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The interpretation is outlined here

It certainly gives a good logical explanation of most quantum oddities.

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From a quick glance at the article it looks as if it falls at the first hurdle i.e. it trots out the old argument that you can't have a wave without a substrate to wave in. –  John Rennie Feb 13 '13 at 14:17
    
see arxiv 2010 Informational derivation of Quantum Theory :..Quantum theory can be derived from purely informational principles.Five elementary axioms ... –  Helder Velez Feb 13 '13 at 23:34
    
The author of that paper has misrepresented everything from Zeno to Feynman. There's nothing worthwhile there in physics or philosophy. There are plenty of scholarly writings on this topic out there, but nothing good ever comes from people touting their unpublishable pseudoscience on their personal website. –  Chris White Feb 14 '13 at 2:53

2 Answers 2

Let's go through what happens in this article. The author lays out a series of what he or she calls "quantum puzzles". This phrase is not defined, but one may infer the definition from the sentence,

Many of the phenomena observed in the laboratory are puzzling because they are difficult to conceptualize as physical phenomena, yet they can be modeled exactly by mathematical manipulations.

The author proposes an analogy to explain these "quantum puzzles", that the universe is a simulation run in some computer. He or she then goes on to propose that this analogy is the actual nature of reality.


Obviously I can't pick apart every sentence of the article, so I will address what I see as the main problem with this computer analogy: it was proposed to answer questions no one asked. These "quantum puzzles" aren't things that need to be explained at all, even though the author of the page may find them counterintuitive.

For example, there is no conceptual problem with light having no "medium". Light is an oscillation of the electromagnetic field. For a discussion of this idea, see Why don't electromagnetic waves require a medium?

As another example, there is no such thing as the "collapse of the wave function", at least not as commonly presented in the popular physics literature. For a discussion, see On the nature of the collapse of the wave function and, in particular, the answer by Lubos Motl.

Some of the "quantum puzzles" don't even seem puzzling to the author. For instance, he or she describes in general terms what it means for particles to be indistinguishable. No questions are asked or problems raised about this property. But the author feels it necessary to analogize this to some high-level operation on a computer.

I have lots of other problems with this article, but I think the above discussion is enough. The analogy made in the article doesn't explain anything at all that isn't already well-understood.

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Thank you for your answer. I agree with your first point. The wave propagation in media is the weakest argument there and should probably be removed from the article. I don't agree however that QM puzzles are well understood. Maybe from a mathematical, but not from a philosophical point of view. –  Lisbeth Feb 14 '13 at 0:42
    
@HelderVelez Indeed it looks like an information-based interpretation with a Matrix twist. –  Lisbeth Feb 14 '13 at 1:37
    
My point wasn't that all questions about quantum mechanics have been answered or that everything is well-understood. My point was that the things this author presents as "puzzles" are quite well-understood, both mathematically and physically. –  Flavin Feb 14 '13 at 14:07

I think that maybe people are taking the point about waves without a medium differently than I did. I don't think he is disputing that light is a self-perpetuating fluctuation of electric and magnetic fields. What he is saying is that the mental convention we call a 'field' may be nothing more than a manifestation of what is fundamentally a calculation. You can't really say that an electric field exists in the same way that we think of matter as existing. You can only use the concept to help calculate the behavior of observable objects. You might say that a magnetic field can be visualized by iron shavings around a magnet, but those shavings aren't showing you an object, they are showing you the results of the influences on them.

To be clear I came to see what criticisms there are for this article, I just don't think his change of mental convention from a field to a calculation is really that problematic. The rest of the paper is really where I wanted to see what other people thought. Also, I think that the problem with criticizing this as not peer-reviewed science misses the point that much of this can't be tested even if you wanted to. This is philosophy, let's be clear. The question is: Is it sound philosophy?

If I'm wrong about the nature of a field, please explain to me how a field is fundamentally different from the calculations it allows us to perform. Keep in mind, however, that mapping out the results of a calculation over 2 or 3 dimensions is not fundamentally different than the calculation that underlies the map.

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protected by Qmechanic Jan 17 at 20:41

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