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Post InfoTOPIC: How about a little physics?
Posted By: Karlomatis

Posted On: Nov 11, 2003
Views: 680
How about a little physics?

I'v been kicking around a little theory that we only exist because we need to. Complicated physics crud says that an object/person/event/fudge striped cookie has to be observed in order for it to exist. Hmmmm, maybe WE are the observers who allow for a resolved universe?

Posted By: Pinko

Posted On: Nov 11, 2003
Views: 678
RE: How about a little physics?

That's not physics, that's Descartes- "I think therefore I am". So you're about four hundred years behind the times. (But don't worry, that's still a good 1600 years ahead of most Christians!)

Posted By: Pinko

Posted On: Nov 11, 2003
Views: 677
RE: How about a little physics?

Ok, Ok, seriously though, you're talking about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle right? The only problem is that it seems a little metaphysical- if we're the observers, then how come we didn't exist from the begininning (as observers anyway?)

Posted By: Rodney

Posted On: Nov 13, 2003
Views: 647
RE: How about a little physics?

That'd be the Schroedinger's Cat quandry. THe cat is in a box, unobserved, and by remote control a capsule containing a poisonous gas is released. All sorts of things may happen at this point (cat survives, cat dies, gas transmuted into fudge stripe cookies, cat chokes on cookies and dies, cat transmuted into fudge stripe cookies), but only when an observer opens the box and checks everything out does something they call the "probability wave" collapses, and odds are, you see a dead cat.

Not a very nice experiment. Better as a "thought experiment" if you ask me.

Anyway, it's based upon some really weird results you get when you do wave interference experiments with light or electron beams. If you beam a light at a barrier with two slits in it, you get this pattern of bands of intense light and dark patches all across the backdrop. This indicates that while light is made of particles, it is also a wave. A variation of this experiment with electrons instead of light (photos) beamed at a couple of slits with a phosphorescent backdrop yields the same sort of weird banded pattern, indicating that electrons are waves as well as particles too.

So far so good. But if you slow the electron stream or dim the light so low that there is only one electron or photon coming through every 10 seconds, and your backdrop is sensitive enough, you still get the same interference pattern.

This is weird cuz what is the single photon or electron per 10 seconds interfering with? The theory goes like this: The photon or electron follows every possible path to get to the backdrop simultaneously and somehow this is how you get the interference pattern.

Quantum physics is weird stuff.

-Rodney (not a physicist)