The Quantum World

Friday, February 27, 2015

Christian Sociologist's View of the Many Worlds Theory

We are about to take a mini- journey into the multi-dimensionality or multiverse of social reality. So, buckle your seats belts because this one is going to blow your mind! At first glance this may seem too daunting and too hard to grasp because it is indeed hard for three dimensional beings like us to even imagine interacting parallels let alone the higher of higher dimensions  - just as it was hard for the flatlander to imagine three dimensions or just this 'verse/world'.

A new theory of quantum mechanics was developed by Bill Poirier, a chemical physicist at Texas Tech University. The theory discusses parallel worlds' existence and the quantum effects observed in nature. According to Poirier's theory, quantum reality is not wave-like at all, but is composed of multiple, classical-like worlds. In each of these worlds, every object has very definite physical attributes, such as position and momentum. Within a given world, objects interact with each other classically. All quantum effects, on the other hand, manifest as interactions between "nearby" parallel worlds.

The idea of many worlds is not new. In 1957, Hugh Everett III published what is now called the "Many Worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics. "But in Everett's theory, the worlds are not well defined," according to Poirier, "because the underlying mathematics is that of the standard wave-based quantum theory."

In contrast, in Poirier's "Many Interacting Worlds" theory, the worlds are built into the mathematics right from the start.  Poirier first arrived at the idea unexpectedly, in the pursuit of a much more practical goal. He said that he was trying to develop an efficient computational method using something called quantum trajectories, when it suddenly dawned on him that you could get everything from the trajectories (i.e. the worlds) themselves, without actually needing any wave.

Poirier is using his social imagination. He is able to visualize this theory because of years of social interaction with colleagues who have similar interests - quantum. In fact, what he does, what I do is possible because of many interacting worlds. However, personally, I think Poirier is making a quantum leap mistake when he suggests his idea of many interacting worlds is somehow new or different from a multiverse. As I said, he is only able to imagine it because of his social interactions. And, I say this because of his conclusion that the interacting many worlds have been programmed from the get go ‘built into the math from the start.’ If that is the case, then what Poirier is really talking about is the well connected logically laid out multiverse. 

Essentially, that for me suggests a creator. As a Christian sociologist, I can and do claim that the multiverse is ultimately a soup of many interacting worlds which exist as probabilities in God’s omnipotent nature; all occurring simultaneously based on all the living beings that can make a choice.  From a Christian viewpoint, the multiverse is an explanation for how God's omnipotence does not contradict our free will. 

A multiverse or many worlds interacting having a Creator would be mathematically outlined from the beginning (as Poirier pointed) and would in fact use probability to create the most optimal outcome for the universe and everything in it. The question that most people ask about now is what about all the bad ‘evil’ things that happen. Question ~ Is that what a Creator would think of as part of the multiverse and can be used toward an optimal outcome? Well, that is a good question. Evil or corruption is able to be utilized to create the most optimal conditions while at the same time allowing bad choices to exist but for a limited amount of time until finally eliminated all together. How does the problem of evil fit with the multiverse? Evil is simply corruption by another name. 

As long as you have beings that have the ability to make decisions on their own, corruption is always present. Multiverse is a means by which God's omnipotence does not conflict with created beings free will. It allows the Creator to guide the universe toward the most optimal to guide the multiverse which is the infinite probability toward the most optimal conclusion.

For example, if you wanted the perfect outcome of any event or even a relationship given free will you could not control the choice of the other individual. But you would have the ability to select the best outcome to guide them toward that end. Because, as omnipresent Creator, you know what the best end is. This way you would be able to arrive at the conclusion and relationship which is best for both parities without taking away or diminishing the choices of either party.

That is my take on the many worlds. 

Photo used and Poirer's work summarized here was outsourced from  ~ www.sciencedaily.com with credit going to Credit: © Giuseppe Porzani / Fotolia 

Story material came from Texas Tech University and other Journal Sources

  1. Michael J. W. Hall, Dirk-AndrĂ© Deckert, Howard M. Wiseman. Quantum Phenomena Modeled by Interactions between Many Classical Worlds. Physical Review X, 2014; 4 (4) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.4.041013
  2. Jeremy Schiff, Bill Poirier. Communication: Quantum mechanics without wavefunctions. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 2012; 136 (3): 031102 DOI: 10.1063/1.3680558
  3. Bill Poirier. Bohmian mechanics without pilot waves. Chemical Physics, 2010; 370 (1-3): 4 DOI: 10.1016/j.chemphys.2009.12.024

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sociologists on the world of quanta ~ what we give to it!

