[ExI] The Quantum Zeno effect

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Tue Dec 14 18:02:11 UTC 2010

On 12/13/2010 11:36 PM, John Clark wrote:

> It's true that the universe splits, and in one a measurement has been
> made and in the other it has not, but the split was made because there
> was a change in the universe and a measurement is no different from any
> other change, and the observer is no different from anything else except
> that it just happens to be the assembly of atoms that generated the
> report we are reading in this thought experiment.


I always understood that quantum measurement hangs upon some specific 
and crucial quantum event; thus, choices made by large ensembles of 
atoms don't count. That is, if you conducted the S's cat experiment 
using a macroscopic randomizer like a series of spinning coins, it 
wouldn't prove a thing. Only if the poison/don't poison branching is 
occasioned by a radioactive decay does it even make any sense that the 
cat is both alive and dead inside the sealed box. If this is correct, 
the M-W universe doesn't split if you walk left instead of right, unless 
that decision is somehow triggered by an indeterminate or stochastic 
quantum-scale event in your nervous system (the sort of thing Nobelist 
Eccles got all excited about, because he thought that might be a place 
where a non-physical entity or soul might couple to the machinery).

Damien Broderick

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