specularium

Rebel Physics

Peter J. Carroll

Latest Blog Post

  • Septblog 2021

    Septblog 2021

    Esoteric Horticulture.

    At Chateaux Chaos the Autumnal Mandrakes have sprouted surprisingly early, before autumn equinox, with Circe already a foot into the sky and Boris and Igor just getting started. This year they will have an experimental outdoor season, note the slug repellent copper wire around their new home. Let us hope that the increasingly unpredictable climate does not bring any early frosts.

    Magical Book.

    The world’s most illustrious academic historian of the esoteric arts has prepared a splendid preface for the forthcoming Classic Edition of ‘Liber Null and Psychonaut’, the book that initiated an epic paradigm change in magical thought. Since its first publication this book has attracted both aggressive dismissal and laudatory recommendation. A new paradigm will always make some people very angry and other people ecstatic. Weiser’s Classic Edition which includes some new material, will appear sometime next year.

    Holidays.

    Retirement from most of the more time demanding business activities has led to a life of concentric holidays and research sabbaticals with frequent sojourns in remote Wales where  a lot of wildlife still thrives. Herewith an adder sunning itself on some concrete. Some bright spark decided that this area would provide adders with an excellent habitat and released a few hundred captive bred specimens some decades ago, now we have thousands of them here. Shoes now seem essential in the dunes, but on the upside, they do bite dogs that people don’t keep on leads.

    Herewith also a friendly cricket. Until recently I could always hear their high pitched chirping at night. This year my youngest daughter, a professional ecologist, told me that they were making their customary racket, but I could barely hear them. Oddly, I found this a greater portent of mortality than my need for reading glasses, something may soon disappear from my universe forever as my faculties fade. I seem to have just eaten a pot of dog ice cream having mistaken the picture on the carton for a polar bear. I may have only few decades more to discover the remaining secrets of the universe and the quantum realm presents bizarre difficulties akin to juggling spaghetti whilst blindfolded in a hailstorm.

    Quantum Chess?

    During discussions of the concept of dimensions with my interviewer/biographer, the following analogy or thought experiment emerged to illustrate the possibilities of multiple time dimensions.  

    The record of a game of chess provides its temporal dimension, it shows what happened over time. It does not show the moves not taken. However, we could have multiple timelines in which alternatives moves occur. A player unable to decide between two moves can elect to make both of them by replacing a single piece by two smaller shadow pieces in different positions with the provisos that whenever one of the shadow pieces interacts with an opposing piece, the other shadow piece becomes removed, and a player moving one of the shadow pieces must also move the other corresponding one as well. Otherwise, all the usual rules of chess apply.

    Now here comes the really strange bit: -

    Afterwards, we could write a single timeline move sequence to describe the whole game that does not include the shadow pieces that became removed! However, an expert would probably notice something very odd about some of the moves chosen when looking at the record afterwards. Such a Quantum-Chess analogy can in principle explain many of the mysteries of quantum mechanics and magic. What may have happened, and what could happen, can affect what does seem, to us, to have actually happened. ‘Imaginary’ phenomena can have very real effects.

    Afterthought – simply sawing each piece of a chess set down the middle and numbering the two halves the same provides an easy way of preparing a quantum chess set. The two halves of each piece begin the game on the same square.

    Written on Thursday, 23 September 2021 10:06 in Blog Read 542 times

Latest Games Post

  • Quantum Chess

    Quantum Chess, or WPD Chess, (Wave-Particle Duality Chess).

    Herewith a simple way to represent quantum effects in a game of chess by the addition of a small number of additional rules.

    All the normal rules of chess apply and in addition: -

    1) Any piece that can move to two or more empty squares can move to two of them at once by splitting the piece down the middle. (Either saw all pieces in half beforehand or use two pieces in place of each one at the start, on a board which can accommodate two pieces per square comfortably.)

    2) Whenever a half piece interacts with an opposing piece, either by taking it or being taken by it, the other half of it instantly re-joins it, and both halves then occupy the position of the taken piece or both halves become eliminated if one of them gets taken.

    3) A Player moving a half piece must also move its corresponding other half.

    4) Halved pieces occupy squares and block movement and support and threaten other pieces in the same way as whole pieces.

    These four rules lead to a challenging but playable game that has many intriguing properties.

