Posted: 04 October 2012 at 10:47pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by K.Universe.
1. Extrapolation implies that we are trying to estimate values outside a known data range. There is no unknown data range in this context. If you disagree, please let me know why.
2. The macroscopic properties of matter, be it solids, liquids or gasses, are completely depend on the microscopic particles ("atomic sized things" as you eloquently put it) composing it. If you disagree, please let me know why.
3. A wave function, described by Schrodinger's equations, is the most complete description you could give to a physical system be it moon or any other entity that you could think of. If you disagree please let me know why.
4. The moon's wave function is in a superposition of several different possible eignestates. If you disagree please let me know why.
5. The relation between the wave function and the underlying reality (ex: "spherical object reflecting light") is dependent on which interpretation (semantic explanation of mathematical equations as outlined by Schrodinger) of Quantum Mechanics one would want to go with. If you disagree please let me know why.
6. The Copenhagen Interpretation is the standard interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. If you disagree please let me know why.
7. Per Copenhagen Interpretation, a wave function appears to collapse (one single possibility emerging from several different possibilities) only after an interaction with an observer. If you disagree please let me know why.
8. If there were no observers, there would be no collapse which means it is meaningless to ask anyone to pick one possibility out of several different possibilities. If you disagree please let me know why.
Which is why I said, the answer to the question of what exists (existed) before an observation is made is fuzzy at best.
We could also discuss the other popular interpretation (Many worlds interpretation) but that would be more shocking than the Copenhagen interpretation, trust me.
To sum up, the math behind Quantum Mechanics is fool proof. The interpretation of what the math means is what is up for discussion.
Yes, of course we are discussing the interpretations, how exactly can we explain the reality. I am not questioning the math.
Some questions. Don't take it as some angry argument because I am reading this stuff to form response and am still trying to make sense of it. So, I may go on a wrong tangent.
First, do you think "observer" has to be conscious? From what I read, the problem at macro scale is that particles are not in isolation. The particles interact with each other, and there are so many particles therefore so many interactions, which does not let the object go "fully in the superposition state".(I can't word it better, sorry.
) The interaction collapses the wave-function as if the object is observing itself. The idea is environmentally induced decoherence. It may help explain the classical reality of the macroscopic objects. Because the gravity doesn't disappear if we don't observe moon and it's orbit will keep in place if we observe it after many days or months. Feel free to correct me if I am getting it wrong.