For the time being, this post will start at the date of my accepting the MA at Birbeck. Hence, the latest comment will be at the END of the post
21st May 2014 Got a place to study MA Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London starting October 2014. This complements my MSc in Astrophysics from Queen Mary, University of London last year.
13th June 2015 First draft of my dissertation, “The Measurement Problem of Quantum Mechanics”.
22nd May 2014 Met with Dr. George Darby at 26 Russell Square, WC1. He has interests in metaphysics and philosophy of physics. We discussed possible topics for my MA dissertation at Birkbeck next year, and we discussed my MSc dissertation at Queen Mary, particularly those relating to quantum mechanics and philosophy, highlighting the Everett hypotheses.
8th August 2014 Background reading. Many students on my upcoming MA Philosophy will have done a BA in philosophy. Students like myself without that formal academic background do the double module, ‘Introduction to Philosophy’. I am already considering topics for a dissertation. I want to nail down a topic before Christmas, because if I am to apply to Oxford for the prestigious MSt (Master of Studies) at Oxford (application deadline mid-January) I would want to quote the title and abstract. This course has only 4 places per year, and is the best in the world on philosophy of physics, and has something like 200 applicants per year! I corresponded with David Wallace at Balliol last year, and he encouraged me to apply.
I will probably choose quantum mechanics – indeterminacy, entanglement, consciousness…..
Philosophy & Quantum Mechanics:
Metaphysical Indeterminacy and Consciousness
Unfortunately, Dr. George Darby , who I met in May, has left Birkbeck and has not been replaced by anyone specifically qualified in philosophy of physics. I also met Dr Robert Northcott on 17th July, and he believes there will be no problem of supervision within the Birkbeck philosophy department.
21 August 2015 Submitted my MA Philosophy dissertation, titled, “The Measurement Problem in Quantum Mechanics”. This was supervised by Dr. Robert Northcott, and is a major area within the Philosophy of Physics.
The abstract for this ~12,000 word paper is:
The measurement problem is fundamental as an insight to the quantum world. I shall cite thought experiments, as well as actual and suggested laboratory experiments, that illustrate the problem of the transition from a quantum system to the classical world by the process of decoherence, apparently only at the instant of measurement. The basic mathematical background that formalises this phenomenon is required to be stated throughout the paper in order to properly examine the abstract nature of what is going on, and I have referenced this at Measurement problem in QM. I shall cite some attempts to explain the measurement problem, and I shall argue for my two favoured views, which are the radically different hypotheses of Bohr’s decoherence and Everett’s Many Worlds, but it is my contention that we are missing something fundamental in our understanding of 20th Century physics.