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Lacking a knowledge of science, as an objectivist

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emorris1000
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I don't put science above philosophy, I find them of equal importance. Or thereabouts. You need both. If you are going to go through a bunch of effort to learn a philosophy that reveres reality, you should probably spend some time studying reality.

Then I think that you have missed the point Brian, myself and others here have been trying to make. If I had to rank philosophy and the other sciences in order of "importance", I would think I would put philosophy first. In that one can do a lot of rational thinking and have a rational code of ethics etc without knowing a lot about any other science but philosophy ( yes, you do need to know *some* stuff from the other sciences ).

Not to mention that without philosophy, you would never be able to get anywhere in the other sciences anyway.

But yeah, you do need both philosophy and the other sciences to some extent. Which is why Rand was not ignorant of the scientific facts ( I am excluding philosophy here ) which were important to her , even if they were apparently largely basic facts.

But yes, I would agree with the statement that Rand, Peikoff etc grasp some aspects of those sciences better than some alleged experts. Does not require them being masters of those sciences, just to be able to properly use philosophical detection to detect philosophical errors and their implications. Though knowing a little science can sometimes help too ;)

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Rational [Re]programmer,

Well you have forced me to explain myself. HAHA. Damn! Here we go.

I must say, I respect your fairness a great deal. You ask questions and make no assumptions on my intended meaning. This is a rare attribute, one I wish more people had. I like speaking with people like you. I have noticed your fair responses in here. Often, many people see a post as an argument, or an assertion, but I find assertions lack power. Sometimes I get frustrated with these blind assertions. Your question is a good one. Questions are far more powerful then assertions or arguments.

Honestly, I had no "moral" in mind. I am offering no "correct" way to act. This story, which I guess was more of a play, was a commentary on both philosophy and science.

The reality in this story is...the grandmother was sick and there was no demon.

However, the father could not prove to the grandmother that the demon was not there. He, in fact had no real, physical proof to offer. All he could really offer as proof was this:

He was told by doctors that what the grandmother saw was a result of her mental illness, her brain's confusion between what was in her mind and what she observed in the physical world. This is in fact subjective proof. The father had faith that the doctors were correct, but he did not really know how the doctors came to this conclusion. The father believed her brain was abnormal. He concluded this because grandma did not act like other people, but when she took meds, she began to act more like other people. The father knew that when she took the medication, she would stop seeing demons, but is this hard evidence that the demon is not there? Proof: you see the demon. When you take meds, you don't see the demon, thus the demon is not there? If people get really drunk, some thoughts may make sense to them, though those thoughts may be completely irrational. they perceive the world in a different way, but are those perception true?

The absence of evidence is not evidence. I cannot claim that God does not exist because I cannot find him, just as I cannot claim that God does exist; it is just that I have not found him yet. If I make conclusions like this, I am being irrational. In this context, I can only reasonibly conclude that I have no conclusion.

In fact, the only thing the father could really prove was the absence of physical proof. That absence was his only means of proving that the demon was not there, but he could only prove this to the child. He and the child could investigate the room and they would not find a demon, thus they would conclude that a demon is no there. He and the child would then agree on this conclusion.This investigation, however, would prove the opposite to the grandmother because if they took her into the room, she would see the demon.

The grandmother and the father agree on one thing: Only grandma can see the demon. This conclusion however means something different to each of them.

The scientists and the layman would agree on the same thing.

Let me put it this way, without scientific understanding, one can prove that atoms do not exist in the same way the man proves to the child that demons do not exist: Atoms do not exist because if we look for them in your room, we will not find them. Only a scientist sees the Atom. The scientist would say, "just because you cannot see the atom, does not mean the atom is not there.I have observed an atom. I understand the atom much more than you do, therefore you are the blind one. You are blind to the atoms existence." Even if a scientist attempted to show us an atom, would we all agree that we are observing the same thing? Would we actually know what we are observing? We would have to believe the scientist when he said, "you see, that is an atom."

If a man is firmly convinced that an atom does not exist...and he is shown this "atom." He would attempt to rationally justify his conclusion by rationally questioning the scientists methods and understanding of what he is observing. He might say, "we agree we are both seeing something, but I dont believe you truly know what that something is." How could the scientist reason the man away from this conclusion?

