Sunday, April 20, 2014

On the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Thought-Experiment

On the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Thought-Experiment
From:  E.D.
To:  Arjun Janah
Cc:  R.B.
Sent:  Sat, Apr 19, 2014 10:23 pm
Subject:  RE: Blog post of our correspondence re. probability.


<personal details, deleted by Arjun 04/20/14>
    Also,  a correction or clarification about Bell's theorem. My understanding of it at this time is that Bell's theorem does establish non-local causation in the following sense. If two particles depart from one another in different directions and then, later, the spin of one of the particles is altered, the spin of the other particle instantaneously changes also. However, this fact can not be used to communicate instantaneously (or faster than the speed of light). So in that sense, there is not non-local causation, because we at the macro level can not observe it.

    I could have it all wrong, but I think the main point is that in the end q.m. does not explain non-local causation or action-at-a-distance (such as telepathy, precognition, other mystical states of union, etc.) at the level of human consciousness. So q.m. is disappointing for people who wanted to use it for that purpose.

<See also the third section added below this one -- the e-mail I received at 6:34 pm on 04/20/14 from E.D. -- for a sharper clarification of this issue. -- Arjun 04/20/14>

    I think I mentioned this book to you before, but this is the sort of thing I'm referring to here:

    "How the Hippies Saved Physics"


From:  Arjun Janah
To:  E.D.
Cc:  R.B., blank01, P.B.,V.K
Sent:  Sun, Apr 20, 2014 12:55 am
Re:  Blog post of our correspondence re. probability.

<personal  details, deleted by Arjun 04/20/14>

    Yes, I think you have described the core quantum-entanglement situation concisely and correctly. But my knowledge of this is limited. I will try to go into some details below, which may or may not shed more light on what you have neatly summarized.

    This was (to my knowledge) first posed as a challenge to q.m. (or its emergent interpretation at the time) by Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen. It is a strange sort of instantaneous action-at-a-distance.  Bell later formulated, I am told, what had come to be known as the EPR paradox as a testable inequality.

    Electrons possess an internal or intrinsic angular momentum, called "spin", which has, in certain natural units, a value of 1/2. From quantum mechanics, the projected value of this spin, along any chosen spatial direction, can have only two observed values: +1/2 or -1/2 (in those same natural units).

    Two electrons can combine into either a total-spin = zero state (where the two electron spin-vectors are aligned oppositely: 1/2 -1/2 =0) or a total-spin = one state (where their spin-vectors are aligned in the same direction, 1/2 + 1/2 =1).  These are the only definite total-spin states allowed by the rules of q.m.

    Consider two electrons that are known to be in, say, a total-spin = zero state, but for which the individual spin directions of the two electrons are unknown.  If those two electrons move apart in space without further disturbances (caused, for example, by our further observations), then they should remain in that total-spin = 0 state.

    In the usual intepretation of q.m., the spin-values of each electron along any given direction are not only not known to us (and here's where we may strongly quibble with that interpretation) they are indeterminate in an absolute sense. This is the thing that Einstein and his colleagues could not (with good reason, in their minds) accept.

    If we now make an observation on one of the electrons and find its spin value along a certain direction is, say, +1/2, then we know that the spin value of the distant electron along the same direction will have to be -1/2.

    While it is perhaps understandable, as per the usual interpretation, that it was our act of observation (a measurement of spin value along a chosen axis) that "threw" the observed electron from an undetermined individual-spin-alignment state into the definite +1/2 state, how could we say the same of the distant electron?

    Could our measurement made on the local electron here truly have "thrown" that distant electron there into its spin -1/2 state?  Or was it already in that state before we made our local measurement on its partner?

    E, P & R had presented the instantaneous throw of the individual spin of the distant electron (following an observation of its local partner) into a definite state as a paradox, something that arose out of q.m. and its accepted interpretation, but appeared to violate the precept that the fastest way in which an event at one place could affect an event in another place was via a signal sent from the first event to the second -- which signal could not travel faster than the speed of light (or other electromagnetic waves) in a vacuum. And this speed, though large, is finite. So instantaneous causation was considered impossible.

    So E, P & R argued that either the accepted interpretation of q.m. was wrong -- i.e., the electron-spins were in fact aligned along a certain direction (in which case the observation was only a discovery of what had already existed in reality) rather than being truly indeterminate in an absolute sense -- or else one would have to accept instantaneous causation, which violated a precept that was considered sacred, one on which Einstein's theory of relativity and so also all of physics had rested.

