THEME - I
CHARPAK et al.
JANSEN, FK - a
JANSEN, FK -b
IS THE UNIVERSE BASED ON HAZARDS ?
JANSEN, Franz K. Ancien Research Director in Immunology
SANOFI, Pharmaceutical Industry, Montpellier, France
Professional literature : http://www.pubmed.gov (search for: jansen fk)
OPINION : Experimentally: indeterminable,
Theoretically: not convincing,
TEXTE received in 2005
a) - UNCERTAINTY RABBITS AND ELEMENTARY PARTICLES
Problems in physics may sometimes be found in a formally similar way in other disciplines, such as biology. This might help to examine them from another standpoint.
When I cross wild rabbits on my way home to my country house, they show in general an unpredictable manner to run away. Repeatedly they run from the left to the right and back again, sometimes hidden by plants, sometimes appearing just in front of me, but I am unable to predict, where they will go in the next moment. All wild rabbits I see behave in such an uncertainty manner and my friends have similar experiences. One can only estimate with a certain degree of probability the direction and time, where the rabbits will appear in the next moment.
Physicists see elementary particles behave in a similar uncertainty manner. According to Heisenberg one never knows with precision where they are (location) or were they will go (speed and direction). All physicists confirmed this for almost about a century. Nevertheless, with probability calculations they can calculate that elementary particles will be present with a certain probability at a certain location within a certain time.
In a first phase of reflection, which I call observation phase, I come to the conclusion that in agreement with my own repetitive experiences and those of my friends, wild rabbits in general run in an unpredictable manner from left to right and vice versa. In a similar way physicists according to their observation phase conclude from their observations that electrons always behave in an uncertainty manner. Their behaviour is only statistically predictable and needs the help of probability calculations?
During a second phase of reflection, which I call validation phase, I am aware that my experiences, including those of my friends, are much too limited, since they cover only a very small time period of the life span of wild rabbits and additionally they might have been influenced by disturbing conditions, due to my sudden appearance making them anxious. Therefore I could have induced their uncertainty behaviour, when they saw me. In other words their normal behaviour under conditions without any disturbance might be quite different.
During the validation phase of physicists they confirm that elementary particles are also influenced by the method with which we are looking upon them.
HAWKING writes: “ To see where a particle is, one has to shine light on it. …… One has to use at least one quantum. This will disturb the particle and change its speed in a way that can’t be predicted. …… you will have to use light of short wave length …… gamma rays. So they will disturb the speed of the particle more.” (http://www.hawking.org.uk/lectures/lindex.html open: Public lectures” and choose: ” Does God Play Dice” )
BRICMONT, professor of theoretical physics in Louvain, Belgium, says : “it is even not correct to say that the properties of the system are “affected” by measurement? One should say that they are “created” by it or that the apparatus and the particle form an inseparable unit.” (http://dogma.free.fr/txt/JB-Chaos.htm )
However, physicists do not insist further on the fact that elementary particles are only seen under disturbing conditions during physical experimentation and that without these conditions elementary particles might behave differently. Similar to the observation on rabbits, experimentation in physics only covers a very short time span of elementary particles and only a very small part of the whole universe and therefore might not be very characteristic of their normal behaviour outside experimentation.
Nevertheless, this is speculation and experimental science cannot be based on speculations. Physics depend on measurable observations only, as already indicated by HEISENBERG. In practice elementary particles cannot be seen outside disturbing experimental conditions, they are therefore within physical sciences to be considered with their uncertainty behaviour, which is the only observable one. All considerations outside experimental conditions cannot have any application in physics. Under these conditions quantum mechanics are the only possible methods, corroborated for a long time, to predict the uncertainty behaviour of elementary particles with probability calculations. All derived applications of quantum mechanics are necessarily based on the same uncertainty behaviour and only predictable with probability. Since the HEISENBERG’s principle excludes certainty behaviour for all elementary particles, physicists will never meet certainty behaviour in their experimentation. In practice the consideration of uncertainty is the only possible way to explore elementary particles under disturbing experimental conditions.
When we apply similar considerations to uncertainty behaviour of rabbits, in practice once again we will only see their uncertainty behaviour during the production of a film like ”Shooting wild rabbits”. Speculations on the normal behaviour of undisturbed rabbits could not be of any interest, since cameramen will disturb rabbits in any case. Instead, one could use probability estimations, where and in which direction rabbits could run away, in order to capture them at least with one of several cameras. Similar to quantum mechanics in physics covering a wide range of space and time, several cameras should be pointed into different directions in order to capture a wide field, where rabbits with their unpredictable behaviour could appear.
