Thank you for this. I didn't know it has a name. I just had this weird experiment in my mind for some time now. I even thought about creating a thread about it. My version was something like this:Mach conjecture or paradox
This is a difficult question. In the entry on "Wheeler's delayed-choice experiment" in Wikipedia we can read:Would that mean that radioactive decay only happens if there is an observer?
This is a popular rendering of the uncertainty principle. But it is incorrect. See my paperOn the one hand, we have quantum phenomena, from which we have the uncertainty principle. A particle (or a thing), doesn't disclose its whole story. For instance it gives you either its position or its momentum, or a fuzzy mix of the two, but never both at the same time.
Perhaps with what I have said it may seem that no, but I agree with you.
@ark We have written so many words floating around the thread and basically still are in the same place.And some intelligence was needed to "construct" a detector
Weird things can be done with math like this (from Wikipedia's path integral formulation article):I don’t understand the above - for me this is a contradiction: If the probability of an event (hitting the point with zero extension) is zero, how would it NOT be impossible to hit the point? Can you please clarify?
Would that mean that radioactive decay only happens if there is an observer? But then, how ‘close’ does the observer need to be? And how clever? Is an animal enough? Because as far as we know, radioactive decay has existed since the creation of the Universe, or I am just assuming something here?
I am not very mathematically trained (high-school maths) so I don’t have the bases needed to understand all that is discussed. And I also lack SOA‘s philosophically perspicacious mind.
But even though, I find this discussion fascinating! Thanks for starting this thread.
I probably should know how this works better than I do. As for observers/receivers, maybe a single particle has a really small amount of consciousness; it's very dumb and sleepwalking, thus its "choice" looks quite random. Course your view of its choice can be affected by your choice.It replaces the classical notion of a single, unique classical trajectory for a system with a sum, or functional integral, over an infinity of quantum-mechanically possible trajectories to compute a quantum amplitude... The probability for an event is given by the squared modulus of a complex number called the "probability amplitude".
The probability of hitting ANY point is 1. The probability of hitting a GIVEN (selected in advance) point is 0. (Unless you are a lucky sniper, but even then you are hitting an area, not a point )I don’t understand the above - for me this is a contradiction: If the probability of an event (hitting the point with zero extension) is zero, how would it NOT be impossible to hit the point? Can you please clarify?
A few thoughts, for what they're worth. I like "nature observes herself." If a human observer is not necessary - only a detector - then perhaps all detectors are also observers? Whatever consciousness is, every 'thing' has some. An atom has a very limited but real degree of consciousness. A human has a less limited degree of it. What is consciousness? It has something to do with the ability to receive, process, store, and transmit information. This information is somehow incorporated into the thing itself - it registers the information transfer, like data about position and heat, responds accordingly (or not), and is changed in the process. Perhaps consciousness has something to do with the degree and complexity of an 'observer's' ability to process, receive, or contain information?Yet the question remains: what is "observation"? In my own model of quantum measurements I have stated that "Nature observes herself". We do not need human observers, a detector is enough. Which solves the problem, but only to a certain extent. Because we then can enquire: What is this "detector"? It is a devise that has been identified and used as a "detector". Some intelligence is needed to notice that something "happened", that some information about something else has been provided. And some intelligence was needed to "construct" a detector and to use it in a meaningful way, not as a hammer. We need to know what "meaning" is, first of all. Back to "information".
A: ... This occurs because even inanimate matter has a minimal level of matching consciousness.
(Pierre) Would you say then that the information field contains already ALL possible information?
So consciousness - whether that of a particle, a human, or God (unified, universal mind, which contains all information - all possibilities) - is the 'information receiver/processor/storage/transmitter' of all the information it is able to handle. Each observer is a source of information for others, and a receiver, and each observer is informed by the information they receive, and the possibilities they actualize.Q: (Ark) ... Where consciousness is located?
A: Where is it not?
Q: (Ark) Consciousness is related to information. What really happens when things happen is that information is recorded. Where is information recorded?
A: By consciousness. [laughter] Information recorded equals time.
(L) So consciousness is the medium in which information resides.
One other example came to mind that might help to find answer. I associate the sets with points on the roll that can be turned in our hands. When we look at the roller, we see points drawn on it, positioned in relation to each other in a vertical line.The probability of hitting ANY point is 1. The probability of hitting a GIVEN (selected in advance) point is 0. (Unless you are a lucky sniper, but even then you are hitting an area, not a point )
Does it answer your question?