Penrose Objective Reduction

Moving on finally. I have recently come into contact with an “interpretation” of quantum mechanics that I was unfamiliar with (I think). I at least never looked it up in depth if I have heard of it. It is called Penrose Objective Reduction (or POR for short). It is very different than the standard theories in that it doesn’t ignore the collapse of the wavefunction (many worlds or decoherence). Instead it postulates something possibly more fantastic. Let’s start more towards the beginning before going there, though.

Take E=\frac{\hbar}{t} and interpret it. E is the degree of spacetime separation of the superpositioned particle and t is the time until POR occurs. This shows that small superpositions (i.e. things that are almost in a determined state) will take a long time to collapse objectively. This intuitively makes sense, since there isn’t really a “need” for it to take a determined position if it is undetermined at close to plank-length distance. It doesn’t contradict our world view. On the other hand, extremely large objects (say Schrodinger’s cat) will objectively collapse to a single position extremely quickly. This eliminates the “paradox” of Schrodinger’s cat.

But what exactly is POR? It is “objective” collapse of the wavefunction in that it doesn’t require an “observer” as other theories claim. Wavefunctions will naturally collapse. Will this collapse go to a random state (in which we know the probabilities, but still random)? Penrose says no. He claims that there is information embedded fundamentally in spacetime. He makes an even more extraordinary claim that it is “Platonic” in that it is pure mathematical truth, aesthetic, and ethical. Since I have spent weeks rejecting Platonistic views, I feel I should offer an alternative based on this method.

It is known that “empty” space (e.g. the mass gap, actually I can’t find it now, I was going to link it, I’ll keep looking) has enormous stored energy. Many people interpret this as where collective consciousness lives. Instead of some objective random collapse of the wavefunction, or some ethical godlike decision as to what it should collapse to, it seems as if we are missing the power of our own minds. Maybe a more karmic collapse. The thoughts and energy we put into the world gets stored in the area and influences the POR to give us back what we put out.

I didn’t get into a lot of aspects of POR, and I was just making up that last part on the spot, so it wasn’t very scientific or rigorous as to how it could work. Just some thoughts for today.


7 thoughts on “Penrose Objective Reduction

  1. Howdy,

    My last comment never made it through… trying again.

    LifeOS: in search of the system that executes DNA

    Oops, gotta go.


  2. Howdy,

    My name is jim cranford. I’m working on a manuscript that explores natural systems as processing information first with matter the resulting output.

    I see you checkout my blog. thanks for stopping by.

    I can’t make much sense out of the equations and jargon you folks use, but i’m trying to grasp the concepts and connect them with the model i’m building.

    Is it accurate to say that the wavefunction represents the information present in the system or particle it describes?


  3. I haven’t really been ignoring your question, but it is semi-tricky so I’ve been thinking about it. I’m interpreting it as “Does a wavefunction represent a system or a particle?” In that case, the wavefunction should be said to represent a system. That system could be a particle, but it could also be said to be two particles.

    On the other hand, I could interpret the question as, “Does the wavefunction contain all the information of a system?” This is more tricky. I dare say yes. When you talk about position or momentum etc, we know what those look like and can thus transform to the “position space” or “momentum space” and find the probabilities. On the other hand, in theory the information for things that we don’t know what it looks like is encoded in the wavefuntion. If we had a way to transform to that space we would have the information, but what good does that do us if we don’t know how to do it (or worse yet, someone proves that the space can’t exist mathematically). The information is there, but not accessible.

    Not sure if this helps.

  4. It helps, for sure. I’m looking for a high level of agreement. Wavefront equals some information, is good enough for me.

    In the holographic memory model, the wavefunction would be the state of fundamental memory unit. Its state would represent one unit of the dynamic holographic image recorded there.

    So, my next question: How many states can be represented by a the wavefuncton of a particle?

    Geez, i hope i’m making sense.


  5. As many states as you want. This includes infinitely many. Suppose \{\varphi_1, \varphi_2, \varphi_3, \ldots \} are all states (of position say and it goes on forever), then the wavefunction \psi=\sum_{n=1}^\infty c_n\varphi_n is a perfectly legitimate wavefunction and it is a superposition of infinitely many states. If it collapses to one of those states through observation, or whatever, then the probability that it will go to state \varphi_n is |c_n|^2.

  6. Hmmm, i’m really over my head on this, but if this phenomenon really is part of a holographic memory process, having a switch with infinite states could be very handy, huh?

    It gives another possible take on the uncertainty thing. Maybe the fuzziness of matter is not a physical situation, but informational in nature. Maybe the state is dependent on the stored content rather than physical attributes.


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