Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Quantum Randomness (2014) (americanscientist.org)
13 points by Tomte on Sept 24, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments

> However, it seemed to me that Wolfram’s idea was ruled out on much simpler grounds, namely Bell’s theorem.

It's actually not. See Gerard 't Hooft's "The Cellular Automaton Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" [1].

Preferred reference frames aren't necessary, you just have to give up the assumption that experimenters are actually free to configure their experiments, aka superdeterminism.

The article refers to this derisively as a "cosmic conspiracy", which seems to be a common "attack" against this sort of interpretation, but it frankly has no teeth. The "cosmic conspiracy" charge is really just restating the fact that any particles with a common history are entangled, even particles in our brain, and since we all share a common history owing to the Big Bang, experimenters are not free to configure their experiments, but their decision is actually predetermined by this shared history.

Scientists have also gone on to claim that this sort of interpretation would make science impossible, but that's simply not true, any more than it's impossible for a deterministic algorithm like hill climbing to fully search a state space.

[1] https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319412849

Superdeterminism would, by definition, restrict the experimenters' freedom. Of course, it's untestable, and it seems independent of whether or not there are remaining entanglements from the big bang. Unless I'm missing something?

Suppose we are entangled in some state:

|we choose to measure observable A> @ |x> + |we choose B> @ |y>

Why would this determine which choice we make?

> Superdeterminism would, by definition, restrict the experimenters' freedom.

Yes, I said as much. That still doesn't entail that science is impossible though.

> Of course, [superdeterminism is] untestable

As is every other interpretation of QM.

Yeah, sorry, I wasn't contradicting you. Mostly curious how entanglement relates to the superdeterminism. As best I can tell it shouldn't.

Whether quantum randomness is "really" random or not is something we cannot ever know for certain. The reason for this is that at any point in time we can only ever have a finite amount of experimental data, and that data will always be consistent with an infinite number of theories. In particular, any finite data set will always be consistent with the "cosmic Turing machine" (CTM) theory, which states that all quantum experimental results are determined by the CTM computing (say) the digits of pi (assuming pi is normal). No experiment can ever refute this theory, and so it can only be rejected on philosophical grounds.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact