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Using the double slit experiment to predict our own actions

  1. Jun 30, 2011 #1
    I'm new to quantum physics and the double slit experiment. If the person running the experiment collects the data but does not look at it, does the result of an interference pattern or no interference pattern on the CCD image sensor decide the future of whither that person decides in the future to look at the data or to delete it? If there is an interference pattern, that person will delete the data at some point in the future without ever looking at it. Has this been tried or is my understanding of the experiment wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2011 #2
    Just have a look at the neighboring thread, initiated by Mrs Ruth Kastner : https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=380128 .
    You are the naive victim of a commonly delirious teaching, that puts the human observer in the midle of the microphysic picture. It is scandalous that such a weird mistake had lasted so long, for 1927 : eighty four years.
  4. Jun 30, 2011 #3


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    I think you've misunderstood. It doesn't matter for the outcome whether or not a human being looks at the results. (unless you want to invoke some silly metaphysical "If a tree falls in the forest.." kind of reasoning)

    An "observation" or "measurement" (same thing) in quantum mechanics doesn't depend on a human observer, or even a measuring apparatus in the ordinary sense. It only requires some situation where you could - if only in principle - determine the value of the particular quantum property that you're measuring.
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