    But after Bell had formulated this as an inequality that could in principle be tested, tests were done that showed (so it is alleged) that the accepted interpretation of q.m. is in fact correct.

    However, although instantaneous causation does apparently occur (if we swallow all of this, which is a mixture of observed fact, mathematical q.m. rules and an interpretation that was formulated by some of the most thoughtful people, including Niels Bohr) it is alleged that this cannot be used to do any true communication.  This alleged fact has been taught to physics students for some time now as the saving grace in this situation.  I am not clear in my mind, at this time, on how to understand or explain that point.

    This is my own (surely incomplete and faulty) understanding of the situation, dating back many decades to my undergraduate days in India, when I came upon EPR by chance. (I did not learn about Bell's inequality till later, and still am pretty ignorant about that.)

    As far as the relevance of any of this to paranormal phenomena, I have no understanding at all about that aspect.  That is not to rule out such phenomena, only to state the lack of any linkage that I know of.


From:  P. B.
To:  Arjun Janah
Cc:  E.D., R.B., blank01, V.K.
Re:  Blog post of our correspondence re. probability.
Sent:  Sun, Apr 20, 2014 2:31 am

Dear Arjun,

 <personal detail, deleted by Arjun 04/20/14>

  The actual description of the EPR thought experiment evades the question
of fluctuations, of electron spin for instance, which destroy coherence.

  In other words, if the electrons in the EPR paradox are in the normal
paramagnetic state, as we take for granted, then spin correlations will be
exponentially damped in space and time. In a ferromagnet, the spin states
will be correlated and will be entangled. Flipping the spin of a majority spin
will ensure that a minority spin will be promoted to the Bose condensed state.

  Verifying this entanglement hypothesis means verifying that the
Bose condensed state depends only on temperature ( in classical
critical phenomena) or on a bias (in quantum critical phenomena),
as for instance in the breaking of symmetry at different energy scales.

From: E. D.
To: Arjun Janah
Sent: Sun, Apr 20, 2014 6:34 pm
Subject: RE: More blog posts


These (things I wrote that you posted) were mostly off-the-cuff remarks made by e-mail.

You might want to add this as an addendum, in answer to your question about what parapsychology has to do with Bell's theorem.

The connection between parapsychology and Bell's theorem is that the existence of non-local causation is a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for the existence of parapsychological phenomena. Telepathy, for example, suggests that there is an immediate and instantaneous connection between minds (and the brains that embody those minds). Psychokinetic phenomena suggest that the mind has an immediate (non-local) causal power over physical objects held at a distance. If Bell's theorem proved that non-local causation exists, it would fulfill one condition for the existence of parapsychological phenomena.
Of course, parapsychological phenomena might still not exist because there might be other conditions that are necessary for them to occur that can not be fulfilled. But the impossibility of non-local causation is the most commonly cited reason to reject the possibility of parapsychological phenomena. So demonstrating the possibility of non-local causation would greatly increase the possibility that parapsychological phenomena might occur.


E.D.: on the philosopher John Schumacher (in connection with the previous post)

E.D.: on the philosopher John Schumacher (in connection with the previous post) 

From: E.D.
    To: Arjun Janah
    Sent: Fri, Apr 18, 2014 3:00 pm
    Subject: RE: Blog post of our correspondence re. probability. 

<Some personal details in the e-mail below, not directly related to the main discussion, were deleted by Arjun when posting on 04/20/14.>


    I didn't realize that physicists didn't have an answer to this question. I thought the standard interpretation of q.m. was that there is no "objective" reality until an observation occurs, collapsing the wave function. I thought Schrodinger's Cat Paradox was supposed to raise doubts about this interpretation, but that most physicists did not see it as a problem.

   I never studied q.m in any depth. I studied physics when I was an engineering student at RPI.  In addition to that, I took philosophy classes with John Schumacher, who was a former math student who became a philosopher. He graduated from RPI  in 1966 and was radicalized by the student movements of the 60s. A classic "hippy" in his appearance and philosophy,  he was interested in eastern mysticism (buddhism) and, because of his RPI education, also interested in combining his interest in buddhism with his knowledge of physics.

