Image Source: Jazzed Banana.
In the PBS Nov 16 episode of NOVA, The Fabric of the Cosmos: Quantum Leap, Physicist Brian Greene explained that at a quantum level, the entire universe operates like a giant casino, and the odds are stacked against us. This idea contradicts Einstein, who believed that the universe operated according to principles of certainty. Einstein said, "God does not throw dice." What Einstein said exactly was: "Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the 'old one.' I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice." Einstein had challenged Newtonian physics, the physics of the observable world. But he had trouble accepting the theories that radically extended that challenge.
Despite this lip service paid toward chaos and blind chance, our whole social, political and economic order rests on the authority of those who claim they can predict the future. In another post, I suggested that the credibility of economists and financial personnel rose according to their ability to gamble against the probability of stocks rising or falling. That credibility is waning, and they may be supplanted by scientists. Ironically, quantum mechanics also rests on prediction, on the anticipation of a range of outcomes at the subatomic level.
Greene claims that quantum physicists believe the nature of reality is inherently fuzzy, and is weirdly affected by our perception of it. Also, at the quantum level, sub-atomic particles can be in more than one place at the same time. The quantum laws are the bases for scientific predictions on how particles will behave, and these laws are the bases of our entire Tech Revolution, the foundation of our current computing boom. Even with these marvellous innovations based on quantum theories, physicists are having trouble explaining why the unseen quantum universe behaves differently from the visible, tangible universe. After all, in our daily lives, we are not in ten places and ten times at once in a fundamentally uncertain reality governed by chance. I hope. For this show from the November series, see Youtube here.
NOTES FOR READERS OF MY POSTS.