Reality Does Not Depend on the Measurer According to New Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

Abstract Fractal Design

For 100 years scientists have disagreed on how to interpret quantum mechanics. A recent study by Jussi Lindgren and Jukka Liukkonen supports an interpretation that is close to classical scientific principles.

Quantum mechanics arose in the 1920s – and since then scientists have disagreed on how best to interpret it. Many interpretations, including the Copenhagen interpretation presented by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg and in particular von Neumann-Wigner interpretation, state that the consciousness of the person conducting the test affects its result. On the other hand, Karl Popper and Albert Einstein thought that an objective reality exists. Erwin Schrödinger put forward the famous thought experiment involving the fate of an unfortunate cat that aimed to describe the imperfections of quantum mechanics.

Jukka Liukkonen and Jussi Lindgren

Photo: Jukka Liukkonen (left) and Jussi Lindgren (right) describe Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Credit: Aalto University

In their most recent article, Finnish civil servants Jussi Lindgren and Jukka Liukkonen, who study quantum mechanics in their free time, take a look at the uncertainty principle that was developed by Heisenberg in 1927. According to the traditional interpretation of the principle, location and momentum cannot be determined simultaneously to an arbitrary degree of precision, as the person conducting the measurement always affects the values.

However, in their study Lindgren and Liukkonen concluded that the correlation between a location and momentum, i.e. their relationship, is fixed. In other words, reality is an object that does not depend on the person measuring it. Lindgren and Liukkonen utilized stochastic dynamic optimization in their study.  In their theory’s frame of reference, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is a manifestation of thermodynamic equilibrium, in which correlations of random variables do not vanish.

“But is an explanation really an explanation, if it’s a vague one?” — Jussi Lindgren

“The results suggest that there is no logical reason for the results to be dependent on the person conducting the measurement. According to our study, there is nothing that suggests that the consciousness of the person would disturb the results or create a certain result or reality,” says Jussi Lindgren.

This interpretation supports such interpretations of quantum mechanics that support classical scientific principles.

“The interpretation is objective and realistic, and at the same time as simple as possible. We like clarity and prefer to remove all mysticism,” says Liukkonen.

The researchers published their last article in December 2019, which also utilized mathematical analysis as a tool to explain quantum mechanics. The method they used was stochastic optimal control theory, which has been used to solve such challenges as how to send a rocket from the Earth to the Moon.

Following Occam’s razor, the law of parsimony named after William of Ockham, the researchers have now chosen the simplest explanation from those that fit.

“We study quantum mechanics as a statistical theory. The mathematical tool is clear, but some might think it is a boring one. But is an explanation really an explanation, if it’s a vague one?” asks Lindgren.

Physics is a great hobby for a civil servant

In addition to the study of quantum mechanics, Lindgren and Liukkonen have many other things in common: they were both members of the same maths club at Kuopio Lyceum High School, they both have done post-graduate research, and both have careers as civil servants. Liukkonen has already finished his PhD dissertation on endoscopic ultrasound on joints and now works as an inspector at Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.

“Physics is a great hobby for a civil servant. Together we have agonized over how the interpretations of quantum mechanics make no sense,” says Liukkonen.

Lindgren’s dissertation currently consists of various mathematical articles trying to explain quantum mechanics. He works full-time as a ministerial adviser at Prime Minister’s Office where he has been negotiating such issues as the EU’s recovery plan. A decade ago, he also participated in negotiations on Greece’s loan guarantees, as a junior official.

Lindgren and Liukkonen’s idea of a paradise is a festival conference that would combine short films with lectures on quantum physics.

“Physicists and artists could find new ways to work together — after all, both areas are manifestations of creativity,” says Lindgren.

Reference: “The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as an Endogenous Equilibrium Property of Stochastic Optimal Control Systems in Quantum Mechanics” by Jussi Lindgren and Jukka Liukkonen, 17 September 2020, Symmetry.
DOI: 10.3390/sym12091533

41 Comments on "Reality Does Not Depend on the Measurer According to New Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics"

  1. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is not really the issue here, thus they really haven’t proven anything to help with what is known as the measurement problem of quantum mechanics.

