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Law of Observation

  1. Mar 3, 2004 #1
    Is there such a thing as a Law Of Observation? How would one define this Law?

    If yes please state if this has its roots within QM..QFT..QCD..or Relativity..Stringtheory..or M-Theory.

    If no such Law exists?..then anything goes.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2004 #2
    Perhaps you are referring to the quantum Zeno effect? (aka observed pot never boils)
  4. Mar 5, 2004 #3
  5. Mar 5, 2004 #4
    I suppose this is an unrelated thought to the actual question, but, it seems to me that human observation "through one's eyes" to have ANY affect on the stasis or outcome of an external non-human event is absurd.
    A tree falls in the forest AND makes a sound whether or not we observe it, I don't care what anyone say's. And the thought that a "sound" is not a sound unless it is heard is complete BS. The fundamental actuality of "sound" creation and propagation has NOTHING to do with observation. It exists because it happened. Period.
  6. Mar 5, 2004 #5
    Can you prove it? You're assumption is based on past observations, right?

    You assume that "if" a tree falls it creates sound waves that are interpreted as sound waves by organisms other than humans in the vicinity of the fall.

    In fact you probably think the sound waves would disturb non-living matter as well and astonishingly re-arrange their molecular composition with relation to the sound waves created by the fallen tree.

    Can you prove your assumtions to the same degree that repeated observations of a phenomenon can prove that phenomenon exists (which is no proof to begin with)?
  7. Mar 5, 2004 #6
    p-brane, surely you are NOT suggesting that a tree falls or it's sound created ONLY if it is observed ???
  8. Mar 6, 2004 #7
    It is known through observation 'seeing', that the smallest speck of dust corresponds to the ability of the detector/observer 'Eyes', in such a way that there could be influence from the speck of dust to the observer, or from the observer to the speck of dust.

    Simply a speck of dust is visible by the information it relays to the observer. But the correspondence limit states that only a large enough area 'with' information can relay into the observational world, which is exactly what happens when one observes the smallest particulate, it becomes Relative to OBSERVATION!

    Now in the Quantum World the 'Hidden Variables' replaces any ability to detect something that has a low Quantum Number associated to it, where size is transfered to lengths of energy based quantities.

    The loss of information transport between (Observer/detector) remains one of the puzzling aspects of Quantum Containment, in that information cannot transport from the Quantum World without breaking through the Relative Barrier.

    Distance-Location-Size magnitudes cannot be given to any small Quantum Numbers in relation to any Distance-Location-Size comparable to Observers in a 3-D arena.

    Now if we were to make assumptions based on the 'Falling-tree' analogy, one can state that allthough a tree may be 'out' of line of sight, it can still be heard falling?..based on the information the Ears recieve, we can deduce that 'it sounds like a tree falling'.

    But 'accurate' observations based on sight is quite different, if one was at the farthest location where the tree is Visible before it topples over, (compared in scale to the scale of speck of Dust/Observer), then there can be no information that confirms the tree having fallen?

    The Distance-Location-Size would not confirm the tree as having toppled over, the 'movement' of the falling tree could not be distinguished from the limit imposed by the position of observer in relation to the scale one is observing from.

    As far as the observer is concerned, based on the information recieved, the tree would still be standing? the motion of the tree falling would need observers to be closer in order to accurately describe the motions involved.

    Which gives the Quantum Realm the perfect system in which Hidden Variables can develop into rational explinations of events, every event is forever 'Hidden'.

    By default, you cannot get close enough to a Quantum System (without affecting the sytem) in order to observe the motions of 'Hidden' events taking place, the closer you get to becoming part of Quantum System, the 'LESS' you become Relative to the Events that are happening!

    Relativity has Limits based on Observations.

    Quantum Systems do not have any Limits whatsoever!
  9. Mar 6, 2004 #8
    Depends on one's interpretation of Schrodinger (sp:edit).

