Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Realist Quantum Theory

Say you have two entangled photons emitted by some kind of laser incident on a crystal lattice.

Before you measure--that is, polarize--one of them, you have no idea about their state. 

This could just as easily be a case for withdrawal as it is for a Protagorean view that the measuring apparatus or process or measuring human is more real than what is measured (the Standard Model assumes this when it prohibits ontological interpretations of quantum scale phenomena).

Since "measure" at this level means "deflect or otherwise alter" then we cannot possibly be dealing with idealism... To measure is to affect, with a tool, as it were. Just as when I "measure" a table using a tape measure I'm just putting some tape next to a table and reading it. I'm not creating the table. It seems to me that the correlationist/idealist interpretation of QT is a defense against the most obvious interpretation--that there truly are things that are not your mind and not influenced by your mind.

Here's another way of looking at it. The second photon polarizes in a complementary way, when you polarize the first. It does so instantly. Your mind couldn't possibly have an instantaneous effect, if like a materialist you think that your mind reduces to your brain, which is electrochemical. Way way slower than light, and certainly slower than instant. It would be hard for your average physicist to claim that without feeling silly.

Unless the physicist wants to admit that the two photons are really just two sides of one thing--back to Bohm. This is precisely why Bohm put forward his monist implicate order...

1 comment:

cgerrish said...

Reminds me of a game of telephone, where we ask an object how it translates another object; we read the message and then claim to have seen something with our "own eyes."