Knowledge on the normal behaviour of rabbits could not help the film production, nevertheless the idea, how rabbits really live, remains very intriguing. In the case of rabbits, it could be explored by simply using another method, which avoids all interactions between rabbits and men by the use of hidden cameras. Undisturbed rabbits then show a quiet and normal manner to move. However, when one asks the same question on the real behaviour of elementary particles outside all disturbing experimental conditions, there is no method, which could allow observations without direct interaction between methods and elementary particles. Here man reaches the experimental exploration limit due to inseparable interactions between methods and observed phenomenon leading to an interpretation limit with respect to an unreachable reality in the universe. Due to lacking experimental methods, the real behaviour of elementary particles will never be known. But should we therefore accept the idea that even under non-disturbing experimental conditions, elementary particles in general behave with uncertainty? In that case an extrapolation is made from an infinite small part of experimentally disturbed particles to all the non-disturbed elementary particles of the whole universe?
What are we allowed to imagine on elementary particles outside disturbing experimental conditions? Since physically no observation is possible, our imagination is necessarily based on speculations. The interpretation limit of physical experimentation is due to the impossibility of experimentation without disturbing methods for elementary particles. Does this mean that we are no longer allowed to have any imagination, which could not be proven by physical experimentation? With rabbits we imagined a normal behaviour of rabbits before new experimentations, which were then suggested by our imagination. Why should we not allow similar imagination on elementary particles, with the difference that this would never be confirmed experimentally? What are we allowed to imagine?
We should be aware of the general limits of conclusions based on experimental observations. Since elementary particles can only be observed under disturbing experimental conditions, no extrapolation can be drawn from these observations on particles under non-disturbing conditions. Theoretically there will be an equal chance that they behave with uncertainty or certainty. Therefore statements that elementary particles in general behave with uncertainty are unacceptable. Physicists are restricted to the conclusion that indeed elementary particles show uncertainty behaviour under disturbing experimental conditions, but under non-disturbing conditions uncertainty and certainty behaviour have similar probabilities.
GENERAL APPROACH IN SCIENCE
What can be learned from this example for the general scientific approach consisting in a circle of two successive phases of observation followed by validation?
The validation phase is a necessary complement for accepting contents and suggestions of the observation phase and asks several important questions. The first question concerns the generalization of an observed phenomenon, i.e. the general behaviour of rabbits especially under non-disturbing conditions. The second question asks for the origin of the phenomenon, if the behaviour is the normal, inherent manner of rabbits or if it is induced by other causes, an exterior cause like my intrusion in their normal life or by an interior cause like the anxiousness of wild rabbits. Since I myself have no possibilities to explore rabbits by other methods, I am easily convinced that my personal observations are sufficiently realistic to conclude that wild rabbits run in an uncertainty manner. My view is certainly a plausible possibility, since I made the observation, but the other possibility that rabbits do not normally behave like this, has similar chances to be true. Therefore no definite conclusion can be based only on observations without further proves concerning their generalization and their origin. This shows that observation based science is restricted to limits, which can only be seen in the validation phase.
Validation after observation is in part speculation, but has the great merit to suggest new experiments for further exploration of the phenomenon and thereby shows that speculation has an important contribution to science. In the case of wild rabbits, it suggests a method with hidden cameras to explore the normal behaviour of undisturbed rabbits. Thus interrogations in validation phases induce new observation phases using new complementary methods.
The circle of observation leading to validation and its questions induces once again a new circle of new observation and their corresponding new validation. In science such circles are produced repetitively for several times and constitute a succession of alternative circles during the exploration process. This will only be stopped by a last validation phase, when no further method can be found to answer the last questions. Therefore an observation phase is never the end phase of science, it will always be followed by a validation phase with speculations on generalization and origin of the observations. When speculation can be followed by new experiments, it will extend our scientific knowledge, but when no further experimentation is possible, the last validation phase indicates an interpretation limit for experimental science with respect to the unreachable reality of the universe.
The last validation phase following the last possible physical experimentation could also be defined as a philosophical interpretation phase. Thereby all experimentations will at their end be followed by philosophical interpretations, which however, depend on other rules, since they essentially ask for possibilities, not for facts. Now exhaustiveness of all possibilities becomes necessary, in order to gain credibility. With respect to undisturbed elementary particles of the whole universe exhaustiveness necessarily includes both possibilities: uncertainty and certainty behaviour. Nobody can convincingly argue that the whole universe is only and necessarily based on hazards, as those according to the uncertainty principle in physical experimentation.