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What Quantum Mechanics Means For Spacetime

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on May 20, 2003 18:50:25 UTC

I know I am not to be poting now but I just read a great paper that I am sure many of you will enjoy. It is relevant to most of the recent discussions on this forum. So I'll just give you the link and abstract and let you discuss it.

You need Adobe.

Date: Sat, 17 May 2003 02:07:26 GMT (29kb)
Is the end in sight for theoretical pseudophysics?
Authors: Ulrich Mohrhoff
Comments: Invited chapter for "Progress in Quantum Physics Research", ed. V. Krasnoholovets, to be published by Nova Science; 28 pages, LaTeX
Report-no: SAASP 030511
The question of what ontological message (if any) is encoded in the formalism of contemporary physics is, to say the least of it, controversial. The reasons for this state of affairs are psychological and neurobiological. The processes by which the phenomenal world is constructed by our minds and brains, predispose us towards concepts of space, time, and substance that are inconsistent with the spatiotemporal and substantial aspects of the quantum world. In the first part of this chapter these aspects are extracted from the quantum formalism, which is taken to be exactly what somehow or other it obviously is - a probability algorithm. The nature of a world that is fundamentally and irreducibly described by a probability algorithm is determined. The neurobiological processes responsible for the mismatch between our "natural" concepts of space, time, and substance and the corresponding aspects of the quantum world are discussed in the second part. It is shown how these concepts give rise to pseudoproblems and gratuitous solutions ("theoretical pseudophysics") that foil our attempts to make ontological sense of the quantum formalism. Once a number of psychologically motivated but physically unwarranted assumptions are discarded (including our dogged insistence on obtruding upon the quantum world the intrinsically and infinitely differentiated spatiotemporal background of classical theories), we are in a position to see why our fundamental physical theory is a probability algorithm, and to solve the remaining interpretational problems.


The contention of the paper is that reality is top down, not built up from matter and waves. What exist are spatial relationships of different forms of the same thing. An infinitely divisible space and time does not exist. This all comes from quantum mechanics being an algorithm of probobilities.

There is not past future or present in quantum mechanics. The paper relates to classical theory or the macro world and it also relates to consciousness.



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