A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  Recent ActivityRecent Activity  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 (The) Quantum Theory

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1888
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 16:08

I assume this comes into  philosophy topics. Just how far back in history does this theory really go - and where is it at now?  Does life have a form of physical presence and therefore cannot disappear entirely?
Back to top Go down
Islanddawn
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2100
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Greece

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 17:03

Oh heavens P, if only you had asked that question a couple of days ago. I could have asked my son for you, (he has not long graduated in applied physics) and has been here since before Xmas, but unfortunately left for Spain yesterday.

Edit. Why do I get a funny add thing on a film or game called Quantum covering the Res His banner at the top of this thread? That has never happened before.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5684
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 17:13

Priscilla wrote:
Just how far back in history does this theory really go

Amazingly we know this, and the answer is equally amazing. Quantum theory's birthplace was between the goalposts in a football game between Akademisk Boldclub and some local Copenhagen opposition in the autumn of 1905. The sudden realisation that atomic structure can be represented using conflicting models with equal accuracy by the AB goalkeeper led to him letting in a crucial goal while caught in the reverie of the moment. Despite his tendency to chain smoke in goal while working out theorems Niels Bohr wasn't a bad keeper, but he went on to become an even better physicist.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2843
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 17:34

You're giving Niels Bohr a lot of credit there but I would humbly suggest that if any one person could be said to have been the originator of quantum theory it would be Max Planck, following his work on the absorbtion and emission of light. He presented his work to the Berlin Physical Society on 14 December 1900. In this, the so-called Planck Postulate, he suggested that electromagnetic energy could be emitted only in quantized form, ie the energy could only be a multiple of an elementary unit E=hv where h is Planck's constant (already introduced in his work in 1899), and v is the frequency of the radiation (NB v is actually nu but I can't find Greek symbols at the moment). And of course Ludwig Boltzman had discussed the idea that the energy states of a physical system could be discrete, ie quantized, as early as 1877 although he had little experimental evidence to back it up.


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 23 Jan 2014, 17:46; edited 2 times in total
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5684
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 17:38

But Planck was a crap keeper!
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2843
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 18:07

I suspect you're right there. Planck was more into music - he was a good singer, he played piano, organ and cello, and he composed songs and an opera.
All in all he was a bit of a specky four-eyed swot.

Here's the young Max Planck in 1878, aged 20 .... not really footballer material.



Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 23 Jan 2014, 18:12; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1888
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 18:11

Ah, but how I would like to be as thick as that Planck. And is all his stuff proven or just theory? Our dictator here is rather stuffy about proof.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2843
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 18:47

Ah well ....

Planck initially thought his quantum hypothesis was just a mathematical trick to get the right answer, but in fact he was spot on and his constant is a fundamental physical constant, rather than just a number that gives the right answers. This was shown in 1905 when Einstein used Planck's equation to explain the photoelectric effect (for which Einstein eventually won the Nobel Prize).

From Einstein's work there followed a flurry of work, both experimental and theoretical by a host of people. This led to a theory of unity between sub-atomic particles and electromagnetic waves, called wave-particle duality. Contrary to ideas of classical physics, electrons and photons sometimes seem to behave like particles and sometimes like waves, depending on what phenomena one is observing. Quantum mechanics provides the mathematics to show how they can be both things at the same time.

Quantum theory also led to the idea that electrons normally remain in an uncertain, non-deterministic, "smeared", probabilistic wave–particle state. That is to say that where they are and what they are doing (their energy and spin etc) is not exact but is in reality a probability (Heisenberg's uncertainty theory an' all that). This again is contrary to classical physics which saw electrons as discrete "lumps" of matter rather than the "fuzzy balls of probability" that they really seem to be.  

Quantum mechanics now provides the mathematics to successfully describe a whole range of observed phenomena that operate on the atomic scale in physics and chemistry. The theory, with all it's constituent equations, seems to successfully describe mathematically what one observes. It works time and time again, and so in that sense it would seem to be proven.  That said it is still being studied, refined and expanded.... such as in the fields of string theory, and the search for the Higgs boson etc.