In the first year of the twentieth century, a professor of theoretical physics in Berlin, Max Planck, suggested that light was not absorbed smoothly, but rather in small bundles or "quanta." Five years later, a Swiss patent clerk, Albert Einstein, proposed that the radiation itself must exist as quanta. Thus was born a new age in physics — the age of the quantum — in which some of the most basic assumptions of classical physics were swept away, and a magnificent new theoretical structure created.
This new physics was steeped in higher mathematics. Its concepts were often in contradiction with common sense. It rapidly became increasingly abstract and complex, to such an extent that even those well versed in classical physics were often unable to follow its labyrinthine turns and twists. Well, that's all well and good for the creative intellectual. How can the layman understand it? 

Well, it can be understood as analogies, examples, and imaginative insights, acquainting the layman with the historical development and basic meaning of such momentous theories and discoveries as Bohr's energy levels of the atom, Pauli's exclusion principle, de Broglie's wave theory, Bohr's correspondence principle. Schroedinger's wave equation, Heinsenberg's uncertainty principle, Dirac's fundamental laws of quantum mechanics, Sommerfeld's fine structure theory, Feynman's world lines, electron spin, invariance, the quantum number, and numerous other concepts that so drastically changed our notion of the universe.

~ Henry Margenau, Professor of Physics, Yale University.

Now, let me begin talking about what I call the social quantum view.  Firstly, perhaps I must defend my own science, sociology, a soft science yes but one that gets left out indeed of the world and its information mechanics. I think I have only to point to experiments that have been done to prove the world of quanta as those same experiments explain social reality. There is 'no thing' to describe until it is observed.

Once observed, then how to describe it. As a single observer of an event/thing, I can only describe it using the information I have which has been socially acquired. I can draw on that and arrive at a description. Now, getting others to agree with that description, that effectually socially arrived description that I used from my social data bank, is another problem; because all of us and including scientists have a social data bank.

What I must do is to ask others in my field to observe what I observed and for us to compare notes, what we arrive at will also be of a social description, affirmed socially based on the social dynamics of the group  for the purpose of gaining a description that we can all agree on - a socially agreed upon description what sociologist now call ~ agreement reality.

Of course, a thing observed can be assumed to ultimately have an absolute character or objectivity or what Weber called an ideal type. Now, this absolute is only assumed because we assume that no man can know intimately every part/thing in the universe. Such omnipotent data is unknowable to anything or to any man 'observer' here on earth in the same way. Firstly because of location and second because of meaning which comes into the scenario through interaction with others in a place.

However, I could argue that location does not matter as on the quantum level there is no distance between one point and another - this was labeled non-locality. Essentially, what I mean is that from our position on the earth, empirically, we cannot say we know the other side of the universe in the same way we know our immediate surroundings.

The sociologist understands that not everything in the universe can not be known immediately or even objectively but we can assume for the sake of creating a stable and dependable social reality that an absolute character or quality as in nature of the universe exists.  

Therefore, I can assume that what I experience as the universe is similar to someone else's as long as I start from the assumption of an absolute. Yet, from my personal point of view what I see and describe could be different from another person's who is in another place than I am as we can understand that location is relevant as the meaning which I acquire from being in a place is different from someone else's and this would have a significant impact on my description. 

What sociologists give to the world of quanta is just this. Social interaction in a place does have an impact on description and can determine how the social imagination in a place can use the information obtained in/from a place to describe objects/behavior observed by him/herself and others in that same place. 

What about non-locality in the world of quanta?  Good question, right? Answering as a sociologist, I would say that it such a question takes us back to the assumption of absolute nature of the universe. Social reality then both objective from a bird's eye view and subjective. Like a telescope that can zoom in and out on a fixed object. We see more when we zoom out holding still to the fixed object which can give a broader context. Yet, is the social reality of the fixed point changed when we zoom back in or go back out again?  If you answer no ~ that's understanding the application of non-locality in the social reality.