Log24

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Tuesday September 24, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:33 PM

The Shining of Lucero

From my journal note, “Shining Forth“:

The Spanish for “Bright Star” is “Lucero.”

The Eye of the Beholder:

When you stand in the dark and look at a star a hundred light years away, not only have the retarded light waves from the star been travelling for a hundred years toward your eyes, but also advanced waves from your eyes have reached a hundred years into the past to encourage the star to shine in your direction.

— John Cramer, “The Quantum Handshake

From Broken Symmetries, by Paul Preuss, 1983:

He’d toyed with “psi” himself…. The reason he and so many other theoretical physicists were suckers for the stuff was easy to understand — for two-thirds of a century an enigma had rested at the heart of theoretical physics, a contradiction, a hard kernel of paradox….   

Peter [Slater] had never thirsted after “hidden variables” to explain what could not be pictured.  Mathematical relationships were enough to satisfy him, mere formal relationships which existed at all times, everywhere, at once.  It was a thin nectar, but he was convinced it was the nectar of the gods.

………………

Those so-called crazy psychics were too sane, that was their problem — they were too stubborn to admit that the universe was already more bizarre than anything they could imagine in their wildest dreams of wizardry. (Ch. 16)

From Secret Passages, by Paul Preuss, 1997:

Minakis caught up and walked beside him in silence, moving with easy strides over the bare ground, listening as Peter [Slater] spoke. “Delos One was ten years ago — quantum theory seemed as natural as water to me then; I could play in it without a care. If I’d had any sense of history, I would have recognized that I’d swallowed the Copenhagen interpretation whole.”

“Back then, you insisted that the quantum world is not a world at all,” Minakis prompted him. “No microworld, only mathematical descriptions.”

“Yes, I was adamant. Those who protested were naive — one has to be willing to tolerate ambiguity, even to be crazy.”

“Bohr’s words?”

“The party line. Of course Bohr did say, ‘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.’ Meaning that when we start to talk what sounds like philosophy, our colleagues should rip us to pieces.” Peter smiled. “They smell my blood already.”

………………
 
Peter glanced at Minakis. “Let’s say there are indications — I have personal indications — not convincing, perhaps, but suggestive, that the quantum world penetrates the classical world deeply.” He was silent for a moment, then waved his hand at the ruins. “The world of classical physics, I mean. I suppose I’ve come to realize that the world is more than a laboratory.”

“We are standing where Apollo was born,” Minakis said. “Leto squatted just there, holding fast to a palm tree, and after nine days of labor gave birth to the god of light and music….”

From my journal note, “A Mass for Lucero“:

To Lucero, in memory of
1962 in Cuernavaca

From On Beauty, by Elaine Scarry,
Princeton University Press, 1999 —

“Homer sings of the beauty of particular things. Odysseus, washed up on shore, covered with brine, having nearly drowned, comes upon a human community and one person in particular, Nausicaa, whose beauty simply astonishes him. He has never anywhere seen a face so lovely; he has never anywhere seen any thing so lovely….

I have never laid eyes on anyone like you,
neither man nor woman…
I look at you and a sense of wonder takes me.

Wait, once I saw the like —
in Delos, beside Apollo’s altar —
the young slip of a palm-tree
springing into the light.”

From Secret Passages, by Paul Preuss, 1997:

“When we try to look inside atoms,” Peter said, “not only can we not see what’s going on, we cannot even construct a coherent picture of what’s going on.”

“If you will forgive me, Peter,” Minakis said, turning to the others. “He means that we can construct several pictures — that light and matter are waves, for example, or that light and matter are particles — but that all these pictures are inadequate. What’s left to us is the bare mathematics of quantum theory.”

…. “Whatever the really real world is like, my friend, it is not what you might imagine.”

………………

 
Talking physics, Peter tended to bluntness. “Tell me more about this real world you imagine but can’t describe.”

Minakis turned away from the view of the sunset. “Are you familiar with John Cramer’s transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics?”

“No I’m not.”

………………

“Read Cramer. I’ll give you his papers. Then we can talk.” 

 From John Cramer, “The Quantum Handshake“:

Advanced waves could perhaps, under the right circumstances, lead to “ansible-type” FTL communication favored by Le Guin and Card…. 

For more on Le Guin and Card, see my journal notes below.

For more on the meaning of “lucero,” see the Wallace Stevens poem “Martial Cadenza.”

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress