The Quantum Physics Sequence

A guide to this sequence is available at The Quantum Physics Sequence (post).

Created by PeerInfinity at 3y

(This page started as a copy fromA guide to this sequence is available at The Quantum Physics Sequence)

This is an inclusive guide to the series of posts on quantum mechanics that began on April 9th, 2008, including the digressions into related topics (such as the difference between Science and Bayesianism) and some of the preliminary reading.

You may also be interested in one of the less inclusive post guides, such as:

Yudkowsky's current plan calls for the quantum physics series to eventually be turned into one or more e-books.

  • Probability is in the Mind: If you are uncertain about a phenomenon, this is a fact about your state of mind, not a fact about the phenomenon itself. There are mysterious questions but not mysterious answers. The map is not the territory.
  • Reductionism: We build models of the universe that have many different levels of description. But so far as anyone has been able to determine, the universe itself has only the single level of fundamental physics - reality doesn't explicitly compute protons, only quarks.
  • Joy in the Merely Real: If you can't take joy in things that turn out to be explicable, you're going to set yourself up for eternal disappointment. Don't worry if quantum physics turns out to be normal.
  • Zombies! Zombies? and The Generalized Anti-Zombie Principle: Don't try to put your consciousness or your personal identity outside physics. Whatever makes you say "I think therefore I am", causes your lips to move; it is within the chains of cause and effect that produce our observed universe.
  • Belief in the Implied Invisible: If a spaceship goes over the cosmological horizon relative to us, so that it can no longer communicate with us, should we believe that the spaceship instantly ceases to exist?
  • Quantum Explanations: Quantum mechanics doesn't deserve its fearsome reputation. If you tell people something is supposed to be mysterious, they won't understand it. It's human intuitions that are "strange" or "weird"; physics itself is perfectly normal. Talking about historical erroneous concepts like "particles" or "waves" is just asking to confuse people; present the real, unified quantum physics straight out. The series will take a strictly realist perspective - quantum equations describe something that is real and out there. Warning: Although a large faction of physicists
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(This page is copied directlystarted as a copy from The Quantum Physics Sequence:)

This is an inclusive guide to the series of posts on quantum mechanics that began on April 9th, 2008,2008, including the digressions into related topics (such as the difference between Science and Bayesianism) and some of the preliminary reading.

MyYudkowsky's current plan calls for the quantum physics series to eventually be turned into one or more e-books.

See also

A non-mysterious introduction to quantum mechanics, intended to be accessible to anyone who can grok algebra and complex numbers. Cleaning up the old confusion about QM is used to introduce basic issues in rationality (such as the technical version of Occam's Razor), epistemology, reductionism, naturalism, and philosophy of science. Not dispensable reading, even though the exact reasons for the digression are hard to explain in advance of reading.

This page is copied directly from The Quantum Physics Sequence:

This is an inclusive guide to the series of posts on quantum mechanics that began on April 9th, 2008, including the digressions into related topics (such as the difference between Science and Bayesianism) and some of the preliminary reading.

You may also be interested in one of the less inclusive post guides, such as:

My current plan calls for the quantum physics series to eventually be turned into one or more e-books.

Preliminaries

  • Probability is in the Mind: If you are uncertain about a phenomenon, this is a fact about your state of mind, not a fact about the phenomenon itself. There are mysterious questions but not mysterious answers. The map is not the territory.
  • Reductionism: We build models of the universe that have many different levels of description. But so far as anyone has been able to determine, the universe itself has only the single level of fundamental physics - reality doesn't explicitly compute protons, only quarks.
  • Joy in the Merely Real: If you can't take joy in things that turn out to be explicable, you're going to set yourself up for eternal disappointment. Don't worry if quantum physics turns out to be normal.
  • Zombies! Zombies? and The Generalized Anti-Zombie Principle: Don't try to put your consciousness or your personal identity outside physics. Whatever makes you say "I think therefore I am", causes your lips to move; it is within the chains of cause and effect that produce our observed universe.
  • Belief in the Implied Invisible: If a spaceship goes over the cosmological horizon relative to us, so that it can no longer communicate with us, should we believe that the spaceship instantly ceases to exist?

Basic Quantum Mechanics

  • Quantum Explanations: Quantum mechanics doesn't deserve its fearsome reputation. If you tell people something is supposed to be mysterious, they won't understand it. It's
...
Read More (3773 more words)