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Reality doesn't exist if you don't look at it

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A new quantum physics experiment has confirmed the idea that reality doesn't exist until it is measured.

The mind-bending concept, which implies that the universe stops existing if we don't look at it, seems to have been confirmed thanks to physicists at The Australian National University.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...dont-look-at-it

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Talion78

Blink, Blink........scratches head.........I like doughnuts

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Ok, I was standing under a window ledge when a flower pot came down.... I did not look at it and it did not hit me....NOT!

The Universe does not care if we are aware of it or not, it keeps on existing.

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paperdyer

We had a department head that used to say "Perception is reality". He hoped that if the sales reps said something enough times to a customer, it would become reality to the customer. I sort of changed that to "I'm in middle management. I don't lie, I tell the truth from another perspective."

Fixed typo.

Edited by paperdyer

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Kenemet

A new quantum physics experiment has confirmed the idea that reality doesn't exist until it is measured.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...dont-look-at-it

Then how is it that we exist?

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BeastieRunner

Ok, I was standing under a window ledge when a flower pot came down.... I did not look at it and it did not hit me....NOT!

The Universe does not care if we are aware of it or not, it keeps on existing.

Something perceived it as some point before you did. It might of even been you, just subconsciously.

Edited by BeastieRunner

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Something perceived it as some point before you did. It might of even been you, just subconsciously.

the point is not "something", the point is me. The statement is "If I don't see it, it does not exist"...

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Leonardo
The experiment centers around working out at what point the object decides which it is going to be.

This is what frustrates me about many of the physicists - and other scientists - attempting to make a name for themselves, they don't stop and think about what it is they are examining, nor the 'language' used which inevitably biases their conclusions.

Quantum objects 'decide' nothing, it is the form of the measuring device that determines whether the object is measured to be a particle or a wave.

I seriously lament the rise of 'herd-science' which follows someone else's 'discovery' without thought about the science involved.

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This is what frustrates me about many of the physicists - and other scientists - attempting to make a name for themselves, they don't stop and think about what it is they are examining, nor the 'language' used which inevitably biases their conclusions.

Quantum objects 'decide' nothing, it is the form of the measuring device that determines whether the object is measured to be a particle or a wave.

I seriously lament the rise of 'herd-science' which follows someone else's 'discovery' without thought about the science involved.

Strangely it is mostly physicists that come up with brain ejaculations lately. Don't they have anything worthwhile to study?

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Leonardo

Strangely it is mostly physicists that come up with brain ejaculations lately. Don't they have anything worthwhile to study?

It's the curse of publish-or-lose-your-grant. Even in science money corrupts the process.

So any old trash gets published, without thought as to whether it is actually good science.

Edited by Leonardo
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StarMountainKid

The experiment is about a single helium atom, not a flower pot. A flower pot as a whole in its macro scale does not obey the laws of quantum mechanics. As the atoms in the flower pot are interacting with each other, they are being 'measured' constantly, and therefore make up our reality, whether we are looking at the pot or not.

My thoughts on the subject.

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Nzo

The cat still exists regardless of whether you believe its in the box or not.

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SlashHabit

So Hellen Keller never existed? Did she fell through the Earth when no one was around? Poor girl.

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XClashGames

That has to be one of the most stupid theories I have ever heard.

So basically what you are saying is that everything outside of my range of vision ceases to exist until I can see it again?

What about my chair?...I can't see it, so does that mean I am floating?

As I said, this theory isn't mind-bending, its just stupid.

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StarMountainKid
That has to be one of the most stupid theories I have ever heard.

So basically what you are saying is that everything outside of my range of vision ceases to exist until I can see it again?

What about my chair?...I can't see it, so does that mean I am floating?

As I said, this theory isn't mind-bending, its just stupid.

The title of the article is misleading. The experiment deals with behavior of reality on the quantum scale of nature, not the macro scale of reality we experience.

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Harte

That has to be one of the most stupid theories I have ever heard.

So basically what you are saying is that everything outside of my range of vision ceases to exist until I can see it again?

What about my chair?...I can't see it, so does that mean I am floating?

As I said, this theory isn't mind-bending, its just stupid.

No, your butt is measuring the chair behind your back.

Literally.

I'd watch it. Your butt is definitely up to something there.

Harte

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Imaginarynumber1

Looks like another thread where half the posters commented before even reading the article.

Edited by Imaginarynumber1
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StarMountainKid

"The atoms did not travel from A to B - it was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence."

From the OP's link.