I was once told to count all the things I know to be true and then ask myself how I know. Most of the things I thought I knew turned out to be beliefs. They were things that some one told me were true. The only things I really knew were true were basic things that I myself could observe and test. If those tests proved my hypothesis correct every time, then I could conclude that I know some truths. All other things, to me, would be inconclusive, so as a rational person, i would have to conclude they were, to me, inconclusive. Even the fact that the planet spins and revolves around the sun, must be inconclusive to me, because I have not really observed this happening. I can only believe this happens, which I do.

Here is were I completely agree with Ayn Rand, though I admit that I question her in other areas. (I do believe she was a very intelligent person and respect her as such) What I believe and what I dont believe are inconsequential, in the sense that my belief will not change the actual truth. A fact, observed or unobserved, believed or not believed, is still an objective fact, whatever that fact is, whether we know of this fact or not.

My ignorance, or denial of a fact, however, may have consequences for me, or for humanity. Likely, my belief that something is a fact, when it is not a fact may also have consequences for me, or for humanity.

For example, if humans are not melting the polar ice caps and killing off life that is crucial to our survival, if we are not causing the planet to change faster than life can adapt to those changes, then the planet and humanity is safe, but if we are causing this to happen, then we might be causing major problems for ourselves.

This concept, is, with out doubt, a fact. I must agree this is true. You must agree this is true. A scientist must agree this is a true, an objectivist must agree this is true, a subjectivist must agree this is true and, yes, even a Christian must agree this is true. But this fact cannot be used to confirm or deny anything.

The different interpretations of this fact is the problem because this fact can be used in an argument for all of the beliefs mentioned above, even the most irrational of them.

Observation is not the problem. The problem is the interpretation of the observation. A christian will say, "I can prove that God exists, but the proof I offer is conditional. First you must believe that what I am showing you, is truly what I am showing you, that my evidence is, in fact, evidence."

This means, in order for us to be convinced by the evidence, we must become Christians. The problem: we require the proof before we decide to become Christians, but we must do the opposite and abandon all of our conclusions. We must first be convinced without being convinced and only then will we agree that what the christian is providing as proof...is truly proof.

This is the same with a scientist. He can say, I will show you an Atom, or I will prove global warming is a real occurrence that is caused by man, but first, you must abandon your personal conclusions. He then will show us something that we do not really understand, but this is not enough because we don't understand what we are observing. We require much more knowledge, therefore we must become scientists ourselves. If we believe scientists are full of crap, then we are being asked to become a scientist before we the validity of scientific research is proven to us.

The same goes for philosophers. We must believe before we learn enough to know. We must buy into a specific method of understanding. This has nothing to do with who is truly right.

So should science come before philosophy? Good question. I have used philosophy to put all methods of understanding what we observe into question...and by doing so I have also questioned philosophy. Funny how that works. Observation is the first step to gaining true knowledge, but what happens when we jump to explaining an observation, before we actually question it, before we explore it, before we test our hypothesis and attempt to apply those preconceptions to the physical world? A philosopher might claim that he can simply observe and then explain, based on the outside knowledge of everything he understnds, but is this rational?

The nature of proof must be questioned.

Lastly, in the context of this post, some people, on this site, have accused me of making the same point over and over. It is true that I am making one point in each discussion, or many points that support the some point. The truth is...that is what we all do. We are attempting to make one grand point. An example of a point is not the same as repeating that point. Rather it is an application of the concept to the physical world. Those examples are thus tests. I am testing my point, in an attempt to prove it is univerally valid. This is both philospical and scientific.

