Ruth Kastner, PhD, is a philosopher exploring the foundations of physics. She is on the faculty of the physics department at the State University of New York at Albany. She is also a research associate at the University of Maryland. She is author of The Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: The Reality of Possibility and also Understanding Our Unseen World: Solving Quantum Riddles.
Here she describes Plato’s famous cave allegory, and suggests that it is relevant to our understanding of quantum mechanics. Specifically, she suggests that the higher dimensional mathematical formalisms, although not empirically observable, point toward very real levels of existence. To buttress her argument, she also describes the nineteenth century parable of Flatland. In quantum theory, there are the probability clouds described by the Shrödinger psi equation. At another, more subtle, but still ontologically real level, are virtual particles.
(Recorded on August 23, 2016)
Published on November 29, 2016