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Are the micro and macro worlds subjective in science?

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posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 08:58 PM

Recently I've been persisting with trying to understand quantum physics and similar theories. To be honest I can understand in lay man's terms but beyond that I'm lost. As I'm sure many do when reading some "spooky" effects provided by quatum pyshics I have thought long and hard about possible implications of results.
The idea that the micro world acts very much differently to the macro world really annoyed me for this reason. Is the terms of micro and macro not subjective to the observer? Therefore when we are observing both the micro and macro we are able to compare and evaluate.
What I'm suggesting is given the size of the universe could one not see us as micro compared to their macro? Therefore would we not display characteristics of both macro and micro simultaneously.

Apologies if I'm confusing some with my ramblings as I'm almost confusing myself in my search for a way to articulate what I mean.

Basically as observed in other experiments would be exhibit characteristics of both a micro and macro world. Only when we observe from either a macro perspective do we show micro characteristics and vice versa?

I hope I've made enough sense to warrant a reply. If not just put this down to the ramblings of an insomniac full of morphine and snri's.

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 09:22 PM
I never got awnser for anyone but, when newton made his laws, he thought you could always divide something to the infinite, energy was continue scale and you could have any number of it. This is the macro scale.

In reality this is not true, and it's more evident as you go smaller, because at some point you just have something or don't have it, there is a minimum amount of something (in this example energy) that you cannot divide any more, this a quantum, and interactions occur at multiples of this quantum, so an atom can absorb 1, 2, 3 and so on quantums of energy, but not 1/2 quantums. The microscopic scale is a ladder, you only exist in steps and not in a continue ramp that you can take any value. This is the base of all the quantum mechanics weirdness.

Now the macroscopic world is build by the same quantums, but the scale is so large in comparison to it, that it does not make a difference if you assume the scale is infinitesimal, as the smallest magnitude to have a meaning in the macroscopic world is several orders of magnitude to this minimal amount, the step is so minimal in comparison, that it give the impression any property can take any value.

I hope it helps for something

edit on 16-10-2015 by Indigent because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 09:26 PM
Everything takes energy to commit an action. "Spooky" effects require far less energy at the micro level than at the meso and, well, obviously the macro too.

The randomness of particles in relation to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, yeah, if you're completely still (Aka you're fully aware of your position in the cosmos) then your momentum is completely indeterminate. That's a micro meso relation.

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 09:45 PM
And now for a less scientific approach...

First of all, I think if you replaced the word ‘subjective’ with the word ‘relative’ it would make more sense. At least, to me it would.

Unfortunately, since we humans are sentient creatures I don’t think it’s even possible to be totally objective. But, we do the best we can.

I don’t know if I’m reading you right, liteonit6969, but if you’re saying what I think you are, then I’ve had similar questions. I’ve wondered before if there was an intelligent entity so unimagineably large as to be beyond our ability to perceive, and to it we represent the microworld, it may view us as having the same randomness that we observe in the quantum/subatomic world. If it could detect human activity through it’s giant microscope, for instance, then it would observe certain patterns of behavior that could be mathematically modeled, but other aspects of our behavior that might seem totally random.

I don’t have any revelations. It all just seems relative (and also quite subjective) to me...

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 09:47 PM
By the time you get down to the subatomic and quantum levels, electrons and other particles are no longer single well defined points of energy (the billiard ball model) but fuzzy probability clouds distorted by magnetic fields and other electrons (the Pauli exclusion principle). Because of this, an electron that comes up against a barrier can actually "tunnel through" simply because there's a small probability that it just might be on the other side of that obstacle.

You can even arrange a ring of atoms around an empty space, and a "phantom atom" will be detected at the center simply because electron orbitals create an interference pattern that mimics an atom.

The difference between the macro and micro worlds is that all the improbable events cancel out until you are left with the highest probability events (which are Newtonian physics). If you can stop this interference then you can get quantum computing.
edit on 16-10-2015 by stormcell because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 10:46 PM
a reply to: stormcell

Very good explanation, so long as the OP is familiar with the idea of a probability 'cloud'. The basic idea being that in quantum mechanics we can never tell exactly where anything is, exactly, but there's a higher probability of it being in some places than others. Overall, the set of probabilities for all the places it could occupy is what you're calling the 'cloud'. All these probabilities, of course, add up to 1.

Newtonian physics describes what happens to objects that occupy the most probable positions and follow the most probable paths, and it's right most of the time. It only goes wrong when we look at things happening at the smallest levels, the so-called quantum scale, where everything jiggles about hopelessly so you can't put your finger on it, and at the biggest level, the so-called relativistic scale.

On the relativistic scale, space and time are like the frame of our picture of the world, but the frame can get distorted, stretching and twisting the canvas. The distance of objects in the picture from each other, and the speed at which they seem to be moving, naturally change as a result of this.

edit on 16/10/15 by Astyanax because: I had a better idea.

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 10:49 PM
a reply to: liteonit6969

I enjoyed your thinking and reasoning, in particular your expression of the subjective observer.

Despite claims of rigid adherence to the objective, science lashes out at anyone who threatens it's "established" beliefs with incredulity and derision no matter how sound the challenge.

I once held science to be above such pettiness.


Oh, and may your stash never run dry! Being in pain bites.

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 11:02 PM
a reply to: Astyanax

The probability is only .95, 1 is all.

You got 95% chance of finding an electron on an orbital 100% in the universe.

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 11:12 PM
a reply to: Indigent

That's what I said. Though I have no idea where you got the .95 figure.

edit on 16/10/15 by Astyanax because: people, I tell you!

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 11:28 PM
a reply to: Astyanax

Hamiltonians are calculated to 95% probability. Think about it, what area is the only area to have 100% chance of containing a particle.

