Posted: Aug 04, 2010 2:30 pm
hackenslash: This was what I objected to in the first place. This is, in effect, saying that the collapse of the wavefunction is the uncertainty principle, because the collapse of the wavefunction is the only aspect of the uncertainty principle that the observer can effect.

Any observation or disturbance of particles involves an observer effect related to the uncertainty principle. The interaction of the observer with the particle in question changes it, the observer becomes part of the observed system. Observations require measurements hence this statement below that you were so critical of is not contradicting the "observer as part of system" concept:
The act of measuring one magnitude of a particle, be it its mass, its velocity, or its position, causes the other magnitudes to blur. This is not due to imprecise measurements. Technology is advanced enough to hypothetically yield correct measurements. The blurring of these magnitudes is a fundamental property of nature.

And note in this context "fundamental property of nature" means any act of SIMULTANEOUS determination of e.g. position and momentum of a particle, individually these magnitudes could be observed to a higher degree of resolution. It is the fundamental physical interaction of the process of observation which inversely alters the other magnitude.

1.The collapse of the wavefunction is NOT the uncertainty principle.
2. The collapse of the wavefunction is NOT the uncertainty principle, but a feature of it.
3. Collapse of the wavefunction requires observation, but the uncertainty principle does not.
4. And you still haven't explained how the observer being part of a system being observed conflates to the uncertainty principle requiring an observer.
You do not deny then that Heisenberg's uncertainty principle can be understood in terms of measurement processes involving the collapse of the wavefunction, correct? So when you make statements like the "collapse of the wavefunction requires observation, but the uncertainty principle does not" you realize you are talking about two interrelated concepts, correct? And the uncertainty principle, so far as it involves measurements, is all about an observer.

hackenslash: In reality, a particle can be an observer. Photons, for example, are observers (and in most cases of observation in QM experiments, it's actually a photon that is doing the observing).
So tell me how photons, or other kinds of particles were "observing" events BEFORE the universe came into being? Recall this was the whole point of your argument concerning QM observer effects, the uncertainty principle, and the instability (or impossibility) of nothingness:
Hackenslash wrote:
Errr, no. That nothing is unstable (actually, it's worse than that, it's impossible) is a proven fact, and stems from one of our most successful and accurate scientific principles. The uncertainty principle isnt a though [sic] experiment, it's a categorical feature of the universe, and beyond any serious questioning.
I assume you are here referring to quantum fluctuations, virtual particles arising from the uncertainty principle. Again this assumes the QM pre-existing the universe (being the cause of the universe) adn the universe being akin to a really big batch of virtual particles that for some reason last a really long, long time.

hackenslash: And what Heisenberg is talking about there, which you'd actually understand if you had a clue of what you're talking about, is that both values are uncertain until one of them is observed. In other words, whichever value is being measured only has a definite value when it's measured (observed). This is known as the collapse of the wavefunction, because both values exist only as a distribution of probability until one or the other is measured.
No, Heisenberg goes further, essentially the notion that there is no phenomenon until it is observed.

Oldskeptic: It is heat loss from the surrounding environment, and the surrounding environment of new empty space is previously existing empty space. The universe began at 10^29 degrees Kelvin. The ambient temperature of the universe today is 2.76 Kelvin. Where do you think that all of that energy in the form of heat went? With no surrounding environment, because the universe is an isolated system, for this heat to wick away, what would be your explanation? Mine is that with every cubic centimeter of space created by expansion it becomes more spread out and so diluted and empty space gets cooler as expansion increases.
But with only 2.76 K of blackbody radiation left to dissipate why is the universe's increasing expansion accelerating now and into the future? If there is less heat left to radiate wouldn't the rate of expansion slow?

I will have to point out that at the instant of the “Big Bang” entropy plunged to a minimum state and has been increasing overall since then. Why? Heat loss which causes increasing entropy, and follows the 2nd law.
So you are saying that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is invalid since it goes automatically from maximum to minimum entropy?

twistor59: I merely wanted to point out that the relationship between the cosmological constant and the vacuum energy is completely unknown at the moment, so there is no reason to be forced to consider an input of energy from "outside the universe" (whatever that may mean).
Right, there is not establishment consensus concerning exactly what is called "Dark Energy" however most speculation centers around virtual particles as the manifestation of the crackling kinetic energy of the vacuum, so I just go with that idea.