Richard, many thanks for all the good info. I've read all of Hawking's books and several other books of QM for non-physicists. I'm ordering Gibbons and Fraser. It sounds from what you say about time-independent QM that time can be seen as subjective, a convenient way to describe a sequence of events. During the Radio Lab show someone, I think it was Ramachandran, stated that every moment exists and always will; we only think moments are over or have not yet happened, which brought up the question of free will. More info about the show below. Diana

No Special Now (Radio Lab: Sunday, 22 July 2007)

It's not only artists who rebel against time, many physicists too take issue with our standard notion of clock time. Some even deny time exists at all. Blame Einstein. We peer into pandora's box of post-Einsteinian physics with Brian Greene (author of The Elegant Universe), Michio Kaku and Lisa Randall to consider the implications of a world without time or choice. Complicating matters, neurologist V.S. Ramachandran offers yet more evidence that free will, even with something like wiggling your finger, is an illusion.

From: Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Rewrite The Waste Land
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 09:39:50 -0600



Time independent quantum mechanics does not say that there is no time.  It merely ignores time.  Time is not a necessary element in the Schrodinger equation.  Time was included in the original formulation of the Schrodinger but for most problems it is not necessary and many ignore it.  The only function which can be solved exactly, the one electron hydrogen system, solves without need for consideration of time.  Other things are usually  ignored such as the motion, mass and even the energy of the nucleus.


To look at the Schrodinger equation “wiki”  “Schrodinger equation”



I’ve never really thought very much about fate, freedom of choice, or determinism.  Of course determinism is an essential of Historicism and the New Historicism.  Therefore, a book attacking or defending the New Historicism may be a starting point.


A popular book on Quantum Mechanics is “Schrodinger’s Kittens and the Search for Reality” by John Gibbons.  Gibbons is much given to the reciting the violations of commonsense by quantum mechanics.  However, many of these violations of commonsense exist only in the translation from the math to literature.  The math has no contradictions only some hard to swallow implications.  The book is an enjoyable quick read.


Stephen  W. Hawking “A Brief History of Time”  is probably the most  read.  I don’t know that he is going to answer your questions.


There is an old book, 1982, by J.T. Fraser, “The Genesis and Evolution of Time: A Critique of Interpretation in Physics” that may help.  I’m not that sure of Fraser’s reputation but have gotten the feeling that he is a fringe dweller.


Karl Popper, “Quantum Theory and the Schism in Physics” takes up determinism.  The only problem with Popper is that he sides with Einstein in the famous argument of non-locality, the EPR (Einstein,Podolsky,Rosen) paradox.  Work since the late 1980’s has shown that non-locality is correct for the quantum world and that Einstein  (and Popper) were wrong.  BTW this has nothing to do with Einstein’s central work,  it is about his inability to accept some of the implications of Quantum Mechanics which he helped devise.


Rick Seddon

Portales, NM




Don't get caught with egg on your face. Play Chicktionary!