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Quantum mechanics

Started by Solitary, July 03, 2013, 09:20:14 AM

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Solitary

:evil:
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Voskhod

Honestly, as far as I can tell Quantum mechanics does rely on consciousness to operate (or, more specifically, observation - Schrodinger's cat and all that jazz). This is why Quantum mechanics terrifies me utterly and why I refuse to research it on a technical level.
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"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." -H.P. Lovecraft
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Solitary

#2
:evil:
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Voskhod

I'd heard a few hints of that but merely dismissed them as rumors. Other than that, I have read a handful of a few physics papers that essentially came to the conclusion that quantum particles do change their behavior when observed. The one I remember most fondly was that of a physics experiment somewhere that measured and realized that the half-lives of radioactive and unstable isotopes were actually extended considerably when scientists observed them for prolonged periods of time them under electron microscopes.
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[size=100]
"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." -H.P. Lovecraft
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GurrenLagann

As far as I know (which is admittedly very little) QM does not require a conscious observer for the collapse of the wave function. Joesephazaloo would be the guy here to ask though.
Which means that to me the offer of certainty, the offer of complete security, the offer of an impermeable faith that can\'t give way, is the offer of something not worth having.
[...]
Take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty & wisdom, will come to you that way.
-Christopher Hitchens

Solitary

#5
:evil:
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Colanth

Electron microscope, Solitary.  It's the beam of electrons that causes the change.  If we could observe them with "ambient electrons" or some such, we'd probably see no change due to observation.

Heisenberg doesn't say that measuring one quantity changes others, he says that we can't know, say the velocity and location of an electron at the same time, because the more accurately we measure the velocity, the less accurate is the measure of its location (due simply to the nature of measurement).
Afflicting the comfortable for 70 years.
Science builds skyscrapers, faith flies planes into them.

Plu

Imagine being in a completely dark room trying to find a rolling ball. And the only way you can find the ball is by throwing smaller balls and waiting for the impact sound to measure how far away it is. You can't observe the ball without changing its position slightly from the impact, and the more balls you throw to pinpoints its location, the more the ball will be rolling around, making it harder to detect how fast it is moving (because you keep changing its motion). But if you try to detect its speed over time, you can only throw a few timed balls. That'll get you a good idea of how fast it's moving around, but it'll be a lot harder to pinpoint its exact location because you have less measurements.

The "change from observation" doesn't require a conscious ball-thrower, if we use a robot to measure it it'll still change the outcome. It's just that in the natural world there aren't really any things that we'd notice impacting these particles, which makes some people think that you need a consciousness to observe them. But that's not really how it is. It's just that we can only observe them by physically interacting with them, and that's changing them.

Solitary

#8
:evil:
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Solitary

#9
:evil:
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Colanth

Quote from: "Solitary"
Quote from: "Colanth"Heisenberg doesn't say that measuring one quantity changes others, he says that we can't know, say the velocity and location of an electron at the same time, because the more accurately we measure the velocity, the less accurate is the measure of its location (due simply to the nature of measurement).

You are correct! Thanks! I was just trying to make a point that it isn't just looking that changes the outcome.
Not due to Heisenberg.  Due to Schr√∂dinger, looking not only changes the outcome, looking determines the outcome.  (Schr√∂dinger says that there's no outcome until you look.  The cat is neither dead nor alive until you open the box.  Or course it has to be a quantum cat, not a biological one.)

It's like Smith deciding to make a ball out of wood, not plastic, and Jones deciding to spray it white, not black.  It's not black due to Smith, but it is due to Jones.
Afflicting the comfortable for 70 years.
Science builds skyscrapers, faith flies planes into them.