Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Paradigm Shift: Quantum Philosophy

From an article about Quantum Philosophy.:

"Other philosophers call for a sea change in our very modes of thought. After Einstein introduced his theory of relativity, ... 'we threw out the old Euclidean notion of space and time, and now we have a more generalised notion.' Quantum theory may demand a similar revamping of our concepts of rationality and logic, Bub says. Boolean logic, which is based on either- or propositions, suffices for a world in which an atom goes either through one slit or the other, but not both slits. "Quantum mechanical logic is non-Boolean," he comments. " Once you understand that, it may make sense." Bub concedes, however, that none of the so-called quantum logic systems devised so far has proved very convincing."

"A different kind of paradigm shift is envisioned by Wheeler.The most profound lesson of quantum mechanics, he remarks, is that physical phenomena are somehow defined by the questions we ask of them. " This is in some sense a participatory universe," he says. The basis of reality may not be the quantum, which despite its elusiveness is still a physical phenomenon, but the bit, the answer to a yes-or-no question,which is the fundamental currency of computing and communications. Wheeler calls his idea "the it from bit. Following Wheeler's lead, various theorists are trying to recast quantum physics in terms of information theory..."

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