Monday, July 14, 2008

Something Strange This Way Comes

Got 5 minutes? Watch this video, it will blow your mind. If you already know about the experiment skip a minute or two, but don't miss the end of the video. I did this experiment in a physics class at K-State, but I never heard of taking the experiment one step further:



After a couple minutes of thinking the best answer I came up with was that the world is based on infinite approximations, and so things that should happen, do happen. However, when we observe something, it isn't an approximation anymore and we see one instance of the process that is usually approximated. So there is something to us that is different than the rest of matter, there has to be, it's not like putting a coffee cup next to the slits makes light act different...

I need to know more about this. I would assume they tested this with the machine that was used for observations turned on and off, and that gave them different results. But what if the data is collected and then immediately destroyed so that no-one can ever see it, then how does the light act? What if the recording machine has a random number generator that turns it off and on, but no one knows the number that it picks, or if the machine is ever off or on. Can we observe how the light particle acted to tell if the machine was on or off?

Some people think that science will at some point eliminate the need for God, to me the more we learn about science the more it proves that there is God.

The universe is more amazing than we can imagine, and we barely know anything about it.

7 comments:

The Math Ninja said...

Maybe it's because it's a cartoon. So they can draw whatever they want...

But really, that is crazy.

B.E. Earl said...

I gotta go with the cartoon explanation too.

Because the alternative is a ruptured vessel in my brain.

Anonymous said...

Amen to the last two paragraphs you wrote! r in gc

Braveharte said...

So I read this really fun book that is only tangentially related to this... it took the idea that the two slits opened up parallel universes and that in the different universes the particles all acted differently. From this they concluded that at every decision point a new parallel universe was created and that there was one in which homo sapiens died out and neanderthals survived. And of course they end up in each others worlds... I was entertained. If you're interested, it's called the Neanderthal Parallax series.

Braveharte said...

So I got curious... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_eraser_experiment
This answers some of the questions you posed... but may make your head explode. :)

Ookami Snow said...

This stuff is very crazy, the quantum eraser experiment make things make less since...

The Gare Bear said...

I have to render an opinion -- remember, I'm an agronomist, not a physicist: Is it possible that a) the electrons ricochet off the edges of the slits, or that there is some gravitational effect caused by the edge of the slits? Or, b) is there a shock wave that emanates from the high-speed electron and this wave somehow interacts with the slit as, or shortly before the electron passes thru the slit? If you fired the electrons in a vacuum where they didn't have anything (presumably) with which to interact to make shock waves, then what happens. I say, it's time to quit working our lives away and go do fun experiments instead. And we could all live at Warehouse House and do our experiments in our state of the art Warehouse House Commons Laboratory. Fun.