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Is it there or not (when we are not looking at it)?

  1. Jan 18, 2016 #1
    Hi guys I am not a very active person on this forum and my english is not the best but, I have a question that I would like an answer that would clear my mind, since I am young I have a view of things, that I've recently noticed that not alot of people have, my question is: when i am looking at .. for example an objet such as a pencil on a table, all this in our physical world, what happends when I am not looking at it? is it still there? does the action of me looking away affect the item ? is it still there when I dont look at it or our world is created and colaborating together as we speak and changing while we are not looking then comming back when we look at it?
     
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  3. Jan 18, 2016 #2

    DaveC426913

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    It is still there.

    There were some reducto ad absurdum implications of quantum mechanics that caused us to question what was happening when we weren't looking, but they have been debunked. The consequences do not happen in the real world to things larger than molecules.
     
  4. Jan 18, 2016 #3

    phinds

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    Do you think that you stop existing if I am not looking at you?
     
  5. Jan 18, 2016 #4
    No, but an object is not alive/it isnt an energy?
     
  6. Jan 18, 2016 #5

    phinds

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    Some "objects" contain a lot more energy than a human. I don't understand your distinction. Objects are not different that people in the way you seem to think they are.
     
  7. Jan 18, 2016 #6
    I am interested by physics but I do not understand it right now, I am currently questioning myself, about all sorts of things, but as the split experiment shows you cannot really see how the world works in its true nature, wouldnt humans and the energy that we are built from change how the world around us works? how the pencil would act? that is why i think that
     
  8. Jan 18, 2016 #7

    DaveC426913

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    OK, this is a different question.

    Humans are nothing more than very chemically complex pencils.
     
  9. Jan 18, 2016 #8

    phinds

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    Sorry, but I don't understand what you are saying/asking. Extrapolating quantum level characteristics to the macro level is a usually a mistake and I think that's what you are doing and it is causing you to misunderstand both. That is very common when you first hear about quantum mechanics but it is still a mistake.
     
  10. Jan 18, 2016 #9
    I think you are also making the very common mistake that the observer of a quantum experiment has to be human,
    and that somehow the fact that a human is a sentient conscious being determines the outcome of the experiment.
     
  11. Jan 18, 2016 #10
    it is there a camera would verify this for you or sonar. remember seeing is just one way we interpret the world. when you look away from your radio you still hear the music there for the radio is still there. all you are seeing is the light waves bouncing off a object. not the actual object, thus the saying don't believe every thing you see
     
  12. Jan 18, 2016 #11
    "what happends [sic] when I am not looking at it? is it still there?"

    I think this is a metaphysical question that has little to do with physics. We make an assumption that the world exists whether we are observing it or not, but this is strictly not provable. In order to prove it you would have to observe the world while you were not observing it, which is a contradiction. This is along the lines of the assumption that there is an external world at all - it is an assumption we make and then move on.

    You might enjoy this article on solipsism.
     
  13. Jan 18, 2016 #12

    phinds

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    You misunderstand. It has a LOT to do with physics because it is based on an inherently flawed premise, that premise being that it even COULD be possible that a human consciousness has any effect on the outcome of tests. As rootone has already pointed out, this is not the case and the whole argument is not "metphysical" it is nonsensical. "Observation" of experimental outcomes in quantum mechanics does not mean "human conscious" observation it is more along the lines of "some kind of quantum level interaction"
     
  14. Jan 19, 2016 #13
    "You misunderstand."

    Perhaps. I agree that the grotesque extrapolation which seems to have prompted the question is easily dispatched.
    It seems to me the question has gone beyond that, into the metaphysical/religious.
    I guess Une Personne could clear that up if needed.
     
  15. Jan 19, 2016 #14

    A.T.

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    There is nothing inherently flawed, about this. There is just no empirical evidence for it, so by Occam's Razor physical theories do not include it. And if it is not empirically testable, it will never by part of physics as we define it now.
     
  16. Jan 19, 2016 #15

    phinds

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    Fair enough.
     
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