Talk:Herbert S. Green
|WikiProject Biography / Science and Academia||(Rated Start-class)|
|WikiProject Physics / Biographies||(Rated Start-class, Low-importance)|
They are the same people and the Herbert S. Green article is more complete
The Historical Records of Australian Science link was dead, so have linked to the re-published paper on the AASc website and moved that link out of external links. 188.8.131.52 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 11:32, 8 December 2011 (UTC).
Bert's work on collapse of the wave function
This seems to me to important and should be included. From Prof. Hurst's piece on Green:
For many years the prescription of von Neumann, usually called the 'collapse of the wave packet', was the accepted view of how this happened. As it assumed that some processes outside quantum mechanics had to be invoked, even going so far as involving the brain of the human observer, people were not comfortable with it, although it seemed the only possible answer. The best known representation of this difficulty appears in the well-known Schrödinger's cat paradox. Bert, together with a number of others such as Wakita and Ludwig, found a much more satisfying explanation, which is basically still the received description, although nowadays in various forms. The idea was to suppose that a measuring apparatus could be of almost any form so long as it was very complicated, that is, contained a very large number (often for mathematical convenience taken to be infinite) of components such as molecules or electrons. The system being measured could be microscopic. When the two systems interact, any 'interference terms' in the state of the microscopic system become vanishingly small purely as a consequence of the size of the measuring instrument. There are, of course, many processes in nature in which a human observer is not involved – especially before homo sapiens evolved – and the von Neumann description is quite unable to say how these could happen. However with Bert's theory all one has to do is to replace the measuring apparatus by the environment to bring about the necessary disappearance of interferences. The only place where this very satisfactory explanation might run into some difficulty is in the early evolution of the universe, where there is no environment!