Also, those same people have assumed that we do not share the same conclusion, which is evidence of the problem with interpreting an observation. It is a testiment to their own misunderstanding of the message they observe. Often, when I question or argue, I will not make my conclusion known because I want to explore exactly how they are determing the meaning behind my message. I may agree with their conclusion completely, but their preconception of where I am attempting to direct the conversation might make them unaware of my true intentions. This is not my fault. The only thing they have to do is question me, as you did, but if they continue making assertions, then they are actually arguing with themselves, with their own interpretations. This is how I know that one is not truly observing, or exploring the information. They are unstead defending themselves without really needing to, thus they are defending themselves from themselves. Their preconception has blinded them...simply because I am coming from an angle that is mysterious to them. Unstead of attempting to solve the mystery and expose my position, which would be fairly simple, they regress inward, they shut down and the only respsonses I get are insulting ones. When the truth is....9 times out of 10, I agree with their conclusions, yet they cannot see past the way in which I present the information. They observe and then they explain. They do not do not question, explore and test. Agreeing on a conclusion is often pointless, like "blah, blah, blah." "I agree with that." "Thank you. We are smart." The interpretations, the applications, the questions, the tests, the exploration.....these are far more important than anything else..

Edited by TrueMaterialist
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Clarifications:

1. Morality is "a code of of value to guide man's choices and actions." "The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and your life." (ARL). Moreover (and what you are trying to get at), is that morality depends on rational reasoning. This does not mean that we as individuals are experts on everything (that is unrealistic). It simply means that we use objective facts to make moral decisions. Typically, the objective facts needed to make regular, personal moral decisions are not 'scientific' in nature. For example, I got a letter in the mail saying that I failed to renew my dog's license. I chose to discard this letter. This is an example of moral decision making in daily life, and it did not require any scientific knowledge. Most moral decisions are not a matter of science, but a matter of philosophy.

2. Science, although presumably objective, is not Objectivism. In order for science to exist, a philosophical belief in objectivity must exist. It is metaphysically and epistemologically objective beliefs that allow for science to happen, it is not the other way around. Take Galileo for example. Galileo took a scientific position that could have potentially resulted in his execution because he believed in an objectively definable existence (I am ignoring his choice to recant his findings because it has no barring on this argument). Without his metaphysical beliefs, Galileo would not have been able to advance scientific understanding. The point here is that it is an objective philosophy and not science that is fundamentally important.

3. To act moral is to act rational. Acting rationally means that you make an informed decision. It does not mean that you know everything off hand. Simply, you learn the pertinent information before making a decision or professing moral judgement. Your level of prior knowledge is irrelevant.

4. On the talk of Rand's level of scientific knowledge, the ability to THINK rationally is far more important than the simple accumulation of factual knowledge. Recently, I have been comparing O epistemology to recent developments in neuroscience. O epistemology is consistent with present research on brain physiology. In fact, the conclusions drawn in some of the research almost mirrors what Rand wrote many years prior. Rand did not have all the technologies we have to today that help us understand how we conceptualize knowledge, but rationality alone allowed her to materialize ideas that are now being corroborated by science.

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... one can use philosophy in order to identify fundamental errors contained with a body of science.  For instance, one can identify that certain interpretations of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle are invalid , because they assert that electrons have no precise value for their momentum and are not in a precise location ... You do not need *any* further knowledge of physics than the basic claims of these interpretations in order to reject them, on the grounds that they are clearly invalid as they implicitly assert that the Law of Identify does not fully apply to electrons ( etc).

The Objectivist philosophy itself and the Law of Identity in particular, does not require or imply that objects, and in particular submicroscopic objects, must have a "precise" location. In your blog entry http://metaphysicsop...y-principle/you correctly write: "To exist is to exist somewhere."What this "somewhere" exactly means, for different kind of entities and levels, is a scientific question.

Therefore, if this "somewhere" is "precise", that is specified by the three real functions {x(t), y(t), z(t)}, or is specified by a real field rho(x,y,z,t) (as for solid or fluid bodies), or the square of the module of a complex function psi(x,y,z,t) (as in QM), cannot be decided by philosophy.

Indeed, Ayn Rand wrote:

So whenever you are in doubt about what is or is not a philosophical subject, ask yourself whether you need a specialized knowledge, beyond the knowledge available to you as a normal adult, unaided by any special knowledge or special instruments. And if the answer is possible to you on that basis alone, you are dealing with a philosophical question. If to answer it you would need training in physics, or psychology, or special equipment, etc., then you are dealing with a derivative or scientific field of knowledge, not philosophy. (This is from Introd. to Obj. Epist., 2-nd Edition, pg. 289, section Philosophic vs. Scientific Issues)

She also wrote (p.291-292):

AR: ... the confusion there would arise in applying concepts based on the macroscopic level of observation to the submicroscopic, subatomic level. If you use macroscopic terms which do not apply on that level, the misapplication will destroy all your perceptual level and your whole conceptual structure.

