A source of much difficulty and confusion in the interpretation of quantum mechanics is a naive realism about operators. By this we refer to various ways of taking too seriously the notion of operator-as-observable, and in particular to the all too casual talk about measuring operators that occurs when the subject is quantum mechanics. Without a specification of what should be meant by measuring a quantum observable, such an expression can have no clear meaning. A definite specification is provided by (...) Bohmian mechanics, a theory that emerges from Schrödinger's equation for a system of particles when we merely insist that particles means particles. Bohmian mechanics clarifies the status and the role of operators as observables in quantum mechanics by providing the operational details absent from standard quantum mechanics. It thereby allows us to readily dismiss all the radical claims traditionally enveloping the transition from the classical to the quantum realm — for example, that we must abandon classical logic or classical probability. The moral is rather simple: Beware naive realism, especially about operators! (shrink)
We criticize speculations to the effect that quantum mechanics is fundamentally about information. We do this by pointing out how unfounded such speculations in fact are. Our analysis focuses on the dubious claims of this kind recently made by Anton Zeilinger.
Head stabilization is fundamental for balance during locomotion but can be impaired in elderly or diseased populations. Previous studies have identified several parameters of head stability with possible diagnostic value in a laboratory setting. Recently, the ecological validity of measures obtained in such controlled contexts has been called into question. The aim of this study was to investigate the ecological validity of previously described parameters of head stabilization in a real-world setting. Ten healthy subjects participated in the study. Head and (...) trunk movements of each subject were recorded with inertial measurement units (IMUs) for a period of at least ten hours. Periods of locomotion were extracted from the measurements and predominant frequencies, root mean squares (RMSs) and bout lengths were estimated. As parameters of head stabilization, attenuation coefficients (ACs), harmonic ratios (HRs), coherences and phase differences were computed. Predominant frequencies were distributed tightly around 2 Hz and ACs, HRs and coherences exhibited the highest values in this frequency range. All head stability parameters exhibited characteristics consistent with previous reports, although higher variances were observed. These results suggest that head stabilization is tuned to the 2 Hz fundamental frequency of locomotion and that previously described measures of head stability could generalize to a real-world setting. This is the first study to address the ecological validity of these measures, highlighting the potential use of head stability parameters as diagnostic tools or outcome measures for clinical trials. The low cost and ease of use of the IMU technology used in this study could additionally be of benefit for a clinical application. (shrink)