OMG, I've Got It!
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01-05-2013, 10:30 PM
RE: OMG, I've Got It!
(30-04-2013 11:25 AM)Chas Wrote:  We observe, for instance, stellar phenomena and learn a great deal but we haven't affected the star.
(30-04-2013 04:24 PM)Chas Wrote:  Observation has no effect on the observed.

It might seem a pedantic distinction, but...

Consider a star. In the strictest sense you're not observing the star itself. You're observing photons (on your eye or your detector's). Those photons are definitely affected by your observation - generally, they cease to exist! Anything you learn about their source is then, strictly speaking, inferential. But it is likewise true that the act of observing the photons it emitted has no effect on the star which emitted them.
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01-05-2013, 10:36 PM
RE: OMG, I've Got It!
(01-05-2013 10:30 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(30-04-2013 11:25 AM)Chas Wrote:  We observe, for instance, stellar phenomena and learn a great deal but we haven't affected the star.
(30-04-2013 04:24 PM)Chas Wrote:  Observation has no effect on the observed.

It might seem a pedantic distinction, but...

Consider a star. In the strictest sense you're not observing the star itself. You're observing photons (on your eye or your detector's). Those photons are definitely affected by your observation - generally, they cease to exist! Anything you learn about their source is then, strictly speaking, inferential. But it is likewise true that the act of observing the photons it emitted has no effect on the star which emitted them.

The distinction is irrelevant. The star is a massive macro object.
Shooting a photon at something quantum size does affect it.
The photon does not "cease to exist". Energy is conserved.

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02-05-2013, 07:33 AM
RE: OMG, I've Got It!
(01-05-2013 07:50 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(30-04-2013 04:24 PM)Chas Wrote:  Observation has no effect on the observed.

Yabut, "Several implementations of the [Wheeler's Delayed Choice] experiment 1984-2007 showed that the act of observation ultimately determines whether the photon will behave as a particle or wave, verifying the unintuitive results of the thought experiment."

Can you say 'confirmation bias'? Sure you can.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-05-2013, 07:47 AM
RE: OMG, I've Got It!
^^ Is there no controversy over this in scientific circles then. Popular science stuff seems to routinely refer to the idea that observation changes the experiment. I rather like the idea... Not that I think there's anything mystical behind it...
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02-05-2013, 07:48 AM
RE: OMG, I've Got It!
Has Ego® proven God yet? Should I convert and give him copious amounts of my money?

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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02-05-2013, 01:34 PM
RE: OMG, I've Got It!
(02-05-2013 07:47 AM)morondog Wrote:  ^^ Is there no controversy over this in scientific circles then. Popular science stuff seems to routinely refer to the idea that observation changes the experiment. I rather like the idea... Not that I think there's anything mystical behind it...

It's certainly a tenet of sociology and cultural anthropology.

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It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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02-05-2013, 02:28 PM
RE: OMG, I've Got It!
(01-05-2013 10:36 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The distinction is irrelevant. The star is a massive macro object.
Shooting a photon at something quantum size does affect it.
The photon does not "cease to exist". Energy is conserved.

Eh? The act of detecting a photon is the process of its energy being transferred into another form. In a very small system that could well be some fractional amount. In larger scale systems it generally isn't. The energy being expressed as the photon is now being expressed in (for example) an excited electron in a retinal photoreceptor molecule. The energy certainly still exists, but not as a photon...

Obviously it's true that the tiny amount of photons incident on any given location (ie planet) from a star are statistically insignificant. Even if they were in some sort of contrived entanglement, their absorption at the destination would not effect anything. Even then it would be the future interaction of their compatriot photons in whichever other direction, not the emission... And propagation of effect is limited to the speed of light (sort of - on a large enough scale the expansion of the universe is relevant) anyway.

My point was that 'observation' of a distant (ie stellar) object is, in essence, interaction with those of its outputs which reach us. That interaction is, like anything else, a quantum mechanical regime when you zoom in far enough.
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02-05-2013, 03:15 PM
RE: OMG, I've Got It!
(30-04-2013 04:24 PM)Chas Wrote:  Observation has no effect on the observed.

Well, kind of makes me feel creeped out and iky and stuff but ... meh, men. Drinking Beverage

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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02-05-2013, 03:34 PM
RE: OMG, I've Got It!
(02-05-2013 03:15 PM)kim Wrote:  
(30-04-2013 04:24 PM)Chas Wrote:  Observation has no effect on the observed.

Well, kind of makes me feel creeped out and icky and stuff but ... meh, men. Drinking Beverage

Hmm... I posit rather that the photons incident to my camera (having been previously reflected from your body) will only have further effect on you if you become aware of that interaction.

Like any good theory, this needs - ahem - testing. I clearly deserve all the grant monies.
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02-05-2013, 03:37 PM
RE: OMG, I've Got It!
(02-05-2013 07:48 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Has Ego® proven God yet? Should I convert and give him copious amounts of my money?

Ego® doesn't need copious amounts of money because he has the powah of jebus behind him.

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