Prof. B: So you are saying that the ultimate constituents need not be particles, like solid balls, but whatever they are, one is not to refer to them as being actions without entities.

AR: Exactly. And I was also objecting to your saying  they will have to have extension, for instance, or shape. We can't claim that.

Having identity means that entities are what they are and act according to their identity. You step outside the Objectivist philosophy if you prescribe what characteristics entities should have and if they should be compatible, etc.

In summary, your statements about what you call "Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle" are incorrect, as a number of others, including the assertion that Heisenberg's is a principle.

Sasha

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The Objectivist philosophy itself and the Law of Identity in particular, does not require or imply that objects, and in particular submicroscopic objects, must have a "precise" location. In your blog entry http://metaphysicsop...y-principle/you correctly write: "To exist is to exist somewhere."What this "somewhere" exactly means, for different kind of entities and levels, is a scientific question.

Therefore, if this "somewhere" is "precise", that is specified by the three real functions {x(t), y(t), z(t)}, or is specified by a real field rho(x,y,z,t) (as for solid or fluid bodies), or the square of the module of a complex function psi(x,y,z,t) (as in QM), cannot be decided by philosophy.

Indeed, Ayn Rand wrote:

She also wrote (p.291-292):

Having identity means that entities are what they are and act according to their identity. You step outside the Objectivist philosophy if you prescribe what characteristics entities should have and if they should be compatible, etc.

In summary, your statements about what you call "Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle" are incorrect, as a number of others, including the assertion that Heisenberg's is a principle.

Sasha

Of course the Law of Identity implies that. To be, is to be something, with an exact nature, an exact size, exact boundaries etc. Which implies that it is possible to assign an exact location obviously ( though it does not say anything about where that location is ). Which was my point, even though I said it implies it has an exact location. I did not consider it necessary to bother elaborating, as anyone that has a good grasp of the concept "location" should have been able to grasp my point.

Location is a spatial concept. It says "something exists, and in fact it exists in a given geometric relationship to some other object(s) that we wish to consider.". To exist and to have a definite size and boundary means that is alway possible to relate it to other objects in such a fashion. So yeah, I would say it *does* imply "that entities have a location", whether that entity is a subatomic particle or a black hole. At least as long as we are discussing matter anyway.

And no, I never said an objects location is to be determined by philosophy, only that philosophy said *it has a location*. Ie, I said that philosophy says it is somewhere, but I did not say philosophy says where it is. You completely misinterpreted what I actually said.

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Of course the Law of Identity implies that.  To be, is to be something, with an exact nature ...

II would say "with a specific nature ...", because you further use the word "exact" with a different meaning

... an exact size, exact boundaries etc.

Here you are stepping outside the realm of philosophy, which is also Ayn Rand's opinion, as expressed in my quotations from ITOE2, Appendix, section "Philosophy of Science", which is, BTW, a very illuminating reading.

Location is a spatial concept.  It says "something exists, and in fact it exists in a given geometric relationship to some other object(s) that we wish to consider.".  To exist and to have a definite size and boundary...

Well, AR says otherwise:

Prof. B: They'd have to have size, for one thing, and shape.

AR: If they are particles. What if they are ...

Besides, even for macroscopic bodies, given that they are made of nuclei and electrons in constant motion, their boundaries and, consequently, their sizes are not quite "definite".

And no, I never said an objects location is to be determined by philosophy...

I never said you did.

I said that philosophy says it is somewhere, but I did not say philosophy says where it is.

I never said you did. I said: "What this "somewhere" exactly means, for different kind of entities and levels, is a scientific question."

Sasha

PS: about Heisenberg's not being a principle: in the so called "old QM", which is before 1926, it was indeed a - somewhat vague - starting point, i.e. a principle. Since 1926 it is a rigorous theorem, relating well defined quantities; just tell me what QM tutorial are you familiar with, and I will indicate you the page where it is proved.

PPS: you don't have to answer within the next 5 minutes: please take your time, read some more from the ITOE2 Appendix ... and some less from secondary sources.

