Review: Unseen Reality; Kastner

Thanks Quine for your review!

Ruminations

Kastner’s is one of two “most important” books in physics and cosmology that I’ve read (and in my opinion of course) over the past 7+ years, the other being “Singular Universe” by R. Unger and L. Smolin. How many books have I read addressing the subject of “quantum mysteries”? Paradoxes of the “double slit experiment”, “action at a distance”, “the impact of the observer”, and so on. Except for hidden variables, mostly rejected for good reasons these days, all of the *explanations* are either mere speculative descriptions of phenomena taking place independently of their observation, or they explain them away. Dr. Kastner (building on the work of her mentor John Cramer) does actually explain these phenomena without hidden variables! Whether you like her hypothesis or not, it has to be a contender.

“Unseen Reality” is Kastner’s very good explanation for a popular audience familiar with the basic issues of…

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The Arrow of Time from an Overlooked Physical Law

I’m reblogging this as a counterpoint to a recent book by John Gribbin, “The Time Illusion,” claiming that the ‘block world’ picture of spacetime is settled science. In fact, it is not. There is no real physical evidence for the ‘block world’ model, and there are counterexamples to the claim that relativity requires such a model. The inability of the block world to provide a complete explanation for the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is another reason to keep an open mind regarding alternative, ‘growing universe’ models.

Transactional Interpretation

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In this post, I’m going to disagree with the following statement by physicist Sean Carroll concerning the nature of time:

“The weird thing about the arrow of time is that it’s not to be found in the underlying laws of physics. It’s not there. So it’s a feature of the universe we see, but not a feature of the laws of the individual particles. So the arrow of time is built on top of whatever local laws of physics apply.”–Sean Carroll, https://www.wired.com/2010/02/what-is-time/

That is a common position, but it could very well be wrong. Specifically, what could be wrong with it is the claim that the arrow of time is “not to be found in the underlying laws of physics.” That claim comes from ignoring the possibility that there could be real, dynamical, irreversible collapse in quantum theory. If there is such collapse, that provides the missing link between physical…

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More on Entropy and the Arrow of Time

This is somewhat technical. It's for those interested in the puzzle of how we get the irreversible processes we see all around us from laws that are supposedly reversible. The trick: they are not all reversible. A crucial part of the physics of Nature involves an irreversible step that has long been neglected. The paper … Continue reading More on Entropy and the Arrow of Time

Observation is Measurement, but Measurement is not necessarily “Observation”

“By final [state], we mean at that moment the probability is desired—that is, when the experiment is “finished.” –Richard P. Feynman, Feynman Lectures, Vol. 3 The challenge of defining measurement is evident in the excerpt from Feynman’s famous Lectures in Physics, quoted above--when is the experiment 'finished'??. This remark arises in his discussion of when … Continue reading Observation is Measurement, but Measurement is not necessarily “Observation”

The Arrow of Time from an Overlooked Physical Law

In this post, I'm going to disagree with the following statement by physicist Sean Carroll concerning the nature of time: "The weird thing about the arrow of time is that it’s not to be found in the underlying laws of physics. It’s not there. So it’s a feature of the universe we see, but not … Continue reading The Arrow of Time from an Overlooked Physical Law

Science and Spirit: A Troublemaker In The Cave (Part 2)

Recall that in Part I of this post, I discussed an option (ii) in which scientists make a non-scientific, metaphysical choice when they presume that scientific theories are only about the world of appearance (as opposed to a realm that may not be observable). Now, that is certainly a choice a scientist can make--but for … Continue reading Science and Spirit: A Troublemaker In The Cave (Part 2)