Saturday, February 19, 2011

Double Slit Experiment

Get your mind out of the gutter, sicko! Not that kind of double slit experiment...

You ask: “Doesn't the fact that the behaviour of electrons, when shot through a double slit, alters from wave-like patterns to particle patterns, through the act of observation challenge the primacy of existence?”

Yes, I am aware of the double slit experiment, and I have actually written on it, since some folks apparently think its results contradict the primacy of existence. But can you tell me who observes the behavior of particles at the quantum level, and by what means? The double slit experiment is often described as having a different outcome (e.g., a banded pattern as opposed to an interference pattern) when someone “observes” the electrons passing through the slits in the experiment. But who’s doing the “observing” here? No one that I know of can *perceive* an electron with the naked eye. (If you know of anyone, please identify him or her.) It is said that a “measuring device” is used to capture this information, but a measuring device is not the same thing as a human being (or any other biological organism) “observing” what the measuring device is measuring. A fundamental distinction seems to have been ignored in deriving the conclusion that “merely observing” the electrons in the experiment alters the experiment’s outcomes, which – if that’s what has happened – seems very sloppy to me. (from Does the Double Slit Experiment Refute the Primacy of Existence?

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