My Articles

A Comparison of the Concepts of Schrodinger and Oppenheimer
with the Dream of Chief Crazy Horse

by Carl R. Littmann, 2-20-2001

This comparison is interesting from a philosophical and historical standpoint, in my opinion. Historically, Oppenheimer was director of research at Los Alamos, and helped develop the atomic bomb, used in WW2. And Crazy Horse was the Oglala Sioux Chief at the battle of the Little Bighorn, against General Custer. (I do not necessarily agree with their views or concepts.)

Guide for comparisons:
I have presented in similar colors (and with similar superscripts) aspects of two conceptions, which I think are alike. The first "concept" is "Schrodinger's" (which I think Oppenheimer referred to and which is further described by Semat). The second is "Crazy Horse's Dream" (as described by Black Elk).

Reader should compare the FIRST and SECOND concepts below:

FIRST, (From Oppenheimer's 11-2-1945 speech, referring to SCHRODINGER and others)
"What has happened to is so returns to the greatest developments of the twentieth century...for analogy. These things.forced us to re-consider the relations between science and common sense...Forced on us the recognition that certain habits.certain language.certain concepts..did not necessarily imply.anything in the REAL WORLDA TO CORRESPOND WITH THESEB. Forced us to be prepared for the which human beings attempted to DEAL with that REALITY, FOR that REALITYC." (Continued from H. Semat's work describing Schrodinger's Equation for a Single Particle):
"By canceling the exponential factor from each term of the wave equation, a similar equation is obtained for the amplitude 'u'....Notice that the TIME Does Not Enter EXPLICITLYD into this amplitude equation; in the wave mechanics of a particle, the function 'u' is usually referred to as the WAVE FUNCTIONE . "

SECOND, (From J. G. Neihardt's Black Elk Speaks, describing CRAZY HORSE's Dream)
"..he did not know all of it; but Crazy Horse DREAMED and went into the worldC where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the REAL WORLDA THAT IS BEHIND THIS ONEB, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that world. He was on his horse in that world...and..that, and the trees..grass..stones..and everything..was made of spirit and nothing was hard, and everything seemed to float. His horse was STANDING Still there, AND YETD it Danced only made of shadow. (that is how the name 'Crazy Horse' arose.just that) his vision IT DANCE AROUND in that QUEER WAYE. "

My Comments, interpretations and opinions:

But how can we reconcile or compare Schrodinger's "mathematical wave" FUNCTION 'u' with Crazy Horse's "shadowy, floating, dancing, but stationary" HORSE? According to Spinoza's concept of God, "God ADAPTED revelations to the understanding and opinions of the prophets" ...and that "we are only bound to believe in.the 'substance' of the revelation," (not necessarily) the "details". (Presumably according to this paradigm, we can forgive Crazy Horse for not understanding advanced calculus, and Schrodinger for (perhaps) being less expert at horses, and perhaps me too, if I've done an injustice to both worlds, and if my comparison has not been interesting. I have spliced phrases together, somewhat out of context, and have "high-lighted" some words, to simplify comparisons and my conclusions. (See references at end of my article, especially if one wishes to read the exact narrative.)

What I find especially interesting about comparing Schrodinger's and Crazy Horse's concepts is this: It is very difficult to "translate" the mathematical (and maybe somewhat ambiguous) concept of Schrodinger's into a meaningful concept for people with modest science background. It is also very difficult to form a concept from the "Sioux to English" verbal translation of the dream of Chief Crazy Horse, and a "third-hand" description of it, at that. This makes the similarities (that I think are evident) between Schrodinger's concept and Crazy Horse's concept, even more remarkable! (And I think the minor symbolic differences can be interpreted by quoting from one of Spinoza's works, although it was originally written in Latin.).

((My own concept (of "material" and "material action") is not much like any of the above. Mine is more like Democritus's, in some ways.))

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Carl R. Littmann

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