I did about 3 hours a week for two years on atomic theory, and quantum mechanics .... and believe me it's not a simple case of "is it true". But again I say the mathematics does work and explains the phenomena that one actually observes, be it radioactive decay, photoelectric effect, electro-magnetism, refraction of light, chemical bonding, interference of light, electrical conductivity, etc. etc ....  Bear in mind that one cannot "observe" an electron or photon (1) because they are defined by probabilities rather than an actual deterministic state of being, and (2) because the act of observation would itself change the nature of their reality (quantum entanglement, 'Schrodinger's cat' thought experiment and all that guff).

I dare say Nordmann - ever the eloquent, erudite, polyglot - will be able to explain it better  Wink


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 23 Jan 2014, 19:44; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5684
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 19:39

Priscilla wrote:
And is all his stuff proven or just theory? Our dictator here is rather stuffy about proof.

Scientific theory is assembled from proofs, P. Without them a workable model (theory) can not even begin to be constructed.

Do I detect a hint of mordancy in your final comment, MM?  Wink 
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2843
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 19:50

Au contraire - I stand perpetually in awe of your qualities.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1400
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 20:57

Surely no scientific theory is ever "proven"? They just haven't been disproven yet, or they have been disproven, Even theories we know are inaccurate can still be useful, of course. Newtonian gravity theory is known to be inaccurate - but it's still a good enough model to allow us to calculate the flight paths for space probes etc.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5684
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 21:11

Scientific theory is not there to be proven or disproven. It is assembled from tested hypotheses which themselves have been proven. Or as the National Academy of Sciences put it: "A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation."

It cannot ever therefore be disproven. Every element already confirmed would have to be disproven first (though try telling fundamentalist Christians this with regard to evolutionary theory).
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1400
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 21:30

Take a look at http://www.livescience.com/21491-what-is-a-scientific-theory-definition-of-theory.html

"Theories, like hypotheses, can be disproved or rejected."
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5684
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 21:41

You'd have a job doing it. If elements are disproven the theory improves as it normally means that it has been enhanced by further observably proven elements that have superseded the ones found to have fault. Kim Ann Zimmerman, the "LiveScience Contributor" you have quoted, is guilty of rather sloppy prose I fear.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1400
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 22:50

I think you are using the term "theory" in a way I would only accept for a "law".

See also http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistry101/a/lawtheory.htm
Back to top Go down
Caro
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1103
Join date : 2012-01-09

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 22:56

I was under the impression that it just took one negative result to disprove a theory, but that you could never prove one. And that scientists always couch their hypotheses in negative terms because of this.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5684
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 23:11

As stated by Gilgamesh above, Newtonian theory contains elements since demonstrated to be wrong according to more modern relativistic theory of gravitation. However Newtonian theory is still solid enough to have produced several natural laws deemed irrefutable today and is completely reliable in calculations that do not involve relativity. It is an eminent example of how an entire theory, even one with such exceptional unity as Newton's, is not "disproved" after one element of its construction has been superseded, simply enhanced. The discovery of the flaws in the theory has now made it more rather than less useful since what remains can be applied with more confidence.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2843
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 23:32

You have to remember that scientific laws differ from scientific theories in that they do not posit a mechanism or explanation of the observed phenomena. Laws are just the results, frequently expressed as a mathematical relationship, of repeated observation. As such a law is limted in its applicability to the circumstances resembling those already observed.

Eg. the extension of a wire under increasing load is directly proportional to the load applied. If you put a weight on the wire it will stretch - if you then double the weight, you can observe that the amount the wire stretch is doubled, so the extension is directly proportional to the load, or mathematically:

(extension ) = (a constant) x (load applied)

This is Hooke's Law. But it ony applies to materials strained below the plastic limit .... which can be at quite high relative stresses for many metals but even so it no longer applies once the elastic limit is passed. For polymers the elastic limit is usually so low that Hooke's Law really doesn't apply at all. And note as a law it only describes what is observed, it says nothing about the mechanism of why materials behave this way. That is explained, for metals at least, in dislocation theory ... which pulls together a whole load of empirical observations and models which serve to explain what is actually going on within the metal's crystal structure when one applies stress.

