Uncertainty Certainly Un-Testable

Aractus 16, January, 2011

In my last article I delivered a horrible truth to you, that physics is not about truth. Today you’re going to learn something even more horrible: quantum mechanics is largely un-testable and that makes it pseudoscience.

I’m going to address the uncertainty principle. According to the “correct” scientific view, all matter exists as a superstition of “all possible states”. The statement itself is self-contradictory; and it is un-testable. The reasons we’re given are in principle derived from the non-scientific ideology of Occam’s razor; that the simplest possible answer is the correct one. Every observation ever made has always given a distinct state; and if you look back to entries in my blog, in principle you can know both the velocity and the whereabouts at the same time; this gives us yet another problem.

QM is successful because it is very good at predicting and explaining many observable things; but then so are Newton’s “incorrect” Laws of Motion. Peon decay happens by pure “chance” according to QM; there is nothing that causes this. How is that possible? In this entry I hope to convince you that quantum mechanics is nothing more than a flawed world-view.

As I remarked last time, a lot of people will say “people who are smarter than I am have worked out these scientific truths”, this time I tell you the opposite is true: there are a lot of very intelligent scientists out that disagree with many current theories and “laws” of science. Albert Einstein remarked “If this is correct, it signifies the end of physics as a science”. He also said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” You would do well to remember my criticism of Occam’s razor in my last entry.

The Quantum Uncertainty Principle works to a certain degree, but it’s based on purely circular reasoning. At the subatomic level it is impossible to make an observation without also disturbing the object you are observing. This is because you have to “hit” it with another object of roughly the same size (for simplicities sake). Because you have hit the object, it is no longer where it was when you measured it, and hence you can no longer make any further measurements for that particular state, as all subsequent measurements will only tell you where the particle is now.

It’s fine to understand that. QM takes it a step further and states that all matter exists as a probability wave that only condenses (or collapses) to a specific state when measured. I interpret this a little differently. I interpret this to mean that until you make an observation you must consider the state of the particle to be as a probability wave. There, that makes more sense. It means we have a working model, but it doesn’t mean that that’s how the real world or “nature” really works.

Consider a photon. It always travels at constant speed, it will travel “forever”, it ravels at the maximum rate the universe can handle, and travels with wave-like properties. They also posses another unusual attribute: they always travel in a straight line unless disturbed, and they do not exist at rest, they only exist in motion. It doesn’t accelerate, and it doesn’t decelerate.

What makes light go? Well if you can think of light as having no mass, then one can also think of it being “hit” like a cricket bat hits a cricket ball, but even just a slight nudge will send it on its way. Except that, because it has no mass, light reaches its maximum velocity instantaneously. So what produces its waveform?

One of the further puzzles of the quantum world is entanglement; by which an entangled particle can “communicate” instantaneously, or even in the past, with its pair. In my discussion of the quantum double-slit erasure experiment I noted that the results do not prove that quantum objects can’t possess both wave functions and particle functions at the same time, yet the experiment does definitively prove the entanglement link. Which presents us with a problem, as given by the EPR paradox: the first measurement you choose to make on an entangled pair always returns a 100% correlation. Therefore, when you measure the second particle you can’t say that it only “came to have” that property when it was measured, it must have possessed it all along. This in itself is an observable that consistently defies quantum theory. It does not prove locality, however, since locality is a separate matter, but it does give evidence to structure rather than random probabilities.

Last time I said that Multiverse theory is not science. Today I will prove the point. Stephen Hawking once said that the “Theory of Everything” was imminent. He has since completely given up on it, but believes emphatically that M-Theory is the ultimate explanation for the universe, and that we just don’t know how to fully compute it. Einstein would be mortified. Especially at the fact that someone who’s never won a Nobel Prize believes they know more than someone who has.

Multiverse theories do not tell us anything at all or give us any insight into the true nature of the universe. They simply rely on mathematical formulas which some physicists believe can be complete. We don’t even know how many fundamental particles there are, or how to predict them because our current theories don’t give us enough information on this. For comparison, when Dmitri Mendeleev created his periodic table of elements, the theory was so stable that he was able to predict the existence of 10 more as yet undiscovered elements. At the time only 63 elements were known to exist. Although 2 of the 10 theoretical elements are no longer expected to exist, we have since verified the existence of 8 out of the 10 that he predicted; along with other elements there are now 118 elements in the table.

I think it’s particularly telling that on the Wikipedia page it contains a section entitled “common objections and misconceptions”, every “objection” to Multiverse Theory is responded with a “MWI response”. Just more proof of how skewed and biased pages on Wikipedia are. Especially since it seems to give unwitting readers the idea that Mutliverse is science rather than pseudoscience. Anything that is un-testable is not science, no matter what mathematical framework it might have.

In closing let me say this. The quantum uncertainty principle is based around the idea of wave-particle duality, which is itself based on the assumption that you can’t gather information about a particle’s waveform at the same time as you gather information about its physical particle properties. This is not so. We have simply been asking questions which can only be answered one way or the other. We have simply been gathering information by either getting physical information or getting waveform information. Once we can gather the information simultaneously it will be established beyond doubt that the wave-particle duality idea is flawed (or it will prove it); but until we manage to do that we are following a pseudoscience.

Next time I will discuss cosmology, and hopefully point out some things which may surprise you. And by “surprise”, naturally I mean show you that cosmologists are in a very real sense practising science very differently to their neighbouring colleagues!

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