    In quantum mechanics, the measurement problem considers how, or whether, wave function collapse occurs. The inability to observe such a collapse directly has given rise to different interpretations of quantum mechanics and poses a key set of questions that each interpretation must answer.

    The wave function in quantum mechanics evolves deterministically according to the Schrödinger equation as a linear superposition of different states. However, actual measurements always find the physical system in a definite state. Any future evolution of the wave function is based on the state the system was discovered to be in when the measurement was made, meaning that the measurement “did something” to the system that is not obviously a consequence of Schrödinger evolution. The measurement problem is describing what that “something” is, how a superposition of many possible values becomes a single measured value.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measurement_problem

  2. I think to prefer Copenhagen Interpretation for “spooky action” and Schopenhauer’s sake vs “civil servants studying QM in their free time”

  3. Schrodinger’s cat, like all of us, are alive and dead at the same time all of Times. “If you ain’t busy being born, your busy dying.” –Bob Dylan

  4. Regarding Mr. Bateman’s comment on which authority he prefers, I recall another “civil servant” who managed to make a bit of a splash in his field — Einstein

  5. Joshua Scott Hotchkin | October 9, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Reply

    Ah, look, the realists have a new plaything to prop their dogma on…how cute!

    I guess it did not occur to them that their own beliefs and expectations provided the results they were hoping to get.

  6. I wonder how would they interpret the double slit experiment – quantum eraser in their model…

  7. Is it possible to actually test this hypothesis?

  8. This can be a good explanation for an individual atom with all ratios fixed either by measurement or labeling with reference to some basic constant like 1 of this equals 2 of that. But it was known that size of atom depends on varying energy levels, and gets effected by it’s surrounding field constantly. It’s also impérative to know that when a measurement is done it’s a field measurement and that will show stochastic effects in averages rather than whole quantities, so the issue remains unsolved how do you measure momentum when distance is fluctuating and how do you measure charge when it’s just a measure of threshold, quantum mechanics demystified the classics and explained how large quantities evolve. There are some concepts like gravity need to be understood but QM has more base, for example the mediation of forces is yet to be explained fully at QM level and that hold the key to understand gravity and other large phenomenas. When Neutrons were theorized by rutherford he did not experimentally prove them, but with that suggestion the birth of nuclear force became possible. I think gravity is just extension of a freed atomic structure a collection of vaccuums that are left in absence of nothing and that is what lack of mass would mean in space since actual space-time is not empty.In any case quantum values are not very predictable but more of something to use and create a prediction that can help to set course for any sort of calculation within set boundaries of values.

  9. I dont think Bohr or Heisenberg said a consciousness was required, just that something is done that would ALLOW a measurement to be taken.

  10. KEHAVA PRASAD HALEMANE | October 9, 2020 at 11:01 pm | Reply

    it is a simple matter :
    one can be a “participant observer”;
    one can be a “perceipient observer”;
    the former may affect the system observed, whereas the latter may not.

  11. They left out the double slot experiment. Have they nothing to say about this? Since humans have not been around since the beginning of the universe, there has always been a primal Observer…

  12. Tanumoy banerjee | October 10, 2020 at 7:10 am | Reply

    Well How it explain the famous double slit experiment where observer is very much important in altering the nature of reality simply by observing.

  13. serena montefiore | October 10, 2020 at 7:27 am | Reply

    yes reality is objective and the measuring momentum it’s not affected by the consciousness of the measurer…also because the electromagnetic field of his consciousness suppose to be proportional to that of the object of measurement. but still…could
    the measurer’s the consciousness affect the result in a proportional field of forces or if establishing a kind of entangled relationship between the observer and the observed?
    What are the parameters of interaction ?
    everything affects everything even if not in the immediate proximity when the frequency of a “creative” momentum is applied starting a kinda resonance’s effect.

