Quantum paradoxes led to idea of existence of God




Quantum paradoxes led to the idea of the existence of God, March 11, 2013

Not the most direct way. That is, no argument for the existence of God quantum mechanics does not. But it does so indirectly, by putting forward an argument against the philosophy of materialism, which is the main intellectual opponent of faith in God in the modern world.

Materialism – is an atheistic philosophy, which claims that all comes down to the reality of matter and its interactions. Development it has received, people have long since moved away from the medieval darkness and believe in science, and science studies as time interacting matter. People think that physics has shown that the material world – is a closed system of cause and effect (which does not allow us to travel back in time ), bounded on all manifestations of non-physical reality – if one exists. And as our thoughts and the mind affects the physical world, then they themselves must be natural phenomena. No place in this world for the soul and free will: for we are materialists – “machinery of meat.”

Quantum mechanics, oddly enough, a challenge to the materialist view of things. Eugene Wigner (Eugene Wigner), winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, said that materialism – at least in relation to the human mind – “is not logically consistent with present quantum mechanics” . Following the basics of quantum mechanics, Sir Rudolf Peierls (Rudolf Peierls), another great physicist of the 20th century, said that “the view that you can describe the physical terms all the functions of a human being, including his knowledge and consciousness, is untenable. Something missing. ”

How – you ask – quantum mechanics can tell something about the human mind? Is not this paper we describe the physics of particles and forces? Yes, it is, but the mind can not be measured, in the end, it is measured by other minds. And this, as we shall see later, it is impossible to ignore quantum mechanics. If someone thinks that it is possible (in principle) – to give a complete physical description of what happens during the measurement of the mind, including the human mind, which measures – he will face some difficulties. It is noticed in the 1930s one of the great mathematician John von Neumann. We will not go into the technical details of his essay, but will try to describe in detail his arguments.

It all starts with the fact that quantum mechanics, in fact, a probability. Of course, even the classical physics (ie, the one that preceded quantum mechanics and is still used for different purposes), we assume a possibility, but they were not, if the information was missing. Quantum mechanics is fundamentally different: it says that even if we have complete information about the state of a physical system, the laws of physics will only be able to predict future results. These probabilities are encoded in a system called the “wave function”.

A famous example is the idea of ​​life. Radioactive nucleus “splits” in the small nuclei and other particles. If the half-life of certain nuclei, say, an hour, which means that the core of this type there is a 50 percent chance to decompose in an hour, 75 per cent – for two hours, etc. The equations of quantum mechanics does not say (and can not), when radioactive particles decay, only the probability that it will happen in a certain period of time. For nuclei is not that typical. The principles of quantum mechanics apply to all physical systems, and these principles are inevitable and essentially probabilistic.

From here the problems begin. Paradoxical, but it is quite logical fact that the probability is meaningful only if the predicted probability of something specific. For example, Faith has 70% chance to pass the exam in Russian language, if it is to prepare and get a good grade. Despite this variation, the probability of changing to 100% (if the test is successful) or 0% (if faith does not pass). In other words, the probability of events, which lies between zero and one hundred, at some point has to choose one of the bowls of scales, otherwise there is no chance.

Here, in quantum mechanics comes a difficult question. The main equation that is responsible for the change of the wave function over time (the Schrödinger equation) is not responsible for the fact that the probability of a sudden choose 0 or 100 per cent, but posits that it will flow smoothly into something that is greater than zero and less than a hundred. Radioactive nuclei – a good example. Schrödinger equation states that the “probability of survival” of the core (ie, the probability that it does not break) starts at 100% and gradually comes to 50% (after one half-life) to 25% (after two half-lives) and so on , but it never reaches zero. In other words, the Schrödinger equation only displays the probability of decay, not the decay. (If the decay occurs, the probability of “survival” will be equal to 0).

To sum up: a) the probability of quantum mechanics must be the probability of certain events, and b) when a specific event occurs, the probability of jumping from zero to one hundred percent. In addition, c) mathematics that describes all of the physical processes (Schrödinger equation), does not describe these jumps. Roughly speaking, everything that happens in the physical world can be described by the equations of physics.

