A quirk of personality which resulted in one of modern science’s greatest intellects not making a sufficiently powerful statement is found with Erwin Schrödinger’s attempt to refute the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics with his paradox of the cat. I mean it is all a very cute idea, a very nice little silly idea of no particular consequence to any standers-by.
It seems that Schrödinger actually developed this idea from discussions with Einstein, who thought of the criticism first. From the Wiki on Schrödinger’s cat:
“Schrödinger and Einstein exchanged letters about Einstein’s EPR article, in the course of which Einstein pointed out that the state of an unstable keg of gunpowder will, after a while, contain a superposition of both exploded and unexploded states.”
And then many years later:
“In a letter to Schrödinger dated 1950, he wrote:
You are the only contemporary physicist, besides Laue, who sees that one cannot get around the assumption of reality, if only one is honest. Most of them simply do not see what sort of risky game they are playing with reality—reality as something independent of what is experimentally established. Their interpretation is, however, refuted most elegantly by your system of radioactive atom + amplifier + charge of gun powder + cat in a box, in which the psi-function of the system contains both the cat alive and blown to bits. Nobody really doubts that the presence or absence of the cat is something independent of the act of observation.
Note that the charge of gunpowder is not mentioned in Schrödinger’s setup, which uses a Geiger counter as an amplifier and hydrocyanic poison instead of gunpowder. The gunpowder had been mentioned in Einstein’s original suggestion to Schrödinger 15 years before, and Einstein carried it forward to the present discussion.”
And so you see that Schrödinger actually got the idea of how to refute the Copenhagen Interpretation on strictly rationalist grounds from Einstein, but importantly, Schrödinger developed the idea into something a little bit more quirky and less consequential than what Einstein had originally envisioned.
Einstein had the better idea. Instead of something so inconsequential as a cat being dead or alive or alive/dead, what if the superposition was with something much more important? What else can we make dependent upon the status of a “random” quantum nuclear event? Think about it now.
Why not a nuclear bomb? Or a powder keg, as Einstein originally thought? The Copenhagen Interpretation of the superposition of states then requires that the bomb can exist in an exploded/unexploded state until observation is made.
What the hell does that even mean? For some strange reason we feel more readily to accept this idea when put in the quirky cute terms of a cat being inside a box superposed with the status of the quantum event. The cat is alive/dead until observed. How cute!
Is it still cute and acceptable if instead of a cat, we have a megaton nuclear bomb capable of leaving a crater in the Earth hundreds of meters deep? Will the nuclear bomb exist in an exploded/unexploded state until someone looks inside the room it was contained within, at which point of observation it may have been exploded already?
What the hell does that even mean? I actually asked a science colleague about this alternative version of Schrödinger’s cat…and guess what. Just guess now. They agreed that this would be what happened…that the bomb wouldn’t be exploded until it was checked if it was exploded at which point the explosion would have already happened. WTF!?
I’ve been saying it a lot recently…in my book and in recent posts…that scientist’s minds have been destroyed, have been rendered unconscious and unable to think, by the hundred years of accepted cognitive dissonance forming the basis of the core theories of physics and as setting the standard for “intellectual” thought and peer-group acceptance.
These are the types of things that they believe in, and so, this is why scientists can accidentally accept flat Earth in modern physics…because they are conditioned to cognitive dissonance, because they are preconditioned to believe in paradoxical and contradictory and irrational and non-empirical ideas. And they don’t know how to solve such problems. Well, rather, it is that they do not detect any problems with those things, and those problems have in fact become the basis from which they (wrongly) “reason”.
There is a single reason for why science has gotten itself into this ridiculous position, and that reason is that scientists do not understand mathematics or numbers even though science is 100% dependent upon mathematics and numbers. Does this sound ridiculous, to say that scientists do not understand mathematics and numbers? Why would that be any more ridiculous than flat Earth theory as modern physics, and bombs which are exploded/unexploded? Yes, of course scientists are capable of not understanding mathematics and numbers, but use them nevertheless.
It specifically originates in science not understanding the number i, the square root of minus 1: i = √-1.
