Hidden Variables
Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - Printable Version

+- Hidden Variables (https://ilja-schmelzer.de/hidden-variables)
+-- Forum: Foundations of Quantum Theory (https://ilja-schmelzer.de/hidden-variables/forumdisplay.php?fid=3)
+--- Forum: The Violation of Bell's Inequalities (https://ilja-schmelzer.de/hidden-variables/forumdisplay.php?fid=7)
+--- Thread: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? (/showthread.php?tid=8)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28


RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - Thomas Ray - 09-02-2016

Okay, I did read Schmelzer's take on LET (Basic Ideas).

Being familiar with the arguments and counterarguments, I shall respond to the counterarguments set:

1. Positivism is wrong, and has to be replaced by the Popperian method. It does not contain a requirement that all objects of theories are observable.

I agree.  I am a Popperian.

2. Against the conspiracy, already Lorentz has found an argument.  If the force which holds matter together is the electromagnetic force, or some other force which follows a similar equation, then the equations which describe matter, that means, also our rulers and clocks, have the same symmetry as the Maxwell equations of electromagnetism.  But these equations are Lorentz-symmetric.  Therefore, the equations describing clocks and rulers also would have to be Lorentz-symmetric.  This is already sufficient to prove time dilation and length contraction.  

I can't see that Lorentz symmetry necessarily holds in a domain where every observer carries her own clock.  It is effectively approximate for rigid transformations.

3. Occam's razor could be, as well, applied against the spacetime.  In the Lorentz ether, only space exists, filled with the ether, and what is in space changes in time. This is sufficient. There does not have to exists some four-dimensional spacetime.  So it is the Minkowski spacetime which introduces entities - a whole additional dimension - without necessity.

Occam's razor is invoked erroneously.  The added pseudo-dimension of time is not superfluous; this degree of freedom is necessary to explain why change in time does not change space.  Covariance applies to the complete spacetime.

4. It appears that the two interpretations are not completely equivalent. In the spacetime interpretation, one can prove Einstein causality, and, as a consequence, Bell's inequality for space-like separated events.  The Lorentz ether allows hidden causal influences faster than light, but from past into future in true, absolute time.  This makes it impossible to proof Bell's inequality.  Given that Bell's inequality is violated, this becomes a strong argument in favor of the Lorentz ether.

The speed of light is absolute -- not time.  Special relativity is indifferent to past and future.  Bell's inequality is mathematically correct, but can't be physical, for omitting the time parameter.

5. An extension of the Lorentz ether interpretation to gravity exists.  It can be considered and discussed here too.  One can reasonably assume that the fact that this ether interpretation for the GR equations was unknown was a decisive argument against the ether. But this decisive argument appears invalid.

I will withhold judgement for now.


RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - secur - 09-03-2016

The following was written before your last post about Schmelzer's work. I'll comment on that also, after a while, but am hoping Schmelzer himself will step in.

==============

Dale wrote in PF insight: "There is often a desire by the philosophical community to add more structure to a scientific theory than what is represented by the 'mathematical model and minimal interpretation'."

We both agree with this. But Dale's glossing over an important point: "the philosophical community" includes physicists. The problem with modern (theoretical) physicists, they're all amateur philosophers.

Wheeler said, "No phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon."  

This is (amateur) philosophy not science. The study of what's "real" is called ontology. Many books have been written about it by great (and not so great) minds. The view that only what's observed is "real" was once called idealism, and Berkeley was its best expositor. It might also be called phenomenology, other names. Anyway Wheeler's statement is true enough for a quick aphorism, but it's not science: there's no way to test it. As philosophy we can debate it endlessly. For instance, isn't a planet in some distant galaxy "real", even though we can't observe it? Or, the thought in my head right now is "real" to me, although no one else can observe it. Ontology is a great topic for philosophy but doesn't belong in science.

This is an example, I believe, of Dale's complaint, even though he probably wouldn't agree.

==============

You're right, fixed-frame idea is commonly called "ether", as in Lorentz Ether Theory. Perhaps I'll use that term, it's more recognizable. But note that for this discussion, only fixed-frame matters. Read Schmelzer re. ether.

