Saturday, September 21, 2019

Wigner's Friend

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Recorded: 7/18/2019 Released: 9/21/2019

Randy tells Jim about an experiment that purports to have enacted a test of the Wigner's Friend argument -- one that Jim never really cared for. The experiment uses a double Aspect experiment to test whether non-quantum conclusions can be made from multiple experiments on entangled photons. This one is important: according to Wigner, your soul is at stake.


1. The papers we read for this program:

2. Other articles we discussed:

3. Related Episodes of Physics Frontiers:

3. Other Podcasts:
4. Some books we mentioned:
  • Aharonov and Rohrlich, Quantum Paradoxes. (Review) An interesting depiction of quantum mechanics that introduces quantum phenomena by way of pseudo-paradoxes: things we think shouldn't happen, but do in quantum theory. This book was used for our first attempt at a podcast.
  • Bell, Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics. (Review) A selection of articles by John Bell, including those where he introduces his famous theorem that provided the impetus for the Aspect experiment.
  • Rae, Quantum Physics: Illusion or Reality?. I remember finding this to be an interesting popular book on quantum mechanics, and it's a Canto imprint -- one of my favorite book series.
  • Bars and Terning, Extra Dimensions in Space and Time (Review) Descriptions of the way high-energy theorists look at space and time, mainly in terms of string theory and symmetries, as I recall.
  • Mermin, Boojums All the Way Through. David Mermin's automemoirgraphy -- which is why I said his renaming Quantum Bayesianism as QBism was evidence of his mercurial personality.

5. Please visit and comment on our subreddit, and if you can help us keep this going by contributing to our Patreon, we'd be grateful.

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  1. There is an interesting take on the Frauchiger and Renner stuff in a paper called "In Defense of a Single-World' Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics."