Retrocausality

#1
Yet another neat article addressing the potential for retrocausality in Quantum Mechanics, as is shown perhaps best in Yakir Arahonov's formulation of QM, Time Symmetric Quantum Mechanics.

http://nautil.us/issue/9/time/the-quantum-mechanics-of-fate

Physicists as renowned as John Wheeler, Richard Feynman, Dennis Sciama, and Yakir Aharonov have speculated that causality is a two-headed arrow and the future might influence the past. Today, the leading advocate of this position is Huw Price, a University of Cambridge philosopher who specializes in the physics of time. “The answer to the question, ‘Could the world be such that we do have a limited amount of control over the past,’ ” Price says, “is yes.” What’s more, Price and others argue that the evidence for such control has been staring at us for more than half a century.

That evidence, they say, is something called entanglement, a signature feature of quantum mechanics...

...The standard interpretation of entanglement is that there is some kind of instant communication happening between the two particles. Any communication between them would have to travel the intervening distance instantaneously—that is, infinitely fast. That is plainly faster than light, a speed of communication prohibited by the theory of relativity.

...Price asks us to consider the impossible: that doing something to either of the entangled particles causes effects which travel backward in time to the point in the past when the two particles were close together and interacting strongly. At that point, information from the future is exchanged, each particle alters the behavior of its partner, and these effects then carry forward into the future again. There is no need for instantaneous communication, and no violation of relativity.

...

At first glance, this interpretation of entanglement replaces one troublesome behavior—instantaneous communication across arbitrary distances—with another—information traveling backward in time. But should we actually be troubled by the idea of information from the future traveling into the past? After all, mathematically, entanglement in time is identical to entanglement in space, and we have no qualms with information traveling in all directions across space.

...

Other researchers are using retrocausality to explain existing results. For example, Price’s collaborator, theoretical physicist Ken Wharton of San José State University, argues that retrocausality is a natural way to understand a process known as frustrated spontaneous emission. An atom that normally emits light will cease emitting when its surroundings become incapable of absorbing that light. Thus one event (emission) depends on something that does or doesn’t happen in the future (absorption). “That’s one of the examples of a particle probing the future and seeing what’s there, and then making a decision based on it, and just not decaying,” Wharton says. “It’s hard to understand in a causal model.”
The entanglement thing as viewed in the quote above also seems to be the Penrose/Hammeroff preferred way of viewing the phenomenon, as well.

This caught the attention of the Daily Grail as it reminded them of Daryl Bem's recent psi studies ;-)

http://www.dailygrail.com/Fresh-Sci...der-Whether-the-Future-Can-Influence-the-Past

Nevertheless, I couldn't help thinking of Professor Daryl Bem's controversial findings that suggest humans may have the ability to 'feel the future'. I wonder what those physicists investigating retrocausality might say about what it allows in terms of presentiment in humans - still inconceivable, or is it a mechanism for such an effect?
 
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#2
Bump! Nobody thinks this is like totally cool?

Doesn't that "frustrated" little atom sure sound psychic? ;-)

... retrocausality is a natural way to understand a process known as frustrated spontaneous emission. An atom that normally emits light will cease emitting when its surroundings become incapable of absorbing that light. Thus one event (emission) depends on something that does or doesn’t happen in the future (absorption).
Isn't it fascinating how an interpretation of QM that is getting more and more acceptance is highly suggestive of psi?