We agree SR allows a fixed frame, so consider GR. Well, most GR cosmology starts by identifying the "comoving frame", which is precisely the universe's hypothesized fixed frame. So all that GR work is still valid with "ether" assumption. When working in a solar system, with a star or Black Hole for instance, GR usually uses the obvious coordinate system centered on the star. Of course this is also compatible with the "fixed" comoving frame, by the POR. Only in extreme circumstances does GR mechanics get incompatible with a fixed frame. The classic example would be Black Hole interior, where we have to use a continuously changing sequence of frames to analyze the problem. But all such unobserved cases have NO experimental support. However if (for instance) wormholes were ever discovered, ether would be falsified and must be rejected.

TR wrote: This is the case with quantum theory based on Bell's theorem, with its ad hoc assumptions and diverse interpretations. The theories of relativity are mathematically complete. We forget that Einstein's intent was to allow GR as an intermediate theory toward a unified theory of gravity. That it fails does not warrant throwing the baby out with the bathwater. My case is quantum theory incompleteness -- same as EPRB.

Nobody wants to throw out any babies with any bathwater! GR is obviously correct in many important cases. Basically it has good experimental support within a solar system: out to a few light years (maybe). After that it fails completely - unless Dark Matter theory is correct, which is extremely not certain. At the least, GR is not validated by the behavior of objects like galaxies.

Within solar system distances - not just our own of course, but distant ones, including even Black Hole binaries and mergers - GR has decent experimental support. Also, gravity waves. But this data is not as reliable as most scientific data, which can be created at will in the lab. And there are quite a few anomalies such as Voyager and Pioneer. I expect there are conventional explanations for all these, and GR is in fact as accurate as any other theory, within its currently quite restricted domain. But for now, the experimental test space is only very sparsely explored. GR is far less validated than EM, QM, or indeed any other standard-model mechanics.

OTOH QM is very well-supported by experiment. QM validation data exceeds GR by many orders of magnitude.

Now, it's well known that - to put it naively - QM and GR are "incompatible". No one's been able to combine them in a "unified field theory". This statement can engender dispute, with topics like effective field theories, string theory, etc, coming up. Nevertheless I claim it's reasonable to say QM and GR seem to be incompatible. So there are two camps. The GR camp thinks it's probably right, and QM must be modified. The QM camp thinks the opposite. Obviously both may be wrong - in fact, undoubtedly neither theory is perfect. But many of us think one is almost right, the other rather wrong.

You're in the GR camp, along with Einstein, Penrose, many others. I'm in the QM camp, with fewer big names. To me QM (including QED, QFT) is very validated experimentally, GR remains definitely open to question. There's no point in debating the two views, it's been beaten to death.

TR wrote: No, I don't consider myself outside the mainstream; neither is Joy Christian.  He has been marginalized unjustly.

I consider Christian out of the mainstream, but that's not necessarily negative. After all the mainstream has got to be wrong on various points, although I don't know what they are.

==============

secur previously wrote:  "This is an example of what we might call 'community-based peer review'. They published the paper, then the community 'peer-reviewed' it for them, decided it shouldn't be in the journal."

TR wrote: I was going to stay out of this, but on reflection, I find this disturbing.  Consensus science is where the likes of Vongehr and Gill want to take us.  Nothing could be more destructive to the creativity and progress of the discipline. Suppose "100 scientists against Einstein"  (or a thousand) decided the issue.  We would all be flat earthers or we would be gone.

I'm not saying 'community-based peer review' is necessarily a good thing. Remember I made the analogy with MicroSoft and their 'community-based Beta testing'. Not only do users find the bugs in Windows, they also have to find the workarounds. Obviously not good. In the past "real" peer-review worked quite well in physics, and of course it's still effective. But these days it also makes sense to just post papers on the internet and let everyone comment.


RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - Thomas Ray - 09-04-2016

Wheeler said, "No phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon."  

secur: "This is (amateur) philosophy not science. The study of what's 'real' is called ontology. Many books have been written about it by great (and not so great) minds. The view that only what's observed is 'real' was once called idealism, and Berkeley was its best expositor. It might also be called phenomenology, other names. Anyway Wheeler's statement is true enough for a quick aphorism, but it's not science: there's no way to test it. As philosophy we can debate it endlessly. For instance, isn't a planet in some distant galaxy 'real', even though we can't observe it? Or, the thought in my head right now is 'real' to me, although no one else can observe it. Ontology is a great topic for philosophy but doesn't belong in science."

Then you're a Popperian, too. Wheeler's aphorism is falsifiable -- it just omits the element primary to observation: theory.  Observations made in the absence of theory aren't meaningful; I use the example of CMBR.  Before the Penzias and Wilson discovery in 1965, two competing theories of cosmology -- steady state and big bang -- were held in more or less equal esteem.  Because the big bang theory predicted the phenomenon, and steady state opposed it, only big bang had meaning.  However, that doesn't mean that some other observation might not elevate steady state and falsify big bang.  Popper famously said, "All life is problem solving," and he reduced this statement to conjectures and refutations.  Science is a cooperative, progressive enterprise.  There is no 'truth' in science of the kind that ontology (and religion) pursues; there is only verisimilitude, 'truth-likeness.'

Popper's opponents at the Vienna school of logical positivism weren't interested in philosophical problems, and Popper had to take great pains to prove to them that philosophical problems really exist.  Wittgenstein (Vongehr's favorite) promoted "language games and forms of life" in which there could never be an objective scientific theory of "the moon being there when no one is looking."  

In Popper, there is potentially such a theory.  It's up to the ingenuity and creativity of the theorist to craft a measurement framework and experimental schema by which the conjecture may be falsified.  In other words, there are things which are falsifiable, and yet unfalsified; things that are falsifiable, and falsified; and things that await a conjecture to make them falsifiable.

In Popper's philosophy, nothing is ever over and done (his autobiography is titled Unended Quest).  It insults science, in my opinion, to think the contrary.  To elevate this certainty to a social experiment, such as the quantum Randi challenge, is a double insult.

Fact is, that Bell’s theorem rests on no foundation except philosophy.  So let’s get that out of the way, and examine what’s left.  Later.


RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - secur - 09-05-2016

Well, no, I'm not a popperian, although he was right pretty often. (BTW, are those who follow Joy Christian Christianians? ;-) He defeated the logical positivists, but that's pretty easy. His mistake was to de-emphasize verifiability, equally important as falsifiability. The one thing I really admire about Popper, everyone who met him dislked him - that takes real talent.

If anything I'm a Baconian: science without experiment (or, at least, observation) is not science, but (at best) philosophy. In spite of Sean Carroll, Lubos Motl, and such anti-data-ists.

TR wrote: Observations made in the absence of theory aren't meaningful

Observations without theory certainly are meaningful. Theory is vastly over-rated. Given the observations, anyone who's competent can figure out the theory (don't believe the propaganda). Given just the theory - without observations, and experiment - you have a bunch of nothing. Geniuses are a dime a dozen. Experimental data, OTOH, can cost billions and requires really unusual ability.

Of course few people agree with me! That's alright, not worth arguing about.

TR wrote: In Popper's philosophy, nothing is ever over and done (his autobiography is titled Unended Quest).  It insults science, in my opinion, to think the contrary.

That's right.

TR wrote: Fact is, that Bell’s theorem rests on no foundation except philosophy. So let’s get that out of the way

There's more to Bell than philosophy, but admittedly there's a fair amount of that. If you want, we can analyze it from that point of view.


RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - Thomas Ray - 09-05-2016

secur wrote: "(Popper) defeated the logical positivists, but that's pretty easy. His mistake was to de-emphasize verifiability, equally important as falsifiability."

No, it wasn't a mistake. No scientific theory can be verified (Popper was one of the only philosophers to take David Hume seriously); falsifiability carries the weight of verisimilitude for the whole theory.

secur wrote: "Given the observations, anyone who's competent can figure out the theory (don't believe the propaganda)."

I don't expect you mean to call the founders of quantum theory incompetent, do you?    

