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Quantum Observer

  1. Oct 4, 2009 #1
    Let us say that we had a higher degree of sensory ability and were able to perceive smaller wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation ('directly' or 'naturally' perceive - not through equipment that traces them out for us to see as visible light) --- small enough to consider atoms. Would "reality" become more noticeably a quantum system...or would things somehow 'balance' as they seem to do with our current perception?
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
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  3. Oct 4, 2009 #2

    disregardthat

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    Reality is what we perceive. No matter how "accurate" our sensory equipment are our perception will always define reality. There is no objective reality we can speak of, everything is true in the right context.
     
  4. Oct 4, 2009 #3
    I somewhat see where you're going with this (I think)...but what will we perceive? Would we actually notice quantum phenomenon?...or are you saying that we wouldn't notice this phenomenon and instead perceive 'reality' as we do now?
     
  5. Oct 5, 2009 #4

    ConradDJ

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    I'd just like to point out that every observation -- whether sensory or via experimental apparatus -- results in definite information (to whatever limit of resolution).

    There is no way in principle to "see" a particle at two different places at once, for example. Quantum superposition is meaningful because -- to the extent the apparatus can't determine where the particle is -- QM describes the particle as a superposition of differently-located states.

    So yes, regardless of the resolving power of our senses, what we see would never be "weird" in the way quantum descriptions are essentially weird.

    The other aspect of your scenario is that small-wavelength light has a lot of energy -- so if our eyes could detect higher-energy radiation, they wouldn't see atoms just peacefully sitting there. At the quantum level, interacting with things to get information about them also tends to bang them around a lot... but this is a different issue.
     
  6. Oct 5, 2009 #5

    disregardthat

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    There is no "correct" way to perceive things. We would notice the phenomenas, but in what way? Our models of the phenomenas are no guidelines to how an observer would perceive them. Our perception is based on our subjective self, not on objective information.
     
  7. Oct 5, 2009 #6
    I see...so in that case...does quantum mechanics describe possible "realities"? Would these realities be defined by an observer?...and is our perception limited to one possible case?
     
  8. Oct 5, 2009 #7

    disregardthat

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    If our sensory equipment was the equivalence to our measurement equipment, we would naturally observe the same. How the brain would process this information I would not know.
     
  9. Oct 5, 2009 #8
    Heheh...sorry...I'm not able to fully comprehend what you're trying to say -- what do you mean when you say "naturally observe the same?"
     
  10. Oct 6, 2009 #9

    disregardthat

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    This doesn`t really have much to do with QM, it`s just that if our senses was as accurate as accurate as our measurement equipment we wouldn`t observe anything else different from that. However, how our brain would interpret the information cannot be predicted.
     
  11. Oct 6, 2009 #10
    Oh, I see...that brings another question -- wouldn't observation consist of both sensation and perception and not just one instead of the other (it is sort of like saying that if an atom senses a photon, it also perceives it...I'm just thinking that sensation and perception might be dual-effects)?
     
  12. Oct 6, 2009 #11
    Would this be a totally new sense or an enhancement of sight and sound?
     
  13. Oct 6, 2009 #12
    The assumption would be we could see electromagnetic radiation beyond visible light much like we see visible light now.
     
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