321 Sourced quotes
In relativity, movement is continuous, causally determinate and well defined, while in quantum mechanics it is discontinuous, not causally determinate and not well defined. Each theory is committed to its own notions of essentially static and fragmentary modes of existence (relativity to that of separate events, connectable by signals, and quantum mechanics to a well-defined quantum state). One thus sees that a new kind of theory is needed which drops these basic commitments and at most recovers some essential features of the older theories as abstract forms derived from a deeper reality in which what prevails in unbroken wholeness.
I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actually philosophy. It has revolutionized fundamental concepts, e. g., abut space and time (relativity), about causality (quantum theory), and about substance and matter (atomistics). It has taught us new methods of thinking (complimentarity), which are applicable far beyond physics.
I regard [the many worlds interpretation] as self-evidently correct. [T. F.: Yet some don't find it evident to themselves.] Yeah, well, there are some people who spend an awful lot of time talking about the interpretation of quantum mechanics. My attitude — I would paraphrase Goering—is that when I hear of Schrödinger's cat, I reach for my gun.
Although I'm regarded as a dangerous radical by particle physicists for proposing that there may be loss of quantum coherence, I'm definitely a conservative compared to Roger. I take the positivist viewpoint that a physical theory is just a mathematical model and that it is meaningless to ask whether it corresponds to reality. All that one can ask is that its predictions should be in agreement with observation. I think Roger [Penrose] is a Platonist at heart but he must answer for himself.
Certainly no nation ever before abandoned to the avarice and jugglings of private individuals to regulate according to their own interests, the quantum of circulating medium for the nation — to inflate, by deluges of paper, the nominal prices of property, and then to buy up that property at 1s. in the pound, having first withdrawn the floating medium which might endanger a competition in purchase. Yet this is what has been done, and will be done, unless stayed by the protecting hand of the legislature. The evil has been produced by the error of their sanction of this ruinous machinery of banks; and justice, wisdom, duty, all require that they should interpose and arrest it before the schemes of plunder and spoliation desolate the country.
Miniaturization doesn't actually make sense unless you miniaturize the very atoms of which matter is composed. Otherwise a tiny brain in a man the size of an insect, composed of normal atoms, is composed of too few atoms for the miniaturized man to be any more intelligent than the ant. Also, miniaturizing atoms is impossible according to the rules of quantum mechanics.
It is only in the quantum theory that Newton's differential method becomes inadequate, and indeed strict causality fails us. But the last word has not yet been said. May the spirit of Newton's method give us the power to restore unison between physical reality and the profoundest characteristic of Newton's teaching - strict causality.
The first charge against 'measurement', in the fundamental axioms of quantum mechanics, is that it anchors there the shifty split of the world into 'system' and 'apparatus'. A second charge is that the word comes loaded with meaning from everyday life, meaning which is entirely inappropriate in the quantum context.
Non- Euclidean calculus and quantum physics are enough to stretch any brain; and when one mixes them with folklore, and tries to trace a strange background of multi-dimensional reality behind the ghoulish hints of Gothic tales and the wild whispers of the chimney-corner, one can hardly expect to be wholly free from mental tension. (Dreams In The Witch-House)
In Newton's day the problem was to write something which was correct - he never had the problem of writing nonsense, but by the twentieth century we have a rich conceptual framework with relativity and quantum mechanics and so on. In this framework it's difficult to do things which are even internally coherent, much less correct. Actually, that's fortunate in the sense that it's one of the main tools we have in trying to make progress in physics. Physics has progressed to a domain where experiment is a little difficult... Nevertheless, the fact that we have a rich logical structure which constrains us a lot in terms of what is consistent, is one of the main reasons we are still able to make advances.
We have reversed the usual classical notion that the independent "elementary parts" of the world are the fundamental reality, and that the various systems are merely particular contingent forms and arrangements of these parts. Rather, we say that inseparable quantum interconnectedness of the whole universe is the fundamental reality, and that relatively independent behaving parts are merely particular and contingent forms within this whole.