I would love to debate Bell from a philosophical point of view.  Thanks for opening the door.


RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - secur - 09-06-2016

You're right, no scientific theory can be verified (100%), as Popper emphasized. But he doesn't address "partial" or probabilistic verification of a theory. Perhaps it was a mistake to call it a "mistake" of Popper's. It's more a question of emphasis. Anyway I found this blog which addresses the issue pretty well: https://themultidisciplinarian.com/2016/06/20/science-vs-philosophy-again/. A couple of quotes:

"Scientists, for the most part, make lousy philosophers."

"He [Popper] ignores the problem of choosing between alternative non-falsified theories and the matter of theory-ladenness of negative observations."

That blog post at least will give you an idea of what I meant - saving me the trouble of explaining.

I didn't call the founders of QM "incompetent", but the exact opposite, they're "competent". My main point: if none of them had lived, somebody else would have figured it out. Progress might have been retarded by a few years at the most. Whereas, without the data (e.g. black body spectrum) nothing could happen.

You claim Bell is nothing but philosophy ("Bell’s theorem rests on no foundation except philosophy"). But that's too easy to refute. No doubt that's a bit of an exaggeration? Do you really want to maintain that claim? If so I'll be happy to demolish it :-)


RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - Thomas Ray - 09-06-2016

(09-06-2016, 02:33 PM)secur Wrote: You're right, no scientific theory can be verified (100%), as Popper emphasized. But he doesn't address "partial" or probabilistic verification of a theory. Perhaps it was a mistake to call it a "mistake" of Popper's. It's more a question of emphasis. Anyway I found this blog which addresses the issue pretty well: https://themultidisciplinarian.com/2016/06/20/science-vs-philosophy-again/. A couple of quotes:

"Scientists, for the most part, make lousy philosophers."

"He [Popper] ignores the problem of choosing between alternative non-falsified theories and the matter of theory-ladenness of negative observations."

That blog post at least will give you an idea of what I meant - saving me the trouble of explaining.

I didn't call the founders of QM "incompetent", but the exact opposite, they're "competent". My main point: if none of them had lived, somebody else would have figured it out. Progress might have been retarded by a few years at the most. Whereas, without the data (e.g. black body spectrum) nothing could happen.

You claim Bell is nothing but philosophy ("Bell’s theorem rests on no foundation except philosophy"). But that's too easy to refute. No doubt that's a bit of an exaggeration? Do you really want to maintain that claim? If so I'll be happy to demolish it :-)

You should not hang David Deutsch around my neck, on a blogger's belief that he is "true Popperian."

And you should not put [Popper] in brackets as if the quote were from his lips and not Deutsch's.  It is not Popper's view.

You should focus on two references in the context of this discussion:

David Miller, 1994, Critical Rationalism: a restatement and defense, Open Court Publishing; and
Karl Popper 1983, Realism and the Aim of Science, Routledge.

Please, let's use primary sources.

I wasn't suggesting that you thought quantum theorists were incompetent; I was suggesting that if you believe that " ... anyone who is competent can figure out the theory ..." then you would be forced to concede the incompetence of theorists who make conclusions out of data as if they were blind men describing an elephant.

You think it's easy to refute that Bell's theorem rests on philosophy alone?  Let us begin the demolishing. Cool


RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - secur - 09-06-2016

Woops, you're right: that quote should have been ascribed to Deutsch; but since the two men's views are supposed to be the same, my error is not too severe.

I certainly don't present the post as authoritative. That blogger expressed my own views pretty well, that's all. I do think Deutsch is Popperian, as far as it goes, and that Popper "ignores the problem of choosing between alternative non-falsified theories and the matter of theory-ladenness of negative observations". That's a pretty good statement of "the problem with Popper". But if I want to defend it I definitely must argue from primary sources only - as you say. However I don't want to defend it - who cares what Popper thinks? Not me. So I'll concede whatever point you want to make about him - except that I'm a Popperian! It's conceivable that if I studied him better I'd realize that he agrees with me. If so, he's a securian. :-)

The fact that they had to grope their way to QM theory, like blind men with the elephant, doesn't make the founders incompetent. I'm saying any competent theorists could grope their way to the right theory in about the same time it took them, with about as much difficulty. Obviously that can only be an opinion, impossible to prove or disprove.

