( issi )
umst¤ppably anihmatæ EIMA quantons
umst¤ppably c¤¤bsfæctings ¤thær
umst¤ppably anihmatæ EIMA quantons."
Doug - 26Aug2003.
Trouble is, we build formal and canonic walls around it and call it 'dialectic.'
"Tear down y~our walls."
|How do scientists and philosophers distinguish classical and quantum measurement?||
This is a superb question for Quantonics, for science, and for philosophy. It is superb because it takes those of us interested in philosophy and science directly to core issues of our beliefs.
How one views measurement discloses one's philosophy, one's ontology, one's metaphysics...one's beliefs.
Before we begin our effort to di(omni)stinguish modes of measurement, perhaps we should talk a bit about what measurement is.
From an anthropocentric perspective, measurement is what humans do to understand perceived reality. (Also, see percept.)
From a Western cultural scientific perspective, measurement is what experimenters do to discover reality's presumed underlying rules, laws and principles. Measurement discloses that which recurs, and that which recurs is presumed reliable evidence of underlying rules, laws and principles. Classical scientists insist only classical measurement is unambiguous. Therefore they further insist all measurement is classical. We shall see a source of their concern about ambiguity arises from their adopted ontology and its assumptions.
Assuming one may imagine a larger, more multiversal perspective and allowing a heuristic that humans are not essential to measurement we may conjecture measurement is what reality does with itself to make, change and unmake itself. Nature's self measurement, quantumly, we refer "scintillation."
Measurement then depends greatly on assumptions about what is measured and what measures what is measured. This issue, what measurement is, is so fundamental it drives all subsequent ontology, metaphysics and philosophy based on it. If one assumes one is measuring 'objects' when indeed one is measuring something else...well, you can see how important it is to choose better alternatives among a possible list of measurement options.
What we know so far, though, tells us our attempts to measure tend to disclose goodness of any chosen approach. Taken seriously, and given time for learning and evolution of process, measurement tends toward better technique and new assumptions.
We want to emphasize a significant point. We think measurement is not just a scientific method or an anthropocentric method. Measurement appears, fundamentally, to be nature's method.
Now let's continue our di(omni)scussion of July's Quantonic Q&A.
For sake of simplicity, allow us to assume only two modes of measurement:
You might assume then, two categories of beliefs, i.e., both quantum and classical: philosophy, metaphysics, and ontology. However, that is not what we see. Instead, there appear to be classicists and quantum scientists/philosophers who adhere only classical measurement techniques and quantum scientists/philosophers who propound either quantum or both classical and quantum measurement:
From our perspective, taken individually, regardless of their advocacy, our choices appear to have at least these selection values:
classical measurement preference selection values:
quantum measurement preference selection values:
both classical and quantum measurement selection values:
As you may see, much omniversity of opinion exists regarding measurement vis-à-vis monitorings.
Our preference is for viewing reality as quantum, not classical. Thus, of course, we favor quantum monitorings over classical measurement. Quantum measurement suffers from a problem called decoherence (Note that quantum~monitorings do not suffer from issues of quantum decoherence.). Many folk are working on a concept of quantum measurement which is non-destructive, i.e., which does not alter stuff which is being measured. (An example of how important this is appears in quantum computing. If reading a qubit register destroys its contents, one may not do quantum computing!) If you look at our 24Jul1999 section of Flash, you will see nondestructive measurement of a simple quanton's phase has finally been accomplished.
Rev 8Jan2001: As you may have read elsewhere in Quantonics, until recently, quantum science had two large remaining 'problems:' measurement and interpretation. We recently used Pirsig's MoQ and our own QTMs to solve these 'problems' and a related John von Neumann quantum wave function 'collapse' problem. See:
One of our favorite quantum measurement sites is Paul G. Kwiat's. Paul is a J. R. Oppenheimer Fellow with US government's LANL. Paul's mentors are both dynamic heavy hitters whom we mention elsewhere on our site: Raymond Chiao, and Anton Zeilinger's Homepage.
If you want to pursue quantum measurement concepts further, you may wish to visit Paul's web page: The Tao of Interaction-Free Measurements