Path: cactus.org!cs.utexas.edu!usc!wupost!uunet!mtnmath!paul From: paul@mtnmath.UUCP (Paul Budnik) Newsgroups: sci.crypt,sci.physics Subject: Re: Are there truly random phenomena? Summary: A workable alternative to quantum mechanics exists. Message-ID: <151@mtnmath.UUCP> Date: 19 Aug 91 04:35:16 GMT References: <1494@cameron.egr.duke.edu> <1991Aug04.135708.6689@elevia.UUCP> + <17514@life.ai.mit.edu> Followup-To: sci.physics Organization: Mountain Math Software, P. O. Box 2124, Saratoga, CA 95070 Lines: 57 Xref: cactus.org sci.crypt:3867 sci.physics:14334 In article <17514@life.ai.mit.edu>, elwin@ai.mit.edu (Lee Campbell) writes: > > Quantum Mechanics (and its children quantum electrodynamics, quantum > chromodynamics, etc) are based on the assumption that all phenomena have > some randomness. There are theories called hidden variable theories that > postulate that the "randomness" we see is only the predictable behavior > of deeper level structures of which we are ignorant. Unfortunately, the > quantum theories, which assume true randomness, have been spectacularly > successful in predicting results, in some cases to 12 or more decimal > places (certain electron energy levels). Meanwhile, nobody has come up > with a working hidden variable theory despite the fact that such notables > as Dirac and Einstein devoted decades to the problem. > > Please show me a working theory of subatomic particles that doesn't > *assume* randomness before making broad statements about predetermination > and the "perception" theory of randomness. > - Lee Happy to oblige. Local quantum mechanics is a theory identical to standard quantum mechanics except for the collapse postulate. That is replaced by the following: Quantum collapse is engendered by experimental conditions designed to observe the classical parameters of a system. It is an objective event that occurs for a variety of reasons that are not fully understood or part of current theory. It has a local Lorentz invariant structure and will thus occur spontaneously before the point that an experiment would result in violating locality. Local quantum mechanics is consistent with standard quantum mechanics on all known experimental results. It differs from standard quantum mechanics because it does not violate locality. The experimentally testable claim of standard quantum mechanics that information can be transmitted instantly over arbitrarily large distances is not consistent with local quantum mechanics. (This information transfer can not be used to send a faster than light signal as I explained in a previous posting.) Local quantum mechanics is neutral on the subject of randomness. The unknown structure of quantum collapse may or may not be nondeterministic. It is an error to use the extreme success of some aspects of quantum mechanics to argue for other aspects that are irrelevant to these results. Many physicists question the current form of the collapse postulate with its quasi-mystical reference to an observer. But if, as seems most reasonable, quantum collapse has an objective cause then quantum theory must be incomplete. I think it far more likely that local quantum mechanics is the correct theory and that this will be verified when an effective experimental test of Bell's inequality is devised. This will provide experimental proof that quantum mechanics is incomplete and will open physics to search for the (probably deterministic) structure of quantum collapse. Randomness in the fundamental laws of physics comes what the Greeks called hubris or arrogant pride. The founders of quantum mechanics had no idea how to construct a more complete theory so they proclaimed that none exists. Paul Budnik