Hossenfelder on superdeterminism

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Bruce Kellett

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Dec 18, 2021, 6:01:20 PM12/18/21
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Sabine Hossenfelder is going on about superdeterminism yet again. Her
aim, clearly, is to show that physics is entirely local, and that the
non-locality usually associated with violations of the Bell inequalities
does not exist -- so that all physics is entirely local and completely
determined.

http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2021/12/does-superdeterminism-save-quantum.html

While I would agree with Sabine that the question of non-locality has
nothing to do with 'free will', whatever that might be, I do not agree
with her general conclusions. The trouble is that the formalism of
quantum mechanics requires a non-separable function for the description
of the entangled state. A simple argument would go along the lines that
if statistical independence is always correct, then all wave functions
must be separable. Since they are not, statistical independence must be
violated, or else the formalism of quantum mechanics is completely wrong.

I do not think that Hossenfelder and her associates have ever developed
an alternative quantum formalism that incorporates their ideas about
hidden variables. Until we have some such formalism that we can examine
and compare with experiment, Sabine is just blowing smoke here.

She dodges the real issues by discussing superdeterminism in terms of a
simple case, such as the double slit experiment. But the real issues
with statistical independence -- the ability of experimenters to freely
and independently choose what spin state to measure -- arise in full
force only for entangled systems. In order to get a local explanation of
violations of Bell inequalities, one must claim that which measurement
is made is predetermined, outside the local control of the individual
experimenter. Vague statements that the result obtained depends on the
measurement made are either trivial or else meaningless without a
developed quantum formalism that incorporates the requires hidden variables.

Bruce

Stathis Papaioannou

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Dec 18, 2021, 10:55:50 PM12/18/21
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The quotes of presumably otherwise rational people saying that determinism precludes free will and therefore science are quite shocking.
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Stathis Papaioannou

scerir

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Dec 19, 2021, 3:59:26 AM12/19/21
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'Vague statements that the result obtained depends on the
measurement made are either trivial or else meaningless without a
developed quantum formalism that incorporates the requires hidden variables.'
-Bruce

Indeed. But somebody wrote something, in 1988.
https://sci-hub.mksa.top/10.1007/bf00670750

Bruce Kellett

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Dec 19, 2021, 5:09:24 AM12/19/21
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So where is the 'developed quantum formalism that incorporates the required hidden variables'?

Bruce

scerir

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Dec 19, 2021, 6:25:57 AM12/19/21
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In (7) (Brans, 1988) the density for hidden variables depends not only on the state of the particle pair but also on the detector settings a and b. (I'm not a fan of superdeterminism. Somedody pointed out that concepts like falsifiability, isolated system, repetition of an experiment, random measurement error, are impossible. So, the original motivation for superdeterminism -
saving locality, I guess - is not present in the picture of the world we get from
it.)

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Bruce Kellett

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Dec 19, 2021, 4:41:10 PM12/19/21
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On Sun, Dec 19, 2021 at 10:25 PM 'scerir' via Everything List <everyth...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

In (7) (Brans, 1988) the density for hidden variables depends not only on the state of the particle pair but also on the detector settings a and b. (I'm not a fan of superdeterminism. Somedody pointed out that concepts like falsifiability, isolated system, repetition of an experiment, random measurement error, are impossible. So, the original motivation for superdeterminism -
saving locality, I guess - is not present in the picture of the world we get from
it.)


The Brans paper, at best, shows that the idea of superdeterminism is not inconsistent. In other words, if a fully developed quantum formalism incorporating superdeterminism were developed, it would work as advertised. The trouble is that no such formalism has been developed. And simple reflection shows that it is unlikely that any such formalism could exist -- for instance, it would require an infinite number of inputs in the form of initial conditions.

Bruce
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