QuantumT

The observer effect

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Those words were spoken long before the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment was done, or the recent Wigner's friend experiment.

Both experiments point to the observer, not the equipment, as the culprit for quantum change.

What is your personal - not professional - opinion about this?

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7 hours ago, QuantumT said:

Both experiments point to the observer, not the equipment, as the culprit for quantum change.

Not just the observer; after all you won’t get an interference pattern with no slits or no photons!

But it does show that the thing that is observed cannot be considered in isolation. We need to take into account the measurements made - including those in the future or that are non-local. 

7 hours ago, QuantumT said:

What is your personal - not professional - opinion about this?

Not sure that is an appropriate question. This is a science forum. If people want present their non-scientific ideas, then they need to open their own thread in the Speculations forum. 

Regarding the Bohr quote, that was said when this was all being discovered for the first time. I can’t see why those of us who have grown up with it as part of our world-view would be surprised. 

!

Moderator Note

Moved to Quantum Theory. Please make sure all discussion is science based. 

Any hijacks with “personal theories” will be split off or hidden

 

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9 hours ago, QuantumT said:

 

 

Those words were spoken long before the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment was done, or the recent Wigner's friend experiment.

Both experiments point to the observer, not the equipment, as the culprit for quantum change.

Observation. Not observer.

 

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3 hours ago, swansont said:

Observation. Not observer.

 

Observation or measurement?

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2 minutes ago, michel123456 said:

Observation or measurement?

Same thing, really.

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34 minutes ago, Strange said:

Same thing, really.

I think Michel is asking the question (please excuse me Michel if I misinterpreted you) is it the act of observation (by some sapient observer) or the act of measurement. 
With my limited knowledge I would say it seems to be the act of measurement and sentience or sapience have no role in this (other than setting up such a measurement etc etc etc.)
But I think quantum "stuff" is, for many people, so vague that the idea of the "observer effect" points at a sentient observer and not at the measurement itself.

Personally, I am quite interested in arguments on both sides (as I do know (cannot remember where or when) some people talking about how evidence points towards a sentient observer and not the act of measurement, but these arguments seem to come from less science-inclined people).

-Dagl

PS. Again, I would like to mention that while I think THINK Michel's question is regarding this, I A. could be wrong and B. do not want to imply that he, in case that is what he meant, thinks that a sentient creature is needed for measurement.

 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, QuantumT said:

Those words were spoken long before the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment was done, or the recent Wigner's friend experiment.

Both experiments point to the observer, not the equipment, as the culprit for quantum change.

What is your personal - not professional - opinion about this?

I think it has profound implications for not only quantum mechanics but also broader philosophical issues relating to free will, mind over matter, Jung's collective unconscious, a potential interplay between consciousness and evolution, etc.  There has been quite a bit of research done into this subject at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) lab over the last several decades under the auspices of former Dean of Engineering at Princeton, Robert Jahn.  PEAR conducted extensive research on the effect of the observer/observed relationship influencing supposedly chance events using RGEs (Random Event Generators).  The experiments yielded consistent results indicating that there was some consistent and measurable effect of conscious intention from the observer on the outcome of the RGEs.  An archive of their research can be found here: http://pearlab.icrl.org/publications.html One such paper which is more aligned with this topic:  "On the Quantum Mechanics of Consciousness with Application to Anomalous Phenomena": can be found here:  http://pearlab.icrl.org/pdfs/1986-quantum-mechanics-consciousness.pdf. 

Edited by Alex_Krycek

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2 hours ago, michel123456 said:

Observation or measurement?

Measurement might be a subset of observation.  

Someone needs to provides a definition of what they mean by each

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21 hours ago, Dagl1 said:

I think Michel is asking the question (please excuse me Michel if I misinterpreted you) is it the act of observation (by some sapient observer) or the act of measurement. 
With my limited knowledge I would say it seems to be the act of measurement and sentience or sapience have no role in this (other than setting up such a measurement etc etc etc.)
But I think quantum "stuff" is, for many people, so vague that the idea of the "observer effect" points at a sentient observer and not at the measurement itself.