Similarly Newton's law of universal gravitation describes what happens ... but it says nothing about how gravity actually works. That is still being hotly debated, although I think everyone accepts that Newton's laws do work ... although again they do so only in situations of weak gravitational fields. ie they work for the gravitational fields generated by, say planets, they do not work for the fields between atoms.

It's a bit different but biological evolution is fact, a law if you like, it's what is observable ... the theory of evolution by natural selection is the model that provides a mechanism to explain what is clearly observable in fossils and in the laboratory.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1400
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Fri 24 Jan 2014, 00:23

Meles meles wrote:


It's a bit different but biological evolution is fact, a law if you like, it's what is observable ... the theory of evolution by natural selection is the model that provides a mechanism to explain what is clearly observable in fossils and in the laboratory.

That's one of the facts that seems to escape Creationists etc.
Plus throw Erasmus Darwin into the mix, and that scientific theories are not for "believing in" adds to the innocent fun to be had from disputing the matter with them...
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2843
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Fri 24 Jan 2014, 17:33

But returning to the OP ...

Priscilla: I'm not sure that much of the above waffle actually addresses your question,  or does it? 

For me quantum mechanics is "science" and on its own it has absolutely nothing to do with "philosophy". Quantum mechanics is just an attempt to understand what one sees in reality. Its really no different in essence from Robert Hooke in the 1680s, hanging increasingly heavy weights on a brass wire and observing what happened. It's still all about trying to repeat what others have done, observing what happens when one does it oneself, trying to describe mathematically what's happening, and so then hopefully being able to predict something, and so in turn proving that prediction by experiment (or not .... oh bum, I wonder why that didn't that work as I thought it should .... hmmm), and then maybe trying to explain what is actually going on.

But I accept that with quantum mechanics the results, or rather the implied implications and explanations, are sometimes counter-intuitive and indeed often, frankly bizarre. But I suggest that that is only because we, as humans, do not normally experience the universe on the sub- atomic scale. We only see the end results of what's going on (electromagnetism, photovoltaic effects etc), on the macro-scale. The nature of some of the things that seem to occur when one looks at matter on this teeny-tiny, sub-atomic scale (or indeed also on the hugely-big, mega-mega-astronomic scale, ie equally outside our day-to-day ken), .... such things might well lead people to philosophize about wider questions - of Life, the Universe and Everything - but personally as a scientist I still prefer to remain grounded in what is observable and testable.

But is that really what you were questioning, P?


Last edited by Meles meles on Fri 24 Jan 2014, 19:37; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Fri 24 Jan 2014, 19:36

Meles meles wrote:


...the above waffle



Not "waffle" at all, MM, but fascinating if incomprehensible stuff. I am always in awe of people who can do dead hard sums. And I like the description of electrons as "fuzzy balls of probability" very much.

MM wrote:





For me quantum mechanics is "science" and on its own it has absolutely nothing to do with "philosophy". Quantum mechanics is just an attempt to understand what one sees in reality.

But I accept that with quantum mechanics the results, or rather the implied implications and explanations, are sometimes counter-intuitive and indeed often, frankly bizarre. But I suggest that that is only because we, as humans, do not normally experience the universe on the sub- atomic scale. We only see the end results of what's going on (electromagnetism, photovoltaic effects etc), on the macro-scale. The nature of some of the things that seem to occur when one looks at matter on this teeny-tiny, sub-atomic scale (... or indeed also on the hugely-big, mega-mega-astronomic scale, ie equally outside our day-to-day ken), might well lead people to philosophize about wider questions - of Life, the Universe and Everything - but personally as a scientist I still prefer to remain grounded in what is observable and testable.




