Stuff I Found

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Penrose says physics is wrong

Here's an interesting article in which Roger Penrose mentions that he thinks modern quantum physicists are going about the science all wrong, viewing the world as a collection of probabilities instead of as determistic, as it was viewed by Einstein (God does not play dice). I agree with Penrose, mostly just from my own world-view that the universe is completely deterministic, as I certainly don't have the mathematical skills or experimental experience to call myself a physicist.

I think many non-physicists like me, who just have a general interest in the subject, often blindly just believe what they read elsewhere, thinking that it is smart to believe and repeat such things, even though they don't understand it. (They often then apply to MIT and don't get in.)

By the way, I once has an opportunity to hear Roger Penrose give a lecture at George Mason University, but one of my stupid professors scheduled a mid-term for that day, so I couldn't make it. :-( But on the way to the exam, I did have to pass the room he was giving a lecture in, so for a moment, Roger and I were on the opposite sides of the same wall. And that was the closest I got.


  • I showed this to a couple friends of mine, at least one of whom is more intellectual than me; they loved the interview. It reminds me of a few years back, thrashing out with someone the logistics of "the dragon planet", a hypothetical planet stuffed with dragons for which we have neither proof nor disproof. "Based on the content of the rest of space," he said, "it's fairly unlikely... but there is a chance that it might exist, somewhere." This irked me, because it seemed like there was no "chance" about it per se--it either existed or didn't, and not related to our knowledge of it; it's not like every section of space we explore has a chance of "loading" with a spawned dragon planet, like in video games!

    By Blogger Luke Anthony, at 7:37 AM  

  • Yes, chance doesn't *really* exist; probability, chance, and randomness are simply ways for us to deal with what we don't know, with our own uncertainty. But because we do not yet have tools to be as completely certain with quantum measurements as we can with normal measurements, it forces scientists to work with chances and probabilities. Some (mistakenly, I think) take it a step further and treat the probability as if it all possibilities exist... as if subatomic particle that either has a 50% chance of being here or a 50% chance of being there is actually in *both* places... and then basing the rest of their science on such possibilities, where things exist in two places or two states or more at once.

    But... maybe I will name one of my future music pieces "Planet of the Dragons" :-)

    By Blogger Sean Hannifin, at 10:01 PM  

  • :D

    By Blogger Luke Anthony, at 8:13 PM  

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