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What Did Heinz Pagels Mean?

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Posted by Alan on September 21, 2001 01:00:43 UTC

In the Book, edited by Timothy Ferris: "The World Treasury Of Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics"; there are two chapters from physicist Heinz Pagels' book "The Cosmic Code".

In considering some of the implications of quantum uncertainty, he writes "an important warning" that the Heisenberg uncertainty relation does not apply to a single measurement on a single particle; but is a statement about a statistical average over lots of measurements of position and momenta. It only has meaning if you repeat measurements. Electrons are not fuzzy and do not lack objectivity. (Page 101).

So I tried to reconcile what he said, and what Ditchburn says, and what you say, in the post about uncertainty and common sense. What's the answer?

I think what you say tallies with the analogy I used in the other post, of a music-momentum vesus music-position trade-off for music excerpts (size
of hydrogen atom corresponds to size of music excerpt).

Mapping this into pattern-match language; a wave is a variation of a standing wave (or collection of superposed standing waves); a wave is a constant MATCH between two passing 'musical chairs' games. The 'join the dots' of the temporary locality of the wave is a snapshot of the wave as itself being a 'musical chairs' game linking the other two games.

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