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Specific / exact are I would think interchangeable in that context. Use specific though if you prefer.

"Here you are stepping outside the realm of philosophy, which is also Ayn Rand's opinion, as expressed in my quotations from ITOE2, Appendix, section "Philosophy of Science", which is, BTW, a very illuminating reading."

No I am not. Because when I say "exact" I mean "specific" apparently. Let me make this more clear : I am saying it has a SPECIFIC location, SOMEWHERE. But I am not claiming that philosophy has anything to say on where exactly that is. So no, I am not stepping outside it, you just think I am for some reason ( possibly I am not being clear enough , but I do not think this is the reason ).

Also keep in minde that the context is physical objects, not say ideas or other non physical, non tangible entities.

And no, Ayn Rand does not disagree on me when it comes to the concept of location. AT least not to my knowledge.

"I never said you did."

Sure sounds like you are to me. If you are not, then I do not see what your point is.

Yes, I know I do not have to answer within five minutes. It just happens that I am often able to say what I want to say in relatively short time period. Especially when I already know the subject matter ( whether I get what you are trying to say is less clear, apparently ).

Edit : ie. : When I say it is implied that thye have an "exact" / "precise' location, what that means in this context is that they have a definite, precise, knowable location somewhere, though I never said or implied philosophy of t he Law of Identity implies anything about *where* that is. Only that it *does* have a precise , definite etc location in *some* place.

Really, you seem to be the only person that has read that and missed that point, as far as I know. I do not know why that might be...

Edited by Prometheus98876
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You wrote:

But I am not claiming that philosophy has anything to say on where exactly that [entity's location] is.

We went over this already. I've explained that I never said you did claim that it is up to the philosophy to provide the tools for specifying/computing entity's location. I said that it is not the task of philosophy (metaphysics, specifically), to even define what being "somewhere" exactly means, that is *how* is an entity's localization to be specified (coordinates, spatial densities, etc.)

Concerning location in space, the philosophy only requires:

  - that an entity must have a property which specifies (somehow!) its localization in space, and

  - that if it is localized in a specific connected region of space, it cannot be localized (or exist) in a *different* region of space at the same moment.

Your requirement that an entity "*does* have a precise, definite etc. location" is compatible, of course, with the two conditions above, but it is only one of the possibilities; other possibilities are also compatible with the above, for example a rather fuzzy/hazy/blurred localization.

Determining, for different kind of entities and of levels, which of the possibilities is the real one and to elaborate concepts and tools to quantitatively describe the relevant type of localization localization, is the task for *physics*.

But ... maybe I'd better start by asking what do *you* mean by having a "precise", "definite" location? Do you mean something like specific values for (x, y, z) at a specific time ?

Sasha

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Your requirement that an entity "*does* have a precise, definite etc. location" is compatible, of course, with the two conditions above, but it is only one of the possibilities; other possibilities are also compatible with the above, for example a rather fuzzy/hazy/blurred localization.

What the heck is a fuzzy/hazy/blurred localization? How would that differ from a specific (though left unspecified), definite (though left undefined), precise (though the degree of precision is omitted) location?

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Edit : ie. : When I say it is implied that thye have an "exact" / "precise' location, what that means in this context is that they have a definite, precise, knowable location somewhere, though I never said or implied philosophy of t he Law of Identity implies anything about *where* that is. Only that it *does* have a precise , definite etc location in *some* place.

There is ambiguity in this discussion. A probability density function can be computed to an arbitrary precision and that can be described as exact and specific. Some people, perhaps Prometheus98876, might object that is not what is meant by precise, exact, or specific. The position of those who object would be that only a point-like dimensionless entity of no extension can have a specific position.

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Grames : I do not see much ambiguity there, none that I have not more than cleared up by now. I was talking about physical objects, which have boundaries, dimensions etc. Given location is an identification of a spatial relationship to some other object(s), it also has such relationships with other objects ( many such in fact ) and therefore a location. I see no ambiguity here.

Regardless of whether or not you choose to model a particle with a probability density function, it still has a definite location. It is just that it might be difficult to identify the spatial relationships in question, so one might use math instead.

