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Quantum Mechanics meets the Concertina


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At the very least, it makes for a nice picture.

 

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My first thought was, "Intriguing, but irrelevant."

But then I thought about the quantum mechanical possibility of being in two places at once and the conjugate roles of position and momentum, and that it is also true (though less often stated) that something can just as well be simultaneously in two different momentum states at once... potentially including moving in two different directions at once.

 

Anglo players take heart!

This would mean that -- quantum mechanically -- your bellows can be both pushing and pulling at the same time. And that means that you should be able to play both push notes and pull notes simultaneously! Not much advantage, perhaps, for melody-only players, but for the chording "English style" it would mean that there are no longer "impossible" chords, not even on a 30-button anglo.

 

Hmm, is that how the South African players get those jazzy effects in their playing? Have they already solved the problem of extending quantum mechanical effects to macroscopic objects like concertinas? :unsure:

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Personally I've long thought that quantum entanglement would account for a lot of what happens in sessions, while Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty would account for what happens to the melodies. Must be all that dark energy engendered by the Guinness ...

 

Chris

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Hmm, is that how the South African players get those jazzy effects in their playing? Have they already solved the problem of extending quantum mechanical effects to macroscopic objects like concertinas?

This is clearly also the real explanation of how Mongolian throat singers sing two notes at once.

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Personally I've long thought that quantum entanglement would account for a lot of what happens in sessions, while Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty would account for what happens to the melodies. Must be all that dark energy engendered by the Guinness ...

 

Chris

 

Dark energy is old hat ... we may now have to learn about dark goo! ;)

Edited by spindizzy
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This would mean that -- quantum mechanically -- your bellows can be both pushing and pulling at the same time.

Technically true if you quantized the "bellows momentum".

 

And that means that you should be able to play both push notes and pull notes simultaneously!

Not true, even assuming the above. The problem is that even though the quantized variable can be in a superposition of states, the observable (hearing the note) cannot. Upon hearing the note, this would "collapse the wavefunction" (as people like to say) and fix the actual bellows momentum. The act of measuring in quantum mechanics takes away any uncertainty in all cases.

 

Sorry to be a downer. However, one could just play EC ;)

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This would mean that -- quantum mechanically -- your bellows can be both pushing and pulling at the same time.

Technically true if you quantized the "bellows momentum".

Everything in the universe -- and this includes momentum, of course -- is inherently quantized. QED?

 

And that means that you should be able to play both push notes and pull notes simultaneously!

Not true, even assuming the above. The problem is that even though the quantized variable can be in a superposition of states, the observable (hearing the note) cannot. Upon hearing the note, this would "collapse the wavefunction" (as people like to say) and fix the actual bellows momentum. The act of measuring in quantum mechanics takes away any uncertainty in all cases.

I find three faults with your argument:

  1. Your apparent lack of a sense of humo(u)r. ;)

    (Or is it maybe a failure to realize that
    I
    was joking?
    :unsure:
    )

  2. Your apparent assumption that a note has to be "observed" -- heard or measured -- to exist.

    "If a tree falls in the forest...?"

  3. "The standard view" (is there really only one?) of quantum mechanics that assumes that a particular state does not actually exist (is not "determined") until it is "observed". That view implies that the existence of the universe depends on the existence of humans (or other entities capable of "observing"), rather than the other way around.

But points 2. and 3. are both deeply technical and deeply philosophical (is that why I played games with them?), and so I feel they're not appropriate to pursue further here. Happy to do so off-Forum, though. :)

 

Sorry to be a downer.

Nice try, but I don't think you succeeded. ;)

 

However, one could just play EC ;)

Well, I do play EC, though not "just" EC. :D

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I find three faults with your argument:

1. Your apparent lack of a sense of humo(u)r. ;)

(Or is it maybe a failure to realize that
I
was joking?
:unsure:
)

My apologies. I suppose it was I that failed to convey the fact that I was playing along by pursuing this line of reasoning. Of course this is a joke - how could it not be?

 

2. Your apparent assumption that a note has to be "observed" -- heard or measured -- to exist.

"If a tree falls in the forest...?"

3. "The standard view" (is there really only one?) of quantum mechanics that assumes that a particular state does not actually exist (is not "determined") until it is "observed". That view implies that the existence of the universe depends on the existence of humans (or other entities capable of "observing"), rather than the other way around.