But doesn't the observer affect the outcome? (This is the point at which my brain - or rather my puny left hemisphere - shorts out.) Has all this been discredited now?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm

One of the most bizarre premises of quantum theory, which has long fascinated philosophers and physicists alike, states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2843
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Fri 24 Jan 2014, 19:53

Yeah,"'fuzzy balls of probabilities" sounds quite cute ...and maybe one can envisage a fuzzy location for an electron: it tends to be...  on average ... generally ... it's about THERE! OK but what's the probability of spin? It's either clockwise ... or anti-clockwise ... hnn ... so on probability it's, ..... well it can be either left or right but nothing else, but .... as a probability? Ok so what is it really, you ask, is it left or right? But that's it ... as soon as you look it's spin will be stopped, cos you looked!  Shocked  ... and so we'll never know now if it was actually clockwise or widdishins! As I said quantum mechanics really is "unbelievable" if one insists on only viewing it in terms of the macro world. (If you're really interested in pursuing these ideas further then try searching for "Shrodinger's Cat," or "Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle").

BUT WHATEVER  - The maths works, time and time again, so there must be some sort of 'truth' there, no?

PS :  I started this reply several times, changed it several times more, ...  then decided it was going nowhere and so was going to delete it ... then decided to post it anyway...  I admit I'm not completely au faut with quantaum mechanics ... 30 years ago, maybe .... now, no I think not. But I remain a scientist!

... Oh bum! Maybe just ask ID's son-in-law ....!


Last edited by Meles meles on Fri 24 Jan 2014, 22:07; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Fri 24 Jan 2014, 21:10

OK - just trying to keep discussion going.
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1888
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Fri 24 Jan 2014, 23:03

This shoulld kill it then. As a lamb to the slaughter here goeth I. My mental lateral and linear threads are all of a twist........  and as an annoying child I once taught said, several times a day "What I don't understand is....' here I go.

Soooooo, if it's all right for a goalie  to have a moment of enlighened eureka on which he then founded the rest of his attention with theory, what couldn't Zoroaster, or St Paul have had the same? And also, of course, likewise, some guys between of assorted identieties yet to be proven. Way back in time surely they  also  had serious thoughts on their mind and then, perhaps - all of a once, suddenly   Wham - Yer, Blimey! The reason for this and what they did  with their enlightenment  is the tricky part. Well, in Re Hist it is.

I rest my head on the altar stone.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Sat 25 Jan 2014, 10:15

I wish these men would make up their minds (joke). Seems there are no such things as black holes now, just grey areas.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2545552/Stephen-Hawking-admits-no-black-holes-GREY-holes.html


http://www.nature.com/news/stephen-hawking-there-are-no-black-holes-1.14583




Hawking told the journal Nature: 'There is no escape from a black hole in classical theory. [But quantum theory] enables energy and information to escape from a black hole'.


He added:


'The correct treatment,' Hawking told Nature, 'remains a mystery.'


Ah, now that sentence I do understand.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2843
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Sun 26 Jan 2014, 17:14

Priscilla wrote:

Soooooo, if it's all right for a goalie  to have a moment of enlighened eureka on which he then founded the rest of his attention with theory, what couldn't Zoroaster, or St Paul have had the same?

No reason at all IMHO ... it's perfectly alright in my book for anyone and everyone to have their eureka moment.

Only I'd add that Neils Bohr, whilst distracted between the goalposts, came up with a mathematical equation that neatly describes how  photons (pulses of light) act so odd in that they can seem to act as particles (when you look at the way they generate electrical change on silicon) but at the same time act like waves (when you look at the way the are refracted and reflected). No one had else had been able to do that. And moreover, his equation worked and accurately described how things happened in real life!

