falsifiable.) But that doesn't mean that you're right, because string theory is wrong. And the idea of losing the temporal dime

  • I keep flapping my arms to make them turn into wings, but they still have yet to turn into wings!

    What do you mean that I'm misapplying the theory of evolution? I figured since you were misapplying the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that I could just go and misapply the theory of evolution, and it would become valid to you.

    The problem with Heisenberg uncertainty principle is that it describes the situation where in there is a known and proven mathematical relationship between the two elements. For instanc

    • by tomhudson (43916)

      If the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is not universal, but rather just a mathematical abstraction, then it cannot be applied to any real-world events. In which case ... using it is ... wrong.

      The Heisenberg principle was not describing math - to put it into everyday terms, it was describing the inability to know the speed or direction of something if all you have is a photo of it taken with an infinitely fast shutter - or vice versa, if you have an infinitely slow shutter, you cannot say how fast it wa

      • by snowgirl (978879)

        If the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is not universal, but rather just a mathematical abstraction, then it cannot be applied to any real-world events. In which case ... using it is ... wrong.

        Do you understand how physics works? It is essentially the career of turning real world events into mathematical models.

        The Heisenberg principle was not describing math

        PHYSICS IS MATH.

        - to put it into everyday terms...

        I know what it says, and I don't need it dumbed down to the point of being wrong. Heisenberg noticed that with our subatomic particles, you could either use a narrow-beam in order to locate the position of an object, but a narrow beam is necessarily also a high-energy beam due to physical law. This means that you can locate the position of the object, but you will have to i

        • by tomhudson (43916)

          Do you understand how physics works? It is essentially the career of turning real world events into mathematical models.

          and

          PHYSICS IS MATH.

          Not necessarily. The inspiration or insight comes first, the math comes later. There's also an underlying unspoken assumption that the rules of math don't change depending on the scale and frame of reference. Operations such as comparison just don't make sense when you remove the time dimension at very small scales.

          Next you'll be arguing that software is math ...

          • by snowgirl (978879)

            There's also an underlying unspoken assumption that the rules of math don't change depending on the scale and frame of reference.

            Yes, but SCALE does change depending upon scale.

            Operations such as comparison just don't make sense when you remove the time dimension at very small scales.

            Good lord, you're not even wrong [rationalwiki.org] here.

            • by tomhudson (43916)

              for weird, you might want to check out Feinman's theory that there might only be one proton, one electron, and one neutron in the universe - and they just shuttle back and forth through time, creating the universe we see. If this is true, then he posits that the reason we would see interference patterns is because the particle "knows" about its' history, the same as a lump of dough "knows" that you dropped it on a dirty floor (it's "future" is affected by its past).

              Now, while it gives an "explanation" fo

              • by snowgirl (978879)

                Feinman, or Feynman?

                Feinman is a professor of biochemistry and medical researcher at State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, while Feynman was an American physicist.

                If the former: why would we ask a biochemist about physics. If the later: Feynman knew that protons and neutrons were composed of quarks (though he did posit for a time a different answer for evidence that suggested quarks). As such, it seems unlikely that Feynman would suggest that the universe is composed of non-fundame

                • by tomhudson (43916)
                  Yes, my bad for the spelling. My point was that all sorts of unlikely scenarios are posited ... :-)
                • by tqft (619476)

                  ". As such, it seems unlikely that Feynman would suggest that the universe is composed of non-fundamental particles regardless of their time-traveling abilities after his recognition of quarks, and if this conjecture was made prior to his recognition of quarks, then the model is based on a falsified premise, and thus logically invalid."
                  Sorry wrong.
                  Observation, hypothesis, experiment

                  Feynmann's nobel lecture
                  "As a by-product of this same view, I received a telephone call one day at the graduate college at Prin

                  • by tomhudson (43916)

                    Thanks for pointing it out - I *knew* I had read his explanation somewhere, and it certainly has some appeal.

                  • by snowgirl (978879)

                    You cannot build the entire universe from one electron and one positron, even granting the allowance for it to travel back in time, and thus all electrons and positrons are the exact same particle.

                    You see, there are also photons, W and Z bosons, gluons, three different flavors of "electrons" (that do not have the same mass, Muon and Tau particles have a few orders of magnitude more mass than electrons.) as well as three different flavors of neutrinos one to match each flavor of electron. And then, there are

                    • by tomhudson (43916)
                      It was an example that could, by extension, work for the other particles (not that I buy into it, but, let's say I do, for the sake of the thought experiment). What if, at some base level, there were only one fundamental particle ... and IT was the one that was shuttling back and forth, making up all the constituent aggregate particles?

                      Now, back on to the question of time ... you may have read the recent story about how they want to use muons in the new particle accelerator because as they go faster, tha

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      Oh, I understood the conjecture of single fundamental particles that you made. But it's disingenuous to attribute it to Feynman, as he states quite clearly that he didn't give the conjecture much consideration. (He says he stole the idea that positrons are simply electrons traveling backwards in time, but not the idea that there was only ever one electron/positron.) if you're going to talk about fundamental particles, then talk about fundamental particles, and don't use "proton" and "neutron" as an example

                  • by snowgirl (978879)

                    Feinman's theory that there might only be one proton, one electron, and one neutron in the universe - and they just shuttle back and forth through time, creating the universe we see.

                    Feynman's speech was made merely one year after the proposal of quarks. So, let's give him the benefit of the doubt in his presumption that protons and neutrons are fundamental particles. However, it's immediately clear that this conjecture would not have been continued once we had established that protons and neutrons and the myriad other apparently-fundamental-prior-to-the-explanation-of-quarks particles were established to be composed of quarks are were therefore not fundamental particles.

                    However, this s

        • by plover (150551) *

          Snowgirl,

          First, thanks for the informative explanation. That seriously was an excellent analogy, stated clearly.

          Second, despite your correctness, you made a different mistake. You fed the troll. Barbie has a long, long history of trolling on Slashdot. She hasn't posted one for a long time, so that's what made this one special.

          In case you're new to this whole trolling thing, it works like this: post some "bait" which is nothing more than a comment that's wrong or maybe just controversial, wait for some

          • by snowgirl (978879)

            I was unaware of the trolling nature of Barbie. See, if this were railgunner, or countertrolling, I would know what's up, and not wade in. I was however of the mistaken belief that Barbie is honestly interested in learning, and understanding, and was just simply mistaken.

            I'll grant you her claim was so absolutely ridiculous that it did set off my warning bells... unfortunately, I'm also a really bad verbose pedant, and struggle with my knee jerk troll feeding. I think I'll just make a short explanation, jus

          • by tomhudson (43916)

            First, it's not [tt]. Second, the two-slit experiment is fascinating because of what it reveals, and how, while it first supported the particle as wave duality, it breaks down under closer scrutiny (literally - the closer you watch the particles as they pass through the slit, the less they act like waves).

            It's funny how physicists can posit that c may not be constant at all times and all conditions, and nobody throws a rock at them (much), or that there must be 6 (or 11 or 13) dimensions at the smallest

Entropy requires no maintenance. -- Markoff Chaney

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