   (John Schumacher) and a couple of other members of the RPI philosophy department knew David Bohm and invited him to speak on campus. They were particularly interested in David Bohm's interpretation of q.m. and in the "holographic" theory of the universe.  All this was very heady stuff and I was quite interested, although I never did learn enough q.m. to know what to make of it. John Schumacher published only one book in the late 80s which was a synthesis of philosophy and q.m., titled "Human Posture".  He died young at age 54 in 1999.

    The crux of the issue was non-local causation. Q.M., in some interpretations, at least, allows for immediate causal connections over a distance. Bell's theorem was supposed to provide proof for such local causation. But later I learned that, in fact, Bell's theorem can't be used to prove non-local causation.*
<* See also E.D.'s modification of this statement in the next post -- Arjun 04/20/14.>

    During his student years at RPI, John Schumacher was a student of John Koller, who is a expert on Eastern Philosophy--especially Indian philosophy. John Koller is still alive and I see him occasionally. There were other philosophers at RPI in the 60s that also exposed John to eastern philosophy. Also at RPI in the 60s was David Thoreau Wieck, a leading post-war American anarchist philosopher.

    Ultimately, I think David had the biggest impact on John, and both directly and indirectly through John, on me.

     During his student years at RPI, John Schumacher was a student of John Koller, who is a expert on Eastern Philosophy--especially Indian philosophy. John Koller is still alive and I see him occasionally. There were other philosophers at RPI in the 60s that also exposed John to eastern philosophy. Also at RPI in the 60s was David Thoreau Wieck, a leading post-war American anarchist philosopher.

    Ultimately, I think David had the biggest impact on John, and both directly and indirectly through John, on me.

    John Schumacher was an anarchist, and his anarchism leaned pretty heavily towards communist anarchism.

    I think his interest in non-local causation was an attempt to show how the capitalist view of social reality, in which individuals are separate and competing entities, is false. In fact, John wanted to show, people are more radically connected to one another. Thus social life is held in common, and an egalitarian, non-hierarchical society, in which we are all "one," fits best with reality.

    A lot of John's book, "Human Posture," I think, tries to explain how we ever came to believe we are separate if the reality is that we are not. It does that in a psychological, sociological and metaphysical way.

    Ultimately, I have come to believe that John's primary commitment was political, and that he merely used mysticism, physics and metaphysics to help him meet his political commitments. I have also come to doubt his interpretations of mysticism and physics and to think that he would have been better off just focusing directly on politics.

    Although I've come to see this as a chink in his sterling armor, I still think of him as an extraordinary personality--practically a mythic being come to life, or rather, an archetypal persona, and it is tragic he's no longer with us.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Mutiny or Uprising of 1857?

The following is from a correspondence (of comments) on Facebook with a friend, D.R..  D.R.'s first comment refers to an Indian man who is alleged to be 179 years old, according to the available local official documents. I have lightly edited the correspondence, in a few places, mostly for spelling and grammar.

D.R.  I would like to sit at his feet and hear about his take on the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857....
April 16 at 11:03pm · Edited · Unlike · 1

<Some comments made by A.J. and D.R. were deleted here. They had no bearing on the events of 1857>
Arjun Janah  To be Subcontinentally Correct, that's the Indian Rebellion or Uprising of 1857.
11 hrs · Like

Arjun Janah What's the Middle East to some, is West Asia to others. So one country's freedom fighters are another country's terrorists and so on. In our case, our freedom fighters (against the Soviets in Afghanistan) turned into our terrorists (as in 9-11). Such things do happen.
11 hrs · Like

D.R.  As far as I'm concerned Bombay is still Bombay. It's ludicrous to change a Portuguese name into the same Portuguese name with another spelling and pronunciation in order to "Indianize" it. As for the rebellion, the Sepoy mutiny is a better descriptive term because that's what it was. To change it to the "Indian rebellion" or such is silly, like changing the name of Bombay. A rebellion in a military organization is a mutiny ! It was sepoys, or soldiers who were the rebels, not the population at large, that was the salient feature of the rebellion. I've been fed up with this ridiculous movement to change names, often in India from simple names to much longer and more complicated names. Why have a complex about history? It's history, part of India's history, for better or worse. We haven't seen all this in places like Singapore or Hong Kong, have we?
5 hrs · Like

D.R.  What's more, when the new Indian street names are long, they are shortened to English initials, and then transcribed into Hindi, so B.C. road becomes Bee See Road in Hindi or other regional languages depending on location. Sub-intelligently correct...
2 hrs · Like

Arjun Janah  There is no shortage of stupidity and chauvinism in the subcontinent (in all of its nation-states) as also elsewhere. Nation-states themselves are too often abominations, in my humble opinion, just as Empires were, and just as the feudal landlord systems were in so many parts of the world for so long, before the nation states and the great European colonial empires -- and sadly still are.

