Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagGeorge Musser (on quantum mechanics)

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Quantum Wave

Study: Science Fiction Not As Strange As Quantum Physics Fact

At least, that’s what we can assume from a failed effort to disprove physicist Eugene Wigner’s thought experiment

According to prominent science writer John Horgan, a “radical quantum hypothesis” is creating doubt about objective reality: The author of Mind-Body Problems explains that, while quantum mechanics has been confirmed by countless experiments as well as by computer chips, it “defies common sense.” Specifically, it creates doubt about what “the facts” are. In 1961, physicist Eugene Wigner proposed a thought experiment, similar to the more famous Schrödinger’s Cat dilemma: Instead of the fabled cat in a box, imagine that a friend of Wigner is inside a laboratory monitoring a radioactive specimen. When the specimen decays, a detector flashes. Now imagine that Wigner is outside the lab. If Wigner’s friend sees the detector flash, he knows that the specimen has decayed.…