Systems Science Friday Noon Seminar Series

Quantum Theory only Makes Sense in a Participatory Systems Engineering Thermodynamics Framework



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Video: MP4; File size: 590 MB; Duration: 01:29:02




There is a longstanding problem of making sense of quantum theory. Feynman’s assertion, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics” remains unchallenged. Yet, experimentalists tell us quantum mechanics is the most successful theory in history. One experimental physicist colleague noted that, ‘I don’t need to understand it to be able to use it.’ Per hypothesis, the difficulties in understanding quantum theory arise because it is not a classical type of theory, as Bohr, Heisenberg and Pauli emphasized. The failure to make sense of quantum theory is most simply the failure to make sense of it within the framework defined by the symmetry and conservation presuppositions of the classical mechanical research program. I will argue that quantum theory can only be made sense of in a participatory Systems Engineering Thermodynamic framework. This thesis builds on the holistic Participatory Universe theme of John Archibald Wheeler and the recent experimental confirmations by 2022 Nobel laureate, Anton Zeilinger.

Biographical Information

Terry Bristol is President of the Institute for Science, Engineering and Public Policy. He started in Astrophysics at UC Berkeley, shifted to, and graduated in, Philosophy of Science. Completed five years of graduate study in History and Philosophy of Science at University of London. Taught at Linfield University for eight years, PSU and PCC full and part-time on-off for twenty+ years. Dissatisfied with the Scientific Worldview and the associated Philosophy of Science, he morphed into the working on the Engineering Worldview and the Philosophy of Systems Engineering. His recent research emphasis is on engines and engineering thermodynamics. He will publish soon a translation of a mature work of 17th 18th century master engineer, Lazare Carnot (Sadi’s father): Fundamental Principle of Equilibrium and Motion.


Quantum computers, Quantum theory, Quantum computers -- Testing


Systems Science

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© 2023 Terry Bristol

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Quantum Theory only Makes Sense in a Participatory Systems Engineering Thermodynamics Framework