Physics as Analog Computation instead of Physics as Observation

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Bohr plotting the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics together with Heisenberg and Pauli (left) and Bohr wondering what he did 30 years later (right).

To view physics as a form of analog computation which can be simulated by digital computation offers resolutions of the following main unsolved problems of modern microscopic and classical macroscopic  physics:

  1. Interaction between subject (experimental apparatus) and object under observation.
  2. Meaning of smallest quantum of action named Planck’s constant $h$.
  3. Contradiction between particle and wave qualities. Particle-wave duality.
  4. Meaning of the 2nd law of thermodynamics and direction of time.
  5. Meaning of Heisenberg’s Uncertainity Principle.
  6. Loss of cause-effect relation by resort of microscopic statistics.
  7. Statistical interpretation of Schrödinger’s multidimensional wave function.
  8. Meaning of Bohr’s Complementarity Principle.
  9. Meaning of Least Action Principle.

This view is explored on this blog and on Computational Blackbody Radiation suggesting the following answers to these basic problems:

  1. Observation by digital simulation is possible without interference with physical object.
  2. Planck’s constant $h$ can be viewed as a computational mesh size parameter.
  3. All is wave. There are no particles. No particle-wave duality.
  4. Dissipation as an effect of finite precision computation gives a 2nd law and direction of time.
  5. Uncertainty Principle as effect of finite precision computation.
  6. Statistics replaced by finite precision computation.
  7. Schrödinger’s wave equation as system in 3d without statistical interpretation.
  8. No contradiction between complementary properties. No need of Complementarity Principle.
  9. Least Action Principle as computational mathematical principle without physical reality.

The textbook physics harboring the unsolved problems is well summarized by Bohr:

  • There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature…
  • Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real. If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.
  • We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough. 
  • We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.

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