Author Topic: Double slit experiment of Thomas Young  (Read 800 times)

Offline Solitary

Double slit experiment of Thomas Young
« on: May 23, 2014, 12:07:48 AM »
In double slit experiment of Thomas Young, why do electrons (particles) behave like waves when we aren't observing them?

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Justen Robertson
Franklin, TN, United States

Jul 30 2012: It was not whether or not a human being was *watching* the process happen, but how set up and one measured the results of an experiment. Young's experiment proved that light behaves like a wave, because it produces an interference pattern when passed through two slits rather than a sum pattern. If light was strictly composed of particles, you'd see the sum of the light passing through the two slits; but if light behaved like a wave, you'd see the interference pattern.

Much later, others discovered that even if you sent through only *one* photon (or electron) at a time, you'd still build up an interference pattern, meaning that during transmission even single particles were behaving as a wave, rather than the wave being a result of the aggregate of many particles interacting as with, say, molecules of water becoming waves in aggregate.

More interesting than that, if the experiment put particle detectors at the slits themselves, to see which slit the particle went through, it worked - that is, it was also proven that there was a discrete particle that traveled only through one slit or the other, not both. So it turns out they're both waves and particles, in some sense.

Basically, depending on how you set up the experiment, you can prove that photons (and other subatomic particles) are waves *or* particles, and that the two are not mutually exclusive, which is counter-intuitive in classical physics, but has nothing whatsoever to do with intelligent observers shaping the nature of the universe.

The conflation of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (quantum mechanics), the Observer Effect (anthropology), and wave/particle duality, and how these things supposedly amount to "the nature of reality is dictated by perception" is a product of pseudoscientific mystics, not actual scientific evidence. Experiments purporting to support this notion have been repeatedly debunked. Don't let these people mislead you. The price of knowledge is eternal skepticism :)

 I think it's funny that people, in this case classical physicists, become so certain about their concept of reality that they are resistant to new information, sometimes to a fault.

Also amusing is the way mystics love to seize on any uncertainty in science. Beyond the edge of present understanding there has always been void, and some choose to fill that void with dragons, faeries, and Gods or mind of God; I for one am comfortable saying "I don't know enough to speculate". :) Solitary
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 12:10:29 AM by Solitary »
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Offline The Skeletal Atheist

Re: Double slit experiment of Thomas Young
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2014, 02:36:46 AM »
I've heard about this experiment many times, and had several drunken conversations about it. One of the things I've thought of is so what if the particle interacts with itself? Maybe that's evidence of even smaller and baser particles within the particle. We now know about quarks, leptons, and the like. Maybe messing with photons by observing them splits them and ushers forth other particles until they slam back together to make the photon, thus producing the interference pattern. Of course, I don't know the details, so when it comes to this I may be a fucking moron.
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Offline stromboli

Re: Double slit experiment of Thomas Young
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2014, 12:51:09 PM »
Quote
I think it's funny that people, in this case classical physicists, become so certain about their concept of reality that they are resistant to new information, sometimes to a fault.

Also amusing is the way mystics love to seize on any uncertainty in science. Beyond the edge of present understanding there has always been void, and some choose to fill that void with dragons, faeries, and Gods or mind of God; I for one am comfortable saying "I don't know enough to speculate". :) Solitary

I understand why. first of all they are defending their turf academically. It is a big deal to have any major theory accepted, and also a big deal when it is overturned. And among early classical physicists, who were still dealing in the realm of god, anything that causes a mjor paradigm shift doesn't help their career. The latest Gravity Wave is under serious scrutiny for that reason, it supports the concept of the multiverse and shoots holes in the concept of a cyclic universe.

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As the article indicates, if the BICEP2 findings are eventually accepted, it causes serious problems for about 90% of current theory. It doesn't kill string theory, but will cause a huge change in future experimentation.
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