Spooky action at a distance

Blog 20151028 Spooky action at a distance

Regressive physicists of the quantum mechanics stripe think they have discovered what even Einstein thought impossible. The New York Times is right on top of it, spreading the propaganda with this article:

Markoff, John, 2015, Sorry, Einstein. Quantum Study Suggests ‘Spooky Action’ Is Real, New York Times: New York, p. A13 [ http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/22/science/quantum-theory-experiment-said-to-prove-spooky-interactions.html?emc=edit_th_20151022&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=51980164&_r=0 ].

According to Markoff: “In a landmark study, scientists at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands reported that they had conducted an experiment that they say proved one of the most fundamental claims of quantum theory — that objects separated by great distance can instantaneously affect each other’s behavior.

The finding is another blow to one of the bedrock principles of standard physics known as “locality,” which states that an object is directly influenced only by its immediate surroundings.” It “is the strongest evidence yet to support the most fundamental claims of the theory of quantum mechanics about the existence of an odd world formed by a fabric of subatomic particles, where matter does not take form until it is observed and time runs backward as well as forward.”

[GB: Since this has been in the news for some time, I need to comment. Again the main problem with quantum mechanics (QM) involves its rejection of many of the Ten Assumptions of Science.
1.     The primary transgression is their rejection of the Eighth Assumption of Science, infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions) and their resulting aether denial. According to neomechanics, quantum particles are bathed in aether, producing phenomena in which the resulting waves are often mistaken for the particles themselves.
2.     The supposition that “matter does not take form until it is observed” is taken right out of the immaterialist’s handbook. Bishop Berkeley, Deepak Chopra, and their religious progeny would be proud of this rejection of the First Assumption of Science, materialism (The external world exists after the observer does not).
3.     The silly idea that “time runs backward as well as forward” fits this solipsistic pattern. It is a clear rejection of the Seventh Assumption of Science, irreversibility (All processes are irreversible). Time is motion. Whenever a microcosm moves, no matter how small, it moves with respect to the rest of the universe. The microcosm never can return to its previous relationship to the rest of the universe—both the microcosm and the rest of the universe have changed in the meantime. One might consider this nit-picky, but it is not in the face of such outrageous claims.]
4.     Markoff writes: “The tests take place in a mind-bending and peculiar world. According to quantum mechanics, particles do not take on formal properties until they are measured or observed in some way. Until then, they can exist simultaneously in two or more places. Once measured, however, they snap into a more classical reality, existing in only one place.” [GB: Mind-bending all right, but nonetheless right in tune with operationalism, which is the version of myopic indeterminism that assumes that “unless, I can feel, see, taste, or measure something, it does not exist.” This is no different from Chopra’s claim that unless he can see the moon, it too does not exist. The fact is that all our measurements in science change the object of investigation in some way. Nonetheless, we assume that all microcosms have properties before we are able to measure them. In QM, of course, the act of measuring can produce profound changes that may produce “formal properties” having little to do with nature. Despite the usual hubris, many scientists are not at all sure that the rubble produced in our accelerators actually tells us much about undamaged particles. It is especially amazing to me that normally skeptical operationalists can be so illogically sure that QM particles “can exist simultaneously in two or more places.”

The next step in QM work will be headlined by Dr. Guth (of increasingly inflationary universe fame) that will “attempt an experiment that will have a better chance of ensuring the complete independence of the measurement detectors by gathering light from distant objects.” I cannot imagine how this could possibly work, just as I cannot imagine the “complete independence” of detectors. Most detectors operate at the behest of electro-magnetic (EM) radiation. They are about as “independent” as your cell phone, which is dependent on the universal aether to receive and emit EM radiation for its operation.

Again, phenomena that display “action at a distance” are “spooky” only to aether deniers. Without aether, we are stuck with “curved empty space,” “curved spacetime,” or the magical “attractive force” that still makes no sense even though it has been a solipsistic favorite for centuries. What seems to be “action at a distance” is most likely a local effect produced by variations in aether pressure, as we suggested as the neomechanical cause of gravitation.[1] I must admit that I have not examined the experimental details in the Delft paper. What with the above mentioned transgressions against science I am not sure that I want to. Papers like these get great press because they pander to the religious crowd. QM is the extreme end of the regression, with even Einstein being opposed. If you doubt the religious connection, check out this YouTube video that David de Hilster suffered through:  http://youtu.be/4C5pq7W5yRM

[1] Borchardt, Glenn, and Puetz, Stephen J., 2012, Neomechanical Gravitation Theory, in Volk, Greg, Proceedings of the Natural Philosophy Alliance, 19th Conference of the NPA, 25-28 July: Albuquerque, NM, Natural Philosophy Alliance, Mt. Airy, MD, v. 9, p. 53-58 [http://www.worldsci.org/pdf/abstracts/abstracts_6529.pdf].


Bligh said...

I hope Westmiller responds to this. There are so many ideas lumped into this blog that need to be sorted out. IF the attempt was to denigrate QM, that is.
non-local actions have been demonstrated since the 80s.

Westmiller said...

GB: "... phenomena that display “action at a distance” are “spooky” only to aether deniers."

This implies that aetherism (like that coin?) endorses instantaneous "action at a distance", but I don't think that's what you believe. Wave or particle, all interaction takes time.

GB: "... I must admit that I have not examined the experimental details in the Delft paper."

All the entanglement experiments require is conservation of matter in motion. When two particles (or waves) are emitted by a single object, they must
have complementary trajectories and attributes. So, it's no surprise that one object will have the opposite spin, whether we measure one or the other ... or neither. It's purely hyperbole to say that measuring a plus spin on one *causes* the other to have a negative spin.

The other problem with the more complex "entanglements" is that spin has no preferred orientation: it is never entirely positive or negative. The instruments can only measure one or the other, even when the spin axis is up to 90 degrees off perpendicular. The "quantum effect" is just a 2% error rate in the instrument.

Note that this is only one of at least a half-dozen theories under the "Quantum" label. Explaining all of this supposed weirdness would require a much longer article.

Glenn Borchardt said...


You are correct in writing that "wave or particle, all interaction takes time." Reactions interpreted to be "instantaneous" generally fail to include the macrocosm as a factor. Thus, our Neomechanical Gravitation Theory speculates that gravitation is a result of variations in aether pressure. Baryonic matter is surrounded by aether particles that have reduced velocity due to their having had collisions with baryonic matter. The upshot is that every massive body is many times larger than it appears, with a low-pressure region actually performing as if it was a part of that body. That is why gravity displays no aberration, while light does.