Continuing the discussion from The Pilot Wave Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics:
I’d like clarity on what “direct” detection means to a physicist.
Let’s take black holes as an example. We have collected the data to image a black hole “directly”, but have to now run a massive algorithm to reconstruct it. What are we going to see? Not the black hole, but the gas swirling around it. It it will be a negative image. Is this a direct image? Perhaps more direct than in the past, but “direct” appears to be very subjective here.
Let’s take LIGO and gravity waves as another example. We are measuring vibrations in space between orthogonally situated mirror interferometers. Once again a lot of work goes in to processing, refining, and cleaning up this data to make a “detection”. How “direct” is this really?
Let’s take Bell’s inequality violations. These are discernible only in the statistical distributions of the outcomes of a large number of experiments. Any a single result tells us literally nothing. We need hundreds or thousands of results, aggregated together, to infer a distribution. The theory predicts the distribution. So is this really a direct observation?
There may be some rules here. I am not a physicist, but it seems that our notions of “direct” and “indirect” are very difficult to pin down in a reliable sort of way. Maybe you could help @dga471, @pevaquark, and @PdotdQ?