Uncommon Science – Experimental Frontiers, with Josh Mitteldorf

The scientific method is built on two pillars: First, the assumption of a common objective reality that separate observers can agree on. Second, the understanding of complex phenomena by isolating simple subsystems for experimental study.

In a quantum world, (first) it is provably impossible to separate observer from observed. There is no such thing as objective reality. And (second) it is possible to isolate a particle and do experiments, but most of the interesting quantum effects depend on collective properties of many identical particles that we can never probe by studying one-particle-at-a-time.

Since these two pillars of the scientific method fell in the 1920s, scientists continue to think in terms of objective reality, and we continue to analyze pieces to understand the whole….

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