Indeed only by a conscious resignation of our usual [i.e., classical] demands for visualization and causality was it possible to make Planck's discovery fruitful in explaining the properties of the elements on the basis of our knowledge of the building stones of atoms. Taking the indivisibility of the quantum of action as a starting-point, the author suggested that every change in the state of the atom should be regarded as an individual process, incapable of more detailed description, by which the atom goes over from one so-called stationary state into another...On the whole, this point of view offers a consistent way of ordering the experimental data, but the consistency is admittedly only achieved by the renunciation of all attempts to obtain a detailed description of the individual transition process.
|Doug Renselle, Quantonics
Now we know Bohr's process description in the blue highlight above is not an individual process. We know individuistic classical state change is impossible. DQ is always imposing its flux on all of actuality. ( And all of actuality is resisting DQ's flux affects. ) Very recent experiments show this. Historically, evidence of vacuum energy arose in Casimir's test-for-VE-presence experiment. Two plates separated by a small distance exhibit a measurable external pressure pushing both plates together. Casimir's experiment was first done, I believe, several decades ago. Very recently, though, someone asked the question, "Would an atom spontaneously emit a photon in Casimir's plenum?" Test results answer, "No!" Thus we see change of state in a classical system depends on its interrelationship to VE/DQ to effect state change. This unambiguously demonstrates an interrelationship between VE and a classically individuated atom must be present for classical change of state to occur. (Consider a possible implication: Does a Casimir plenum provide a way to classically isolate an atom?) This makes it clear, at least to me, state change is a classical concept. State change, as depicted by Bohr above, is a SOM ontological, subject-object schismatic, single-ended perspective of a Quantonic interrelationship twixt an atom and DQ. This is why I said we need to symbolically change Dirac's bra-ket notation. We need to change his vertical (SOM-dichotomous) bar (which separates complementary conjugates) to a Wingdings lower case 'v' (Quantonic interrelationship). This is a very big deal and another feather in the cap of both quantum science and Pirsig's MoQ.Your review of Folse's work provides a venue of explanation for several rudimentary Quantonic memes. Thanks! PDR 4Feb99. )
Doug, I am happy I can help! From what I gather, Bohr is not talking about what actually occurs in the atomic system here, but rather how we are able to turn it into something we can conceptualize into mathematical symbolism. I agree with you that Bohr was trapped in the logical positivist atmosphere of the times and his complementarity reflects that by focusing on only individualistic events. However, it also seems to me that Bohr chose to use Occam's Razor in the very same place that Pirsig uses it, between what it is that we are aware of, and that which we are unaware of. I am pretty sure he would be in agreement with what you say if he lived today and was aware of all the new findings in quantum science.
Since we cannot use space-time concepts in their "usual" classical roles, and if we accept the essential correctness of quantum mechanics, as Bohr certainly did, then the classical ideal expressed in terms of visualization through wave-particle "pictures" must be rejected in favor of complementarity. Bohr's choice to revise our understanding of the use of these descriptive concepts enabled complementarity to hold that a theoretical representation of an isolated system is an abstraction from which one can make predictions expressed in terms of space-time parameters which characterize the observed object or in terms of defining its dynamic (momentum) behavior. Complementarity does not assume that these phenomenal properties which confirm the theoretical interactions are a causal effect of corresponding properties possessed by an independent reality existing apart from the observed interactions.
Such a correspondence between phenomena and an alleged independent reality must forever remain beyond the possibility of empirical investigation. We MUST measure such empirical space-time observations in empirical science, but not because there are corresponding properties possessed by independently real entities, but according to complementarity, the reason we MUST use space-time concepts is because the way in which the theoretical representation is confirmed as adequate necessitates that at least some concepts find consistent and unambiguous empirical reference in the description of the physical systems used as observing instruments.
The classical viewpoint justifies its application of space-time concepts to both properties of observed phenomena AND the properties of an independently existing physical reality by assuming that the classical state of the system is NOT simply an abstraction, but pictures of the properties of an independent reality. Once the quantum postulate is accepted however, the quantum theoretical representation of an isolated system refers to an abstraction only, and wave and particle pictures used to interpret observation can no longer be regarded as describing an independent reality.
This might be easier to see from the viewpoint of the Metaphysics of
Quality. The intellect level can be viewed as an abstraction as well, and
it is there that all our generalized notions of reality arise. The Metaphysics
of Quality tells us that these intellect level abstractions are every bit
as "real" as the "objects" they represent, but at the same time they are
each governed by a different set of moral codes, and are separated from
each other by the biological and social levels.
This ends part 3 of this review. Thank you for reading!
Part 1 - Overview
Part 2 - Argument for Complementarity
Part 4 - The Uncertainty Principle
Part 5 - Refinement of Complementarity
Part 6 - Extension of Complementarity
Part 7 - The Nature of Empirical Knowledge
Part 8 - Complementarity and the Metaphysics of Quality