Surely this must irk some of the skeptics out there. Give me some jeers and sneers at least ;-)
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#3
It's good stuff Ethan. As for lack of responses I feel like this thread vanished and returned, perhaps it was an example of QM rising into the macroscopic world. ;-)

I think it's always hard to figure out what is going with QM. Infinite universes, Idealism, time travel, teleportation, acausal randomness....just hard to wrap one's head around.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#5
The following presents an interesting scenario in which precognition not only doesn't abrogate free will but may even offer an argument for it:

Quantum Physics, Advanced Waves and Consciousness.

http://www.alice.id.tue.nl/references/vannini-di_corpo-2011.pdf

According to King, the constant interaction between information coming from the past and information coming from the future would place life in front of bifurcations. This constant antagonism between past and future would force life into a state of free will and consciousness. Consequently consciousness would be a property of all living structures: each cell and biological process would be forced to choose between information coming from the past and information coming from the future (King,1996). This constant state of choice would be common to all levels of life and would give form to chaotic behaviour on which the conscious brain would feed. King (1996) states that "The chaotic processes which are observed in the neuronal system can be the result of behaviour which is apparently random and probabilistic, since they are non local in space and time. This would allow neuronal networks to connect in a subquantum way with non local situations and explain why behaviour results in being non deterministic and non computational."
 
#6
The following presents an interesting scenario in which precognition not only doesn't abrogate free will but may even offer an argument for it:
Quantum Physics, Advanced Waves and Consciousness.

http://www.alice.id.tue.nl/references/vannini-di_corpo-2011.pdf

According to King, the constant interaction between information coming from the past and information coming from the future would place life in front of bifurcations. This constant antagonism between past and future would force life into a state of free will and consciousness. Consequently consciousness would be a property of all living structures: each cell and biological process would be forced to choose between information coming from the past and information coming from the future (King,1996). This constant state of choice would be common to all levels of life and would give form to chaotic behaviour on which the conscious brain would feed. King (1996) states that "The chaotic processes which are observed in the neuronal system can be the result of behaviour which is apparently random and probabilistic, since they are non local in space and time. This would allow neuronal networks to connect in a subquantum way with non local situations and explain why behaviour results in being non deterministic and non computational."
Thanks for posting this Sciborg. I should probably mention that the formulation of quantum mechanics (TSQM) that includes these retrocausal state vectors has also been shown to preserve free will.

http://arxiv.org/abs/0706.1232

Starts at page 48:

The “destiny-generalization” of QM inspired by TSQM (§4.2) posits that what happens in the present is a superposition of effects, with equal contribution from past and future events. At first blush, it appears that perhaps we, at the present, are not free to decide in our own mind what our future steps may be. Nevertheless, we have shown [32] that freedom-of-will and destiny can “peacefully co-exist” in a way consistent with the aphorism “All is foreseen, yet choice is given” [78, 76].
 
#8
Thanks for that Ethan. I noticed Tollaksen discussing this on Closer to Truth.

I find the more one attempts to fix the results of quantum mechanics into our ordinary perceptions of causation and time, the more it seems there is a deeper layer of reality drawing closer to Idealism or at least Neutral Monism.
This was a great interview, thanks again for sharing!

Something blew my mind half way through. I already knew they proved that free will could exist within the framework of TSQM but I didn't realize exactly how it ties into the "God does not play dice" thing. I'll just sum up what he covered.

In the interview, Tollaksen mentions that they (Yakir Aharonov, etc) have shown that to have the following three seemingly mutually exclusive principles exist in the Universe:

(1) Genuine Free Will
(2) The Future having an influence on the Present (a subtle type of retrocausality)
(3) Cause and Effect

Then the "rolling of dice", or the probablistic nature of Quantum Mechanics, is exactly what one needs to allow those three principles to live together! (See the references in the paper I linked above for their "proof"). To answer Einstein's question, this is why God plays dice!!!

Wow!

To extrapolate further (and perhaps speculatively) into the topics of this forum: free will and psi could actually be implied by the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics!

I love the TSQM flavor of quantum mechanics more and more each day :) Keep in mind too, more and more modern experiments are turning out to be much more parsimoniously explained under the TSQM framework than they are by the standard linear-time frameworks.
 
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Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#9
Then the "rolling of dice", or the probablistic nature of Quantum Mechanics, is exactly what one needs to allow those three principles to live together! (See the references in the paper I linked above for their "proof"). To answer Einstein's question, this is why God plays dice!!!
How do I get libertarian free will out of randomness?

