Sunday, January 15, 2012

Poll 85 - No Quantum/Classical Divide?

Poll 85: "Do you agree with this idea from the June '11 issue of Scientific American? The division between the quantum and classical worlds appears not to be fundamental...few physicists now think that classical physics will ever really make a comeback at any scale." Poll ended September 8, 2011. 71.2 % agreed, while 28.8% did not.

This has been an interesting metamorphosis: in 2006, when my book was published, a number of people criticized it for being so cavalier with taking the concepts of quantum mechanics and applying them to our "warm and wet" macro/classical world. What does Feynman's sum over histories have to do with the choices you and I make? How do the instantaneous connections of quantum entanglement relate to consciousness and life? These questions do not seem quite as far "out there" now as they did back then, and the burgeoning field of quantum biology is a great example of the kind of paradigm shift we're talking about here.

For more discussion about these ideas, here's a link to Poll 60, which back in March 2010 asked whether people accepted that the so-called "dividing line" between the quantum and macro world is a completely artificial construct. The results were similar: a very large majority agreed with this idea back then as well. I would also refer you to an entry from a couple of months ago called "We are All Quanta", in which I said this:
No matter where we end up, we need to acknowledge that quantum mechanics is the most successful theory of reality devised so far, so whatever Theory of Everything we're trying to get to, we should keep in mind the truth about the underlying quantum nature of the universe we're in.

Ultimately, we are all quanta. We are created by constructive interference, so saying that we're wavicles also works, but each of us is a unique pattern, and a subset of something larger.
Is Imagining the Tenth Dimension a Theory of Everything, a TOE? At best it points the way to where a theory might lie, which is why I prefer to call it a "new way of thinking".  But if classical physics is really destined to never "make a comeback", then it seems apparent that any self-respecting TOE has to acknowledge the underlying quantum nature of our reality, end of story.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: Poll 86 - Is it Impossible to See the Third Dimension?

1 comment:

taylerknox said...

What a thrill - posting a comment to this wonderful journal. You have gathered many illuminating concepts for us all to use to guide our explorations. Thank You.

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