Now let’s think about how the mind fit in this still life? Traditionally it is believed that there are “certain events”, the probability of which is calculated in quantum mechanics as a result of “measurement” or “observation” (synonyms). If someone (observer) wants to see a collapsed core, for example, using a Geiger counter, he or she receives a definite answer, yes or no. Obviously, at this point the probability that the atom has decayed, should come either to zero or to a hundred percent, because the observer will receive a certain result. This is common sense. The likely outcome are reduced to anyone’s knowledge: before we know the results of the exam, which is losing faith, we’ll give her a 70% on successful completion. After that we have to choose one of the two, take it or leave it.

The traditional interpretation of probability in quantum mechanics – and the “wave function”, which it describes – is reduced to the level of knowledge of the observer. As famous physicist Sir James Jeans, the wave functions – a “wave of knowledge.” Knowledge of the observer – and the wave function that describes it – to make short jump to a particular outcome when he or she wants to know for sure result of the study (the famous “quantum leap”, known as the “collapse of the wave function”). But the Schrödinger equation, which describes any physical process, do not make such leaps. This means that there is something more that comes into play when the knowledge changes, regardless of the physical processes.

The natural question is why we even worth talking about knowledge and about the mind? Can an inanimate object (the same Geiger counter) to measure what we need? And here comes the problem that described the same von Neumann if the “observer” will be exclusively a physical object, like a Geiger counter, someone has to describe a large wave function, which will include not only the object to be measured, but an observer. By the Schrödinger equation, a large wave function also does not collapse. That is, until involving only the physical elements specified in the equation, probably will not make leaps.

That’s why when Peierls wondered whether the machine be “an observer, he replied” no “, explaining that” quantum mechanics describes the terms of knowledge, and knowledge requires someone who knows. ” No physical mechanism, but the mind.

But what if someone refuses to accept this conclusion and will argue that there are only physical inputs, and all the observers and their consciousness can be described by physical equations? In this case, the quantum probability will remain in limbo, do not hesitate from 0 to 100 percent, but it is somewhere in between. They never present definitive answers, but will remain in the game. And here we are, willy-nilly have to think about what is called the “many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.”

In this interpretation of reality is divided into many branches, corresponding to all possible outcomes of all physical situations. If the probability of an event is 70%, then it will not happen in the case of zero or one hundred percent, but remain 70 percent – after the measurement of a result in a bifurcation takes place, and the other (which is responsible for 30%) – no, creating a different reality, where Vera not taking an exam. Imagine that there are two realities, one of which the nucleus has broken up, and the other – no, and you are an observer of one of the events. Or not you and your “other” version, in a different reality. In the many-worlds view of the world you exist in an infinite number of options: in some of the realities of you reading this article, other – sleep, in the third was not born. Many-worlds interpretation is maddening.

Wrote the author of “Physics of the Impossible”:

“In the ordinary world, we sometimes joke that you can not be” a little bit pregnant. ” But in the quantum world, the situation is even worse. Woman in it, there would be the sum of all possible states at once her body: she is both non-pregnant, pregnant, girl, old woman, woman, business woman, and so on). ”

The funny thing in all this is that if the mathematical description of quantum mechanics is true (and most physicists “strongly believes” in it) and that the materialists are right, a person has to live with the many-worlds interpretation of the head. But can a materialist to admit it?

If, on the other hand, we agree with the traditional understanding of quantum mechanics, which goes back to von Neumann and is consistent with the logic of (Wigner and Peierls), we have to say that all is matter in motion and there is something in the human mind, it is worth above matter and its laws. But then we have to respond to more serious issues, which do not want to say the materialists, if the human mind can comprehend the properties of matter in general, it may, there is another reason, which is above the man? Maybe there is a Supreme Intelligence?

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Tags: God , John von Neumann , Quantum mechanics, Eugene Wigner


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