~~ Paul
 
#11
How do I get libertarian free will out of randomness?
~~ Paul
The free will they are talking about just means you have freedom of choice. Start there and leave all the philosophical baggage of libertarian free will out of it for now, i.e. let's learn to walk before we run.

Here is a really dumbed-down explanation of what they have shown.

Are you familiar with the arguments against being able to use entangled particles to send a signal faster than the speed of light (c), because that is a good jumping off point? The key point that one is to lead to is that due to the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics and the utter in-distinguishability of one quantum particle from another, it is only after the two parties get together that they are even able to decipher what message was sent and it's going to be nonsense. (Due to the relativity of simultaneity one could even argue about who actually sent the message, since the two events are space-like separated!) No matter what way you come at this, you're going to find subtle ways Mother Nature has preserved cause and effect, which is what would go out the window if one could send a signal faster than c.

Hold that thought. Here is the paradox in Time Symmetric Quantum Mechanics, phrased as a question(s). How can one effect a present observation "written in stone" by making a free choice in the future? Would not that choice be restricted by the measurement in the present?

In a similarly (but even more) subtle fashion, Mother Nature protects free will choice from "destiny", by making it so one can never be sure if what they observe in the present is really a state-vector (i.e. "destiny") propagating back in time or just error in the measurement process, which is a ramification of the type of measurement used here - weak measurements. No matter what way they have come at this problem, they cannot get around it. Similar to the party with the entangled particles, one can only know by examining all the measurements (past-present-future) after the fact to decipher what really happened. Further, they have shown that it is precisely the probabilistic nature as formulated within TSQM (but evident in other flavors, as well) that one needs to have in order for (1) Free Will, (2) Cause and Effect, and (3) A Subtle Retro-causality, to all exist harmoniously, thereby solving the paradox of TSQM!
 
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Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#12
The free will they are talking about just means you have freedom of choice. Start there and leave all the philosophical baggage of libertarian free will out of it for now, i.e. let's learn to walk before we run.
But walking is not interesting. :)

Thanks for the explanation; it was quite useful.Too bad the harmonious free will is not the kind libertarians are looking for.

~~ Paul
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#13
Two more on the subject of Syntropy. Would be interested in seeing some commentary by anyone with better knowledge physics.

Syntropy, Teleology and Theology

...In this way the equation simplifies into the famous E = mc^2, which always has positive solution. However, in quantum mechanics the spin of
particles nears the speed of light and the full energy/momentum/ mass equation is required with its unwanted negative solution.

In 1941 Luigi Fantappiè, listing the mathematical properties of the negative solution found that they coincide with the properties of life: concentration of energy, increase in differentiation and complexity, and came to the conclusion that the unwanted negative solution is real. This solution implies retrocausality, a teleological universe and provides the ground for the scientific discussion of theology.

The heresy of Fantappié and Teilhard and the converging evolution

Even science has its dogmas. And it happens that scientists sometimes question these dogmas and run into the charge of heresy. This is what happened to Luigi Fantappié (1901-1956), the brilliant mathematician from Viterbo, Italy, who was well knownfor his theory on analytic functionals which extends the work of Volterra, Cauchy, Riemann and Weierstrass, and for the theory of the physical universes. But, I want to talk here about the theory of syntropy which goes well beyond mathematics andphysics. On May 13, 2012, Professor Ulisse Di Corpo spoke about this theory at the Pontifical University of Sant’Anselmo in Rome. An appropriate place, since the theory of syntropy has important implications in the fields of biology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and even theology.
http://journalofcosmology.com/JOC20/Vannini1%201.pdf

http://journalofcosmology.com/JOC20/Vannini1%201.pdf
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#14
Entropy & Syntropy: From Mechanical to Life Science

23 pages organized as follows:

