Discussion In Thin Air Continues
Peter, what you’re saying is interesting,” the Physic’s Professor (Tony) responded, “but we really don’t want to go there?”
“Careful Tony,” Noel interrupted, “You’re patronizing. Don’t you think the boy has a point? I mean, no individual can claim to grasp absolute reality. How do you know the plane of the zodiac is out of synch? In fact, what makes a statement meaningful, anyway? Or, more to the point, how do you ‘know’ anything at all? Veracity issues, as I am sure you are aware, extend beyond the calculations in your equations. I would think that you physicists should be extremely sensitive to reality claims—of all varieties.”
“Always the philosopher, eh Noel,” replied Tony.
“Yeah,” I interrupted, “what about the problems in quantum physics? Where is the reality there? I don’t know much, but I do know that at the subatomic level, some things just ain’t right. A couple of other campers and myself, in fact, discussed that subject just a couple of weeks ago. Help me out. What’s the real deal there?”
“Woe fellows,” the English Professor, Stan, said, “you’re about to put old Tony on the spot. Noel, you set this up, so I guess the question now is, ‘What are we going to do with it?’”
“What about mass and energy,” I said, “not to mention cause and effect. What’s going on there? Do they even exist anymore?”
“Of course they do,” Tony replied, “it’s just that we understand them from a slightly different perspective now. Actually, we have two different perspectives, one at the quantum level and one on a larger scale, that scale being Einstein’s universe. At the quantum level, mass and energy are still in tact; it’s just that their quantification is a bit problematic. Our knowledge of small quantities is restricted. At that level, nature apparently harbors secrets, but that has nothing to do with whether mass or energy exists. They do, or put more accurately, it does. We don’t want to forget Einstein’s equivalence equation. As far as cause and effect goes, well, again, we can only know it through statistical analysis at the quantum level.”