    Is a wave a particle if no one observes it? Is a wave a wave if no one observes it? (edit)
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2004
  10. Mar 7, 2004 #9
    Falling trees

    In the thought experiment where you capture the falling tree on a video camera and play it back a year later, how can your observation using the equipment act backwards in time to make the falling tree noisey?
  11. Mar 7, 2004 #10
    Good post jackle.
  12. Mar 8, 2004 #11
    OK, here is my interpretation. I am taking 'law of observation' to refer to statistical observations.

    'Classical' law of observation: We usually have incomplete knowledge of the state of a system (i.e. we describe it by a probability density rather than a point in phase space), but there exist observations that we could make in principle that would complete this knowledge (i.e. reveal the actual point in phase space that a system occupies).

    'Quantum' law of observation: We always have incomplete knowledge of a system and this knowldege is incompletable by any set of observations even in principle. This could be made more precise by looking at information disturbance tradeoffs in quantum measurements and I suppose it would lead to more sophisticated variants of the Heisenberg uncertainty relations.

    Whether these 'laws of observation' can be raised to the level of axioms for classical and quantum probabilities is an interesting, but wide open, question.
  13. Mar 9, 2004 #12
    Re: Falling trees

    If its a thought experiment...why do you need a video camera?

    Does your dreams have Surround Sound? and can you Hear with your Eyes?

    Where is this thought experiment?..do you have a link?
  14. Mar 10, 2004 #13
    It is a thought experiment because you don't actually have to carry it out. You know the result of the experiment before starting - the tree will make a noise. No need to actually use the video camera.

    I don't have a link. I actually heard this objection from Bart Simpson talking back to philisophically minded Lisa on the TV show. I think it is a pretty obvious objection.
  15. Mar 10, 2004 #14
    Result of what experiment?..the thread is about the question of:Law of Observation..is there?

    I do not object to the inclusion of any statements by Bart..Lisa..Homer even!..but there is no concise reason why you should have replied to the question asked thus.
  16. Mar 11, 2004 #15
    OK, ranyart.

    I think I like this portion of the Law of Space and Observation.

    "the only accurate state of observation is that which an object would see itself."

    So by this stipulation, we find that the observer can only be an object (organism, in our case) that can not only observe its surroundings but is also able to observe (or "be aware") of itself.

    This would not apply to instruments of detection such as sensors of any kind... including video cameras or barametors. These instruments do not observe. They are only tools or methods of observation.

    So, it seems to ring true that the only thing that can observe is something that observes itself... I don't even think that would apply to an Algorhythmic program on a computer or an AI robot... unless it was very far advanced.

    The other question I had about the Law Of Observation is

    Why are you asking?

    Isn't there some text that explains it?
    If there is why haven't you posted the material in this Thread?

    The other interesting thing about observation is that when it is employed the results are false because the act of observation completely changes all the modalities and results concerning the object being observed. As far as I know.

    Whats more is... all observations are relative to the observer. It doesn't matter how many people say they saw the same thing... the sampling really only applies to such an microscopic percentile of the universe that it will not apply beyond the scope of .00000000000000000000000000000000000000001000000000000004000000000000008 percent probability as a constant or even a phenomenon to begin with.
  17. Mar 11, 2004 #16
    I think (from the flow of this conversation) that I need to explain what I mean by a "thought experiment".

    First what it isn't. It isn't in my dreams, it isn't about hearing with your eyes, you don't need a real video camera or a real tree to fall down and you can't find the results on the web.

    Thought experiments are characterized by having results that are so obvious, it is a complete waste of time carrying the experiments out. They are designed to expose flaws in reasoning (usually in interpretations of quantum mechanics) and the classic example is the cat paradox that I can supply a link to:

    http://www.compsoc.man.ac.uk/~tomy/physics/cat.html [Broken]

    This is probably a crap link cos it is just the first in the list when I did a search. I haven't read the site.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
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