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Observing changes the outcome how can we observe?

  1. Aug 29, 2004 #1
    [SOLVED] Observing changes the outcome.. how can we observe?

    Since it is now known that the observer is part of ANY observable event, don't we need to redo oh so many so called factual observations?

    Is it even possible to observe something without the observer changing the outcome?
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  3. Aug 29, 2004 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    No. Since we understand this, and have for about 80 years, this had been taken into consideration. In fact the last 80 of physics have been filled with discussions and experiments designed to test and understand this fact.

    It is important to realize that the effects of observing are very, very small, and are typically only significant at the quantum level. We are usually talking about the effects photons on other subatomic particles. There are a couple of schools of thought resutling from Quantum Mechanics that hint at deeper, macroscopic effects, that is effects for large objects, but this stuff is still highly theoretical and but one or two interpretations that compete with about a dozen other theories.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2004
  4. Oct 11, 2004 #3
    It is true that no observation of any kind can be made with any amount of accuracy, but for a more important reason than the effets of that observation.

    We forget sometimes that we view the world with an imperfect tool, and will never even hope to fully comprehend anything we observe. Pidgeons can see geometrical patterns in light, and dolphins can change the frequency of their communications. Face it, we are not all knowing, and can never hope to be.
  5. Oct 12, 2004 #4


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    The universe evolved just fine without any observers [er, us in particular] for a very long time. The universe has also been kind enough to let us watch the video of how it all happened. The fact it is behaving in exactly the same way now as it did long before we even existed, suggests the observer effect is temporal, at best.
  6. Oct 12, 2004 #5


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    How do you know all this? Our understanding of cosmology is based on our present day quantum theories, which are radiacally observational (at least in the most common interpretation). AFAIK the stupid creationist idea that the universe was created yesterday with all its properties, like CMB, and the records of all the scientific experiments all up to date to fool us, is logically undefeatable. Not that I'm proposing it, just suggesting that everything isn't as cut and dried as 19th century scientists believed.
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