Personally, I am quite interested in arguments on both sides (as I do know (cannot remember where or when) some people talking about how evidence points towards a sentient observer and not the act of measurement, but these arguments seem to come from less science-inclined people).

-Dagl

PS. Again, I would like to mention that while I think THINK Michel's question is regarding this, I A. could be wrong and B. do not want to imply that he, in case that is what he meant, thinks that a sentient creature is needed for measurement.

 

You're welcome. Yes in my understanding measurement is an act, it is not passive as observation seems to suggests.

Because I believe the misunderstanding comes from the fact that observation is understood as a simple reception of information that does not influence the phenomenon. And when one concludes that observation influences the phenomenon everything becomes incomprehensible.

Measurement is clearly an action and I think that there must exist some example of a measurement (even at macroscopic level) that influence the result of an experiment.

 

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35 minutes ago, michel123456 said:

You're welcome. Yes in my understanding measurement is an act, it is not passive as observation seems to suggests.

Because I believe the misunderstanding comes from the fact that observation is understood as a simple reception of information that does not influence the phenomenon. And when one concludes that observation influences the phenomenon everything becomes incomprehensible.

 

Measurement is clearly an action and I think that there must exist some example of a measurement (even at macroscopic level) that influence the result of an experiment.

 

No.

Getting some photons in a photodiode — or your eye — is an observation which can be a measurement. Looking through a microscope is an observation. What is different about that if the device happens to have a scale visible through the viewpiece?

Until you clearly define the distinction here, there can be no discussion.

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Posted (edited)

Observation = measurement = absorption of photons = they are gone from system under observation. No matter if observer is living organism, or electronic device. They consume photons.

If you look at your room, some photons are absorbed by your eye, and gone from the room.

If camera is recording your room, some photons are absorbed by it, and gone from the room too.

 

Edited by Sensei

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42 minutes ago, michel123456 said:

Because I believe the misunderstanding comes from the fact that observation is understood as a simple reception of information that does not influence the phenomenon. And when one concludes that observation influences the phenomenon everything becomes incomprehensible.

I'm afraid everything has become incomprehensible, then!

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On 7/10/2019 at 3:27 PM, Strange said:

I'm afraid everything has become incomprehensible, then!

Well, to me it means that observation influences the phenomenon, or IOW that is not possible to observe without influencing the phenomenon (at least concerning the extremely small).

IOW observing the extremely small is an action that provokes a result. Which corresponds more to a measurement as I understand it. When you are taking a measurement you are doing something, you just don't sit and look.

If the concept is that observing is a passive thing, then effectively everything becomes incomprehensible.

 

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7 minutes ago, michel123456 said:

Well, to me it means that observation influences the phenomenon, or IOW that is not possible to observe without influencing the phenomenon (at least concerning the extremely small).

IOW observing the extremely small is an action that provokes a result. Which corresponds more to a measurement as I understand it. When you are taking a measurement you are doing something, you just don't sit and look.

If the concept is that observing is a passive thing, then effectively everything becomes incomprehensible.

I guess this comes back to the difference between "observation" and "measurement"; in general, I don't think there is any difference: you interact with the system in both cases.

Take the double slit experiment for example. There, the detection of a photon (which did not go through the slits, but is entangled with one that did) can change the result of the experiment. Now that detection is effectively passive; it is just an observation. We don't need to count the photons, or record the fact we detected it, or any of the things that might make the semantic difference between a "passive observation" and a "measurement". Just the fact that photon interacts with the apparatus, can change the behaviour of another photon.

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30 minutes ago, michel123456 said:

 If the concept is that observing is a passive thing, then effectively everything becomes incomprehensible.

That's a subjective statement, not an objective one. It becomes incomprehensible to you.

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