As I see it the best Zoroaster, St Paul, and indeed Jesus Christ, have come up with is something along the lines of:

"Hey, I think there's some big unknown that controls all our lives, the sun the moon everything, even the flowers and the birds, yeah? And like generally everything goes on as it always has, OK? Right, so what I say is that we, humans, are obviously more clever than them, in that we have a choice over what we do. So what I say to you is: "Treat other people the same way as you would like them to treat you!"

There sorted. So no need for 2000 or more years, of bitter argument, fighting and power-grabbing. And frankly what's so earth-shattering about, "Treat other people the same way as you would like them to treat you!" ? Except of course such pearls of wisdom, like grains or wheat, too often fell on stoney ground ... and everyone in power, the Church included, conveniently choose to ignore it. But please don't let us delude ourselves that Zoroaster, St Paul, Jesus were great teachers .... they might have thought hard, they tried, they might even have tried hard, but they couldn't even get their basic simple message accepted without it having to be re-cast with a stern, paternalistic, headmaster, don't question, daddy-knows-best, God-figure, ruling (note the word) over it all.... and we all know where that has led ... Sad 

And yes, I apologise in advance to all those who feel their feathers have been rudely ruffled: I am scoffing and I'm being satyrical ... But, come on, I mean: "Hey I think we'd all get along better if we could just try and be nice to each other," ain't the most shattering revelation in the history of mankind, now is it?

Or is it?
Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2550
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Sun 26 Jan 2014, 21:15

To return to the topic - or particle physics anyway - and to lighten the mood a bit......

Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Mon 27 Jan 2014, 09:54

Well I think Schrodinger and Wigner - and all their friends - want reporting.

What on earth is a "cat state for quantum information processing"?

The Wigner's Friend thought experiment posits a friend of Wigner who performs the Schrödinger's cat experiment after Wigner leaves the laboratory. Only when he returns does Wigner learn the result of the experiment from his friend, that is, whether the cat is alive or dead. The question is raised: was the state of the system a superposition of "dead cat/sad friend" and "live cat/happy friend," only determined when Wigner learned the result of the experiment, or was it determined at some previous point?

I'm going to see how my snowdrops are doing - bit of sanity in this mad world.



Last edited by Temperance on Mon 27 Jan 2014, 15:53; edited 2 times in total
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1888
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Mon 27 Jan 2014, 10:21

Temps, come to the bar, do; what's a split cat between split friends? Let's just split a bottle - and wonder if anyone notices? I'll not try to think out of my box again, promise. Of course I might be dead but haven't noticed it yet.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Mon 27 Jan 2014, 10:26

Crossed posts/edit, Priscilla - yes, drink is the only answer - but snowdrops first!
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1888
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Mon 27 Jan 2014, 19:02

Temps, I gave up on quantum physics when I was 10 and it didn't have a name then. A serious breaktime conversation about whether things existed when we weren't seeing them I negated because I thought that we would notice if a volcano destroyed them and we were not there to see. ..... not likely in Essex but my point was taken. Then, during a lesson on the Great Remonstrance (my Primary school wasn't quite like others, I think) I recall my mind fresh from knowing about atoms thinking that our entire universe was probably only what filled a space in between atoms in something else.... like a giant's chair leg. The giant and his chair was the problem - not the fact that there were billions of other universes. Thus it was that perhaps I did not have the right sort of mind for this sort of thing gathered strength..... but that giant still bothers me a bit.

Back to the bar, then
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Sun 16 Feb 2014, 17:51

Deleted. Back to the bar, then.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Tue 03 Jun 2014, 15:41

As ex-Wittenberg undergrad, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, once remarked, there are indeed more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. Seems now that "Beam me up, Scotty" could become a reality:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10863929/Beam-me-up-Scotty-teleportation-could-become-reality.html

So perhaps that Hans von Kulmbach 1513 depiction of the Ascension (the one with the two rather endearing little feet dangling from a cloud) isn't quite so crazy after all. You never know.