Give me a while and I'll analyze Bell as philosophy. However - having been trying - I find it's not quite as easy as I thought. So you're welcome to go first! Then I'll respond to your take on it. Otherwise, I accept the challenge; but it will take a day or two, I want to do this right. Unlike Popper, this is a topic I do care about.


RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - Thomas Ray - 09-07-2016

secur, if you're going to dismiss Popper out-of-hand, we won't have much to debate about.

So it seems to me that this debate will boil down to inductivism vs. objective theory.

It is not true that Popper "ignores the problem of choosing between alternative non-falsified theories and the matter of theory-ladenness of negative observations".  It is true that the problem is not a philosophical problem -- Popper values objective knowledge as closer to verisimilitude than speculative alternatives based on simple observation.  In fact, he has been criticized for allowing that certain pseudo-sciences, such as astrology or the i ching, could be made falsifiable.

This process of making a theory falsifiable (and thus making it a legitimate scientific theory) is the business of objective knowledge.

And that is where Bell's theorem fails as science.


RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - secur - 09-07-2016

A problem with the topic of "Bell philosophy" is that his original paper, "On the Einstein Podolsky Rosen Paradox", though fine, is not ideal for the discussion. For one thing it emphasizes "nonlocality" which I don't want to do. Instead it's better to consider "Bellist" philosophy. IOW, the general Bell-related theorem and experiments, as (I think) we understand them.

A good place to start is Joy Christian's paper "Macroscopic Observability of Spinorial Sign Changes under 2 pi Rotations", http://arxiv.org/pdf/1211.0784v4.pdf. There he shows that in a typical Bell experiment set-up, if we assume the space of observations is SO(3), then the angular correlation function is linear. See fig.4 and the accompanying discussion in that paper.

Now, let's define a type of Bell-experiment situation we can call "Class 1" - so as not to pre-judge the conclusion. Basically it would be SO(3), and many people would call it realist, local, and classical, but I want to avoid those words. Just call it Class 1. It has an (angular) linear correlation function as Christian's Fig. 4 shows.

Given a class 1 correlation function many inequalities can be derived which must be satisfied. The original Bell inequality, CHSH, others. Let's focus on CHSH since that's most popular.
 
Ok, then the mathematical content of the "Bellist theorem" is as follows. If an experiment is Class 1, it must satisfy CHSH inequality. I claim there's no philosophy or even physics in this statement, nothing to argue about. Everyone agrees with it.

Now, the philosophical content concerns the following. What types of experiments are, in fact, Class 1? Bellists claim any classical, realist, local experiments are. That would include, BTW, Christian's exploding balls. Furthermore, that QM spin experiments (like Bohm's version of Bell) do not satisfy the inequality. Therefore they are not in Class 1 - call that Class 2. This determination rests on physics - which is also somewhat controversial - and philosophy. I won't try to separate the two at the moment.

The above seems the simplest way - given the common understanding we already have - of specifying which part of Bell is indisputable mathematics and which is controversial. "Class 1" is well-defined mathematically, as is the correlation function and resulting inequalities. The problem arises when we try to see how it relates to the physical world (i.e., what it represents physically). Definitions of "real", "local", "classical" all involve and require both physics, and what we might call philosophy. At least, whatever it is, it certainly isn't mathematics.

This should be enough to refute that "Bell’s theorem rests on no foundation except philosophy". It rests on math, physics, [i]and[/]philosophy.

Didn't notice your last post until after previous post.

It's not that I "dismiss" Popper, or disagree with him. I just don't care about him. The reason, everything he says that's worth saying is so obvious I thought of it myself long before reading him. Took me about a minute or so. We can use any of his ideas but I simply don't consider him an authority - the ideas must stand on their own. And please don't call me a Popperian! That's about like calling me a "Dick-and-Jane-ian" because I believe in correct grammar and spelling.