The Semantic Interpretation of Quantum Theory

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  • #14466
    David Smith
    Blocked

    Hello there

    In this article, there are some claims that I want to respond to. Most of your arguments are not connected and the conclusions you draw from them are not really implied, even in the cases the physics is sound. Though I want to respond to all the claims you have made but the only thing that I will point out now is your academic reference to the paper by Giovannini et al.

    Now I don’t really know your academic background, but the paper here is relatively simple, and the claims you draw from them are not correct. The authors themselves clearly mention their measurements are of the group velocity of the photon. The observations they make are in no way a contradiction of special relativity.

    Another minor correction – the two Einstein postulates you state at the beginning of your write-up are those of SR, not GR. Neither do infinities in QFT arise from the unification of QM and SR, as you have stated. Now back to the paper, because that is a valid academic reference, quite unlike the rest of your write-up. The fact that the group velocity of photon(s) can be different from c, and even more than c, is an established fact. I will not elaborate on it here.

    Lastly, the mathematical interpretation of this paper has been challenged already, and the authors did not respond. The point of contention is that the measurements the authors published appear to be that of the projection of the velocity vector on the beam axis, such change in direction having not been anticipated by the authors during their usage of a BBO crystal to modify the waveform of one of the waves into a Bessel function. Though I’m not an expert in optics (my area of research is particle physics phenomenology), it seems to me that this could have been refuted by repeating the experiment with multiple detectors placed in 3 dimensions, instead of along just the axis. That the authors chose not to do so, even 7 years after the original publication and related comments is surprising. The entire rebuttal can be read, the mathematics is relatively simple.

    You should elaborate on what information you feel the structure “encodes” beyond the energy. The equations for a Bessel beam or Gaussian beam are well known. If you feel they require any modifications, I’d be glad to hear of them. The other conclusions you draw based on this “structure of light” actually make no sense, especially when you say that the change of reference frames cannot explain this “structure”. I assure you, even if the BBO crystal that was used to generate the (approximate) Bessel beam were to be accelerating in a car at that moment, the output would still be a Bessel beam.

    It was necessary to point out the way you’ve used a legitimate journal article to bolster these claims of yours, because not doing so would diminish the faith of the general public in the scientific method. The experiment described in the paper is legitimate, even though some have challenged their conclusions. But the conclusions you draw from them are not correct, to put it politely.

    #14467
    Ashish Dalela
    Keymaster

    Hello David,

    Would you mind referencing the link(s)/article(s) where you found these things? I would like to read them again before responding. I did run a search on “Giovannini” and I did not find the page/article, that I seem to have published. I remember referencing him somewhere, but I don’t recall publishing it, and I can’t find it. My short-term memory gets overwritten rather quickly. Thanks for your note.

    #14468
    David Smith
    Blocked

    This is the paper by Giovannini that you have referenced in your blog: [1411.3987] Photons that travel in free space slower than the speed of light (arxiv.org)

    #14469
    Ashish Dalela
    Keymaster

    I wasn’t asking for the paper link but for the blog link. In any case, I found it.

    The authors themselves clearly mention their measurements are of the group velocity of the photon. The observations they make are in no way a contradiction of special relativity.

    That’s because SR discounts the particle nature of light. The question is about the propagation of information, not just about the speed of planar electromagnetic waves. SR (and the experiments that validated the speed of light) used plain light. They do not add information to that light. However, the SR thought experiments talk about observations of moving objects. The question is: Are these observations those of plain light, or light that carries information? That depends on how you define an observation. If you define observation as “something is detected” then plain light is sufficient. But if you define observation as “the thing detected is X” then plain light is insufficient.

    The difference will appear in length measurements, for example. When you measure that length is X, do you receive two photons pertaining to the two ends, or just one photon giving you X? If you use two photons, then you are using a plain wave. If you use one, then you are using a carrier with superimposed information. In terms of information transfer, these two are not the same.

    All the physics you do today is based on the assumption of two photons pertaining to two ends. And I’m talking about physics in which a single photon can give you the length of an object. My argument is that quantum mechanics is not understood because every photon is carrying unique information about different properties (length, width, breadth, temperature, and so on) about the measured system, but you are treating it like it is this detector or that detector, overlooking the content. You can never solve the quantum problem unless you treat it as communicating object information.

