David Edwards

Prof. of Mathematics (ret.), University of Georgia
Athens, GA, United States

About David

Areas of Expertise

math, math science, Physics, Philosohpy, ed research, Racquetball, Ethics of Change

Comments & conversations

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David Edwards
Posted about 3 years ago
Are science explanations of the universe tending more and more toward metaphysics and philosophy?
I'd be interested in your response to the following program I'm trying to develop: a theory of interlocking worlds. The central message that Bohr and von Neumann taught us about the Standard Quantum Logic is that it can be viewed as a manifold of interlocking perspectives that cannot be embedded into a single perspective. Hence, the perspectives cannot be viewed as perspectives on one real world. So, even considering one world as a methodological principle breaks down in the quantum micro-domain. The issue I'm pondering is the inadequacy of only talking about appearances and not going beyond appearances to some sort of world. Appearances are very complicated, confused, etc. Worlds are both simpler and more inclusive. I have no problem merely assuming some sort of world if it works! That is, simplifies our conceptions. Think of what happened to Chew's S-matrix approach; it lacked powerful enough heuristics to get anywhere. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about concerning interlocking worlds consider the following definition of a quantum phase space associated to a quantum system described by a non-commutative C* algebra B. First replace B by its diagram of commutative sub-C* algebras {A}. Then apply the functor D which replaces a commutative C* algebra A with its maximal ideal space D(A)-a compact topological space-to {A} to get {D(A)}. This diagram is the quantum phase space of a quantum system. This is the type of gadget which could be described as interlocking worlds. Of course, in general, we’ll have to deal with more loosely, vaguely defined diagrams. The above could be a precise model of Cartwright's Dappled World. It is identical to Hawking's recent idea of model dependent realism. Dave -- Dr. David A. Edwards Department of Mathematics University of Georgia Athens, Georgia 30602 http://www.math.uga.edu/~davide/ http://davidaedwards.tumblr.com/ dedwards@math.uga.edu