    A whole piece represents the piece in ‘particle’ mode, it has a definite position. Halved pieces represent the piece in ‘wave’ mode, it could occupy either position, but it will come to occupy a definite position only when it interacts.

    At the end of a game, a record of the game that does not include the moves of all the half-pieces that ‘disappeared’ because their corresponding half interacted, will still look like a standard game of chess although some of the moves may appear as legal but as very strange choices.

    The following picture shows a representation of Quantum Chess in the early stages of a game, using doubled pieces rather than pieces sawn in half. (The numbers on some of the pieces make it easier to remember which pieces go together.)

    White has taken the Black Kings Pawn with Kings Knight.

    Black has replied by moving its Kings Bishop to two possible places simultaneously, one possibility puts White’s King in check, the other possibility threatens White’s Knight.

    White now has a quantum problem. White must take its King out of check by either moving it or by moving its Queen or Queen’s Bishop to block, or its Queen’s Bishop Pawn to both block and threaten the ‘possible presence’ of the Black Bishop.

    Black can then take the White Knight and the entire Black Bishop will then occupy the White Knight’s square, thus removing any threat to its ‘possible presence’ by  the White Pawn.

    Black has effectively used a quantum trick to threaten two pieces at once with two possible presences of its Bishop and then taken the White Knight. The result of this manoeuvre looks like a legal move in ordinary (particle) chess, but White’s failure to  protect its Knight remains inexplicable if the match record does not include the possible wavelike moves that later disappeared.

    Quanta take off and land like particles, but they seem to fly as waves. We can only observe their particle behaviours but from their particle behaviours we can infer their wavelike behaviours.   

    Imaginary phenomena can have real effects.

    Herewith the world’s first fully operational Quantum Chess Piece!

    Note the cunning base design which gives extra stability to each of the two halves and helps to secure them together.

    Handmade from an ornamental curtain rail endpiece, a length of 2x2 inch softwood, and a disc cut from a length of batten, it took hours with chisels and files, followed by a delicate sawing in half. I don’t have a lathe. I doubt that I’ll try making the other 31 pieces this way.

    If anyone wants to manufacture these in say plastic, please let me know, the pawns, rooks, queens, and kings would only require one mould each to this design as they have rotational symmetry about their long axes, the bishops and knights would probably require two moulds for each complete piece.

    There follows some general musing on the physics/metaphysics of Quantum Chess: -

    Probability – the two halves of each piece represent, in some sense, the probability of its presence on a particular square.

    ‘Quantum Entanglement’ – the two halves of each piece remain instantly linked over any distance by rule 2 which states that whenever one of them interacts with another piece by taking it or becoming taken by it, then the other half of it undergoes a ‘Wave Function Collapse’ and instantly re-joins the interacting half.

    ‘Quantum Superposition’ – we can regard the two halves of a piece as representing a quantum superposition when they occupy the same square.

    ‘Quantum Ontology’ – this model offers as many questions as answers about the reality underlying quantum phenomena: -

    Does a piece in wave mode ‘really’ exist in the same way as a piece in particle mode? The wave modes can undoubtedly influence the progress of play, but we can still create a record of the game that does not include them or break the rules of ordinary ‘particle chess’.

    Does the wave function collapse of an interacting piece look remarkably like retroactive causation?

    If each particle piece can do two different things at once by splitting into two wave modes, does this imply Multidimensional Time?

    Technical notes on play -  the rigorous application of the standard rules of chess plus the additional quantum chess rules, only allows pawn particles to split into waves on their first move when they can move one and two squares forward simultaneously. There seems no reason to forbid a player moving the two wave components of a particle piece to the same square to recreate a single particle piece, but this will rarely prove advantageous.

    Checkmate and ending the game – Placing the opposing whole King in checkmate wins the game and so does placing either half of an opposing King. Note that a player with half a King in apparent checkmate may have the option of taking an opposing piece with its other half thus evading checkmate. At the end of a game players can elect to collapse any remaining wave positions by moving either one of two halves of the same piece to a square occupied by one of them, but the two halves of a halved checkmated King must move to the square in which checkmate occurred. This restores the semblance of an ordinary game of standard chess.  

    Quantum Chess, Q-Chess, WPD-Chess, Copyright Peter J Carroll 09/10/2021 

    Written on Tuesday, 05 October 2021 09:24 in Games Read 204 times

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