Ambiguous or just uncertain?

John K Clark (
Sun, 31 May 1998 08:29:00 -0700 (PDT)


On Sat, 30 May 1998 Daniel Fabulich <> Wrote:

>Not ambiguous, UNCERTAIN. That's why they don't call it the
>ambiguity principle and why they DO call it the uncertainty
>principle. And despite the fact that the blueness will be
>completely random, it WILL be either blue or not blue, despite the
>fact that we cannot measure which while we know the position

But it's much deeper than just a measurement problem because Heisenberg's
Uncertainty Principle is only a small part of Quantum Mechanics, and by the
standards of that bizarre science a conventional part. It's a little strange
that there's a relationship between position and momentum, and a limit on
our knowledge of the product of both, but it's not irrational. On the other
hand there are some aspects of modern physics can only be described as crazy.
Take the famous 2 slit experiment for example, shine a light on 2 closely
spaced slits and it will produce a complex interference pattern on a film,
even if the photons are sent out one at a time. If a photon goes through one
slit it wouldn't seem to matter if the other slit, the one it didn't go
though, was there or not, but it does.

Even stranger, place a polarizing filter set at 0 degrees over one slit, and
one set at 90 degrees over the other, the interference pattern disappears.
Now place a third filter set at 45 degrees one inch in front of the film and
10 light years from the slits. The interference pattern comes back, even
though you didn't decide to put the filter in front of the film until 10 years
after the photons passed the slits! Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle does
not enter in any of this, it's not that the photon goes through one slit and
we just don't know which one, it must go through the left slit only, and the
right slit only, and both slits, and no slit at all, and it must do all these
things at the same time. Fundamental ambiguity in nature? Fundamental
ignorance of some new law of logic? Backward causality? Parallel universes?
None of the above? I have no idea.

If this seems pretty stupid and completely ridiculous I don't blame you a bit,
but I'm the wrong person to receive the complaint, send it to God.

John K Clark

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