QUANTUM MECHANICS AND THE MEASUREMENT RELATION PROBLEM: A SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS

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Transliteration of original Title: 
Problema svyazi kvantovoy mekhaniki i real'nosti: v poiskakh resheniya
Author(s): 
Ivan Karpenko
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Issue number: 
No. 2 (Vol. 40)
Pages: 
110-126
Abstract: 

The article investigates the current ideas about the possible impact of conscious observation on reality in the context of quantum mechanics, a subdiscipline which is yet to be named according to the conventional meanings of quantum theory and quantum physics. The best hypotheses about the relationship (or lack of it) between observation and reality are discussed in the article. The conclusion summarizes the current state of the issue. The current analysis also identifies the difficulties in this issue in the context of epistemology. Conscious observation is to a certain extent an important element of quantum mechanics. However it is not reflected in the theory as it includes no mathematical description of consciousness. Accordingly the following statement is proposed: quantum theory is incomplete in the sense that its description of acts of observation do not include the perception of reality (the term “observation” presumes rational activities itself). The specificity of quantum mechanics in its relation to consciousness lies in that unlike other sciences during the process of observation it makes reality to choose a specific configuration on a micro level. According to the Heisenberg indeterminacy principle this can be interpreted as follows: the entire observation (the measuring device) brings imminent disturbances into the quantum reality. This observer participation leads to a failure in the simultaneous measurement of the position and velocity of the components. Further, every following observation provides different results. Third, the world turns out to behave differently when being observed and when not. While quantum reality is not observed, it is described by Schrödinger equations; when the measurement has been carried out, the quantum mechanical equations are no longer applicable and classical physics which describe the macrocosm, come into effect. This meaning - the influence of conscious observation on the description of reality and its particular configuration - states the fundamental difference between quantum mechanics and classical physics. In classical physics the properties of reality do not depend on the presence or absence of observation. The same applies to the relations with the properties of reality occurring in quantum physics but only until the very moment when this reality is being observed by conscious viewers. This is the theme which is discussed in this article – the rational consciousness.

Keywords: 
measurement, quantum mechanics, consciousness.
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