Monday, June 09, 2008

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Now you might be asking why I posted this video about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Just think of my blog as a diary. If you want to come along, and follow me, where I've been, where I am at, where I'm going, then just keep peaking into my diary.

Now here's my thought stream on this subject - why I believe it is important. Let's see if I can express it.

You may look at MIT Professor and Physicist Walter Lewin's video on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, and wonder why little laser beam and some dots on a wall matter. This is an excellent start.

The crux of what is going on is this - the more one tries to measure (force) the exact location of a quanta by "treating it as" either a particle, or a wave the more that quanta will defy measurement.

In this case we have particles streaming through a narrow slit. We begin to narrow the slit, smaller, and smaller, and smaller. As we INCREASE the precision of our measurement of the particles traversing the slit and hitting the other side, a funny thing happens - the particles begin acting more like waves.

With particles we can "know" an exact location of a strike against the wall, but with waves we can not.

The particles seem to be eluding our attempt to measure them. Now we needn't worry, for we're not saying the particles are intelligent, or magical, but we are illustrating an incredibly profound characteristic of reality - Uncertainty.

Now you may ask, but what is the big deal? You may say, I program computers, or sell insurance, or wire up homes for cable television - what does this have to do with anything - especially since I've lived so long without knowing anything about this up until now. And that is a valid question.

First this phenomena doesn't take place just with photons, but with other elementary particles as well. These particles are the fundamental building blocks of "reality".

Second, despite ongoing debate, there is no evidence, none whatsoever, that the process which drives what we observe in the laser experiment takes place ONLY at quantum scales. As an example the little desktop experiment is not being conducted at quantum scales is it?

Ask yourself this - how do the electrons "know" to act like waves when "too much" information is being measured about their specific particle-like location?

You believe you know the answer - Diffraction you say! Diffraction is a process, but it doesn't explain why this process takes place.

There are many other experiments which don't use controls which would involve diffraction - and yet similar illustrations of the Uncertainty Principle result.

So Diffraction is not the explanation, it is only a modality.

So let's go back to the question - why?

This is a subject I think about, now you should too, because it has very broad implications.

Let us consider - what if I were similar to an electron, or photon?

And my life if seen as a single object (seen as a whole from the beginning to end in four dimensional space-time) - a vibrating - particle or perhaps a string - capable of being in different states simultaneously (i.e., superposition) but only collapsing into a wave form upon observation?

What would that say about the power of the observer?

And what if any of the Many Worlds versions of any of the Multiverse Theories are correct?

If you don't know what I'm talking about run some Google searches. You may just be glad that you did.


Iggy said...

This is what watching to many I Bet You episodes with Phil Laak on Mojo will do to you. The principle described above was actually mentioned recently on that show.

JeromeProphet said...


I've never heard of this show, that you mention, but it sounds interesting. Thanks for commenting.


whimsical brainpan said...

I love theoretical/particle physics. What you have stated in this post I have pondered myself.

email jp






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