The physicist with a Hangover. Thought Experiment Illustrating Microcosmic Research

Thought Experiment Illustrating Microcosmic Research
(The physicist with a Hangover)
I
Assume that a certain physicist-experimenter has the task of determining the coordinates of a certain micro-particle on the X-axis at a determined instant, T1 with an arbitrary accuracy. Can this be accomplished?

Generally speaking, in the act of measuring in the microcosm, there are determined limitations expressed by Heisenberg’s uncertainty, or indeterminacy principle. These limitations touch some combinations of parameters of micro-particles which cannot be simultaneously measured with arbitrary accuracy. But in this case, it is only one act of measuring a simple parameter on only one axis. So even the most rigorous physicist will say, it is possible with no limitations. This job is quite feasible.

So, our experimenter starts the matter. If in the assigned instant T1 he pushes a red button starting the measuring experiment, he will determine the coordinate of micro-particle X1 with arbitrary exactitude. What will it be? It is important to underscore, that there will not be a blurry spatial cloud of probability values, not the abstract mathematical matrix, not transformation of any mysterious function ?, but a concrete point on an abscissa axis. It is a precise measurement result localized in time and along one spatial axis of coordinates.

However, this situation is complicated by fact that the experimenter has begun his work having a strong hangover after yesterday's major junket. It was difficult for him to hit the red start button, so he missed and did not start the experiment. The act of measuring was not taking place.

There are no problems. It is possible to make the measurement a little later. Assume that our physicist has decided to postpone the act of measuring till the moment of time T2 = T1 + t, where t = 1 minute. As the first act of measuring had not taken place, the situation basically did not change. Limitations have not been set. A new admissible measurement was made with arbitrary accuracy. If all is correct, the experimenter will get the precise coordinate of micro particle X2. It too will be a point on the abscissa axis, but in another place. Some have already guessed that our physicist has missed the red start button again. Again, measurement did not take place. He repeats the experiment and again misses at point X3.

So, we shall interpret the situation. Our experimenter has had a series of opportunities for fulfillment of the act of measuring in instants T1, T2, T3 … T(n) … with an inter-spaced t. In any of these, he can get the precise coordinate of a micro particle on the abscissa axis X1, X2, X3 … X (n) …. Using the fact that in thought experiments, it is possible to allow some amusing things, we shall force a time interval t tending to zero. In total, we shall get an infinite series of points on an axis whose spacing will approach zero. The points actually merge into one curve.

What is this curve? It is the diagram of precise coordinates of a micro particle along an abscissa axis within some time interval. Thus, at any instant within this space, there will be a point on a curve, having a precise coordinate on an abscissa axis. To say it in another way, each point on this curve can be found if the experimenter at the appropriate moment will start the act of measuring. Evidently, rigid determinism here takes place; there are no loop-holes for randomness and probabilities.

But this is not all. We shall assume that our physicist was so clumsy that he has touched the apparatus and has unintentionally changed the shoulder of the measuring instrument from an X-axis to the Y-axis. Now all measurements will be valid for an axis of ordinates. In total, the concrete curve with potentially measurable coordinates of a micro particle will again be obtained. All axes in our case are equal, so as a result of the same mental trick, we can get the precise coordinate curve along the Z-axis.

So, we have determined three curves along three axes. They can be integrated into one spatial curve which can safely be named "trajectory". If the experimenter performs only one act of measuring on any of the three axes at any moment within the given inter-space, he establishes a point on this curve (and nowhere else!). On the other hand, each point on this spatial curve can be found if we measure in the appropriate instant any of three axes of coordinates that we choose. There is a complete unique correspondence which does not allow for different interpretations.

As a result of this thought experiment, we come to the conclusion that the curve of locomotion of a micro particle really exists, has a precise local in space and time and can be easily found with arbitrary accuracy at any point on any chosen axis. This is quite a deterministic routine.

II

Problems will arise when we set a task to receive, say, precise coordinates of two or more points at once. Here the key limitation characterizing the nature of our relationships with the microcosm already comes into operation. We have termed it “a problem of the second measurement”. Physicists of the twentieth century have described it with the help of the uncertainty, or indeterminacy, principle of Heisenberg.

There are events in the human experience of the macrocosm; there are events in the microcosm. And there is a process of transfer, of presentation of events of a microcosm in our macrocosm. It is important to underscore that the above-mentioned problem does not touch on events in the human macrocosm and microcosm. It touches only the process of translation. Here on border of two worlds, there are key difficulties about which we have already written in the article “Ring Determinism and Probability”.

It can be primitively described how difficult it is to transfer more than one precise (with the arbitrary accuracy) measuring value from a microcosm to a human macrocosm. How will it be with other necessary values? Now that a defect in our habitual deterministic exploratory methodology is detected, that inevitably opens the gates for indefiniteness and randomness. It is necessary in the capacity compensation to resort to the usage of indirect descriptively - computational procedures: blurry spatial clouds of probability values, the abstract templates and artful transformations of mysterious function ?.

It is important to underscore once more, that all these indirect procedures have no direct association to actual events and processes in the microcosm. These are only computing - descriptive procedures simply convenient for physicists, permitting somehow, to tackle a problem of presentation of events in one pattern to another. In the above-stated Thought experiment, it has been demonstrated, that the curve of motion of the micro particle (trajectory) really exists. Also, each point can be found experimentally with arbitrary accuracy. However, it is not possible for us to map this curve on a diagram with arbitrary accuracy (though roughly it can be made in a bubble chamber or an expansion (cloud) chamber).

Positivists (physicists and philosophers) in this situation draw an amusing conclusion;, that the trajectory does not exist in the microcosm, that the micro particle is not a point object precisely localized in space, but represents a probability cloud, blurring space and time, and other nonsense.

Materialists, physicists and philosophers, should answer this ugliness in a strictly scientific way with a differentiated approach: separation of recent descriptively-computational models of reality from physical reality in itself. Eventually, it will allow its removal from modern microcosmic physics, already confused by the domination of the superficial descriptively-computational methodology, and achieve successes in a deeper understanding of the essence of relevant physical processes.

The physicist with a Hangover. Thought Experiment Illustrating Microcosmic Research 8.8 of 10 on the basis of 2590 Review.