Copenhagen Interpretation and Yoga

Patanjali was around way before the advent of quantum mechanics. In the post before he is saying that when your mind is clear and silent it is possible to observe the world around you as it evolves with an ever enhanced perception. One is aware that one is “in the act of observation” and the subsequent processing of the said observation. He implies that as awareness is honed the time interval between “observations” is shortened like a high speed video camera and then becomes pure flow of awareness. There is continuity not step function observation. He anticipates, if you wish, femtosecond spectroscopy.

He is not breaking this awareness down to cis-trans photochemical isomerism in the retina as in visuals but as the seer who sees with awareness and not sense {compound} faculties. It is a transcendent state of awareness above and beyond concrete mind processing. A state unknown to the vast majority of humanity, a state of complete union.

He suggests that objectivity is a real and non-coloured thing {wave functions are objective}. He does not suggest that observation changes the state of a system. {the wave function of the systems collapses} But it must because by observation knowledge and hence information is altered. The state may not be changed but the universe is. The act of perception changes the flow of the universe in an initial local way. Once an observation, however small has been made, the world is an altered place. Thus, there is tremendous responsibility in observing and assimilating. In reading this and perhaps thinking, you are changing the world.

Inherent in quantum mechanics of this kind is probability, which is not too far off the notion of fate. Certainty does not exist, chance rules.

Far out…

From Wikipedia:

There is no uniquely definitive statement of the Copenhagen interpretation.The term encompasses the views developed by a number of scientists and philosophers during the second quarter of the 20th century. This lack of a single, authoritative source that establishes the Copenhagen interpretation is one difficulty with discussing it; another complication is that the philosophical background familiar to Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, and contemporaries is much less so to physicists and even philosophers of physics in more recent times. Bohr and Heisenberg never totally agreed on how to understand the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics,and Bohr distanced himself from what he considered Heisenberg’s more subjective interpretation.Bohr offered an interpretation that is independent of a subjective observer, or measurement, or collapse; instead, an “irreversible” or effectively irreversible process causes the decay of quantum coherence which imparts the classical behavior of “observation” or “measurement”.

Different commentators and researchers have associated various ideas with the term. Asher Peres remarked that very different, sometimes opposite, views are presented as “the Copenhagen interpretation” by different authors.N. David Mermin coined the phrase “Shut up and calculate!” to summarize Copenhagen-type views, a saying often misattributed to Richard Feynman and which Mermin later found insufficiently nuanced. Mermin described the Copenhagen interpretation as coming in different “versions”, “varieties”, or “flavors”.

Some basic principles generally accepted as part of the interpretation include the following:

  • Quantum mechanics is intrinsically indeterministic.
  • The correspondence principle: in the appropriate limit, quantum theory comes to resemble classical physics and reproduces the classical predictions.
  • The Born rule: the wave function of a system yields probabilities for the outcomes of measurements upon that system.
  • Complementarity: certain properties cannot be jointly defined for the same system at the same time. In order to talk about a specific property of a system, that system must be considered within the context of a specific laboratory arrangement. Observable quantities corresponding to mutually exclusive laboratory arrangements cannot be predicted together, but considering multiple such mutually exclusive experiments is necessary to characterize a system.

Hans Primas and Roland Omnès give a more detailed breakdown that, in addition to the above, includes the following: 

  • Quantum physics applies to individual objects. The probabilities computed by the Born rule do not require an ensemble or collection of “identically prepared” systems to understand.
  • The results provided by measuring devices are essentially classical, and should be described in ordinary language. This was particularly emphasized by Bohr, and was accepted by Heisenberg.
  • Per the above point, the device used to observe a system must be described in classical language, while the system under observation is treated in quantum terms. This is a particularly subtle issue for which Bohr and Heisenberg came to differing conclusions. According to Heisenberg, the boundary between classical and quantum can be shifted in either direction at the observer’s discretion. That is, the observer has the freedom to move what would become known as the “Heisenberg cut” without changing any physically meaningful predictions. On the other hand, Bohr argued both systems are quantum in principle, and the object-instrument distinction (the “cut”) is dictated by the experimental arrangement. For Bohr, the “cut” was not a change in the dynamical laws that govern the systems in question, but a change in the language applied to them.
  • During an observation, the system must interact with a laboratory device. When that device makes a measurement, the wave function of the systems collapses, irreversibly reducing to an eigenstate of the observable that is registered. The result of this process is a tangible record of the event, made by a potentiality becoming an actuality.
  • Statements about measurements that are not actually made do not have meaning. For example, there is no meaning to the statement that a photon traversed the upper path of a Mach–Zehnder interferometer unless the interferometer were actually built in such a way that the path taken by the photon is detected and registered.
  • Wave functions are objective, in that they do not depend upon personal opinions of individual physicists or other such arbitrary influences.

Another issue of importance where Bohr and Heisenberg disagreed is wave–particle duality. Bohr maintained that the distinction between a wave view and a particle view was defined by a distinction between experimental setups, whereas Heisenberg held that it was defined by the possibility of viewing the mathematical formulas as referring to waves or particles. Bohr thought that a particular experimental setup would display either a wave picture or a particle picture, but not both. Heisenberg thought that every mathematical formulation was capable of both wave and particle interpretations.

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