Jeremiah Flaga My thoughts and experiences on programming, life, atbp.

Carver Mead, Steve Patterson, and the 'Copenhagen Interpretation' thing


(TLDR: This is just my story of how I got more convinced that this “Copenhagen Interpretation” thing, this idea of “something being in two different states at the same time”, is not right. If you do not like stories, you can stop reading at this point. :smile: )

Copenhagen Interpretation?

Big words!

What is that?

I don’t really know :laughing:

All I know is that it results to this very absurd notion that something can be in two different states at the same time.

That idea does not match with a very fundamental principle in logic — the law of non-contradiction.

It is not possible to have both A and not-A at the same time and in the same sense.

I first heard about this idea of “something being in two different states at the same time” a few years ago, in a video of Ray Comfort where he interviews someone, asking him questions, and then sharing the gospel to him.

In that video (I’m not sure if I can still locate it), Ray Comfort was talking about logic. Then at the end part of that video, the person being interviewed talked about an example where the law of non-contradiction does not apply — the Schrodinger’s Cat.

I googled about it of course!

I found out that it is related to this “quantum” thing, which I also know nothing about. :laughing:

But I heard someone in the past who compared this “quantum” thing to “magic”.

So I dismissed the Schrodinger’s Cat example as something I do not have to worry about.

The law of non-contradiction is saved! Yehey!


Then a few months ago, I learned (or relearned?), through Wikipedia, that this “Schrodinger’s Cat” thing was actually a thought experiment given by someone named Schrodinger to show the absurdity of what is known as the “Copenhagen Interpretation” of a phenomenon being observed by physicists at a fundamental level of our physical world.


So the “Schrodinger’s Cat” thing was not supposed to provide an example of “something being in two different states at the same time!”

(It was supposed to change the minds of those who are already convinced that the law of non-contradiction does not always apply… :smile:)

So Schrodinger is a friend! :grin:

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Then a few months after that, I found an article listed in Hacker News which captured my interest: “How Non-Scientists Think About Science and Science Denial”.

I usually read the comments of the articles that I read… I found a very interesting comment by someone named “billg”:

There was great interview of Dr. Carver Mead (google him, he contributed a lot to microelectronics) where he argues that what becomes science orthodoxy is actually very political. He goes on to say the last 80 year[s] of physics has gone in the wrong direction due to “political [con]census”…

Politics!… in science!?…

So what does Dr. Carver Mead say about this “Schrodinger’s Cat” thing and this “Copenhagen Interpretation” thing?

… But Schrodinger thought that a continuum theory of the electron could be successful. So he went to Copenhagen to work with Bohr. He felt that it was a matter of getting a “political” consensus; you know, this is a historic thing that is happening. But whenever Schrodinger tried to talk, Bohr would raise his voice and bring up all these counter-examples. Basically he shouted him down.

… Of course. It was a period when physics was full of huge egos. It was still going on when I got into the field. But it doesn’t make sense, and it isn’t the way science works in the long run. It may forestall people from doing sensible work for a long time, which is what happened. They ended up derailing conceptual physics for the next 70 years.

… Huge egos! … I thought scientists don’t have those. :smile: