I have a PhD in physics.

Got one of those, too, and my opinion is basically the same, except for the MWI advocacy, which takes away from the QM sequence's usefulness (advocacy always does).

In a nutshell:

  • There are no particles, only fields (described by amplitudes evolving in space, time and other coordinates). Particles/waves show up as pattern matching to classical concepts, depending on the experiments.

  • The measurement step (the Born rule) is still mysterious (i.e. an open problem in Physics), despite what anyone, including EY, says. Hence the dozens of "interpretations".

Eliezer describes the Born probabilities as a "serious mystery" and an "open problem".

6komponisto8yWell, except for the fact that the MWI advocacy was pretty much the whole [http://lesswrong.com/lw/qa/the_dilemma_science_or_bayes/] point [http://lesswrong.com/lw/q9/the_failures_of_eld_science/] of the sequence!
16folkTheory8yI'm pretty sure I recall that EY says (repeatedly) that the Born rule is not yet understood.

How accurate is the quantum physics sequence?

by Paul Crowley 1 min read17th Apr 201268 comments


Prompted by Mitchell Porter, I asked on Physics StackExchange about the accuracy of the physics in the Quantum Physics sequence:

What errors would one learn from Eliezer Yudkowsky's introduction to quantum physics?

Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote an introduction to quantum physics from a strictly realist standpoint. However, he has no qualifications in the subject and it is not his specialty. Does it paint an accurate picture overall? What mistaken ideas about QM might someone who read only this introduction come away with?

I've had some interesting answers so far, including one from a friend that seems to point up a definite error, though AFAICT not a very consequential one: in Configurations and Amplitude, a multiplication factor of i is used for the mirrors where -1 is correct.

Physics StackExchange: What errors would one learn from Eliezer Yudkowsky's introduction to quantum physics?