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science = determinism? (Schrodinger: algorithm or phenomena?)

Maynard Handley handleym at ricochet.net
Tue Nov 30 16:14:28 EST 1999

In article <38440BEF.66C29BD2 at christianliving.net>, Don Tveter
<drt at christianliving.net> wrote:

>Maynard Handley wrote:
>> In article <81omtn$f9e at web.nmti.com>, peter at abbnm.com (Peter da Silva) wrote:
>> >In article <383FAD5A.5DA023B4 at earthlink.net>,
>> >kenneth Collins  <kpaulc at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> >> they are engineered with the a priori presumption of 'particles', so
>> they 'see
>> >> particles', when everything is continuous.
>> >
>> >You know, Einstein's Nobel Prize was for explaining an experiment that saw
>> >particles when everyone assumed everything was continuous. If you can come
>> >up with a better explanation of the photoelectric effect, or with some kind
>> >of experiment that would differentiate your energy soup universe from the
>> >one everyone else works with, you might be able to get somewhere.
>> I'm happily ignoring most of the crap in this thread, but I'd like to
>> clarify this because this misunderstanding is one of the reasons people
>> get so bent out of shape about QM.
>> (1) There are no particles, only fields. There is an EM field, an electron
>> field etc.
>I'm not sure but I think that may be OK to say in the Bohr/Copenhagen
>interpretation.  But there are lots of interpretations floating around.
>The one Jack Sarfatti likes (and I do too, but my likings count for
>nothing) is the Bohm interpretation where there are genuine particles
>going around and there is a quantum force acting on them.  Bohm got
>this by splitting the Schroedinger equation into two parts.

What Bohm did was playing mathematical games that have nothing to do with
reality. His result was of relevance only to the Schrodinger equation---it
has no relevance to the real world, or its mathematical model, QFT, which
is a world of relativity,fields and multi-particle states.

As for the Nobel Prize of Einstein, Bohr's opinions and so on. Look, they
all happened a long time ago. This people were not gods, smarter than
anyone now living. They were simply munging around, trying one idea after
another, hoping to get any sort of handle they could on what was going on.
Read their papers---they're not secret. It's quite obvious from what they
wrote that they are desperately flailing in the dark. With the passage of
90 years or more, we understand this stuff rather better and can do better
than simply "well Bohr though that so it must be true". 

Science is not well served by ancestor worship. Feynman understood this
well when he presented the path integral formulation of QM as an attempt
to clarify just what was different between QM and classical mechanics.
Unfortunately two tragedies occurred---one is that path integral ideas
never made it into the mainstream of pop-science books or undergrad
textbooks, while the other is that the very same people who've never
bothered to learn about path integrals busily added Feynman to the
pantheon of Bohr and Einstein.  


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