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Are observers physical?

  1. Mar 29, 2005 #1
    What experiment has demonstrated the physicality of the observer itself? Either all objects are potential observers, or none are.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2005 #2

    Danger

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    Wow, cool question! I wouldn't think that such a thing can be done. The observer would have to be his/her own subject of observation, so there could never be repeatablility by another researcher. Therefore, no verification of the results. It would be a totally subjective observation, subject to error based upon the researcher's perspective. I think... a little too deep for me, but I suspect that quantum mechanical effects would rule it out. :confused:
     
  4. Mar 30, 2005 #3
    The term "observer" has a different meaning in different theories. In relativity an observer is synonymous with a coordinate system. In quantum theory an observer is something else altogether (I don't recall the definition off-hand).

    Pete
     
  5. Mar 30, 2005 #4
    Good point, Pete.

    How many definitions of observers do you all know, and how might they apply to the question at hand?
     
  6. Mar 30, 2005 #5

    HallsofIvy

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    Loren, I don't know about you, but I am definitely physical!
     
  7. Mar 30, 2005 #6

    dextercioby

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    Pete,you mean "reference system"...

    Daniel.
     
  8. Apr 1, 2005 #7
    Has the physicality of anything been demonstrated?

    The question can be asked for any object, like:
    Has the physicality of the sun been demonstrated?
    Has the physicality of HallsofIvy been demonstrated?

    To answer the question one needs to know what kind of action is meant by "demonstrating physicality".
     
  9. Apr 1, 2005 #8

    dextercioby

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    Judging by Dubito,ergo cogito;cogito,ergo sum ,i'd say that the mere attempt of yours to prove you exist is a good enough proof,because if u hadn't existed,you'd not be able to attempt a proof...:wink:

    Daniel.
     
  10. Apr 5, 2005 #9
    Could quantum objects be considered the only true 'observers' in the physical sense?
     
  11. Apr 6, 2005 #10
    What other objects are there ?
     
  12. Apr 6, 2005 #11

    HallsofIvy

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    How about if HallsofIvy punches you in the nose? Would that prove he is physical.

    (And, hey, I just had a physical! That proves I'm physical!)
     
  13. Apr 6, 2005 #12
    Tournesol,

    As the number of quantum objects becomes large, their collective entity is considered classical in nature by the correspondence principle. (A rule which seems to be violated by very low temperature condensates?)

    HallsofIvy,

    I once calculated the Planck momentum (the maximum transferrable by a single quantum) to be approximately the kick of a mule!
     
  14. Apr 8, 2005 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    In the QM sense this sounds to me like a re-statement of The Measurement Problem.

    Btw, I have put together some interesting links on TMP and Consciousness at the bottom of the first page here:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=58374
     
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