Actually, quantum phenomena are neither waves nor particles but are intrinsically undefined until the moment they are measured. - John Wheeler

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheeler%27s_delayed_choice_experiment

I think these two quotes are important in understanding the results of the experiment.

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OntarioSquatch

Ok, I was standing under a window ledge when a flower pot came down.... I did not look at it and it did not hit me....NOT!

The Universe does not care if we are aware of it or not, it keeps on existing.

Just like seeing something, hearing or feeling something can be considered a form of measurement, so I think the theory of different realities being superimposed is still possible.

I guess the real question here is, if something happens and you don't know about it, did it really happen? At the very least we can say there's evidence of superposition on a quantum level. There's also evidence of different realities interacting on a quantum level, so I don't know. Perhaps there's much more to the universe than we think.

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Rlyeh

How do you measure something that doesn't exist?

"It proves that measurement is everything," said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott. "At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it."
Decoherence doesn't occur then? Edited by Rlyeh

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Leonardo
Actually, quantum phenomena are neither waves nor particles but are intrinsically undefined until the moment they are measured. - John Wheeler

With respect to Mr Wheeler, his sentence doesn't make logical sense.

I agree with the last part, that until measured a quantum object cannot be defined - but that is simply a tautology. However, the first part of the sentence does not make sense. How can he - or anyone - know quantum objects are "neither wave nor particle" before measurement?

I accept that we, in making our calculations regarding the possibility of a quantum object appearing as a particle or wave have to accommodate both (or all) possibilities - such is the nature of the virtual or mathematical superposition that an undefined object assumes in theory. However, theory does not necessarily equate to reality; just because we are uncertain of the state of the object - because we have not yet measured it - does not mean the object's state before measurement is an actual 'superposition'.

Edited by Leonardo

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Just like seeing something, hearing or feeling something can be considered a form of measurement, so I think the theory of different realities being superimposed is still possible.

I guess the real question here is, if something happens and you don't know about it, did it really happen? At the very least we can say there's evidence of superposition on a quantum level. There's also evidence of different realities interacting on a quantum level, so I don't know. Perhaps there's much more to the universe than we think.

Many times you feel the consequences of something happening without having knowledge of what caused it. So that point is quite mute.

How do you measure something that doesn't exist?

By the void in the parking lot?

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Grandpa Greenman

Wow, I had to read it three times, and the source links. Now, I guess I'll... "give it a fresh cup of really hot tea... and turn it on!"

;)

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MJNYC

That has to be one of the most stupid theories I have ever heard.

So basically what you are saying is that everything outside of my range of vision ceases to exist until I can see it again?

What about my chair?...I can't see it, so does that mean I am floating?

As I said, this theory isn't mind-bending, its just stupid.

I agree with you, but think of the possibilities if it were true! :tu:

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StarMountainKid
With respect to Mr Wheeler, his sentence doesn't make logical sense.

I agree with the last part, that until measured a quantum object cannot be defined - but that is simply a tautology. However, the first part of the sentence does not make sense. How can he - or anyone - know quantum objects are "neither wave nor particle" before measurement?

I accept that we, in making our calculations regarding the possibility of a quantum object appearing as a particle or wave have to accommodate both (or all) possibilities - such is the nature of the virtual or mathematical superposition that an undefined object assumes in theory. However, theory does not necessarily equate to reality; just because we are uncertain of the state of the object - because we have not yet measured it - does not mean the object's state before measurement is an actual 'superposition'.

I think Wheeler's statement that quantum objects are "neither wave nor particle" before measurment makes sense in the sense that the object cannot be both particle and wave simultaneously. We can think of the quantum 'object' traveling through space as a set of probabilities - a probability field - that only manifests as wave-like properties or particle-like properties when measured.

I think this is the concept of superposition, in my view. Before measurment, the specific nature of the quantum 'object' canot be known, of course. I think the uncertainty of its state before measurment, and therefore the statement that the object is undefined and cannot be considered either a wave or particle, is a logical assumption.

It is logical because of the duality of quantum phenomena. If the 'object' can be either a wave or particle depending on the measurement apparatus only when measured, its nature before measurment is open to conjecture, and I don't think anyone knows the nature of the phenomena before measurment. Superposition or decoherence or whatever...

Perhaps Wheeler is stating his own position on the subject. Others may hold different views. Richard Feynman said something like, if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't. I agree that all we have is a mathematical description of quantum phenomena and only that. As absurd as the mathematical description appears to be, the theory predicts correctly every time.

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