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Thread: Greatest unsolved mysteries in physics

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    Default Greatest unsolved mysteries in physics

    Dr. Sean Carroll convinced me that the Copenhagen interpretation of why observation causes the quantum wave function to collapse is not credible. But my brain has a hard time transitioning to the many worlds hypothesis. I doubt our souped-up chimpanzee brains were made to cognitively acknowlege or grasp the possibility of an infinite number of universes. At least mine is not.

    1. What is dark energy?
    2. What is dark matter?
    3. Why is there an arrow of time?
    4. Is there a grand unified theory of forces?
    5. Are there parallel universes?
    6. Why is there more matter than anti-matter?
    7. What is the fate of the universe?
    8. Why does the quantum wave function collapse?
    9. Is string theory correct?
    10. Is there order in chaos?


    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.liv...s-physics.html

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    ThatOwlWoman (04-15-2021)

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    How did he convince you that it is not credible that the observation causes the collapse of a wave function?
    THAT IS AN ASTUTE OBSERVATION I EXPECT FROM YOU.
    Quote Originally Posted by Into the Night View Post
    Only religions use supporting evidence. Science doesn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AProudLefty View Post
    How did he convince you that it is not credible that the observation causes the collapse of a wave function?
    By saying that no physicist who has expertise in quantum mechanics even believes the Copenhagen hypothesis anymore.

    The Copenhagen hypothesis was just a temporary, stop-gap placeholder for something we do not really understand. It does not seem plausible that a particle could be in multiple places at the same time as a waveform, but collapses to one position and momentum when it is observed. That is just too spooky and makes no sense. Although I admit, the many worlds hypothesis might be even more mind-blowing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    By saying that no physicist who has expertise in quantum mechanics even believes the Copenhagen hypothesis anymore.

    The Copenhagen hypothesis was just a temporary, stop-gap placeholder for something we do not really understand. It does not seem plausible that a particle could be in multiple places at the same time as a waveform, but collapses to one position and momentum when it is observed. That is just too spooky and makes no sense. Although I admit, the many worlds hypothesis might be even more mind-blowing!
    Yeah.

    Of course you know two things that is "spooky".

    1. The double-slit experiment.
    2. The uncertainty principle.

    The third one might be related but spooky anyway - action at a distance.
    THAT IS AN ASTUTE OBSERVATION I EXPECT FROM YOU.
    Quote Originally Posted by Into the Night View Post
    Only religions use supporting evidence. Science doesn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AProudLefty View Post
    Yeah.

    Of course you know two things that is "spooky".

    1. The double-slit experiment.
    2. The uncertainty principle.

    The third one might be related but spooky anyway - action at a distance.
    Einstein hated quantum mechanics!

    He really wanted the universe to be deterministic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    Einstein hated quantum mechanics!

    He really wanted the universe to be deterministic.
    In other words, he hated free will.

    The concept of free will was too problematic for some.
    THAT IS AN ASTUTE OBSERVATION I EXPECT FROM YOU.
    Quote Originally Posted by Into the Night View Post
    Only religions use supporting evidence. Science doesn't.

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    I'd throw gravity in there too.
    Why Trump? Because Fuck You that's why.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guille View Post
    I'd throw gravity in there too.
    Unless I am mistaken, I think the hope for a quantum interpretation of gravity is part and parcel of a grand unified theory of forces - number 4 on my list. Supposedly, someday we can all of reality down to a single equation.

    I will believe it when I see it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AProudLefty View Post
    In other words, he hated free will.

    The concept of free will was too problematic for some.
    Well, I am not going to be the one to bad mouth Einstein!

    My current project is to understand the debate over the arrow of time.

    There is no fundamental, underlying physical reality which dictates why time exists in the way we percieve it- today is different from yesterday, and tomorrow will be different than today.

    Time is apparently just en expression of entropy consistently increasing in the universe. Entropy was smaller yesterday and it will be larger tomorrow.

    The mystery is: why was the early universe after the big bang in such a low entropy state to begin with? How does a hot, dense pass of plasma and photons start out in a low entropy state?

    Inquiring minds would like to know.

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    Werewolf Other mysteries which keep physicists awake at night

    - Will we ever understand quantum mechanics?

    Richard Feynman famously quipped that “I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics”. The situation has not fundamentally changed since Feynman’s time, but the question has become even more pressing. This is because no other scientific theory presents such an enormous gap between successful prediction and deep understanding as quantum mechanics. Starting in the 1970s, some of the most bizarre implications of quantum theory – most prominently the “spooky” (in Einstein’s words) phenomenon of entanglement – have been verified by precise experiments. Last year’s Nobel Prize was awarded in part for using these strange properties to trap ions and atoms.

    And yet we have no clue how any of the fundamental facts of quantum mechanics including wave-particle duality, entanglement, quantum tunneling or the double-slit experiment – that disarmingly simple setup which, in Feynman’s words, contains “the only mystery of quantum mechanics” - actually work. The quantum world continues to be a fairyland that defies common sense and where anything can happen. For decades most physicists have used quantum mechanics, but nobody has convincingly shown us where it comes from. Einstein may have gone against the grain of experiment but he was right in feeling a decided sense of unease regarding the reality which the weird quantum universe encapsulates. Narrate the parable of Schrodinger's cat and you will be met with laughs and smirks, but the laughter cannot obliterate the deep anguish of physicists, a feeling that their most successful theory of nature is, at its deepest level, a hazy ball of mist.

    - Will we ever understand emergence?

    Eighty years ago Paul Dirac noted that the laws of physics as then understood could explain “most of physics and all of chemistry”. And yet we don’t understand how to make the logical leap from the behavior of a quark to the behavior of a strand of DNA composed of multitudes of quarks. Understanding emergent behavior may be the single most important goal for physicists if they want to understand how physics connects to other sciences and to the human world. Without a grasp of emergence physics will remain a narrowly understood and applied science, of scant use to other practitioners.



    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...wake-at-night/

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