 

But points 2. and 3. are both deeply technical and deeply philosophical (is that why I played games with them?), and so I feel they're not appropriate to pursue further here. Happy to do so off-Forum, though. :)

Well, this seems a bit unfair, doesn't it? That is, to incorrectly impose assumptions on me and then preempt my opportunity to respond by claiming that the subject is no longer appropriate. This is a thread about quantum mechanics, after all. But as you are, between the two of us, the senior member of the forum and probably more familiar with its etiquette, etc. I will defer. PM sent :)

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Personally I've long thought that quantum entanglement would account for a lot of what happens in sessions, while Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty would account for what happens to the melodies. Must be all that dark energy engendered by the Guinness ...

 

Chris

 

 

I would say the Anglo-Heisenberg principle applies - that it's impossible to know precisely which note is being played AND the direction of the bellows simultaneously to arbitrarily high precision.

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Personally I've long thought that quantum entanglement would account for a lot of what happens in sessions, while Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty would account for what happens to the melodies. Must be all that dark energy engendered by the Guinness ...

I would say the Anglo-Heisenberg principle applies....

Well, I think "heißen berg" translates into anglo (same as English, except when talking about concertinas) as "hot mountain" (="volcano"?), so this may be a potentially explosive subject. :ph34r:

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I would say the Anglo-Heisenberg principle applies - that it's impossible to know precisely which note is being played AND the direction of the bellows simultaneously to arbitrarily high precision.

 

In this respect here is an abstract I found in Cornell University. As you can see, the relevence is profound:-

 

In this short note, I point out that [p,q] does not equal (i h-bar), contrary to the original claims of Born and Jordan, and Dirac. Rather, [p,q] is equal to something that is *infinitesimally different* from (i h-bar). While this difference is usually harmless, it does provide the solution of the Born-Jordan "trace paradox" of [p,q]. More recently, subtleties of a very similar form have been found to be of fundamental importance in quantum field theory.

 

Chris

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I find three faults with your argument:

1. Your apparent lack of a sense of humo(u)r. ;)

(Or is it maybe a failure to realize that
I
was joking?
:unsure:
)

My apologies. I suppose it was I that failed to convey the fact that I was playing along...

No need to apologize. I thought that was the case, and I was still doing the same... up to a point.

 

But my points 2. and 3. were only partly in jest, and that's why I suggested (I guess I didn't properly make it clear?) that a serious discussion/debate of the philosophical structure of quantum mechanical physics would be more appropriate off-forum (or indeed on some other forum). Just as a bit of concertina-related humor might be a welcome diversion on a forum devoted to knitting, but having it develop into an extended debate as to the relative merits of anglos and Englishes or of metal ends vs. wooden ends probably would not be.

 

...

But points 2. and 3. are both deeply technical and deeply philosophical (is that why I played games with them?), and so I feel they're not appropriate to pursue further here. Happy to do so off-Forum, though. :)

Well, this seems a bit unfair, doesn't it? That is, to incorrectly impose assumptions on me and then preempt my opportunity to respond by claiming that the subject is no longer appropriate. This is a thread about quantum mechanics, after all. But as you are, between the two of us, the senior member of the forum and probably more familiar with its etiquette, etc. I will defer. PM sent :)

I hope I didn't "impose" anything on you. I was careful to say "apparent", as in "that's what it looks like to me". And "I feel" isn't a command you have to obey. Also, I don't put any stock in "seniority", not here or elsewhere, so please don't feel that my own "seniority" here should restrict you.

 

Meanwhile, I've gotten your PM, and I think we're going to have an interesting discussion off-forum. It will involve, among other things, the nature of reality, a subject which can touch upon religion and possibly even politics (;)), two subjects we respectfully avoid here. And that discussion isn't relevant to concertinas, anyway, since we all know that concertinas are "unreal!". :D

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In this respect here is an abstract I found in Cornell University. As you can see, the relevence is profound:-

 

In this short note, I point out that [p,q] does not equal (i h-bar), contrary to the original claims of Born and Jordan, and Dirac. Rather, [p,q] is equal to something that is *infinitesimally different* from (i h-bar). While this difference is usually harmless, it does provide the solution of the Born-Jordan "trace paradox" of [p,q]. More recently, subtleties of a very similar form have been found to be of fundamental importance in quantum field theory.

 

Chris

 

Yes, I remember my father telling me to "mind my p's and q's" when I wanted to impress some person of importance! :D Obviously, scientists also take this seriously.

 

Cheers,

John

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