AlexL : No you are simply mistaken. To exist as an object ( by definition as a tangible, physical entity ) is to have a precise, definite location. The concept location is the identification of a spatial relationship , in relation to other objects. These relationships are of a definite nature, they are not "fuzzy" or indeterminate. So in what sense can I logically discuss a "hazy" localization?

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1. The ambiguity persists, because you did not answer my - important - question:

what do you mean by having a "precise", "definite" location? Do you mean something like specific values for (x, y, z) at a specific time ?

Can you be specific, with examples and counterexamples, of what would be and what not "precise/definite", in your view. Preferably from the domain of subatomic particles, which is our subject.

2. You write [to Grames]:

Regardless of whether or not you choose to model a particle with a probability density function, it still has a definite location. It is just that it might be difficult to identify the spatial relationships in question, so one might use math instead.

"Difficult to identify" is in the domain of experiment; we are talking here in the (meta)physical context, that is about what characteristics does the entity have, not about a model, or how we determine those characteristics experimentally and with what precision. From the quote above, your view seems to be: an electron does have sharp values of x, y, z at the moment t, but they are difficult to measure, so we use (in QM?) a probability distribution function. Is my assumption correct?

3. Besides, contrary to what you seem to believe, physical entities do not have to have definite (sharp?) boundaries and sizes, that is having these two properties is not a philosophical requirement; I also gave you a quote from AR to this effect. Please don't ignore it (as well as other quotes from AR I gave) and try to integrate them with your views, and check your premises, if necessary.

Alex

Edits: minor, format and spelling

Edited by AlexL
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I did answer the question, several times in fact. I take no blame for the fact that you fail / refuse to notice and I am not about to answer it *yet again*.

Contrary to what *you* believe : Yes they do. Which AR quote did you give actually supported your assertion otherwise? I am pretty sure she never said any such thing.

Edited by Prometheus98876
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I did answer the question...

No, you did not, and I will not continue this debate.

Contrary to what *you* believe : Yes they do. Which AR quote did you give actually supported your assertion otherwise?

It is in my posts.

Read them again.

And read also the part from the ITOE2 Appendix I've mentioned.

And some QM, if you want to know what are you talking about.

After that I will give you a pointer to a good - realist and objective - interpretation of QM, written by someone who is a good physicist and a good philisopher, which is a rare combination.

Sasha

Edit - added th last phrase

Edited by AlexL
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And for your information I know *plenty* of QM.

In this case, as promised, here is the reference(s):

a. Bunge, Mario., Philsophy of Physics, D. Reidel, 1973

b. Bunge, M., Foundations of Physics, Springer, 1967; QM is Chapter 5. Covers also Special and General relativity, and others.

c. Bunge, M., A Ghost-Free Axiomatization of Quantum Mechanics, in M. Bunge editor, Quantum Theory and Reality, Springer, 1967

( c) is a summary of parts of Chap. 5 of (B) ; A fragment from Concluding Remarks

In order to dispel the fog that surrounds QM one need neither return to classical mechanics nor resort to nonclassical logic .... To chase away the ghosts all one has to do is (a) to uncover the formalism of QM and ( B) give it a thoroughly physical interpretation. This interpretation is attached to the formalism by assigning the primitive symbols a physical meaning. And this specification of meaning is made by having those symbols stand for physical entities and properties thereof, not mental states or acts of apperception. What one gets by proceeding in this way is a formulation of QM with the following characteristics :

(1) logical organization (axiomatic foundation),

(2) consistency, both formal (freedom from contradiction) and semantical — i. e. avoidance of interpretation in terms of concepts extraneous to either the primitive base or to the bunch of terms of the

physical jargon occurring in the semantic characterization of the primitives ;

(3) thoroughly quantal: no point particles and no waves;

(4) thoroughly physical: no observer-dependent features.

I have a reprint in electronic form and can lend it to you.

Alex

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Basically, you have two choices in quantum mechanics. Either particles have non-defined positions, or they have the ability to "teleport".

If you look at the 3 p-orbitals in an atom (x,y,z) you will notice that they all converge to a single point in the center, more or less. At this point you have a "node". Nodes are spaces that the probability for the particle to be there equals zero. Not "approaches zero", it equals zero. This has to do with the probability distribution being the square of the wave function. Where the wave function = 0, the probability = zero.

