|San José State University|
& Tornado Alley
or Denial of Theories
Suppose Proposition A implies Condition C should be true and experimentally Condition C is found to be true. That does not establish that Proposition A is true; it only establishes that Proposition A might be true. To establish the strict truth of Proposition A it would be necessary to establish that Condition C is true ONLY if Proposition A is true. Very seldom is this ever done.
Typically the situation is reversed. Condition C is known to be true and investigators search for some Proposition that explains C. If they find some Proposition A that explains C typically they stop there and declare Proposition A to be be true. Frequently this is completely unjustified. Sometimes when an alternative explanation is found it results in a more comprehensive theory. For example, in the 1920's Werner Heisenberg developed Quantum Mechanics to explain the spectra of elements. It was based upon infinte order matrices, which were a bit awkward to deal with. A short time later Erwin Schrödinger developed Wave Mechanics to explain the same phenomena. It was based upon the solutions to partial differential equations and came to be considered the suprerior methodology. Schrödinger established that Wave Mechanics and Matrix Mechanics give the same predictions.
There are many propositions in Science whose truth is accepted as having been rigorously established by experimental confirmation but only because alternate explanations were never considered. In most cases probably no nonequivalent explanations exist. These are no threat to the sanctity of Science.
But the glaring example of the need to consider alternative explanations is in matter of the so-called entanglements of pairs of particles. The Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum theory includes the proposition that particles do not have material existence until they are subjected to observation/measurement. Pairs of particles have opposing characteristics. In the entanglement experiments a pair of particles is created and the particles separated a substanial distance. When the characteristic of one particle is measured the other particle of the pair is found to have the opposing characteristic even though that would involve communication between the particles at a speed faster than light.
The alternative explanation is that the pair of particles have their opposing characteristics when they are created and maintain them throughout their existence. Therefore for the measured characteristics of the two particles of the pair to correspond requires no communication at any speed, slower or faster than light. The characteristics of the two particles will correspond even if they are separated by nine meters of lead or the diameter of the Earth. There is no possible experiment that would deny the entangle theory even though it is wrong. Obviously the simple alternative that pairs of particles maintain the characteristics they were created with is the superior explantion for for the evidence of the so-called entanglement of pairs of particles.
There never was any justification for the Copenhagen Interpretation's immaterialality of particles. It was based on the erroneous notion that a material particle could not have a probability density function. Any material particle in motion has a probability density function based upon the proportion of the time it spends in its various allowable states. There is another false dichotomy that the Copenhagen Interpretation is founded on; i.e., that something cannot be both a wave and a particle. The discovery of solitons in the 1950's dispelled that notion.
There was some supposed evidence for the immateriality of particles through Bell's Theorem. John Stewart Bell derived an inequality based upon the materiality of particles that should be satisfied. Experiments found it was not satisfied. Physicists of the Copenhagen persuasion concluded that that established the immateriality of particles. That conclusion was not justified. Consider the general problem.
Suppose Propositions A&B imply Condition C and experimentally C is found not to be true. This means that A and B cannot both be true. The false proposition could be A or it could be B or both but no particular proposition of the set that implies C can be singled out as false.
For Bell's Theorem there are assumptions besides the materiality of the particles involved such as that particles travel in straight lines with no transverse oscillations.
Thus the entanglement notion appears to be not only wrong but plain silly. It is not only the Copenhagen Interpretation that leads to implausible concepts. Consider the standard model of the quarkic structure of nucleons. The three quarks of a proton or a neutron are envisioned to be arranged spatially in some triangular structure. The force between them supposedly increases with separation distance. This leads to the so-called Bag Model of quark confinement and their asymptotic freedom. There are mysterious characteristics of quarks called "color" and each nucleon has to be color-neutral. An alternative takes quarks to be spherical shells of charge. "Color" corresponds to the radius of the spherical charge. A nucleon is three concentric shells of quarks. Asymptotic freedom is just the result of mistaking the centers of the spherical shells for the quarks themselves.
The attention entanglement has had in the media is a result of two factors. One is that followers of the Copenhagen Interpretation have devolved into a cult that the members of pride themselves in being willing to believe the most absurd ideas. A recent survey at a conference of particle physicists found only 42% believe in the Copenhagen Interpretation. The other factor is the news journalists' desire for sensational news stories. They get them in terms of how weird the physics of the quantum world is if it is assumed that particles do not have material existence until measured.
With all the magnificent accomplishments of Western Science it is embarassing that the Copenhagen Interpretation with its false notion of particle entanglement has been accepted as part of it.
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