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B Science behind Einstein vs. Bohr Debate?

  1. Jan 4, 2017 #1
    On a episode of "PBS Spacetime" (fantastic youtube series, go check it out), the host mentioned that Bohr believed that reality doesn't exist until a quantum system is observed. Einstein believed that the universe still runs independently outside of a conscious observers mind. What is the actual science behind both of these accusations if there is any? I hope this isn't too philosophical for the forum. Thanks!
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2017 #2


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    Gold Member

    The concept of a "conscious" observer being needed was dropped about 100 years ago.
  4. Jan 4, 2017 #3
    I thought a quantum system chose which quantum state it was in once observed? Like in the quantum eraser experiment? can you clarify how a conscious observer is not needed in a case like that?
  5. Jan 4, 2017 #4


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    A conscious observer is NEVER required. "Observation" does not mean "by a conscious observer" it just means detection of some characteristic.
  6. Jan 4, 2017 #5
    Changed the post to satisfy the information you gave to me, thanks!
  7. Jan 4, 2017 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    The actual science is the same either way. These are just two different interpretations of the same physics. Neither one has much currency nowadays, since, as phinds mentioned, the idea that consciousness is required for an "observer" has long since been dropped.
  8. Jan 5, 2017 #7


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    The man who first transformed it into a proper science was John Bell:

    Another more recent breakthrough was the PBR theorem:
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