Predestination from the point of view of modern science

    I noticed that even those people who claim that everything is a foregone conclusion
    and that nothing can be done about it, look around, before crossing the road.

    Stephen Hawking

    People has long been occupied with the question of the predetermination and inevitability of this or that event. Is what is destined to happen really happen, and there can be no other?

    Back in the 19th century, the idea of determinism was popular . In particular, the notorious Laplace postulated that if any intelligent creature could find out the positions and speeds of all particles in the world at a certain moment, it could absolutely accurately predict all world events until the end of the existence of the Universe.

    But science has evolved, and the advent of quantum physics has brought understanding that it is impossible for microparticles, such as molecules, atoms and smaller particles, whose behavior is precisely described by quantum mechanics, to compare a certain position and a certain speed at the same time. Either the particle is at a certain point, but then absolutely nothing can be said about its speed, or, conversely, the particle moves at a certain speed, but it is completely unclear where it is, or (the middle, “balanced” version) we only know approximately where the particle is located, and we know approximately its speed. Thus, we can only predict the probability that the quantities characterizing the particle will have one or another value at a certain moment. At the same time, the set of particle properties is quite predictable.

    The point here also lies in the fact that the usual idea that the particle properties observed during the measurement actually exist even before the measurement turned out to be wrong, and the measurement only eliminates our ignorance of which property takes place. In fact, this is not so: the properties discovered during measurement may not exist at all before the measurement. After experiments on Bell’s inequalities (recently this was an interesting article on Habré ), it became clear that when A. Einstein asked, “Do you really believe that the Moon exists only when you look at it?”, N. Bohr gave the correct answer, saying that "Nothing exists until it is measured."

    It would seem that there is a connection between the microworld and our reality - but it is there, take the same notorious Schrödinger cat. Last year, Russian and Canadian physicists created the giant Schrödinger cat . Thus, the properties of microparticles are associated with the macrocosm, and Laplace's determinism cannot be extended to the macrocosm as well. Events happen with some probability, within certain limits. Probability is determined statistically and the totality of particle properties can be predicted, that is, the causality principle also works in quantum physics, although in a slightly modified form.

    Thus, at present, science does not yet answer the question of predestination unambiguously, in fact, simply indicating that events are probabilistic, but within certain limits, and why this or that happens, is unknown to science.

    Nevertheless, we are accustomed to believing that “randomness is not accidental,” that if a coin fell eagle up, then it was because it rotated at the desired speed, set in advance, and / or because the tails side is a little heavier. But how does the universe determine what will happen, because we are used to believing that any phenomenon is a consequence of something? If there is no reason, but there is only a consequence, then this directly violates the laws of logic.

    It should be noted here that in quantum physics the so-called "quantum entanglement" plays an important role .- a quantum-mechanical phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects are interdependent.
    Any interaction of objects leads to their "entanglement", interdependence.

    And this is also a phenomenon not only of the microworld - back in 2011, scientists were able to “confuse” two objects from the macrocosm. In January of this year, physicists investigated the quantum states of a chain of particles, which included from seven to 15 ultracold calcium ions. This chain was placed in a vacuum chamber and irradiated with laser light. The radiation changed the quantum state of individual ions and their neighbors, which affected the general (collective) behavior of the chain as a whole. Thus, after measuring the state of one object, the state of the system as a whole changes. In March of this year, physicists from the University of Waterloo (Canada) first demonstrated quantum entanglement for more than two quantum entangled photons.

    When two or more objects are “entangled,” they can no longer be described as separate, independently developing probabilities called “pure states”. Instead, they become entangled components of a more complex probability distribution, which are described by two or more particles together. In practice, this means that virtually the whole world is "confused", and the measurement, observation of one element affects the whole world as a whole. Every second we change the world without noticing it, creating more and more new causes and new consequences.

    In 1988Yakir Aaronov, in collaboration with David Albert and Lev Weidman, proposed a new type of quantum-mechanical measurements - a weak measurement , which makes it possible with some probability to measure the evolution of a wave function without causing its disturbance.

    The main thing is that each of the results of these weak measurements will be uninformative and will not bring practical benefits. But if you take a lot of such measurements, the errors will cancel each other out and the bottom line will be real information. Thus, after a weak measurement, information about the particle is incomplete, but only probable, and in order to obtain a meaningful result, a large number of such measurements are required. Weak measurements are successfully applied in practice, in particular, with the help of them two weeks ago, scientists first observed the quantum paradox of the Cheshire cat .

    Although some scholars generally question the weak dimensions , not so long ago the same Yakir Aaronov wrote an article entitled “Can a Future Choice Affect a Past Measurement's Outcome? »- Could future choices affect past measurements?

    Such an article was the result of experiment - the microparticle underwent several weak measurements of various spin orientations, whose results were recorded, but could only be decrypted after direct strong measurement. Then this particle passed a strong measurement along the orientation of the spin freely chosen at the last moment. The results of strong measurement and weak coincided. At the same time, a weak measurement cannot determine the outcome of a direct strong measurement, and the experimenter chose the final orientation. Only by adding subsequent information from a strong measurement can one reveal what weak measurements “really” said. This information was already there - but only in encrypted form and was opened after.

    The only reasonable resolution that the authors see is that the results of a weak measurement anticipate the experimenter's future choice, even before the experimenter himself knows what his choice will be. That is, the confusion of microparticles manifests itself not only in space, but also in time . Changing the world changes it, not only in the present, but simultaneously in the future and in the past.

    Thus, we again return to the deterministic concept, when our future, not being predetermined by the past, can be predetermined by an even more distant future.

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