    Another minor correction – the two Einstein postulates you state at the beginning of your write-up are those of SR, not GR.

    You are right; GR adds the inertial mass = gravitational mass postulate. It is hard for anyone to accept that they are not GR postulates. They are. They just aren’t limited to GR.

    Neither do infinities in QFT arise from the unification of QM and SR, as you have stated.

    Yes, QFT and QED are different. They arise in QED. These posts are written for laypeople, not for experts. The distinction between QFT and QED isn’t important here.

    Now back to the paper, because that is a valid academic reference, quite unlike the rest of your write-up.

    That’s a fact, ain’t it? It is not meant for an academic audience. Validity of academic reference is judged if it was sent to an academic journal or written with the intention of being so.

    The fact that the group velocity of photon(s) can be different from c, and even more than c, is an established fact.

    You are thinking in terms of the current mathematical formulation, trying to draw a distinction between phase and group velocities. I am not. This needs a little bit of philosophy of science. What you have is observations and then a multitude of possible interpretations. Some interpretations can be better than others, and I have offered one: Give up the idea of phase and group velocities and think in terms of absorption times. It requires different thinking if you might be interested.

    BTW, in the SR paper written by Einstein, there is a discussion that the speed of light could be infinite in one direction and c/2 in another. We just have no way to measure speed without round-trip times. Hence, there is no way to know what the speeds are. We assume that the speed is constant.

    Though I’m not an expert in optics (my area of research is particle physics phenomenology), it seems to me that this could have been refuted by repeating the experiment with multiple detectors placed in 3 dimensions, instead of along just the axis.

    I don’t truly follow what you are implying, but I think the point about the difference between phase and group velocities being accepted, the problem won’t go away, one experiment or another.

    That the authors chose not to do so, even 7 years after the original publication and related comments is surprising. The entire rebuttal can be read, the mathematics is relatively simple.

    You could, on the other hand, publish a paper pointing out their flaws, given the lack of response.

    It was necessary to point out the way you’ve used a legitimate journal article to bolster these claims of yours, because not doing so would diminish the faith of the general public in the scientific method.

    I searched long and hard, and I could not find a “scientific method”. Nor has anybody else. It’s just a made-up word, that nobody knows the meaning of. Don’t take my word for it. In a 2019 round-table of Nobel laureates, many of them were asked about “how they discover things”. They laughed (some of them sheepishly) and said “we know nothing about that”. We just get ideas out of the blue, in sudden flashes of insight, not in the rational deductive way, nor in any empirically repeatable way. Nobody knows how, why, when, where, and to who those flashes appear. Without those flashes of insights, that come fully formed in a split second, there would be no progress in science.

    Otherwise, if you are interested, we can do an epistemology discussion and I can show you why both methods of rationalism and empiricism are fundamentally flawed, and incomplete. The reason that science has advanced is not because of a method, but because of sudden flashes of insight, for which no scientist known so far has any explanation. Fact: there is no known method of science.

    As regards the diminishing of faith, are so many journals, scientists, and universities so weak that a puny insignificant nobody like me could diminish people’s faith in so esteemed an institution? I’m reminding you of your immense institutional power, and the lack thereof on my side.

    The experiment described in the paper is legitimate, even though some have challenged their conclusions. But the conclusions you draw from them are not correct, to put it politely.

    It’s alright to challenge conclusions because they rely on data interpretation. You might have heard of many interpretations of quantum theory. One theory, many interpretations. In the many-worlds interpretation, numerous conclusions about other worlds are made, which don’t exist in other interpretations. You may not like it, but you cannot call it incorrect. You have to show what other problems arise by such interpretations vs. what other problems you can solve by alternatives.

    #14471
    David Smith
    Blocked

    Yes, QFT and QED are different. They arise in QED. I didn’t write it with the intention of it being for experts. The distinction between QFT and QED isn’t important here.

    I suggest that you read up on perturbation theory and loop corrections in the Feynman calculus. Until then, this discussion is futile.