 Smile

PS Anyone come across Dr Conor Cunningham's book, Darwin's Pious Idea? I've heard Cunningham speak (he's on YouTube) and I can't make up my mind whether he's a genius or a complete nutter.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3026
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Tue 03 Jun 2014, 16:07

Here is one of his youtubes;
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Tue 03 Jun 2014, 17:13

Thanks, Trike. They had him on "The Big Questions" on Sunday. He got some very funny looks from the rather bemused audience. I actually like him - he's very funny. A philosopher or a showman? Perhaps a bit of both. Good teacher, I should think. Wouldn't bore you.

Here's another:

Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5684
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Wed 04 Jun 2014, 11:29

A Doctor of Theology is a bit like a Professor of Bee-keeping. I hope it keeps fine for him.

The thought of this guy actually presuming to "teach" what he "knows" terrifies me.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2843
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Wed 04 Jun 2014, 14:28

Thanks for posting those youtubes (re Conor  Cunningham) ….I was interested to hear what he had to say.

But to me he comes across as a bit of a charlatan if he’s as well learned and erudite as his reviewers say. Otherwise he’s just confused. His stuff is full of rhetorical questions (to which he allows no alternative answers), straw-men, and miss-quotes: (Darwinists say this, Dawkinsists say that etc) , whilst being very careful never to actually quote any specific person, or at least to take anything they have said entirely out of context. But that is generally what I have come to expect from “academic” philosophical theologians. Despite protestations about having open, enquiring minds, their starting point is nearly always that they hold firstly to their faith and then try to blather, weazle, white-wash, misquote, twist, or just lie, to try to get scientific evidence, indeed any evidence at all, to “prove” their pre-conceived ideas. He really doesn’t say anything very much new.

And as a teacher!?! To me he comes over as equally confused as he is confusing. I’m still not quite sure what he is actually trying to say, and I suspect he has the same problem. Indeed he often can’t even remember his own script, which, in a teacher, never inspires confidence that they actually understand what it is they are trying to impart.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Wed 04 Jun 2014, 19:45

Well, don't I feel a right prat now. Wish I hadn't posted the Cunningham links. In fairness to me I did say I hadn't made up my mind whether the man is a nutter or not - but I still like him for being an eccentric. He was a bit woolly at the Oxford seminar, I admit.

The Oxford crowd certainly didn't take to him: I suspect they all thought he was a charlatan, as you say, MM. But then they're a censorious lot and can be very sniffy about a) folk whose first degrees are from the University of Kent and b) Cambridge theologians as a breed.

I was stung by the beekeeper jibe. Obviously them as attempt a second degree in theology would be better off doing a GCSE in Media Studies or Tourism (before both subjects are discontinued, that is -  or have they already been discontinued? If so, Aerobics and Leisure Studies would perhaps be a suitable option).
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2843
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 05 Jun 2014, 07:02

Actually Temp having read some of the reviews for Darwin's Pious Idea, I did consider buying it to see what his argument really was, but then thought it a bit too expensive. The book has certainly got plenty of positive reviews from a line up of heavyweights - if one can call Archbish' Rowan Williams a heavyweight and keep a straight face - although with a bit of googling these reviewers were all from the same mould .... professors of philisophical theology, chairs of interfaith committees for the reconciliation of science and religion etc ... But then I suppose books by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Steve Jones also line up emminent names from their same fields too.

And you needn't feel a prat ... I am genuinly interested in what he has to say.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5684
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 05 Jun 2014, 07:40

He starts too many sentences - when he talks and when he writes - with non-sequiturs. When he was involved in a Princeton research group comprised of philosophers, scientists and theologians set up to investigate the relationship between science and "faith" he managed to piss everyone else off completely, even his fellow theologians, by predicating everything with a subjective non-sequitur that basically undermined whatever reason he was pretending to apply. A waste of space, basically.

