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B Do particles "care" about consciousness or simply the data

  1. May 1, 2017 #1
    I'm curious if there have been any variations to the double slit that specifically looked at whether the particles behavior was determined by the computer keeping the data or if a consious person was there to see it. For example what I had in mind was having an isolated room where the computer would choose to keep the data for maybe a few seconds before erasing it. Then compare the pattern when nobody is near the room to see the result before being erased to having a person in the room who can momentarily see it before being erased.
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 1, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    This has been done many times. Every practical execution of the double slit experiment has used non-conscious (electronic computers these days, but photographic film, photodetectors, and the like before we had modern electronics to help with our experimental designs) as measuring devices. In all cases, the experimental outcomes are solidly established before any conscious human looks at them.

    Furthermore, no one is seriously suggesting that it might be otherwise. This entire idea that the particles care whether they're being observed or not is an urban legend, one that crept into the popular imagination a century ago before the modern formulation of quantum mechanics had been discovered.

    You might want to give David Lindley's book "Where did the weirdness go?" a try, as an antidote to the urban legend. However, as this thread is based on a misunderstanding, we can close it now.
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