Talk:Bell's theorem/Inequality

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Definitely needs work. If the goal is a simple explanation, this fails. I look at it an my mind goes blank. I could work to overcome this, I have no doubt, but I prefer to keep Stupid Mode for a time, when developing educational materials, doing tech writing, etc. I see stuff in Stupid Mode that will be missed by experts. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:53, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Kindness would suggest I be more specific.

The present lede:

Let's anthropomorphise and also simplify the 2-photon entanglement process. Two photons are emitted from a single atom.

Right away, anthropomorphisation. From my point of view, it is anthropomorphization that leads to problems in understanding the implications of Bell's theorem. In any case, why is it mentioned before describing the pair of emitted photons? (And I think it's necessary that they are simultaneously emitted, is that right? Isn't that what causes them to be entangled?)

They "know" they will be studied, and they even know the scientists will be using linear polarizing filters at one of three angles. For some reason, they want to obey quantum mechanics, so they pre-arrange their states, knowing that only two out the three possible orientations will be used.

You may introduce one implausibility, maybe. Introduce two or three, I stop tracking what you are saying, lost in implications. Assume one error," you can then prove from it whatever you want, well known in logic. Ever hear the story involving "1=2, prove that I'm the Pope?"

At the point this is said, I have no idea what the "linear polarizing filters" are, the three angles, etc. The chart might explain that, but doesn't look at all like a human.

To satisfy "randomness" of quantum mechanics, they randomly choose from an a secrete list of states (called "hidden variables") that only the photons know.

I'm aware that Bell's theorem is about showing that hidden variables don't work. But the reader will need an introduction to the concept before going into the proof. In Stupid Mode, I deliberately don't supply interpretations from what I know, because another reader easily may not have those. What's the target audience? What can be assumed? Actually, a solid essay on this would explicitly state what is assumed, with links so an interested reader could go read up on the details. Wikipedia articles can be good for this, but mostly are badly written themselves. I could claim that they are written by grad students eager to show off how smart they are. They may be proud of their work, but they fail if the goal is a general encyclopedia. What I found working on Wikipedia were that the best articles were written as collaborations between Randy from Boise and an expert in the field. Randy's job was to insist on clarity and an approachable article, the experts job was to insist that the article be accurate, and when there was consensus between Randy and Expert, Bingo!

So, in some cases, we might need to write those introductions here. They can be in mainspace if we want to allow general editing, or they can be attributed subpages if we want freedom from alteration. (They can be both, this is another kind of fork, a subpage designed for specific purpose, and a mainspace page designed for overall neutrality on that topic.

The various possible outcomes of this list are weighted so as to obey quantum mechanics if enough data is collected for the scientists to accurately measure the correlations.

Unless I supply much, I have no idea what this means.

A (hopelessly incorrect) sample from this list is shown:

Any speaker at this point would have lost most of his or her audience. If it's "hopelessly incorrect," why are you showing it to us? If it's a sample, how is it incorrect? When something like that is said, the brain goes to work on it. "This statement is incorrect" will tie my brain in knots, because it is a statement that can be neither correct nor incorrect.

So ... keep working on this, Guy. Don't be discouraged! Your old article was better. There, when you "anthropomorphised," you actually used "people," and I got no experience of Brain Blanking. The implications of Bell's theorem are outside normal expectations, so the point of a simple explanation would be to show that as clearly and simply as possible. You showed that it was possible without creating a wall of math. It's possible to do the math and have a simple explanation, but ... I'd probably use collapse to hide the math; so the explanation and "pictures" would be what would be seen first, and then those prepared with some understanding of what the math is describing can go for it.

I'm must pointing out that a page of equations, even if they are relatively simple, can suppress approach for many. Obviously, if your target audience is students of physics, they had better learn to get over that, but if they have difficulty with math, and some will, you can turn them off before you get to the point of turning them on so that they will have the motivation to break the "math barrier."

