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Intuitive understanding and quantum mechanics 
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Post Intuitive understanding and quantum mechanics
http://www.nature.com/news/human-mind-e ... NatureNews

Quote:
But the work also suggests that the human mind might be more capable of grasping the rules of the bizarre quantum world than previously thought — a revelation that could have implications for how scientists approach quantum physics, says Jacob Sherson, a quantum physicist at Aarhus University, Denmark, who led the study. “Maybe we should allow some of that normal intuition to enter our problem solving,” he says. Scientists studying quantum foundations have also long said that finding a more intuitive approach to quantum physics could help to crack outstanding puzzles, although many doubted that this would ever be possible without new theories.
(emphasis mine)


What is "normal" intuition and why would it be something human beings are wired for if our survival does not depend on the counter intuitive (at least that's what was once thought about the quantum world) realm of the very small?

I thought "reason" was enough?



Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:19 pm
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 Re: Intuitive understanding and quantum mechanics
I don't think reason was ever 100% of the scientific method. Creativity or intuition might be needed to come up with a hypothesis. Einstein's thought experiments could be some of the most famous examples.



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Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:01 pm
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Post Re: Intuitive understanding and quantum mechanics
What exactly is intuition?
Can we say it's the same thing as creativity?



Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:10 pm
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Post Re: Intuitive understanding and quantum mechanics
There's no holds barred when it comes to thinking of hypotheses. Anything goes. But after you come up with it, you use the method to sort the wheat from the chaff. I'd guess that most great theories started as hypotheses that came from intuition.


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Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:48 pm
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Post Re: Intuitive understanding and quantum mechanics
Guessing at the equations was the basis of several big breakthroughs.

That doesn't mean me, sitting here with no mathematical background, just spouting a list of mathematical sounding things and landing on the correct description of a relationship.

We're talking about guys like Max Plank. People familiar with the problem and how their expectations built upon earlier ideas weren't lining up with results.

I don't think this is luck or pure inspiration either.
Have you ever figured something out but not been able to put it into words, exactly? Sometimes I get these "aha" moments where I know something but can't find the words to explain it, even in my own head. It's a moment right after you grasp the relationships but need time to translate it into human speak.

So in science these moments of inspiration must come from staring at the data for hours, weeks, years, and building a suspicion of how things come together, then suddenly the description comes to you. Not falling in your lap out of the blue, though it may feel that way, but dredged up slowly from the dark abyss until you finally catch a glimpse of what's been tugging on that line all this time.


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:56 am
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Post Re: Intuitive understanding and quantum mechanics
Interbane wrote:
There's no holds barred when it comes to thinking of hypotheses. Anything goes. But after you come up with it, you use the method to sort the wheat from the chaff. I'd guess that most great theories started as hypotheses that came from intuition.



I agree with all of what you wrote, but again., what exactly is intuition, in your words?



Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:16 am
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Post Re: Intuitive understanding and quantum mechanics
I think intuition is what I put in my first post here.

You are looking at things and starting to build a model in your head of how everything is supposed to fit together. The connections you make are tenuous and fleeting, but they begin to grow stronger and you gain confidence in them as things seem to match more and more with the model you are building. At some point it clicks into place and you get that sensation of "AHA!"

It's tricky to describe. For one thing, having language seems to go a long way for me to solidify my thoughts and make them more "concrete". I think this is why we appreciate it so much when somebody perfectly summarizes thoughts we have had ourselves. I've thanked Interbane a few times on this site when he says a thing I've been thinking, but haven't summarized as nicely as he has.

I think intuition is the thought you've been thinking but haven't put into that perfect sentence... know what I mean?


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:54 am
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Post Re: Intuitive understanding and quantum mechanics
Quote:
I agree with all of what you wrote, but again., what exactly is intuition, in your words?


There's a lot about how the world works that animals know by instinct. Instinctive knowledge. Intuition is where we tap into that, pulling it out of the dark recesses of the mind in an instant as if it were a fully formed conclusion.

Our brains do a lot of work that we aren't aware of. We're unconsciously processing nonstop. It's like when the hairs on your neck stand on end in a dark parking lot at night. You didn't consciously hear something, but your brain definitely picked up on a subtle clue. You conclude there's danger, but without going through the process of analytical reasoning.


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Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:45 pm
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Post Re: Intuitive understanding and quantum mechanics
There is an excellent collection of famous modern scientific quotes at http://www.phy.duke.edu/~hsg/quotes.txt starting with
Quote:
"The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, it is
queerer than we can suppose."

J. B. S. Haldane

-----------------------------------------------------------------

"The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it
is comprehensible."

Albert Einstein

These seemingly contradictory statements have important bearing on the role of intuition in quantum mechanics. Haldane suggests that perhaps in principle the universe is not comprehensible, while Einstein argues the reverse.
One good example of the role of intuition is the shift from geocentric to heliocentric cosmology. For Copernicus, it was simply intuitively false to suppose that planets performed epicycles, elaborate loop the loops which just happened to coincide with the time of year when they rose at dusk. This intuitive assumption of comprehensibility led him to develop the sun-centred theory, even though he got it wrong by keeping the intuitive assumption of circular motion.
But for the ancients, the “queerer than we can suppose” argument of Haldane sufficed to justify epicycles, which were imagined simply as an incomprehensible divine magical action. Einstein’s axiom of comprehensibility, the intuitive assumption that the universe obeys consistent laws, is an essential driver for scientific advancement. Eventually logic will be able in principle to explain all the evidence of our senses.
Quote:
"A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of
five."

Groucho Marx


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Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:50 pm
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Post Re: Intuitive understanding and quantum mechanics
Einstein's universal axiom is presupposed and based on nothing more than faith:

Faith laws are constant universally

Faith the universe is comprehensible



Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:56 pm
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Post Re: Intuitive understanding and quantum mechanics
ant wrote:
Einstein's universal axiom is presupposed and based on nothing more than faith:

Faith laws are constant universally

Faith the universe is comprehensible


Yes, beliefs such as that the universe exists and obeys consistent laws which can be discovered through evidence and logic are statements of faith, when considered as axioms.

Einstein expanded on his views on faith in a credo available at http://www.einstein-website.de/z_biography/credo.html

Albert Einstein wrote:
The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all there is."


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