The Present and Future Hazards of Quantum Indeterminacy (and Donald Trump)

The Present and Future Hazards of Quantum Indeterminacy (and Donald Trump, of course).

The Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach reminded me of time travel questions.  I’m a very conservative physicist, and think that what is past is past, and you can see as much about it as you can find records for or had recorded yourself.  Since this won’t be changing the past, there is no disruptive paradox.  Similarly, the future hasn’t happened, so you cannot travel to it, other than just remaining in place, and time will take you there at its slow pace.

However, that was classical thinking, and I was not taking Quantum Mechanics into account.  Quantum phenomena occur as a superposition of paths, as the amplitudes of probabilities.  Only when such a system is observed, does it fall into one particular state.  That means, that quantum processes are still evolving from the past which haven’t yet been measured, so the state of the present is still quantumly undetermined in some processes.  And if you could go back to the past, you could measure those systems and change the past and determine the present.  Similarly, those undetermined systems will propagate into our future, again being undetermined.

Fortunately, our brain cells and chemical packets in synapses are large enough to be classically deterministic and predictable, so our programmed behaviors will take us through our days, without incident.  

However, one individual stands out, with such unpredictability, that the past, present and future are still undetermined.  Instead of being confined to an institution to save the sensible and predictable world from such quantum disruptions, this person has been made the leader of the most powerful economic and military power of the world.

In fact, it could have been the very quantum fluctuating nature of this person’s mind which got him elected, and keeps his followers loyal enough to possibly reelect him.  These fluctuations do not allow this person to distinguish truth from untruth, or fake news, as he calls it.  He has, in fact, told over 12,000 untruths since he took office.  He daily flips positions on things, often claiming that that was what he meant in the first place, but 280 twitter characters were not a large enough system to behave classically and predictably.

Alas, there is no known cure, as there have been very few cases of individuals on the edge with Quantum Uncertainty.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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