You can of course call it the Sepoy Mutiny if you wish. It's simply a matter of perspective. That's why I gave the example of West Asia and The Middle East. We learned the history of the 1857 uprising from our English masters, filtered and written in the way they viewed it. It was one of many rebellions against the British, all invariably put down with extreme brutality. This one involved the sepoys, among others, who had access to guns and were able to organize in military formations, so it created more havoc and fear among the colonialists than others had. Without it, the de facto rule of the predatory East India Company would have continued unchecked.

If you recall the sorry history of that Company, local resentment had long been brewing against this colonial enterprise that tapped into the local parasitical feudal system but drove it into extremis, demanding so much that the landlords, in turn, were forced to literally starve their tenant peasants to satisfy their own overlords. The Sepoy Mutiny, whatever be its immediate spark, was a symptom of this. In practice, if you scratch the surface, most human things have economic drivers, however they may be cloaked in religious or other garbs.

This is what happens when raiders enter a country. A traditional rajah or nawab will squeeze his peasants, but not to the point of death, as that would be killing the goose and inviting insurrection. Those who are there for the short-term, be they raiders from the Afghan or Maratha hiighlands, Portuguese pirates or English merchants determined to make their fortunes as fast as possible so they can rise in England's own class system -- these have no such compunctions.

The British Crown that replaced the East India Company's rule after the rebellion was more circumspect, settling in for the longer haul of sucking the country dry without causing open insurrection. Of course, its own sorry history in south and east Asia should be well known, including its development and legal monopoly on the opium trade out of India into China, forced onto the latter via the Opium War and the ruthless bombardment of the densely populated Chinese coast -- the one that led, among other things, to the ceding of Hong Kong to the British.

I do not know the history of Singapore (Singha Pura, literally, Lion-City) but it might be worth researching.

In the case of the Opium Trade and War and Hong Kong, a parallel (ridiculous as it sounds) would be if an ascendant China, in league with Russia, Korea and others, had grown in reach and power and had occupied Colombia, had declared a monopoly on the buying of coca leaves, had converted large tracts from food crops to coca plant production, had set up factories in that region producing great cannonballs of cocaine (as the British did with opium) and had then begun to export these into Miami and other ports along the U.S. coast, feeding into the demand created by local social conditions in this country, whose populace had fallen on hard times, but still was unwilling to purchase the shoddy goods being produced by the Chinese (as the Chinese, up to and perhaps past the mid 1800's, had been reluctant to buy British products).

Pushing the analogy further, were the weak U.S. federal government -- notified by local officials about the growing addiction and crime problems in Miami and elsewhere caused by this illegal import of cocaine -- were they to attempt to correct this, first by issuing legal warnings that were ignored, and finally by raiding the warehouses, confiscating the cocaine and dumping it in the sea (as the Chinese official in charge of operations did with the opium, fearful of burying it in the land or burning it, for interesting reasons) -- were this to happen, then we might see outraged Chinese merchants send messages to Beijing, saying Chinese sovereignty had been assaulted, causing the navies of the Chinese, along with the Russians, Koreans and others, to shell the unprotected coastline, from Miami in Florida north to Baltimore in Maryland, causing no end of civilian casualties, until, at last, ports were ceded, with 100 year contracts, to these great powers, and the laws of the U.S. regarding the import of such substances was effectively annulled, with military operations subsequently launched on land by the foreign powers to suppress those rebellious citizens and localities that had denounced the compromise made by Washington and had risen up in rebellion against these great powers and our own collaborationist federal government.

But this, in effect, was what happened in China, with the Boxer Rebellion being the historical counterpart of that uprising, and Queen Victoria's court in London playing the part of the Beijing government whose navy took part (in our imagined scenario) in the shelling of the U.S. coastal cities.

