Monday 21 July 2008

Copenhagen Interpretation

A few weeks ago Karl posted a video to do with the Many Worlds Interpretation. Personally I feel the Copenhagen Interpretation makes more sense (so to speak, as they're both very odd). I was recently listening to Richard Feynman's lectures and it reminded me of an experiment called the Double Slit experiment. I have attached the video to explain it. The experiment is basically a way of showing that nothing is real, unless it is being observed.


Robin said...

This is a nice addition to our collection of audio-visual aids Chris, thanks!.

Anthony Peake said...


Thanks for this. You may find that I will deal with exactly this topic (with audio-visuals) at my Leasowe talk on Saturday. as I recall you are planning to be there.



Hurlyburly said...

It's taken from the film "what the bleep..."

It is a very nice explanation for anyone grappling with the basics.

Anthony Peake said...

I couldn't open the graphics from my PC but I know exactly what it is from HB's comments.

CHRIS: you will be pleased to know that it is exactly this cartoon that I use as part of my lecture. I had devised my own graphic based upon Schrodinger's Cat but I was of the opinion that this cartoon really got across the weirdness of the collapse of the wave function.

May I suggest that you check out my latest forum posting under the heading "Quantum Physics". I present an alternative viewpoint to the 'observer effect'.

HB: Glad to see you back with us. I will try and work on the "itladian films" section of the Forum for you. Your excellent listing of itladian movies would be the perfect opening contribution.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Chris: Thank you for this and for back referencing to my Super Mario - The Many Worlds Interpretation post.

This cartoon is actually taken from the "Quantum Edition" of the film "What The Bleep Do We Know" (it is not in the cinematic release) and as Tony has said, he uses it within his Quantum Lecture (which is one of his best in my opinion) and I will be at the Liverpool Holistic Circle with several other bloggers next Tuesday evening if you wanted to come along and meet some of the ITLADians.

When Thomas Young devised this experiment in 1801 he was merely looking at Newton's corpuscular theory (questioning whether light was composed of particles or waves) but it is the application of the Copenhagen Interpretation that opens this up to a greater Gedankenexperiment!

What is interesting is that a conscious observer is NOT required to collapse the wave; merely the existence of a device CAPABLE of being a conscious observer! But now we are heading into deeper Quantum Mechanics and I shall add some comments to Tony's new FORUM post when I have more time.

Tony: re FORUM post. I think you know my answer to your question, but I will place something in response later tonight as my small pub break is nearly over!!

Karl Le Marcs said...

Here is a link to the FORUM piece that AP referred to earlier.

FORUM: Decoherence - Can It Explain Schrodinger's Cat?
[by Tony]

Hurlyburly said...

Tony - Thank you good sir. I never left, in fact, i've got more free time than i had before...for now!

Chris said...

Tony: no sorry, I'll actually be on holiday by then, sorry about that! I'll have to try and come to one before I go back to university in september!

Karl Le Marcs said...

Chris: Will you be on holiday for the 29th Liverpool Holistic Circle lecture as well?

If so then I believe AP is next in Liverpool on 16th September at the Holistic Centre again.

Chris said...

Karl: yes, I go away tomorrow until 1st August. I may be able to do that one in September though - I'll find out when the 1st Semester starts.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Chris: Thanks, it would be great to meet you and have you join us during one of our ITLADic pub lolling sessions, and I'd be happy to go through whatever aspects of ITLAD you want (Quantum or otherwise)!

Chris said...

Karl: Excellent, that sounds good, I'll get back to you on that!