Things That Go Bump in Physicists’ Night

Truth be told, physicists are terrified of quantum mechanics. Really.  The rules of quantum calculation seem so strange that anyone afraid of losing his or her mind should be scared.  (Those who love to lose their minds, on the other hand, adore it.) 

Struggling to make the quantum rules square with a reality "out there," many physicist’s position is "shut up and calculate."  Others have abandoned standard logic, probability, or decision theory for "quantum" versions of these things, or have decided that consciousness must play a fundamental role. (There is even a quantum game theory.)

In eleven days I give my first talk at a physics department, on my conservative research program that tries to have it all: the quantum rules, a reality out there with no special role for consciousness, and keeping standard logic, probability, and decision theory.  I’m not quite there yet, and I may be too close to my work to be objective, but I feel I’m very close. 

Of course we can’t make all the quantum strangeness go away.  For example, reality seems to be intrinsically non-local, and it seems to be far larger than we ever imagined.  But the universe we are all familiar with now is far larger than our ancestors ever imagined, and even Newton gave up on locality. 

Fear not the quantum night – it really will all make sense someday. 


Comments for this post are closed