Sound and Fury

Signifying nothing

Holy philosophical content, Batman!

with 3 comments

I had my first lectures today. The philosophy of physics course is looking like it could be really good. We’re looking at the Bohr/Einstein debate at the moment. I’m not quite sure what I think. In a way, I feel like the whole uncertainty/probabilistic thing is a product of a flawed understanding of the world. I don’t know whether I’m with Einstein in wanting the world to be deterministic, but quantum theory seems too strange to be satisfying to me. Perhaps the formalism we use has too many associations with classical physics to really allow the simplicity and unity of quantum phenomena to manifest itself. Perhaps some other formalism might allow a better understanding of what is going on. Something like topos theory or fuzzy logic maybe. I have some papers I downloaded about topos theory and its application to quantum theory, if I track down where I found them I will mention that at a later date.

The genuine metaphysical indeterminacy that Bohr and Heisenberg claimed for quantum experiments doesn’t seem a particularly satisfactory way of resolving the weirdness. Maybe I’m just too “classically minded” to appreciate it. I’ll have to read more to find out what is going on…


Written by Seamus

October 9, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Posted in philosophy, science

3 Responses

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  1. Oh, I love quantum theory, i love anything strange. I read books on that and everything it’s great! try and find where you found those papers about Topos theory, i would be interested in reading them. Thanks


    October 11, 2007 at 8:54 pm


    the ones entitled “a topos foundation for theories of physics” are the ones you want. Word of warning; theyre really really really hard. Like. REALLY hard.


    October 13, 2007 at 5:36 pm

  3. My teacher said, “Newton is in your blood, making deterministic thought experiments”. That was very true I think, for the metaphysical strangeness in Uncertainty principle was kinda mind boggling at first for those like us, who are newcomers in quantum mechanics.

    Hope you can feel quantum mechanics by now… then you may know what is really meant by ‘quantum leap’…

    Nice post!


    August 5, 2008 at 12:31 pm

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