Comunicação Internacional
Determinism in current physics. Is it possible?
Organização:  CFCUL
Ciências ULisboa, Building C6
12 / 07 / 2023

We discuss the possibilities of determinism in natural processes, taking under consideration both quantum and classical physics. We present this firstly by questioning the supposed nature of quantum physics as non-deterministic, following the proposal of Penrose (1991): the collapse of the wavefunction as a particular measurement which seems to indicate certain contingency does not actually give the full picture of the reality of the former. Moreover, (in addition to what Penrose suggests) we consider this collapse as part of a bigger deterministic picture. Secondly, we analyse the distinction between this microphysical scenario and our macrophysical experience, in the light of determinism as well. We suggest that this experience can be understood as a particular “measurement” similar to what happens in quantum mechanics. For instance, the image of a person with certain identity features is a highlight or particularization of all the possibilities the identity of this person experienced, experiences and will experience through time. The “collapse” is thus linked to individuation, not less real, but incomplete of reality.
By linking the domain of quantum physics in a deterministic fashion to our macrophysical world, we aim to show that a non-contingent character of reality is possible when accepting measurements or particular instances of things as forms of comprehension given by the physical world (thus not just mere subjective interventions), for the complete picture (closer to the wavefunction) cannot give distinctive information (understanding this as differentiation of elements, such as particles in the microphysical domain and a certain colour in the macrophysical one). This allows for a possible reform in physics as we understand it nowadays.

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