Registered: Dec 2003
Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics in Five Words (and One Algorithm)
Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics in Five Words
Model the act of measurement.
I'll make one assumption and then explain exactly what those five words mean.
Physical objects like this microwave oven or this water bottle or bricks of gold or fancy watches, or stop watches, or eyeballs or brains, or stars, or galaxies are compounds of electrons and protons and neutrons and photons.
(If you want to get a little more specific, the protons and neutrons themselves are compounds of quarks and gluons and some other things, but we'll keep it simple.)
So, "model the act of measurement", what does that mean?
Let's start with "model". This is what I mean:
Press "play" at that link. It makes 100 thingydoos with a position and positive or negative charge. It is a crude representation of electrons and protons.
You can play around with the model yourself by changing the initial conditions or rules.
That is what I mean by model.
So, what is "the act of measurement"?
How about when you look at your watch or your phone to see what time it is?
You ask yourself "what time is it?" and then you look at your clock and you say "oh, it's 4 o'clock!"
That, is the act of measurement.
So how do you "model the act of measurement"?
Take the model with the electrons and the protons.
If we can assume that watches, and eyeballs, and brains are made of those basic particles (and a couple more), then we should be able to make a model that contains a watch, eyeballs, and a brain.
There would be many protons and neutrons and electrons in the model, composing a watch, eyeballs, and brain, and there would be photons, the particles of light, connecting everything together.
Light bouncing off the watch, into the eyeballs, into the brain.
Then the brain would know what time it is.
Then we've "modeled the act of measurement".
Now imagine the modeled clock starts moving away from the modeled eyeballs and brain.
Imagine it is moving so fast, faster even than the photons. If it is moving faster than the photons (light), then the photons can't connect the watch to the eyeballs.
The eyeballs can't see the clock. Measurement cannot happen.
The clock, as far as the eyeballs are concerned, does not exist.
Nothing travels faster than the speed of light. If it did, it could not be measured and it would be nothing. So only nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
That seems like an unavoidable conclusion.
It's just a thought experiment at this minute, but when we do simulate the human brain from basic particles, I can find no way around the conclusion that where the measurement cannot be modeled, there will be nothing.
Basically, "modeling the act of measurement", as far as I can tell, seems to produce a hallmark claim of special relativity in this simple thought experiment.
I now would like you to consider the next question:
What would happen, if we asked our simulated eyeballs and brain to simultaneously measure the position and momentum of a particle?
Do you think he could do it?
I think the results might just start to look a little bit like the uncertainty principle.
I'm just saying.
Information Science, Neuroscience, Quantum Mechanics, and Leibniz
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