Of course, the British had a number of accomplices in this, and if you go to the Roosevelt residence in upstate NY, you will find records of how that family acquired its wealth through that same Opium Trade and War. Of course, some of the recently-risen drug lords in Cali (and elsewhere in Columbia and other places) had also grown  very wealthy and powerful. But they had prices on their heads and could not hope, perhaps, to give rise to two Presidents as they did here. ( I will not venture to speak of Afghanistan, whose populace has been devastated by violent superpower interventions and fratricidal civil words for many tortured decades.) And we have no figures there in Colombia comparable to the British royal family, whose fortunes took off with the pirate raids on the Spanish galleons bearing loot from Spain's own ravaged American colonies, and then skyrocketed with colonial enterprises the world over, which left British footprints and faces on every continent except Antarctica -- too often, driving the natives to extinction or desperate straits, with the royal exchequer profiting from every enterprise, however sordid or gory. But so it is with all empires.

One man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist, and one man's great king or emperor is another's despot. That has always been true. I am sure George Washington (affluent landlord and slave owner as he was) was viewed with as much disfavor by the British moneyed classes as King George was by their counterparts in the American colonies. Our own (Indian) Prime Minister called the "Maoists" the "greatest threat to India's security" but the extent and intensity of the unrest in tribal and poor rural parts of India indicate that, from the point of view of the populace in these regions, what we are seeing is in large part a struggle for basic survival. From the perspective of many of the locals, it might seem that the corporations that are driving them off their ancestral fields and forests, with the active collaboration of the local and national governments and their police and military forces, as well as local armed para-military organizations, are "the greatest threat to our very existence".

As far as Indianization of names go, some, I agree, are ridiculous. Others are perfectly natural, as the change of name of my city of birth, from Calcutta to Kolkata, was -- a change opposed vociferously, and even in an organized fashion, within my own extended family. But as I pointed out to my late father (who was neutral on this), the latter (or, before our times, its archaic form, Kolikata) has always been the name of the city among Bengalis, who constitute, by far, the majority of its populace. Granted, it was the British, including the rapacious East India Company, that brought the city into existence as we know it, including much of its wonders as well as horrors. But the British had a habit of murdering subcontinental place names, especially the ones in the east with the rounded vowels of Oriya, Bangla and Ahomiya.

All of that being said, at great length, and being probably merely a verbose restatement of things you and others already know, I agree with you that history is history, for better or worse, and that cosmetic changes of names accomplish little by themselves, perhaps only serving to obscure that history, whose darker recesses hold things that few on either side want exposed to light, but from which there is still much to learn.
13 mins · Edited · Like

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Collapse of the Probability Distribution

The Collapse of the Probability Distribution

(correspondence re. The Conscious Universe)

From: E. D.
To: Arjun Janah
Sent: Wed, Mar 19, 2014 7:06 pm
Subject: RE: The Conscious Universe (not a poem)

Interesting perspective on the classic mind-body problem.

To: E. D.
Subject: Re: The Conscious Universe (not a poem)
From: Arjun Janah
CC: blank01; A.R.; P.B.
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2014 20:46:33 -0400

Sorry for the delayed response to this as well.

You might remember the layman's take on this,
which I write below as a dialog:

Philosopher: "What is mind?"
Scientist: "Doesn't matter."

Scientist: "What is matter?"
Philosopher: "Never mind."

;-) Arjun
From: E.D.
To: Arjun Janah 
Sent: Sun, Apr 13, 2014 10:15 pm
Subject: RE: The Conscious Universe (not a poem)


Silly question from someone with a very limited knowledge of quantum physics:

The wave function doesn't collapse until an observation is made, right? Does the "observation" have to be made my a conscious human being or can it simply be a measuring instrument? How can the existence of the entire universe for all of its history depend on human consciousness? It doesn't seem to make any sense.


-----Original Message-----

From: Arjun Janah 

To: E.D.

Sent: Sun, Apr 13, 2014 10:53 pm
Subject: Re: The Conscious Universe (not a poem)

It doesn't (make sense).  So the universe and its history cannot depend on human consciousness. 

I do not understand this business. It seems to be an area of complete confusion among physicists. It could be because I am stupid or don't know enough or haven't thought about it enough. Or it could be that nobody really understands this, and they only pretend to or even believe they do, without really understanding it or accepting that they do not understand.

However, if you think of yourself as making a trajectory through various possible universes, then your trajectory (and its history and future) does depend (to stretch that word) on your observations -- if only to the extent that these are a record of the path you took.

Consider this. You are walking north, or, even better, sitting on a train traveling north. Looking out the window, you see the rest of the world moving south. Surely, this motion of the rest of the universe could not have been caused by your walking or the train's motion?  But it has, and is understandable as a relative motion.

