[ExI] [TIQ] QM is weirder than you think

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Mon Oct 16 20:20:56 UTC 2023

On Mon, Oct 16, 2023, 1:08 PM Gordon Swobe <gordon.swobe at gmail.com> wrote:

> I read this article hoping to learn something new and weirder about QM,
> but this is about what we agree is the weirdest, Jason.
> Quantum Physics Isn’t as Weird as You Think. It’s Weirder
> https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/quantum-physics-isnt-as-weird-as-you-think-its-weirder/
> -gts

Thanks for the article. It is interesting and while I would say that
quantum mechanics is weird they did not do their best to explain these
ideas in ways that are prone for one to say "Ahh it makes more sense when
you describe it that way". I will try to do that below:

Uncertainty Principle:
This can be explained in a way that makes more sense if we explain it as a
consequence of the principle of information conservation (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-hiding_theorem ). As any increase in
certainty of one property of a quantum system (copying of information) then
must be followed by a corresponding increase in uncertainty (loss of
information) about other properties of that system. Think about it like a
computer with a fixed memory: if you want to store something new, you have
to overwrite memory locations for bits you had previously stored, and hence
you lose them. Uncertainty then, is not some grand mystery of QM, but a
consequence of physical systems having a fixed amount of information in

This can be explained more easily as a consequence of determinism. The
universe is deterministic. When the same thing happens in the same way, the
same outcome results. When a photon hits a semisilvered mirror in the same
way, it doesn't reflect some times and pass through other times. Rather,
the same thing happens every time, the photon becomes superposed, it is in
a state of reflecting and passing through. Anything that interacts with
this photon will also become superposed, for instance, an electron in one
of the two paths can enter a state of having been struck and having not
been struck by this superposed photon. Superposition is merely an immediate
and necessary consequence of the universe being deterministic.

Entanglement is probably the single most over hyped thing in quantum
mechanics as being some completely bizarre phenomenon, when it is nothing
beyond consistency of measurements. We express no shock when we measure
something, like the color of a toothbrush, then measure it again a few
seconds later and find it is still the same color as last time we measured
it. The mystery of consistent measurements over time is just as valid, and
no more than, the mystery of consistent measurements as they appear in
situations of entanglement, which is all entanglement concerns: the
consistency of measurements.

The uncertainty principle implies there's a non-zero probability of finding
any particular particle in any particular place. There is never absolute
100% certainty of finding it in one place (or even in any finite volume).
>From this it follows that there is a non-zero probability a particle may be
found anywhere, even on the other side of a barrier or the other side of
the solar system.

The article was wrong to say the equations of QM don't describe the process
of measurement. They do. The only problem is some people can't accept the
immediate and direct implication of this, which is that we ourselves (as
humans) become part of the superposition, and hence we "split" and
experience all the possible outcomes rather than any one definite result.
If one simply follows the equations and what they describe, this is what
happens. It is only those that deny this happens that have trouble defining
how the superposed possibilities get reduced to just a single outcome.

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