Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Retrocausality and TGD

The comments below were inspired by a popular article ("Physicists provide support for retrocausal quantum theory, in which the future influences the past" in Phys.org telling about the preprint ("Is a time symmetric interpretation of quantum theory possible without retrocausality?" of Leifer and Pusey related to the notion of retrocausality (I am grateful to Maria Vihervaara for the link).

Retrocausality means the possibility of causal influences propagating in non-standard time direction. Retrocausality has been also proposed by Cramer as a possible manner to obtain deterministic quantum mechanics and allowing to interpret wave functions as real objects. Bell theorem and Kochen-Specker theorem however pose difficult challenges for this program and the condition that the theory is classical in strong sense (all observables have well-defined values) seems impossible.

The work is interesting from TGD view point for several reasons.

  1. TGD leads to a new view about reality solving the basic problem of quantum measurement theory. In ZEO quantum states are replaced by zero energy states which are analogous to pairs of initial and final states in ordinary ontology and can be regarded as superpositions of classical deterministic time evolutions. The sequence of state function reductions means sequence of re-creations of the superpositions of classical realities. The TGD based view about scattering amplitudes has a rather concrete connection with the view of Cramer as I interpret it. There is however no attempt to reduce quantum theory to a purely classical theory. The notion of "world of classical worlds" consisting of classical realities identified as space-time surfaces replaces space-time as a fixed observer independent reality in TGD.

  2. Retrocausality is basic aspect of TGD. Zero Energy Ontology (ZEO) predicts that both arrows of time are possible. In this sense TGD is time symmetric. On the other hand, the twistor lift of TGD predicts a violation of time reflection T and this might imply that second arrow of causality dominates in some sense. The ZEO based view about state function reduction essential for TGD inspired theory of consciousness and implying generalized Zeno effect giving rise to conscious entities -"selves" - is also essential. One might say that when conscious entity dies it re-incarnates as time-reversed self.

  3. The possibility of superposing states with opposite causal arrows (see this) is a fascinating idea and its plausibility is discussed already earlier in TGD framework (see this).

In the article Retrocausality and TGD I will discuss the articles from TGD point of view criticizing the hidden assumptions about the nature of time leading to the well-known problems of quantum measurement theory and consider also the concrete implications for theories of consciousness. Also the empirical evidence for retrocausality is discussed briefly. Contrary to the article the discussion is non-technical: I do not believe that the introduction of technicalities helps to understand the deep conceptual problems involved and possible solutions to them.

See the article Retrocausality and TGD or the chapter Topological quantum computation in TGD Universe of "Genes and Memes".

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

Articles and other material related to TGD.

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