    You are thinking in terms of the current mathematical formulation, trying to draw a distinction between phase and group velocities. I am not. This needs a little bit of philosophy of science.

    There is no place for philosophy in science. If you suggest something at odds with accepted scientific consensus, then you should provide a mathematical formulation to prove it. After that, you should suggest an experiment that can reproduce any prediction made by your theory. If not, the theory has no ground to stand upon.

    BTW, in the SR paper written by Einstein, there is a discussion that the speed of light could be infinite in one direction and c/2 in another.

    “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies (1905)” contains no such discussion. Rather the isotropy of space with respect to the speed of light is taken as the very basis for the paper. Such isotropy was proven by the Michelson-Morley Experiment almost 30 years before this paper. The observations made in this experiment have been reproduced multiple times in the 150 years since then, using far more accurate techniques, with isotropy now verified up to 18 decimal places. This claim is utterly wrong.

    I don’t truly follow what you are implying, but I think the point about the difference between phase and group velocities being accepted, the problem won’t go away, one experiment or another.

    Read this: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1504.06059v1.pdf
    It is a comment on the experiment. If you read it, you would understand why the problem in the quoted experiment has a rather simple explanation. It does not, as you claim, disprove SR/GR/QFT.

    They do not add information to that light. However, the SR thought experiments talk about observations of moving objects. The question is: Are these observations those of plain light, or light that carries information?

    Now since your entire argument hinges on the structure of light, and that in turn seems to be derived from the paper of Giovannini et al., I do not think you have read that paper at all. What you call structure is just the wave function. We know already what “information” it contains. The equation for a Bessel wave is given in the ArXiv comment.

    And I’m talking about physics in which a single photon can give you the length of an object.

    No arguments here. Just type out the wave function of a single photon that contains the information of the length of the object it was emitted from. And it should be able to tell the viewer how such a photon was emitted from both ends of the object, as you claim. I will concede the point if you do so.

    #14472
    Ashish Dalela
    Keymaster

    There is no place for philosophy in science.

    Then why are you wasting my time? Why don’t you go do your science without philosophy, and let me do a science based on philosophy? The science that has no place for philosophy is dead. It just doesn’t realize it, because it has been put on a life-support system to keep pretenses.

    If you suggest something at odds with accepted scientific consensus, then you should provide a mathematical formulation to prove it. After that, you should suggest an experiment that can reproduce any prediction made by your theory. If not, the theory has no ground to stand upon.

    Ah, the shut up and calculate generation. It came after WW2 as part of the American military-industrial complex taking over the academic system to limit people’s thinking and learning so that they can be used as tools to produce more technology because that is what pays for academic salaries. No more Bohr-Einstein debates, no more conversations about the meaning of complementarity, which principles should be generalized, and which ones should be overturned. Good thing, I’m not part of that system, so you have no power to set standards for me.

    “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies (1905)” contains no such discussion.

    Search for 2AB in the paper, and then think about why it is 2AB, rather than AB. Then think about how it could be infinity in one direction and c/2 in another, and still comply to the definition.

    Rather the isotropy of space with respect to the speed of light is taken as the very basis for the paper.

    Precisely my point. It is assumed.

    Such isotropy was proven by the Michelson-Morley Experiment almost 30 years before this paper.

    Not it wasn’t. There have been attempts to measure one-way speed of light, but not successful. It is always measured as a two-way speed.

    The observations made in this experiment have been reproduced multiple times in the 150 years since then, using far more accurate techniques, with isotropy now verified up to 18 decimal places. This claim is utterly wrong.

    You can reproduce two-way measurements, more accurately, a million more times. Won’t change a thing. Then again, like I said, you can also think of the same thing as delayed absoption. But you can’t, because from childhoold you have learned that motion takes time but emission and absorption are instantaneous. You don’t have the experience in which travel is instantaneous but it can take a really long time to create the conditions right for emission and absorption of information.

    There is nothing more to be said that will change anything here. I have nothing to gain from talking to you, because I know how you think, and I have already rejected that way of thinking. You are too arrogant and bigoted to even tell you about the reasons why I think differently. And I don’t care about your system of formulas, experiments, papers, and citations. End of conversation.

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