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  • ...Goodby to reality

    Source: Quantum physics says goodbye to reality (April 2007) - News - PhysicsWeb

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality

    20 April 2007

    Some physicists are uncomfortable with the idea that all individual quantum events are innately random. This is why many have proposed more complete theories, which suggest that events are at least partially governed by extra "hidden variables". Now physicists from Austria claim to have performed an experiment that rules out a broad class of hidden-variables theories that focus on realism -- giving the uneasy consequence that reality does not exist when we are not observing it (Nature 446 871).

    Some 40 years ago the physicist John Bell predicted that many hidden-variables theories would be ruled out if a certain experimental inequality were violated known as "Bell's inequality". In his thought experiment, a source fires entangled pairs of linearly-polarized photons in opposite directions towards two polarizers, which can be changed in orientation. Quantum mechanics says that there should be a high correlation between results at the polarizers because the photons instantaneously "decide" together which polarization to assume at the moment of measurement, even though they are separated in space. Hidden variables, however, says that such instantaneous decisions are not necessary, because the same strong correlation could be achieved if the photons were somehow informed of the orientation of the polarizers beforehand.

    Bell's trick, therefore, was to decide how to orient the polarizers only after the photons have left the source. If hidden variables did exist, they would be unable to know the orientation, and so the results would only be correlated half of the time. On the other hand, if quantum mechanics was right, the results would be much more correlated in other words, Bell's inequality would be violated.

    Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell's inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell's inequality does not tell specifically which assumption realism, locality or both is discordant with quantum mechanics.

    Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.

    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell's thought experiment, Leggett's inequality is violated thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we're not observing it. "Our study shows that 'just' giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics," Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. "You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism."

    However, Alain Aspect, a physicist who performed the first Bell-type experiment in the 1980s, thinks the team's philosophical conclusions are subjective. "There are other types of non-local models that are not addressed by either Leggett's inequalities or the experiment," he said. "But I rather share the view that such debates, and accompanying experiments such as those by [the Austrian team], allow us to look deeper into the mysteries of quantum mechanics."

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  • #2
    Twist on reality

    Wow. Interesting article! Makes me wonder about what my reality is when I'm dreaming. Pretty weird to think about!!!! I think that song "Glass Onion" by the Beatles is dead on. How many layers of our existence is there? Or are there any layers at all? craaaazzzzyyyy.


    • #3
      how and what we choose to perceive

      row row row your is but a dream... lol

      article shows that this reality is whatever we let ourselves see it as, literally.

      Aaron Murakami

      Books & Videos
      RPX & MWO


      • #4
        Welcome to the Holodeck our Infinite Godself Beings...are Reallity. This here? is a playground we're creating as we go. And ain't it just wonderful!!!!! The more you GET this (whether or not you can follow the quantum phsysics argument) in your deepest self, the more magical life becomes.



        • #5
          well put Chansonette

          the other day, about a week ago..i had a very clear view to how this is all a HUGE playground....and how so much doesn't was very, very wierd, cool, and overwhelming....and made so much sense.
          Good stuff
          love and light.Adrienne
          Matrix Energetics Sessions-Private message me


          • #6
            To everyone on this thread.
            You guys might find this interesting. I posted this here.


            The following is the natural state of beingness.

            "....... on all sides of me were these divisions like a pie. And I could look down this one and see a certain future and then right over here another future and on and on. So this was alternity that I was sitting in. Now actually, unconsciously, we sit in alternity all the time, we have to or you wouldn't know how to get anywhere, right? But you don't know it."
            Alternity. Interview with John C. Lilly, M.D.

            You move thru these divisions effortlessly, like fish move through water.
            The fish is not aware of water, as most people aren't aware of these divisions.

            The path thru these divisions depend on the socio-programming that a person has, in other words, they're thoughts and beliefs.
            Gracious one play,
            your head is an empty shell
            wherein you mind frolics infinitely.


            "Space and time are not conditions in which we live; they are modes in which we think"
            Albert Einstein in his later years.


            • #7

              ok, i am still trying to wrap my brain around the experience i had....
              thanks for the link Infinitethoughts...i read it...and don't have the words to really discribe my experience, but could kind of get what the other person and you were talking about...on the insight and intuition, so i wonder if this will aid mt voyage into this dimension.....hope so...cuz i am exsited.... and as Grace tells me ALOT...that my soul is sooooooo, ready for all of i am enjoying this ride......
              ok here is my best decsription...hmmm, i could see how we were all souls and we were here in this play ground, if you will....and the daily trivial stuff, or at least most of the things we fuss over don't really matter, and i at times felt like i was a soul and i could see everthing around me as kind of like one dimensional, like a picture and i was in it, and everything i observed was stuff...with no definition attatched, and when i was at the store...i saw this man that i actually have seen often and i felt like we knew each other, there was reconition, although i don't actually know him. (in this life anyhow) . i also went through a few hour of being in ecstasy after was a very wierd, but amazing day......hmmm, ok....well there is my experience and now would like to know/hear more...thanks
              love and light....Adrienne

              this description, doesn't begin to describe the experience, but it involved this and more..WOW
              Last edited by Adrienne; 05-18-2007, 04:45 AM.
              Matrix Energetics Sessions-Private message me