IS THE UNIVERSE BASED ON HAZARDS ?
CHARPAK, G. (Professor of theoretical physiques, CERN, Geneva, (Nobel Prize 1992) and
OMNES, R. (Professor of theoretical physiques, University, Paris,) Soyez Savants, devenez Prophètes, (Odile Jacob, Paris, 2004) Published : in French Professional Literature: http://www.slac.stanford.edu/spires
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REPORT on some essential points (translated in blue) from the above mentioned book of SCHARPAK and OMNES to the main question (reported and translated by F. Jansen)
The concept of hazard
Georges CHARPAK tries to introduce the quantum mechanicals laws to a large public in France by vulgarisation of their content and implications. By inventing a game on a computer screen he brings into opposition classical predictable NEWTON laws with hazard depending quantum mechanical laws. The essential message is that the classical laws are relying on a statistical determinism (sometimes with 100% probability), while the quantum mechanical laws are based on an absolute hazard. “ ….. one must admit the presence of an absolute hazard without any cause in the quantum mechanical world” (page 117 line 21,). The contrast to an absolute hazard is normal hazard, well known from lotteries, where the outcome is only unpredictable, because of the enormous complexity with which interactions occur. Theoretically the normal hazard could be calculated, since all physical laws are well known. The absolute hazard in quantum mechanical experiments is based on the experience that there are no laws following deterministic interactions, so that even theoretically the outcome of experiments could not be calculated. Only probability calculations can indicate tendencies of results.
The uncertainty principle of HEISENBERG of 1927 is taken as the basis of the quantum mechanical laws, indicating that “it is impossible to determine the position and the speed of a particle at the same time. The more the position is precise, the less its speed can be known and vice versa” (page 85, first line). This eliminates deterministic causality and only allows probability calculations. The hazard gives great liberty to all possible events.
Therefore “ … every result may be possible at the condition that their probability is not zero.” (page 117, line 13). “ Quantum mechanical laws are based on an absolute liberty of possibilities, which is translated in practice into an integral hazard “ (page 124, line 12)
De-coherence and transmutation of laws
CHARPAK explains that there is a problem concerning “ the relation of correspondence between the quantum mechanical concepts and classical concepts “ (page 129 line 7). This problem can be solved by de-coherence or transmutation of laws. “De-coherence… which acts as a strong effect of interference, eliminating all traces of complex numbers and their phases” (page 132 line3). “De-coherence destroys linearity. One also knows that it destroys coherence between phases, therefore it was given this name. “ (page 133 last line)
Macroscopic world The determinism found in the macroscopic world is not incompatible with the indeterminism in the quantum mechanical world. “…. determinism is a consequence of more fundamental quantum mechanical laws and it is never absolute. It always has an inevitable part of indeterminism. “ (page 142 line 25)
CHARPAK limits the reliability of classical laws. “.... The theory predicts that the deterministic laws of Newton are valuable at a great scale and with an infinite probability of error,” (page 135)
“…. All is based on probability. But probability is so great that it is very near to certitude.” (page 136 line 1)
Philosophical aspects These considerations lead to philosophical consequences “Causality is no longer the great philosophical, universal principle, on which Aristotle and Kant were based. It also has a probability of error.” ( page 136 line 17)
A correspondence was found between quantum mechanical and classical laws, since “…. On understands that this does not mean laws of different nature on a microscopic or macroscopic scale. Only their expression is different, since they do not concern the same quantities. ….. Macroscopic laws are useful in practice ……… but one would make a big mistake to apply them to the atom.” (page 134 line 11)
”Liberty, or the multitude of possibilities, which presents its radical form, is profoundly implanted in the heart of quantum mechanics and its laws. It is total liberty which is behind the absolute hazard”. (page 118, Line 27)
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