Philosophers
Mortimer Adler Rogers Albritton Alexander of Aphrodisias Samuel Alexander William Alston Anaximander G.E.M.Anscombe Anselm Louise Antony Thomas Aquinas Aristotle David Armstrong Harald Atmanspacher Robert Audi Augustine J.L.Austin A.J.Ayer Alexander Bain Mark Balaguer Jeffrey Barrett William Barrett William Belsham Henri Bergson George Berkeley Isaiah Berlin Richard J. 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Nicolas Gisin
Nicolas Gisin is an experimental physicist who has extended the tests of quantum entanglement and nonlocality (the EPR experiment) to many kilometers from his lab in Geneva. His work has confirmed the correctness of quantum mechanics, and with it the irreducible indeterminacy involved in quantum mechanical measurements.
Gisin is the recipient of the first John Stewart Bell prize. It is Bell's Theorem and the Bell Inequalities that Gisin's work has confirmed. Despite his critical work that grounds quantum physics, Gisin has been active in searching for alternative mathematical formulations of quantum theory, especially ones that might replace the ad hoc assumption of wave functions "collapsing" when measurements are made. Alternatives proposed by GianCarlo Ghirardi and his colleagues replace the linear Schrödinger equation for the time evolution of the wave function with a nonlinear equation that includes explicit stochastic terms. Gisin also has explored the paradoxical interpretations of his nonlocality experiments. The perfect nonlocal correlation of distant spin states suggests that information is traveling between the two widely separated measurements of electrons in an entangled spin state at velocities greater than the speed of light. This is of course impossible, but Gisin speculates that some "influence" may be affecting both experiments coming from "outside space and time." Gisin says he means by this that "there is no story in space and time" to account for nonlocality. This is of course because the collapse of probabilities is instantaneous (not therefore "in time?") and happens everywhere (surely "in all space?"). If there were such influences, they might provide an explanation for deterministic theories, "some sort of hyperdeterminism that would make all Science an illusion," says Gisin. He explains:
Free will
Gisin says about free will,
Gisin articles
Indeterminism in Physics:Are Real Numbers Really Real?
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The experimental setup for quantum entanglement tests is theoretically simple but experimentally difficult. Two spin 1/2 electrons are prepared in a state, say with opposing spins so the total spin angular momentum of the electrons is zero. They are said to be in a singlet state. Most recent studies, like Gisin's, used entangled polarized photon pairs.)
Two experimenters (call them A and B) measure the electron spins at some later time. The conservation of angular momentum requires that should one of these electrons be measured with spin up, the other must be spin down. This is what is described as "nonlocal" correlation of the spin measurement results. A simpler way of looking at the problem is to consider the conservation of angular momentum, a law of nature that can not be violated. What would the lack of "correlation" between electron spins look like? It would include some spinup measurements by experimenter A at the same time as spinup measurements by experimenter B. But this is a clear violation of the conservation law for angular momentum. This conservation law in no way depends on supraluminal communications between particles. Consider two electrons at opposite ends of the Andromeda galaxy, say 100,000 light years apart. As they revolve around the center of the galaxy, they conserve their orbital angular momenta perfectly. We might say, with Gisin, that conservation laws are "outside spacetime." Note that Einstein's original Maxwell's equations  in his 1931 article "Maxwell's Influence on the Evolution of the Idea of Physical Reality." A few years later, he again questioned whether continuous theories, with their infinities and singularities, would be the final answer to what is real. In the Schrodinger equation, absolute time, and also the potential energy, play a decisive role, while these two concepts have been recognized by the theory of relativity as inadmissible in principle. If one wishes to escape from this difficulty, he must found the theory upon field and field laws instead of upon forces of interaction. This leads us to apply the statistical methods of quantum mechanics to fields, that is, to systems of infinitely many degrees of freedom. Although the attempts so far made are restricted to linear equations, which, as we know from the results of the general theory of relativity, are insufficient, the complications met up to now by the very ingenious attempts are already terrifying... To Leopold Infeld he wrote in 1941, "I tend more and more to the opinion that one cannot come further with a continuum theory." Einstein in his later years grew even more pessimistic about the possibilities for deterministic continuous field theories, by comparison with indeterministic and statistical discontinuous particle theories like those of quantum mechanics. He wrote his friend Michele Besso in 1954 to express his lost hopes for a continuous field theory like that of electromagnetism or gravitation, "I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e:, on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics." The fifth edition of The Meaning of Relativity included a new appendix on Einstein's field theory of gravitation. In the final paragraphs of this work, his last, published posthumously in 1956, Einstein wrote: Is it conceivable that a field theory permits one to understand the atomistic and quantum structure of reality ? Almost everybody will answer this question with "no"...Finally, we should note that Einstein was greatly impressed by the work of two great mathematicians, Leopold Kronecker and Richard Dedekind. Kronecker famously argued that the continuum is a human creation. He said, "God made the integers, all else is the work of man." ( "Die ganzen Zahlen hat der liebe Gott gemacht, alles andere ist Menschenwerk"). Kronecker gained a measure of control over the infinities and singularities of continua with his "Kronecker delta," which is infinitely tall but infinitesimally wide, like Paul Dirac's later delta function, it integrates to unity. A few years later, Dedekind echoed Kronecker, saying "the negative and fractional numbers have been created by the human mind." (Essays on the Theory of Numbers, p.4) Dedekind was the source for one of Einstein's most famous phrases, the "free creation of the human mind" "Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however they may seem, uniquely determined by the external world." From Information Philosophy All the fields of physics, gravitation, electromagnetism, nuclear, and even the quantum wave function, are descriptions that enable accurate predictions of the properties of a test particle at a pint in the field. As such, fields are abstract, immaterial, information about concrete, material, objects. In the case of quantum mechanics, the wave function provides only statistical information about individual particles. Quantum theory is thus a statistical, and therefore incomplete theory, as Einstein knew well, though his colleagues all dismissed his thinking. See http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/scientists/einstein/ for more. >