  14. … like this:
    a*x + b*y = z
    when you know a,b,z… it is not possible to say anything about x and y in R. However, if you have 2D projected onto 1D, some info is lost…
    … Have another hobby, mr Boby…

  15. @jeffrey

    All of which he plagiarized

  16. Sankaravelayudhan Nandakumar | October 10, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Reply

    Quatum Mechanical measurements may be made to vary by mind interactive principles:
    Refering to Wholfaang Pauli exclusion principle the portrait could be made to crash by the mind force.Cheiro has interpreted that Lord Kitchner was able to inform him by the fall of portrait of Scotland and Ireland during his death bed and execution by his enemies.
    This means the thinking brain can interfere with quantum entanglement.Another actual story happened such as interpretation of genetic changes as observed during prenatal influence as this woman studied a novel in which she was interested in behaviour of a clever criminal who stimulated CRISPR dynamics of changing the genetic mutation involved in having a criminal boy as her son.

  17. One problem I have with the accepted observer issue is that by implication scientific experimental results would vary depending on the observer effect thus rendering further experiments as unable to be reproduced

  18. While discussing about the reality, we should make sure that the frame of reference that we are taking must be absolute,but absolute frame of reference hardly exists. So now the question arising is how we determine the existence of a body is indeed in reality or not. But with nothing in the universe absolute,first of all we will be unable to determine the absolute frame of reference and so will be unable to fix someone as a reference. So, thinking in this way, objective reality doesn’t exist. But in this relative universe where the light as well as the time themselves are relative to each other, despite having the absolute existence, everything seems having no existence in reality. So the person which is observing the reality,lack it’s own existence in reality, then how could be we able to determine the existence of REALITY?

  19. As for me! These civil servants, don’t have idea what they talk about.. Reality exists because of mind other else nothing can exists… In conclusion, nothing really exists only MIND.

  20. Nice explanation by jukka and jussy. May be scientists have made a propaganda of quantum mechanics , that it is not easier to understand. Humans need to look at quantum mechanics in a different way. May be it is as simple as thermodynamics

  21. Nice explanation by jukka and jussy. May be scientists have made a propaganda of quantum mechanics , that it is not easier to understand. simple. Humans need to look at quantum mechanics in a different way. May be it is as simple as thermodynamics

  22. …solving the problem of non-locality with Occam’s razor. Why call this science in the first place?

  23. These guys need to explain delayed choice quantum eraser and entanglement and quantum tunneling with their simple little theory.

  24. … Yes, I just realized how little I know about Uncertainty principle, because I always was thinking that the proof for it could be observed in the signatures of the big bang, also known as cosmic background radiation…
    … don’t meddle with Uncertainty principle out there!…

  25. … Yes, I just realized how little I know about Uncertainty principle, because I always was thinking that the proof for it could be observed in the signatures of the big bang, also known as cosmic background radiation…

  26. This article said practically nothing about the tenets of this “new interpretation” at all. Nothing these people said is anything that hasn’t already been claimed in the past. It’s almost like saying “New theory suggests water is wet,” as if no one has said that before. If this article wasn’t going to go into detail what’s the point? It’s just clickbait and a waste of a read.

  27. Finally this will put an end to the “spiritual” attachment that so many charlatans have been alluding to with regard to Quantum Mechanics. Keep fairy stories out of science.

  28. Luis Felipe Massena Misiec | October 19, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Reply

    If you care to look at figshare under the title of ” probabilistic proof of the Misiec’s numbers” you will find a proof of the same conclusion of the study described by this news and it is completely independent.

  29. … and since, on this site, some administrators like to take down my posts, I would like them to consider
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0031-9120/50/3/391/pdf
    this is high school teacher with simple explanation of spinning top and it strange behavior.

