The Quantum-Mechanical Frame of Reference
The theory presented here utilises Bertrand Russell’s concept of logical types to resolve the great paradoxes of the new physics. The analysis produces a simple new explanatory principle that fully ratifies the existing interpretations: Hugh Everett’s many worlds in quantum theory, and Hermann Weyl’s solution in relativity.
This is a treatise in applied epistemology, based solely on well-established work in the field; I am not a physicist and no new physics is proposed. The explanation presented shows that there is nothing wrong with the existing well-honed science of relativity and quantum theory. The famous paradoxes arise solely because of the worldview we naturally take for granted which results in fundamental category errors.
Part 1 addresses the quantum theory. There is nothing wrong with the modern scientific worldview. It is perfectly correct but it is only part of the story. As David Mermin explains it is incomplete because the perceiving subject, the protagonist of the dynamics of physics, is not included in the science. The harm from this assumption arises from not this exclusion per se, but because of the nature of the world of the individual which is an utterly different type of thing to that of the current paradigm.
As defined by Everett, the protagonist is the record of observations, here the ‘world hologram’, the field of information experienced as reality. This field of information is present in a great number of worlds in the quantum universe; and as a result the physical reality encountered by this individual is a completely different type of thing to the objective, physical, ‘quasi-classical’ world of the current paradigm. It is a ‘world superposition’, a class-of-worlds-as-a-world, a second-logical-type phenomenon.
This provides the ontology for a world that operates exactly as described by Quantum Bayesianism: determinate solely where observed. Schrödinger’s cat is simply how such a world works. As the authors demonstrate this relative determinacy: “… removes the paradoxes, conundra, and pseudo-problems that have plagued quantum foundations for the past nine decades.” (Fuchs et al., 2013, 1).
The measurement problem is dissolved because the collapse dynamics operates in, and only in this second-logical-type domain. As Everett describes there is only the appearance of the enactment of the quantum mechanical dynamics. No such thing occurs in the objective physical reality of the quasi-classical world.
Part 2 addresses special relativity. As Einstein makes clear, relativity shows that the universe is static, a four-dimensional space-time continuum. Thus the obvious experience of the passage of time is an equally great paradox. As Weyl states, the appearance of the passage of time is produced as consciousness passes through the space-time. The Now that cannot exist in physics, as greatly lamented by Einstein, is simply this moving frame of reference. This is a third-logical-type phenomenon: it is to the moments in time as the projector is to the frames of the movie.
Part 3 describes the nature of the protagonist and the extraordinary properties of the class-of-worlds-as-a-world that forms the physical environment.
The main points are summarised in Multi-Solipsism. This is essentially the ontology of the many-minds concept and the confirmation of Everett: personal, physical, parallel realities. At the first, primitive level of logical type the universe is all possible, decoherent, quasi-classical worlds. At the second level of logical type the universe is the multiple realities of all possible individuals each one a class-of-worlds-as-a-world. At the third level of logical type the universe is the system that iterates all possible sequences of moments thus producing transtemporal physical realities in experience.