I think that bringing quantum mechanics into this might be confusing. Consider the case of the solitary pawn, which I had elaborated on earlier.

Having observed the pawn at a particular location (square) at a particular time, you can then calculate, using the scheme I gave (a chance of 1/4 of hopping to any of the four squares around it, with diagonal moves prohibited), the probabilities for the pawn being at any other position (square) at any future (or, for that matter, past) time.  

This probability distribution, which is a function of position and time, would be the classical equivalent of a q.m. wave function (although of course not quite, as the q.m. wave function, at its simplest, has a complex-number value with a phase as well as a size, with the probability [density] being given by the size alone).

The probability distribution is a measure of your ignorance or knowledge of the movement of the pawn. It's what you expect, given whatever knowledge you had at the start, plus the dynamics (in this case the probability rules I gave for each hop) of the game. 

If you now were to take a look again at the board, and were to find the pawn at a particular square, that probability distribution you had constructed would immediately collapse, being replaced by a 1 at the square on which you find the pawn, and a zero everywhere else, for that instant of time, and a new distribution (over space and time, both future and past) that you would have to construct again.

Let me leave you to think about that. Notice that quantum mechanics and its (genuine) mysteries have nowhere been evoked.

You could replace yourself with a measuring instrument (a digital camera, say) and a computer hooked to it that has a program that allows it to calculate probability distributions. This is in fact entirely within the realm of current technological capability. But who/what would move the pawn?  We could use a random number generator. But it would be better to use something that I thought of as a school boy, but which might not have been realized -- to use fluctuations in the temperature to determine the move. Failing that, we can resort to the tetrahedral (four-sided) die I mentioned, shaking it well before each throw.


From: Arjun Janah 
To: blank01; A.R.; P.B.;
Cc: V.K., E.D.
Sent: Sun, Apr 13, 2014 10:59 pm
Subject: Fwd: The Conscious Universe (not a poem)

F.I.Y. and possible input.



Dear E.D.,

I am forwarding your question and my reply to three physicist friends, plus to V.K.,, who introduced me to two of them, and who has an interest in many things.

Your question is by no means silly. Or of it is, then we are all silly, those of us who have thought about it a bit and been just as confounded as you were.

A q.m. wave function is clearly observer-dependent, just as the classical probability distribution I described earlier is. It is simply a measure (if one looks at the probability aspect alone) of one's knowledge or ignorance of the system under consideration. This knowledge or ignorance is affected, obviously, by any observation one makes on the system. Viewed in this way, the collapse (and reconstruction) of a q.m. wave function is simply a consequence of advances or losses of knowledge by you, the observer, about the system.  So what I am saying is that the q.m. wave function you are working with is your q.m. wave function of the system.

Let us go again to a spatial analogy.  If you take your usual seat at the library as your frame of reference, the position co-ordinates of a fly you are observing (neglecting your other duties temporarily) will have certain values over time, following its trajectory.  But they will have different values for a student sitting at a table in the library.  And if you were to move to what used to be the lending desk, the fly's co-ordinates as a function of time would have different values again. In this elementary example, everything is clear.

But in this case, no one would argue that the fly is in any way affected by the choice of observer or your shifting of view-points.

When we go to a probabilistic description of a system, however, the probability distributions are indeed affected by such choices or shifts, just as position co-ordinates were affected in our elementary spatial example. And this is where the headache starts. Do the wave functions or probability distributions describe an objective reality, independent of the observer, or one which is observer-dependent? I would vote for the latter, noting that our understanding of the word "reality" needs to be analyzed.


From: E.D. 
To: Arjun Janah
Sent: Mon, Apr 14, 2014 2:47 pm
Subject: RE: The Conscious Universe (not a poem)

Thanks Arjun, your examples clearly illustrate principles of probability. Of course, in classical probability, it is the observer's knowledge that changes suddenly with new information, not the reality itself, as in certain interpretations of qm. That's where the mind-bending paradox comes in.


From: Arjun Janah
To: E.D.
Sent: Mon, Apr 14, 2014 3:31 pm

Subject: RE: The Conscious Universe (not a poem)

You are right. But we will go into q,m. later. The collapse of the wave function, as you saw, has classical analogies. It is the disturbance of the system by the observation (as in Heisenberg's uncertainty principle) that separates q.m. from prior physics. So let us separate those two things in our minds, although of course, they are related.