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What is the relational worldview in quantum physics?

Imagine you sit down and pick up your favorite book. You look at the picture on the front cover. Use your finger to touch the smooth cover of the book. and smell the familiar book as you scroll through its pages. For You, this book contains a variety of sensory characteristics.

But you still expect the book to have an independent identity behind those appearances. So when you put your books on the coffee table and walk into the kitchen. or leave the house to go to work You would expect the book to still look, feel, and smell the same as when you were holding it.

The expectation of objects to have independent bodies ̵

1; independent of us and other objects – is actually a profound assumption that we make about the world. This assumption originated in the 17th-century scientific revolution and is part of what we call the “scientific revolution.” worldview mechanism. In this view, the world is like a giant clockwork machine whose parts subject to the established rules of motion

This worldview has been responsible for most of our scientific progress since the 17th century, but as Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli argues in his new book Helgoland, Quantum Theory – The Physical Theory Explained. The universe at its smallest scale – this worldview is almost certainly false, but Rovelli argues that we should adopt a worldview. “relational” is used

What does relationship mean?

During the Scientific Revolution, British physics pioneer Isaac Newton and his German counterpart Gottfried Leibniz disagreed on the nature of space and time.

Newton claimed that space and time acted as a “container” for the contents of the universe. That is, if we could erase the contents of the universe – all planets, stars and galaxies – we would be left with empty space and time. This is an “absolute” view of space and time.

Leibniz, on the other hand, claims that space and time are nothing more than the sum of the distances and periods between all objects and events of the world. If we delete the contents of the universe We’ll also subtract space and time. This is a “relational” view of space and time: it’s just spatial and time. relationship between object and event The relational perspective of space and time was the main inspiration for Einstein when he developed the theory of general relativity.

Rovelli used this concept to understand quantum mechanics. He claimed that objects of quantum theory such as photons, electrons, or other fundamental particles nothing more than the properties they display when interacting with – about – other objects

These properties of quantum objects are determined by experiment and include things such as the object’s position, momentum, and energy. Together they form the state of the object.

According to Rovelli’s relational interpretation, these properties are all inherent in objects: not each substance “has” properties.

How does this help us understand quantum theory?

Consider the well-known quantum puzzle of the Schrödinger cat. We put cats in boxes that contain dangerous substances. (such as a flask of poisonous gas) stimulated by quantum processes. (such as the decay of radioactive atoms) and we close the lid.

Quantum processes are likely events. There is no way to predict But we can describe it in a way that tells us the opportunities. where atoms will decay or not occur over a period of time This is because the decay provokes the opening of a bottle of poisonous gas and hence the death of the cat. The life or death of a cat is therefore the only event that has the potential to happen.

According to the original quantum theory The cat will not die or live until we open the box and observe the system. The mystery remains what will happen to the undead and non-living cat.

but according to the relational interpretation The state of any system is always relative to another system. Therefore, quantum processes in the box may have erratic outcomes in the correlation. for usbut definitely effective for cats.

So it makes perfect sense that cats don’t die or live for us. and at the same time surely die or live One fact is true for us. And one fact is true for cats. when we open the box The state of the cat will be clear to us. But a cat is never in a precarious condition for itself.

in relational interpretation no view The “eyes of God” around the world about reality.

What does this tell us about reality?

Rovelli argues that ultimately our world is quantum. We should heed these lessons. In particular, objects such as your favorite book may only contain properties related to other objects. including you

Fortunately, there are all the other items, like your coffee table. so when you go to work Your favorite book is still present when you hold it. Still, this is a huge rethinking of the nature of reality.

In this view, the world is a web of complex relationships. where objects It will no longer exist itself independently of other objects, such as the infinite game of quantum mirrors. Moreover, there may not be any independent “floating” substance made up of our reality that supports this web.

As Rovelli said:

We are only images, reality, including ourselves. It’s just a thin and fragile veil, beyond that … nothing.dialogue

This article by Peter Evans, ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow, The University of Queensland. Republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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