Interpretations of

Quantum Physics

Quantum Physics

Implications of

Quantum Physics

Quantum Physics

23. Observer-Induced Collapse Interpretations.

Summary

There is no evidence for observer induced collapse of the wave function. It is vague and not testable. And it gives no insight into the probability law.

To summarize the reasoning so far, we have seen that there is No Evidence for the existence of anything besides the wave function. We have also seen that there is no Experimental or Theoretical evidence for a

*mathematical*theory of collapse to just one version. And yet we know from Probability and Constraints on Interpretations that

*one version must be singled out for perception*, by some means, if the probability law is to hold. One possible singling out mechanism, the one addressed here, is that there is indeed collapse, but it is initiated by

*conscious perception*, rather than by a mathematical process based on random variables (Ref. 2, Ref. 6).

However, because an instantaneous collapse , , suspends the usual Schrödinger equation mathematics for an instant, this option has the disadvantage that the conscious perception of a human being—a slippery concept, subject to wandering attention, impaired perception and so on—disrupts the mathematics. Further, the collapse changes the wave function in such a way that even though the Schrödinger equation has been suspended, the wave function is still a solution to the equation when it comes out the other side of the collapse. In addition this instantaneous process adheres to the probability law, collapsing to state j on a fraction a(j)

^{2}of the runs. This creates difficulties which are discussed in Details of Observer-Induced Collapse.

Consciousness-triggered intervention in the mathematics, tailored to the situation with no apparent way of verifying the assumptions, and with no explanation for why the ‘collapsing agent’ adheres to the a(i)

^{2}probability law (see principles [P9] and [P10] in The Probability Law), does not seem to me to be a likely way for Nature to proceed. Further, it is shown in the Mind-MIND Interpretation that one can obtain essentially the same results without collapse.