Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: True or False?
From Bill Howell:
I’m interested in how your worldview can potentially be used to empirically test the natural world. As an example, it seems to me that your theory predicts that (someday) the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle could be proved false. If one interprets that Principle to be about the inability to measure something because any method of measurement will disturb the object being studied, then theoretically, it would be possible to find a way to make a measurement that doesn’t disturb the object. Using the example of waves, one can’t discern the shape of an object with an instrument that uses a larger wavelength than the thing being studied. If particles don’t exist beyond a certain size (let’s say the Plank limit) then there is no way to discriminate the state of a subatomic particle that can be influenced by an interaction on that scale of magnitude. But if particles can exist which are infinitely small, then (theoretically) there are particles that are a magnitude or two less than the Plank limit which could be used to probe the structure of things at and above the Plank limit.
[Bill, I hate to disappoint you, but the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle cannot be proven false. At best, one can choose one of the two possible interpretations that can be gained from it: 1.) Uncertainty means that nature contains an element of absolute chance (Copenhagen view); 2.) Uncertainty reflects observer ignorance (Bohmian view). With UNCERTAINTY (It is impossible to know everything about anything, but it is possible to know more about anything), we have chosen the second along with its implied challenge to the finite causality of classical mechanism. This does not mean, however, that one can perform any measurement without disturbing the microcosm being measured. All microcosms contain an infinity of submicrocosms and are bathed in an infinity of supermicrocosms, so, of course, the Plank limit is only defined by those used to perform the measurement. You are right that the use of still smaller microcosms (ether particles?) would allow measurements at even smaller scales.
Incidentally, the “wave nature” of particles being measured at the scale to which the principle is applied is due to the motions induced within the macrocosm of any such particle. Interpretations differ because positivists, in particular, deny that the associated macrocosm contains anything at all. For them, the surrounding space is perfectly empty, and so they see related waves as properties of the microcosm itself. In our view, however, any particle traveling through the macrocosm must produce waves in the same way that a ship makes waves as it travels across the ocean. There is no “wave-particle” duality in univironmental determinism (UD).]
The fact that we currently have no instruments capable of probing at this scale is beside the point. One can’t say it’s impossible to create such an instrument someday in the future (because we are still too ignorant about the Cosmos to say that it’s impossible). Creating such an instrument may require using subatomic particles that are very close to absolute zero. Conversely, if one interprets the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to mean that it is not about the inability to physically measure something (which is an alternate explanation I’ve read), then that too is opposed to UD (as I understand it) and so such an instrument, if it could be created, would also falsify the Principle.
[You are right that “the inability to physically measure something” and “the inability to know everything about anything” really are equivalent. Nonetheless, a better instrument would only falsify the Planck limit, but not the principle. According to our assumption of INFINITY, the principle will apply each time a new “quasi-Planck limit” is reached.]
On a separate matter, you once told me that you weren’t a ‘steady-state’er. I had knee-jerked assumed that this was your conceptual model of the Universe. So I’m curious, is your position based on what might be called ‘first principles’ and/or the logic of your 10 Assumptions, or do you have a conceptual model that you could describe to me.
[Remember that the Steady State Theory (SST) proposed first by Bondi and Gold (1948) involved the assumption of creation, which is the opposite of our deterministic assumption of CONSERVATION (Matter and the motion of matter can be neither created nor destroyed). They did this to stay in tune with the prevailing view that the universe was expanding. The creation of one hydrogen atom per cubic meter per billion years was calculated to be enough to keep the universe expanding forever. Bondi and Gold did not mention what the universe supposedly was expanding into. Neither did they use the 4-D concept of space-time that Einstein had introduced. As you know, UD assumes through INFINITY (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions) that empty space cannot exist. It also assumes through INSEPARABILITY (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion) that there are only three dimensions, and that the objectification of time in SRT and GRT is Einstein’s greatest philosophical error (http://thescientificworldview.blogspot.com/2010/10/einsteins-most-important-philosophical.html).
A short paper on my conceptual model of Infinite Universe Theory (IUT) is at: http://scientificphilosophy.com/Downloads/IUT.pdf . I am expanding this into a short, easy to understand book for the layperson.
Bondi, H., and Gold, T., 1948, The steady-state theory of the expanding universe: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, v. 108, no. 3, p. 252-270.