Just remember, I was thoroughly spoiled by sitting through Feynman and his stories and enthusiasm and wry humor. Now, let's do better! After all, we have his shoulders to stand on. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:28, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

First, your posts are so long I don't even know how many colons to use. Second, I am not really thinking about my prose right now. I am still trying to understand Bell's original proof -- for me the problem with all those "proofs on the internet" is that nobody is proving Bell's theorem in the simplest possible fashion. Bell's original proof was full of epsilons and deltas. What makes matters worse, is that more modern methods using probability theory have been subsequently introduced. The experts see past all this complexity, but a student cannot. Until I have some algebraically simple arguments I can't worry about the prose. But I do want that prose to be minimalistic. If electrons were people, they couldn't do what they do. Instead of the difficult-to-define "hidden variable", we just need a plan. That plan is electrons using conscious thought to achieve what they do. But I'm still stuck in the algebra and minus signs. I still can't understand why Bell's theorem needs absolute value signs. I have a small class of 4 pre-med type students in a trig-based physics class. I might have them sort out the algebra as a lab. I'm so absent minded, the idea of me teaching them lab skills is ludicrous. But if I can inspire them to work out all this correlation crap, that would be wonderful. But unfortunately the odds are against it.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 03:04, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
PS, I heard that Feymann's course was a disaster for the freshmen who attempted to learn the material. I heard that he was teaching at not-his-college where he was unafraid to experiment and that his experiment was a pedagogical failure. True?--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 03:07, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Feynman was teaching at Cal Tech. His school. The students were the cream of the crop. Ahem. We loved him. He visited my dorm and told his famous stories. Pedagogical faiure? They wanted him to write a text book, he didn't want to, too much work. So they asked him to teach the course and they filmed it. That was then converted to the text. Who says it was a pedagogical failure? And by what standard? I do not recall having the slightest difficulty understanding him.
Okay, I dropped out of college after the course. Was that a "failure"? I wouldn't say so. Let's say I had other things to do!
From the Wikipedia article:
At this time in the early 1960s, Feynman exhausted himself by working on multiple major projects at the same time, including a request, while at Caltech, to "spruce up" the teaching of undergraduates. After three years devoted to the task, he produced a series of lectures that eventually became The Feynman Lectures on Physics. [...] Even though the books were not adopted by most universities as textbooks, they continue to sell well because they provide a deep understanding of physics.
I was there the 1961-62 and 62-63 years (17 years old, I was, at the start). I then took a break for a year, and came back for a term in late 1964. Then I left for good. I left in good standing, I could have returned... but never did.
Okay, I googled "Feynman pedogogical failure" and found some sources.
  • [1] Apparently Gleick claims this in Genius. I have a suspicion what they are talking about. Freshman students, typically right out of high school. They have not been prepared to be independent thinkers. That, however, is a failure of the general educational system, and that's the reality I'm living with, personally, I have a daughter who is an "independent learner." See Unschooling. So ... is there actual data? What is the assessment based on?
  • [2] is quite interesting. Then at the end, I see the author. This is the author of Cold fusion/Theory/Ron Maimon Theory. General comment on cold fusion theory. Many expert physicists have attempted to develop a theory that could explain the "cold fusion" results. None of the theories I have seen correspond with the experimental realities, but most of these experts seem unaware of that. Theory is being developed without a clear grasp of experimental results, and it often boils down to some idea of how "something nuclear" could happen at room temperature. Okay. Maybe. Now what actually happens? My opinion is that cold fusion theory has little chance until we have more experimental evidence. We do have conclusive evidence that the basic effect is real, but ... we need far more to be able to develop cogent theory. Are low-energy photons being generated (there aren't hot photons or hot particles, the "Hagelstein limit," based on an analysis of what would be expected from them, is about 20 keV, max. In the environment of these experiments, the low-energy particles or photons would be difficult to detect. X-rays have been detected, with a few sketchy reports of correlation with heat, but frequencies? No data.
  • [3] On boring lectures..... Yup.
  • [4] This would be from the horse's mouth. Feynman on his failure in those lectures. I wouldn't take that too seriously. He had an impression of failure, and got over it. --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:52, 10 September 2015 (UTC)