Saturday, January 30, 2010

Roger Penrose's Alternate QM Interpretation Dust-particle Tapletop Experiment

Click here for DISCOVER Magazine's article on Roger Penrose and his alternate Interpretation (as opposed to Copenhagen and Many-Worlds) of Quantum Mechanics, and detail regarding the Dust-particle Tabletop Experiment he proposes to prove he is correct, as well as current work on same.

The article is also currently  on the newsstands/bookstores (through late March 2010) in DISCOVER Magazine's "Extreme Universe" special issue.

There are actually people trying to make that happen. They claim they need 5 years given the engineering challenges. The article was written in 2005. It is now 2010, so .....

Well? Where are we?

I can help, because  I'm aware of the challenges (making the apparatus as vibration-free as possible, with constant temperature in a wind-free environment). I've worked on a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer with the necessary lasers, mirrors, beam-splitters, concrete floor, balloon tires, in a quiet, dark air-tight lab in a high-vacuum environment, etc.

I'd like to put my Mechanical Engineering knowledge AND experience to good use. If anyone knows who is currently doing these tests, please forward this webpage to them. Thanks in advance.

Steve Colyer


Jérôme CHAUVET said...

Penrose has interesting ideas about quantum, but some of his books can be really disappointing reading them.

In The large, the small and the Human mind, Penrose provides a theory (better say: a vision) about how our mind needs quantum, using pseudo-biological arguments, which makes me think that he should be careful in its inter-disciplinary approaches.

The whole book did not impress me much. Not quite well argumented, not well written... But true that his tiling systems are interesting (not everything with him is wrong).

Steven Colyer said...

Sir Roger's thoughts on Quantum + Consciousness I tend to stay away from, as I tend to stay from that subject entirely as being far too "New Age" (i.e., Bullshit). I blame John Wheeler and Eugene Wigner for that, and Heisenberg as well in his later whacked years. Mostly though I blame "The Tao of Physics" book, which is bullshit, and the horrible Idiocracy-producing "What the (Bleep) Do You Know?" DVD. I'm not a fan of book burning ... I still get chills when I remember Oskar Werner's wonderful performance in Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" .... but I'd make exceptions for Tao and Bleep, if I could.

Having said that, I DO admire Penrose for warning that he's speculating, before he does so. I consider his meaty book,
"The Road to Reality", a must read. Most of these speculators, including Mr. Anthropic, Leonard Susskind, and even Lubos, are quite good when they explain that which is known.

It's the speculating that gets us in trouble. 99% of speculation is wrong ... I guess we do it for the one percent of the time it's right and so advances Science. Shrug.

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

It's the speculating that gets us in trouble. 99% of speculation is wrong ... I guess we do it for the one percent of the time it's right and so advances Science.

A natural selection of ideas is almost surely effective as the number of ideas tends to infinity.