Re: Duplication Thought Experiment Involving Complementarity

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2002 10:57:23 +1000 (EST)

George Levy wrote:

> As it stand, the comp hypothesis is only a philosophical exercise
> because it does not reproduce the same phenomenon as QM in particular
> the phenomenon of complementarity. Therefore, to establish a meaningful
> relevance between comp and QM we must show that such phenomena can be
> incorporated in comp.
> The following thought experiment is an attempt to illustrate how
> complementarity can be incorporated into a duplication experiment. This
> experiment raises some interesting questions regarding the relationship
> between the scientific MW and the philosopical plenitude.
> Thought Experiment:


> Questions
> This thought experiment, attempt to provide a model of how MW relates to
> the Comp hypothesis. Many questions arise.
> 1) Why is it that the Plenitude is not directly accessed by QM as
> explained by comp. Why is there a need for an intermediate MW
> characterized by complementarity?
> 2) Why is complementarity two-dimensional? Could it be
> three-dimentional? or higher?
> 3) Is the two-dimensionality of complementarity fact-like? Are there
> other worlds in the Plenitude which have a complementarity with a higher
> dimensionality?
> 4) Is the MW only one instance in the Plenitude? How many levels do we
> have to go from the scientifically determined MW to the philosophically
> determined Plenitude?
> 5) Is complementarity anthropically necessary?
> This is only a feable attempt in the generation of a physical model to
> relate comp to the MW. I hope that we can improve on it through our
> discussions.
> George

I would like to point out that my "Why Occam's Razor" paper answers
about 90% of your question (with the other 10% being the most
difficult bit, or course :).

Complementarity is a property of any two quantum operators that are
related by the Fourier transform (x <-> id/dx). The proof is well
known, and can be found (eg) in Shankar's book.

That momentum is represented by derivative operator (P=id/dx) is
called the correspondence principle, and is usually given as an axiom
(see Shankar). Henry gave a "derivation" of this correspondence
principle about 10 years ago, (Bruno kindly sent me a copy), but I
believe his derivation is faulty. To date, I still gregard the
correspondence principle as a mystery.

The other "axioms" of quantum mechanics can be derived from a simple
model of observation (set out in Why Occams razor). Observers select
an observation purely at random from an ensemble of choices, subject
to the anthropic constraint. This is analogous to Darwinian evolution,
where natural selection selects from natural variation. It is my
supposition that this generalized evolutionary process is the only
possible creative process - the only means of generating the complex
(information rich) structures from the simple ones that are favoured in
the Schmidhuber ensemble.

It is the anthropic principle that requires us to live in an
information rich world. The AP is a mystery - one that I believe to be
equivalent to the famous "mind-body" problem, ie why should we observe
a correspondence between our mind and a a complex structure called the

So to answer your dot points:

1) The above mechanism is why we need an intermediate Multiverse.
2) The complementarity is 2D because the Fourier transform is its own
inverse. A 3D complementarity relationship would require a 3-cycle
transformation between operators:

       ^ /

(ASCII characters are _so_ limited...)

To fully answer this question requires answering "Why the correspondence

3) appears to be related to 2) ...?

4) The Multiverse appears to be the only one containing conscious
observers (subject to the above model of consciousness being necessary).

5) I believe yes (subject to an adequate derivation of the
correspondence principle existing).


A/Prof Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967, 8308 3119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965, 0425 253119 (")
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Received on Sun Sep 08 2002 - 18:05:40 PDT

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