Ch. 1: Discussion of mechanical concepts w.r.t. time & causality
Ch. 2: Relativity and the "supercausality" of QM
Ch. 3: Syntropy and a unified theory of physics and life
Ch. 4: Discussion on how teleology is outside science's purview as backwards causation cannot be observed directly.
Ch. 5: Attractors and Fractals
Ch. 6: Quantum Consciousness possiblity
Ch. 7: Overcoming the fracture between science and religion
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#16
"Now, for the first time, he was up against the prospect of a mystery that was threatening to be permanent. If Time didn't work by acyclic causal networks then Harry didn't understand what was meant by cause and effect; and if Harry didn't understand causes and effects then he didn't understand what sort of stuff reality might be made of instead; and it was entirely possible that his human mind never could understand, because his brain was made of old-fashioned linear-time neurons, and this had turned out to be an impoverished subset of reality."
-Less Wrong, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

;)
 
#17
Entropy & Syntropy: From Mechanical to Life Science

23 pages organized as follows:

Ch. 1: Discussion of mechanical concepts w.r.t. time & causality
Ch. 2: Relativity and the "supercausality" of QM
Ch. 3: Syntropy and a unified theory of physics and life
Ch. 4: Discussion on how teleology is outside science's purview as backwards causation cannot be observed directly.
Ch. 5: Attractors and Fractals
Ch. 6: Quantum Consciousness possiblity
Ch. 7: Overcoming the fracture between science and religion
That's a great paper from Vannini you've linked to Sci... absolutely along my lines of thinking, yet Vannini has come to it from a completely different start point. Gives me a little more confidence that perhaps I'm onto something after all...

How / why / what led you discover these ideas which you've posted in this thread?
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#18
That's a great paper from Vannini you've linked to Sci... absolutely along my lines of thinking, yet Vannini has come to it from a completely different start point. Gives me a little more confidence that perhaps I'm onto something after all...

How / why / what led you discover these ideas which you've posted in this thread?
Saw the "Advanced Waves" article in the Journal of Cosmology volume connecting QM to consciousness.

Regarding the idea of teleology, I originally was exposed to the formal idea via the writings of Teilhard. I was lucky enough to talk to Father Thomas King, a Theilhard scholar, before he sadly passed away in 2009. Great guy, we had some back and forth about the Gospel of Thomas*. I don't recall his exact arguments for Intelligent Design, though I do remember he laughed when I asked him if he believed in Noah's Ark. IIRC he said it was impossible/illogical just by going on the mass of insects that would have to fit on the ship.

He was the first person to explain the concept of panpsychism to me, so I was able to understand some of Chalmers ideas related to it years later. He'd also sometimes give a Teilhard Omega blessing instead of the usual Sign of the Cross. :)
 
#19
Saw the "Advanced Waves" article in the Journal of Cosmology volume connecting QM to consciousness.

Regarding the idea of teleology, I originally was exposed to the formal idea via the writings of Teilhard. I was lucky enough to talk to Father Thomas King, a Theilhard scholar, before he sadly passed away in 2009. Great guy, we had some back and forth about the Gospel of Thomas*. I don't recall his exact arguments for Intelligent Design, though I do remember he laughed when I asked him if he believed in Noah's Ark. IIRC he said it was impossible/illogical just by going on the mass of insects that would have to fit on the ship.

He was the first person to explain the concept of panpsychism to me, so I was able to understand some of Chalmers ideas related to it years later. He'd also sometimes give a Teilhard Omega blessing instead of the usual Sign of the Cross. :)
Thanks, my initial enthusiasm for the Vannini paper was somewhat miss placed. Now that I've had a little time to review her later papers, I can see she's getting muddled up about quite a few things, for example the speed of gravity etc. Never mind... eh.

You put an Asterisk against the GoT... any reason?
 
#20
I've been meaning to comment on the Vanini paper. Read it shortly after posted here and enjoyed it. Had a few really neat ideas, but a couple I also found warranted perhaps a bit of caution. Maybe I can comment more this weekend.
 
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