Quantum Physics - Double Slit Experiment


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Comment by Jo Jerome on November 21, 2009 at 9:27pm
Again, my Hawking book is buried somewhere, but if I'm remembering his description correctly, the main difference between Hawking's explanation and the above clip from "What the Bleep" is when you get to the bit about how observation of the experiment changes its outcome.

Hawking used this to state simply that: The very act of observing or how we observe X alters the atomic behavior of X.

"What the Bleep" takes it into speculation that the electron has a will, "Almost as if it knows its being observed." A theme I bring up a lot is how the human brain tends to look for a "who" more so than a "what," which seems to be an anthropological root for Theism. A tree falls in the forest and we think, "Who made the tree fall?" versus "What made the tree fall?"

"What the Bleep," being way more New-Agey than not in its conclusions, attaches this perceived willfulness to our little electron. Too bad too, because right up to that point it seems to this armchair geek to be a decent layman's explanation of matter moving as both particles and waves.
Comment by Jo Jerome on November 21, 2009 at 8:46pm
I don't recall either version of the film as having a 'main expert.' Yes, both versions bury the moments of genuine science in a great deal of New Age speculation and wild-conclusion-jumping.

As is my beef with most things New Agey. "Let's take something genuine like hypotheses in physics, decorate it in 40 tons of woo-woo, and make sure that the normal people are good and scared of it so they'll never take the original hypotheses seriously for fear of being associated with the woo it was buried under."

Buried, like my copy of Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time," which is where I first read about something similar to the double-slit experiment before it came up in "What the Bleep."

All that said, if one can put up with the excessive woo of Ramtha, I thought the film(s) were quite entertaining. Marlee Matlin rocks no matter what she's in and I do love pondering the philosophical implications of the unknown. Which is after all the point (and very title) of the movie(s).
Comment by Loren Miller on November 21, 2009 at 6:49pm
Okay ... HOW does one one OBSERVE an electron in flight? The answer is YOU DON'T. The way we observe anything is by means of reflected energy from the object of observation. The experiment as I see it assumes there is no external energy source by which to observe electrons in flight ... because if any energy impinges on the electrons during the experiment, the energy of those electrons are changed, and with that the conditions of the experiment.

I should mention, I did the laser portion of this experiment with a He-Ne laser back in college, 40 years ago. Was one of the most fun experiments we ever did in Physics Lab!
Comment by Jo Jerome on November 21, 2009 at 6:24pm
BTW, isn't this taken from "What the Bleep do we Know?"
Comment by Jo Jerome on November 21, 2009 at 6:11pm
I'm absolutely fascinated with Unified Field and quantum physics.

And I think your response was spot on. 100 years ago we didn't have the tools to measure, map, or understand DNA. Does that mean it didn't exist?

The very nature of scientific method is the joy of not knowing. And that includes not having to rely on "god did it" as a catch-all answer for what we don't know.
Comment by Sarah Elle on November 21, 2009 at 5:00pm
This is a comment left by a theist on youtube

"THIS IS EVERY ATHIEST'S NIGHTMARE!
they claim that everything can be explained by science, but not even science can explain the role of conciousness in quantum physics! God is conciousness at the highest level.

If an electron and it's cooresponding electron were put on opposite sides of the universe, and one of those electrons was changed, the other elctron on the other side of the universe will change aswell"


lol. This was my response...

"Every Atheists nightmare, pfft, what a croc. You need some book learnin lol. No one claims that science has reached a point where everything can be explained, in fact I doubt we will ever make it that far. But to assume just because we can't explain it, it must be "God", is an ignorant response. Forest fires and floods were "acts of God" a thousand years ago, let's not try to be that ignorant again lol."

Sorry, just thought I would amuse us all with that.

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