    Yeas, you might have phd etc, … but… you know…

  30. … a determinism some are missing is here
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-body_problem

    I don’t meddle with God’s order, but with some stuff you have taken down…

  31. Miguel Picanço | October 25, 2020 at 3:07 am | Reply

    I knew it! This concept that not just the measurement but the conciousness of the measurer being considered a variable in the results always bothered me. There’s just not a possible mechanism as to how that could be the case. The universe doesn’t care who’s watching.

  32. Miguel Picanço | October 25, 2020 at 3:11 am | Reply

    Now what could be a factor in measurement, and a more realistic reinterpretation of this perceived problem could simply be arrogance and the illusion of certainty.

    The error people are making could be as simple as P-hacking, the bias of the individual making measurements that aren’t always intentional and could even be simple protocol or statistical mistakes.. but that would involve humility and skepticism of the self to be more widely accepted.

  33. The problem is when we experiment on quantum systems the outcome is always affected by the act of measuring which include the observer, tools and the system, so that led us to conclude that consciousness has a role. The interpretation of these two scientist doesnt match with experiment, but maybe consciousness doesnt have a role, maybe its Just quantum interference in the electromagnetic field leading to probabilistic result

  34. Why not apply Occam’s razor blade to the materialistic paradigm itself?

    “Materialism is baloney”, as Bernardo Kastrup keenly recognized, Max Planck stated that “you cannot get behind consciousness” and Amit Goswami wrote that idealism (consciousness generates physical reality) is “paradox‐free”.

    And if you observe scientists who claims to be materialists (and in an extend way also realists), they defend their world view with claims that they use Occam’s razor, but ignore at the same time the most important aspects of reality, which is the observer, an entity which becomes conscious of his own existence and is this not what really matters (if you forgive me my playful way to misuse words).

    If there is one paradigm “to rule them all”, physical reality, strange phenomena and consciousness, then it is idealism.

  35. Deirdre wrote: “Finally this will put an end to the “spiritual” attachment that so many charlatans have been alluding to with regard to Quantum Mechanics”.

    You mean like the founder of Quantum Mechanics himself, who famously said:-

    “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

    -Max Planck

  36. Gabriel Feliciano | December 26, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Reply

    The authors of this article did not touch the quantum eraser problem
    They should stick to their day jobs

  37. Everyone in the comments saying this doesn’t directly address uncertainty, is mostly wrong. They’re saying that the variables that define a particle’s state, the correlation between location and momentum, or momentum and spin, their “relationship” is fixed… It’s deterministic. Not uncertain. That’s a fact. In entangled particles also. The measurer cannot change the “relationships” between different eigenstates in a system. Measuring a single eigenstate is just a measurement, but a superposition of multiple variables (like the time-independent shrodinger equation) is a probabilistic mathematical model of a psychical system. Of course it’s uncertain, it’s probabilistic. They go even further and characterize the uncertainty in terms of time-dependent thermodynamic equilibrium, so the variables describing the various states become deterministic… And their greater point is not that quantum physics is definitely certain, but that we don’t need to go searching for magic and mysticism to explain things that are by all other accounts real physics, i.e. known physical reality… Magical consciousness is for simpletons not scientists.

  38. Is the Uncertainty Principle over-stated? To measure it’s position a particle has to be stationary and to measure it’s momentum it has go be moving. We can’t do both at once.

  39. If their intention was to redefine and assert that “Reality Does Not Depend on the Measurer” then the correct way to convince and educate people would have been to address all the contradictory experiments and point out the errors.

  40. This article totally seems to misrepresent even basic quantum physics. Heisenburg uncertainty principle is nothing to do with “consciousness”. The 2nd paragraph in the referenced paper’s introduction explains it correctly, so I’m not knowledgeable enough to know if all the other stuff is right – but at least they didn’t mess that up.

    Also, Copenhagen interpretation makes sense if you’re using quantum mechanics in application, not if you’re trying to understand the theory of it. Its purposefully lazy.

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