Guys like him are ten-a-penny in that field. They flare up briefly in terms of public exposure and then disappear just as quickly when their own kind turn on them. Rowan Williams wrote a very good critique of his so-called "breakthrough" book (which the good doctor said he wrote as a defence of Rowan Williams against "modern atheism") which should be on every literature student's curriculum as a supreme example of damning with faint praise.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 05 Jun 2014, 07:49

Oh, thank you for that, MM. Don't feel quite such a prat this morning; but I must admit I did feel very squashed last night. But I was very tired.

Here's Cunningham's BBC film.

"I am disturbed that the debate has been hijacked by extremists," he declares right at the beginning. I'm very disturbed by that, too  That is what is really terrifying. The fundamentalist Christians/creationists and the thundering-from-the-pulpit atheists actually make very good bedfellows - they have a lot more in common than they realise.



Crossed posts - haven't read nordmann's, but will send this.
PS This isn't really about quantum physics, is it, and it is your thread, MM, so I apologise for introducing off topic material. Will shut up at once if you object to Darwin being brought into the discussion. T.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5684
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 05 Jun 2014, 08:00

Temp wrote:
"I am disturbed that the debate has been taken over by extremists,"

As anyone would be, however this is exactly the kind of non-sequitur that distinguishes the man from a genuine philosopher, and even from most creditworthy theologians (if that itself is not a non-sequitur). "Extremism" in the context of theism and atheism requires at least a definition, and one maintained with consistency by the person using the term. Cunningham, as usual, is all over the place. To anyone for whom critical thinking is an absolute prerequisite in pursuing a reasoned and reasonable analysis - be it scientific in the normal sense or even metaphysical in nature - such sloppy and misleading verbal posturing is anathema to logic. Designed for monologue, not dialogue, and not very meaningful monologue at that.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 05 Jun 2014, 08:11

I feel squashed again.

I was once described by someone with a Cambridge degree in philosophy as the most illogical person she had ever met. No wonder I was drawn to CC then.  Embarassed 

PS Just realised that it was Priscilla who started this thread, not MM. Sorry, P. - remark about going off topic is for you, then.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5684
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 05 Jun 2014, 08:13

Not trying to "squash" anyone, Temp. But I just detest waffle like his (don't laugh!)
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1888
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 05 Jun 2014, 12:12

My thread, I think, Temps - but my questions have been answered for the most part and now it's expanded and grown brackets - so no definite article here then now; that figures. Threads usually fray into divergent fluff and yarns so stop fretting. You often say what you like where others are evasive and that's always  a bobble in the weave for someone to snip at. Your  courage in constancy is admirable. And we know neither if Darwin killed Darwin - nor if God killed Darwin.  have a quantum of solace at the bar, mm? Anyone who looks like a possible James Bond could join us.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 05 Jun 2014, 14:26

I am neither constant nor courageous, Priscilla.

I just like discussing topics such as this with intelligent people - not so easy in real life these days, I'm afraid. I often get told to shut up going on about things which is annoying, frustrating and dispiriting - rather worse actually than being regularly squashed - albeit inadvertently - by the likes of El Nord and MM.

A quantum - or a magnum even - of something cold, classy and alcoholic would be very nice, but I'd better not. I might say something I'll regret later (in real life, I mean, not here). At least I can delete my huffy nonsense on Res Hiss.

PS I did apologise for muddling you up with MM - see above post.

PPS I did appreciate your weaving/thread/yarn/fluff metaphor. I've never been likened unto a bobble before, but I rather like it.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2843
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 05 Jun 2014, 16:19

If you're a bobble, Temp, I think I might be a snag, or maybe a dropped stitch.

   silent
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Thu 05 Jun 2014, 20:52

Smile 
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5296
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Sat 07 Jun 2014, 12:09

Not quite (the) quantum theory I know, but nevertheless an amazing - and very useful -  bit of technology:


Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1888
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: (The) Quantum Theory   Sat 07 Jun 2014, 23:17

Every charity shop should get one. (The) Theory being that if it bobbles in any quantumy give it away.
Back to top Go down
 

(The) Quantum Theory

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of ideas ... :: Philosophy-