This is the process that science took in handling the number i which they didn’t understand:
1) invent an ad-hoc mathematical trick (the complex conjugate method) to get rid of the number i so that they didn’t have to see it in the equations anymore
2) since they don’t understand the number i, but found a way to get rid of it and hide it, this is therefore considered the correct mathematical solution
How does that logic strike you?
a) don’t understand a fundamental number that comes out of the equations and is found everywhere in the equations
b) think of a way to get rid of and hide the number
c) since the number is now hidden, and we didn’t understand the number, this must be the correct mathematical solution since we no longer need to think about the number or understand it
How about this alternative?
a) here is a very basic fundamental number that is everywhere in the equations, but we don’t understand it
b) let us solve understanding the number so that we can understand what it means, and how to use it
Science did not take the latter approach for, actually, a purely psychological reason. It’s purely psychological why they didn’t attempt to understand the number. It is simply because they are Sensing types rather than Intuitive types on the Myers-Briggs psychological type indicator. That is, they are Empiricists rather than Idealists. It is really that simple. Sensing type = Empiricist; Intuitive type = Idealist.
Scientists are largely fixated on matter, on sensing, and so they couldn’t figure out what to do with a number that didn’t have a direct empirical sense-based consequence. And so their solution was to ignore it, because they didn’t know how to touch it. Too bad they didn’t think about it instead.
If scientists were intuitive, as idealists, they would instead have been more concerned with understanding the number i rather than simply avoiding it because they didn’t know how to immediately touch it. Well, that’s what we’re doing now, with scientists like me, with the few of us who haven’t adopted cognitive dissonance as the standard for truth.
The number i cannot just be swept under the rug and hidden simply because you don’t understand it. That is NOT a solution! You cannot claim to have a valid mathematical solution and subsequent physical insight when your solution to an unknown is to hide and ignore the unknown with an ad-hoc trick; you cannot claim that by way of hiding yourself from what you don’t know that you now have the correct or a valid mathematical answer or physical insight! Could you imagine if mathematics worked that way!? Imagine if that’s how you were taught to solve math problems in elementary school! Well, that’s how scientists have taught themselves…
But it is this “strategy”, if it could be called that, from which the subsequent interpretation of random events and superposition of mutually exclusive states then originates. By not understanding the number i and by hiding from it, it works out that one then must assume that nature is random at its basis level and that exploded/unexploded bombs can exist until they’re observed (at which point it may have already exploded).
The purpose of the existence of logical paradoxes isn’t to embrace them and adopt them as the basis of thought, but to solve them! Especially when you have problems like this where you can trace the paradox back quite easily to its originating point. That is, the logical paradox of exploded/unexploded bombs originates earlier in the logically unjustified “strategy” of ignoring the number i and coming up with an ad-hoc scheme to ignore it. You have a known unknown here, and you don’t know what the result would be of solving the unknown, and so there is no valid extrapolation from the point of the unknown forward. You have to solve the known unknown first, and then you can figure out what the physical consequences are.
Just scan through that Wiki link above on Schrödinger’s cat paradox: to this day, they are still just as confused as ever as to what to do with it, how to solve it, and what it means.
And so, would you like to know what role the number i plays? What is the number i actually trying to tell you?
The number i is telling you about time. The number i is telling you about the time of the quantum event. Once you make this delineation and separation between real and imaginary numbers (real numbers correspond with the spatial aspects of events, imaginary numbers with temporal aspects of events), then you no longer need to take the complex-conjugate (the ad-hoc trick) and you no longer get the illogical superposition of exploded/unexploded bombs. And you no longer need to think that existence is random at the basis level, etc.
Imaging licking quantum mechanics, and solving the randomist interpretation of quantum events. Don’t you think that this will give you tremendously more power over nature than the merely statistical approach?
Science should understand the number i, rather than running and hiding from it, and ignoring it. Doing the latter has resulted in scientists having to accept cognitive dissonance, i.e. irrationality, as their explanation for existence. And this has gone on for a hundred years now, and has resulted in science now even being able to accept flat Earth theory(!) as modern physics. It has become so embedded even as a requirement for peer-group acceptance within academia, that to reduce the cognitive dissonance of the community is to separate yourself from it and to become ostracized and rejected by it.
That will not last.