Anyways, you have this node on, say, the px-orbital. It looks like a bowtie, fat on the ends, empty in the center. On either side of the node you have 50% of the probability mass.

That can be interepreted 2 different ways (I'll add a third):

1) The particle, of defined mass/position, spends 1/2 of its time on either side of the node, and teleoprts between them, because it is impossible for the particle to physically pass through the node.

2) The particle exists in both sides of the bowtie simultaneously.

or

3) Both of these are wrong and there is another descriiption

Neither 1 or 2 makes sense really, but they are the standard way that molecular quantum mechanics is understood. 2 was the way I was taught, I don't know if anyone believes that 1 is true.

Now, it could be three, but I would want a pretty good argument for the description. You may be able to use philosophy to say that 1 or 2 are false, but you can't use it to provide an alternative. For that you need science.

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If you look at the 3 p-orbitals in an atom (x,y,z) ...

BTW, I've found a site "Pictures of the Hydrogen Atom" http://www.physikdid...llung_2_uk.html which shows the probability distributions for various states described by (n, l, m) - electron energy, orbital momentum and one of its projections, respectively, and also the process of transition of a hydrogen atom between states. The link for the last is this: http://www.physikdid...spielANIM3D.htm

Alex

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In this case, as promised, here is the reference(s):

a. Bunge, Mario., Philsophy of Physics, D. Reidel, 1973

b. Bunge, M., Foundations of Physics, Springer, 1967; QM is Chapter 5. Covers also Special and General relativity, and others.

c. Bunge, M., A Ghost-Free Axiomatization of Quantum Mechanics, in M. Bunge editor, Quantum Theory and Reality, Springer, 1967

( c) is a summary of parts of Chap. 5 of (B) ; A fragment from Concluding Remarks

I have a reprint in electronic form and can lend it to you.

Alex

Bunge is ++good.

That is all.

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1) The particle, of defined mass/position, spends 1/2 of its time on either side of the node, and teleoprts between them, because it is impossible for the particle to physically pass through the node.

2) The particle exists in both sides of the bowtie simultaneously.

Neither 1 or 2 makes sense really, but they are the standard way that molecular quantum mechanics is understood. 2 was the way I was taught, I don't know if anyone believes that 1 is true.

Electrons teleport. It is the only explanation for the tunneling phenomena in a tunnel diode. The quanta of the electron charge passes as a whole from one side of the barrier to the other, then continues on in an electric circuit. For this problem the wavefunction tells us what proportion of available electrons will pass as a current through the device.

No, I don't know how fast the speed of teleportation is and I advance no hypotheses.

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Tunneling is tricky, I'll be honest I've always had difficulties with understanding it. My understanding was that it was a way to pass through potential energy barriers, not a way to pass through null space, but maybe that's the same thing?

Either way its pretty wacky huh.

Edit: I looked into it some more. Tunneling allows for a particle to pass through an energy barrier beyond what it should be able to pass. So, you have a kid running at a 6 foot wall and you expect that when he jumps he will splat on the wall, but somehow he makes it over some of the time even through there is no way he has the energy. I am pretty sure that this is different from the orbital node though. The orbital thing has to do with the wave/particle duality. Different things, to be honest I am a bit embarrassed of having forgotten this....

Edited by emorris1000
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Tunneling is tricky, I'll be honest I've always had difficulties with understanding it. My understanding was that it was a way to pass through potential energy barriers, not a way to pass through null space, but maybe that's the same thing?

Either way its pretty wacky huh.

Edit: I looked into it some more. Tunneling allows for a particle to pass through an energy barrier beyond what it should be able to pass. So, you have a kid running at a 6 foot wall and you expect that when he jumps he will splat on the wall, but somehow he makes it over some of the time even through there is no way he has the energy. I am pretty sure that this is different from the orbital node though. The orbital thing has to do with the wave/particle duality. Different things, to be honest I am a bit embarrassed of having forgotten this....

The potential energy barrier in a tunnel diode is a region of space, a semiconductor region of a certain width with a certain doping and applied voltage.

The same wavefunction for an electron is used to arrive at the solution for both atomic orbitals and computing the current in a tunnel diode, it is boundary conditions that differ.

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