(testing signal)

Tag: quantummechanics

Consciousness: a Flashlight in the Dark

The real world (independent of us) is waves of probability, and it is we (and any conscious organism) who interact with it, materializing the reality that surrounds us.

Consciousness is like a flashlight that you turn on in a dark room, which allows you to see the objects you are focusing on in order to walk around.

Are there things outside the beam of light? Yes, but you have no way of knowing what they are or where they are unless you point the flashlight in their direction, or stumble upon them (which is another form of measurement).… Read more...

Researchers: The Universe Simulated Itself Into Existence

Yesterday, we looked at “Untitled Earth Sim 64,” a science fiction comedy based on the idea that Earth is a messed up simulation — created by entities that are in themselves simulations. And maybe their simulators were in turn simulated… And so forth. The problem is, where’s the original? Surprisingly, perhaps, there is a physics theory that offers an answer: The universe simulated itself:

A new hypothesis says the universe self-simulates itself in a “strange loop”. A paper from the Quantum Gravity Research institute proposes there is an underlying panconsciousness. The work looks to unify insight from quantum mechanics with a non-materialistic perspective.

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Is a Science Writer's “Agnosticism” a Futile Pursuit? – Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

John Horgan

If science writer John Horgan had merely said that agnosticism is the only sensible stance regarding God, there would be little surprise. That view is over-represented in popular science writing. But he says the same thing about quantum mechanics and consciousness too. Some brief snippets from his article (with brief responses):

He’s not happy that quantum mechanics, a well-established branch of science (our computers would not work if it were not real) cannot eliminate the role of the conscious observer:

Quantum mechanics

Introducing consciousness into physics undermines its claim to objectivity. Moreover, as far as we know, consciousness arises only in certain organisms that have existed for a brief period here on Earth.

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Materials for Self Learners

[João Nuno Carvalho] is a passionate learner. Software engineer by day, he studies all different branches of science and engineering in his spare time. He has organized an impressive list of study / reference materials on a wide variety of subjects that interest him, from aeronautical engineering to quantum mechanics and dozens more in between. In fact, his study lists themselves became so numerous that he collected them into a list of lists, which can be found here on his GitHub repository. These include categories on “How to learn…”

  • Modern Electronics
  • Modern Linux
  • Modern Embedded Systems
  • Mathematics from the ground up
  • Physics from the ground up
  • Modern Compressive Sensing
  • Modern [C, C++, Rust, Python]
  • Modern Machine Learning
  • Modern Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Guitar on a budget

Another interesting thing we found in his repo was a list of common electrical components.

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Will We Soon Be Able to Test Theories of Consciousness? – Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Science journalist and author Anil Ananthaswamy has written a thoughtful piece at New Scientist on the leading models of consciousness and their relationship to quantum mechanics (quantum physics). Are we reaching the point where we can test at least one of them?

Ananthaswamy is well qualified to assess the arguments. He is the author of both Through Two Doors at Once (2018) on quantum physics and The Man Who Wasn’t There (2015) on the nature of the self.

Models of consciousness that assume that “consciousness isn’t separate from the material reality that physics explains” (materialist or naturalist theories) fall into three general classes, as he explains.

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A proposed ‘quantum compass’ for songbirds just got more plausible

Scientists could be a step closer to understanding how some birds might exploit quantum physics to navigate.

Researchers suspect that some songbirds use a “quantum compass” that senses the Earth’s magnetic field, helping them tell north from south during their annual migrations (SN: 4/3/18). New measurements support the idea that a protein in birds’ eyes called cryptochrome 4, or CRY4, could serve as a magnetic sensor. That protein’s magnetic sensitivity is thought to rely on quantum mechanics, the math that describes physical processes on the scale of atoms and electrons (SN: 6/27/16). If the idea is shown to be correct, it would be a step forward for biophysicists who want to understand how and when quantum principles can become important in various biological processes.

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Can We Apply Tests for Consciousness to Artificial Intelligence? – Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

In Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks’s second podcast with philosopher Angus Menuge, where the big topic is the perennial “Hard Problem of consciousness, they established that one of the implications of quantum mechanics is that consciousness is a “thing”; it exists in its own right. How can we apply that finding to claims for artificial intelligence?


This portion begins at 25:33 min. A partial transcript, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow.

Robert J. Marks (pictured): Here is the big AI question: I know that I am conscious. Is there a way we can test for consciousness in others?

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Can a Materialist Consciousness Theory Survive Quantum Mechanics? – Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

In Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks’s second podcast with philosopher Angus Menuge, where the big topic is the perennial “Hard Problem of consciousness, one of the questions was whether quantum mechanics can help decipher consciousness. But that leads to another question: Can any materialist view of consciousness survive quantum mechanics?


This portion begins at 22:35 min. A partial transcript, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow.

Robert J. Marks: Is quantum consciousness rooted in materialism? Can you look at quantum consciousness and say, this is materialistic?

Angus Menuge: That’s a tricky question. For most materialists, their paradigm is really set by older 19th-century views of physical science.

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Can Quantum Mechanics Help Decipher Consciousness? Free Will? – Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

In Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks’s second podcast with philosopher Angus Menuge, the big topic is the perennial “Hard Problem of consciousness and various proposed solutions. One of the questions that oftemn comes up is quantum consciousness. Earlier, they had discussed Integrated Information Theory (IIT) and panpsychism. But now, what about recent Nobelist Roger Penrose’s approach: quantum consciousness?


This portion begins at 18:22 min. A partial transcript, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow.

Robert J. Marks (pictured): Okay. Another model of consciousness of which I am aware is so-called quantum consciousness. I’m really interested in this because reading the works of Roger Penrose, he maintains that humans can do non-algorithmic things.

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Will Quantum Mechanics Produce the True Thinking Computer? – Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Some hope that quantum mechanics can explain human consciousness.

Maybe we are all quantum computers but don’t know it? Maybe quantum computers could think like people?

There is an odd relationship between the human mind and quantum mechanics, the science of entities like electrons that are too small to be governed by ordinary physics.

Some aspects of consciousness appear to be mediated by such elementary particles. Science writer Philip Ball explains,

Nobody understands what consciousness is or how it works. Nobody understands quantum mechanics either. Could that be more than coincidence?

Quantum mechanics is the best theory we have for describing the world at the nuts-and-bolts level of atoms and subatomic particles.

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Some light quantum mechanics (with minutephysics)



The math of superposition and quantum states.
Minutephysics channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/minutephysics
Help fund future projects: https://www.patreon.com/3blue1brown
This video was sponsored by Brilliant: https://brilliant.org/3b1b
An equally valuable form of support is to simply share some of the videos.
Special thanks to these supporters: http://3b1b.co/light-quantum-thanks

Huge thanks to my friend Evan Miyazono, both for encouraging me to do this project, and for helping me understand many things along the way.

This is a simple primer for how the math of quantum mechanics, specifically in the context of polarized light, relates to the math of classical waves, specifically classical electromagnetic waves.

I will say, if you *do* want to go off and learn the math of quantum mechanics, you just can never have too much linear algebra, so check out the series I did at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZHQObOWTQDPD3MizzM2xVFitgF8hE_ab… Read more...