- Inspection of an analog physical apparatus capabable of measuring some phenomenon.
- Inspection of digital simulation of the phenomen.
lördag 28 maj 2011
Monstrosity of Quantum Mechanics 5: Passive Observation Impossible
Is passive observation really impossible in the world of quantum mechanics?
David Albert, together with Barry Loewer inventor of a version of the Many-Worlds Interpretation referred to as Many-Minds (different from the one I suggest), tells us that the physical process of making an observation in the quantum world necessarily interferes with what is being observed. In other words, the ideal of fully passive observation of classical mechanics, cannot be upheld in quantum mechanics. The observer will always interfere more or less with what is being observed. Albert tells us that this is the big difference between classical and quantum mechanics.
But is this true? Is fully passive observation impossible in quantum mechanics? Maybe, or maybe not, depending on what is meant by an observation. A human being can make observations in different forms:
Here 2. represents a digital simulation based on solving the Schrödinger equation describing the phenomenon, e g the ground state of an atom, and observing its energy, while 1. would be to directly observe the emission spectrum.
Th nice thing about 2. is that it is a completely passive observation, in the sense that the computational process is independent of the observer making the final observation of the energy as a number coming out of the computation.
So maybe passive observation is possible in quantum mechanics. Maybe quantum mechanics is not so different from classical mechanics. Not so mysterious?