Death, Quantum, and the Techno-Singularity

Author: István Aranyosi (Bilkent University, PhD.)

Quantum mechanics (QM) is whacky. It is hard to offer an interpretation of its formalism in a way that would satisfy everyone in terms of requirements of clarity and intuitiveness. The main culprit is the wave function, an equation that is supposed to describe the behavior of an isolated quantum system. The problem is a conflict between the probabilistic nature of the wave function and the deterministic nature of what we experience, when we make an observation of a quantum system. The wave function is a probability amplitude and a probability distribution over possible states of the system. In other words, all the wave function says is how probable is state S1 of the system to be observed as opposed to, say, state S2. However, when we check, by observation, what state the system is in, we observe it to be in a determinate (not fuzzy) state. There is, hence, an apparent conflict between theory and observation, or between the abstract mathematics and the concrete physics of the theory.

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