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 02:12 AM
a reply to: liteonit6969

When we view something with our eyes, it is because light hits the optically sensitive rods and cones in our eyes which measure photoelectric effects on the opsins (photoreceptor proteins).

Light is 'packetised' into minimum units called photons. You cannot divide light down into smaller units. In the instance of our eyes, we see the cumulative effects of many, many photons.

But if your target is small, the numbers of photons that can rebound off the target and then strike the sensor are small. So observation is quite limited.

Also, chances are that if photons do strike the target, they will have pretty much the same energy as the target and then will therefore affect the target. This is why observation of quantum scale objects affects what is being observed.

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 02:30 AM
a reply to: Indigent

Hamiltonians are calculated to 95% probability.

Was stormcell talking specifically of calculating the probability of an electron being found at a certain distance from a nucleus? I'm not sure what this has to do with the rather general remarks I was making.

Think about it, what area is the only area to have 100% chance of containing a particle.

The whole universe. Yes, I know. That was my point.

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 04:53 AM
Micro is infinate macro is as well but it simply appears due to our limited perception to be finite.

The number 1 is infinity we just call it 1.

We are looking at infinity and giving it limited value due to our limited understanding.

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 06:36 AM
a reply to: Astyanax

Overall, the set of probabilities for all the places it could occupy is what you're calling the 'cloud'. All these probabilities, of course, add up to 1.

Hamiltonians are the way of describing any particle, not just electrons, and these " clouds" does not add to 1, they add to .95 because that's the probability they represent. if the clouds add to 1 they would be the size of the universe. Are you the only one that can correct someone over here?

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 07:15 AM
a reply to: liteonit6969

I think it is sensible to decide on more precise terminology than micro and macro, when discussing matters pertaining to the deep structure of the universe. The reason I suggest this, is that a better word for micro, or a better term to describe the layer of reality you are referring to, would be quantum. The quantum layer of the universe operates on principles which defy classical models of physics. Newton has nothing to say on the matter. Notions like inertia and even things like up and down take on new, and improbable, and utterly bizarre meanings, when applied to the quantum universe. Some physical principles operate in totally unrecognisable ways, and effects like quantum tunnelling, entanglement, and so on make a nonsense of the way we think about matter.

For example, in the course of your day, you will come across easily recognisable and familiar expressions of matter and energy. The couch underneath your rump, the ground underfoot, clearly matter, clearly solid matter, and liquids and gases. These things are matter, in the traditional sense. When you turn your face to the sun, you will feel its energy, filtered by the atmosphere and the magnetosphere, before being allowed to play across your face and warm its flesh.

But at the quantum scale, matter and energy are terms which take on different meanings. For example, matter and energy are distinct apart from one another. Matter, for example, is the stuff of which everything is made, but energy is what all matter HAS. It is to be found within the matter. Even the term particle is used differently at the quantum scale than the macro scale. Particles in the macro scale are tiny chunks of chemical powder, or fragments of a larger whole. But at the quantum scale, when referring to particles, we are talking about the component parts of atoms, and even smaller things than that, and they have behaviours which defy the macro description of particles. We might say that a sudden release of particulate matter from a volcano has occurred, or in other words, an eruption of gas and ash.

But when we are talking about particle physics and quantum mechanics, we are more likely to be talking about neutrinos, or gluons and muons, the components which make up the particles which come together to form atoms. Trying to conflate the two scales, quantum and macro, is like trying to use the word elephant as a synonym for the word Stetson. They describe things which, although linked by both being parts of the universe, are entirely distinct, and cannot be thought of using the same simplified process of logic or reason.

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 08:53 AM
a reply to: Indigent

Why 0.95? Pardon my incomprehension. I am struggling to understand how your comment relates to what I said.

And I wasn't correcting anyone, just adding to someone else's reply to the OP. Correct away.

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:19 AM
a reply to: liteonit6969

Things have relationships that make no sense outside of their relativity to other relative things, and the only way to make sense of that is to recognize that there is a mind who organizes reality.

Why should clusters of things behave differently to other clusters of things, when independently, they act completely different; cells behaving one way to other cells, chemicals to chemicals, atoms to atoms, etc?

Why do humans and locusts behave differently when in groups? Why do compounds even form and take on different attributes?

People take your kind of question for granted, but it should be like a splinter to their minds. (Atoms from particles, compounds from atoms, cells from compounds, life from cells, group dynamics from life, etc.)

What are these culmination of forces that they should behave differently? Wtf is information?
edit on 10/17/2015 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 12:21 PM

originally posted by: liteonit6969
Recently I've been persisting with trying to understand quantum physics and similar theories. To be honest I can understand in lay man's terms but beyond that I'm lost.
You don't understand in layman terms. Here's proof of that:

As I'm sure many do when reading some "spooky" effects provided by quatum pyshics I have thought long and hard about possible implications of results.
The idea that the micro world acts very much differently to the macro world really annoyed me for this reason. Is the terms of micro and macro not subjective to the observer?
"micro" and "macro" are "dumbed down" characterizations, but even a layman should understand that there is precise mathematics behind quantum theory, even if they don't know the precise mathematics. There's nothing in the math that says "micro" or "macro".

Those characterizations may be true in general terms, but they aren't intended to be accurate characterizations and they're not. There are plenty of cases where one can observe "micro" quantum effects on a "macro" scale. The most well known example of this might be the double slit experiment where the quantum effects are caused by "micro" photons, but the effects of the interference patterns (or lack of them) can be observed on a "macro" scale by a human observer.

Once you understand the double slit experiment, try performing it on larger objects. It's been performed on carbon-60 atoms known as buckyballs but not much larger than that. So can the double slit experiment be performed on bowling balls? NO! So somewhere between bowling balls and buckyballs is a cutoff on what can be experimentally observed, and it's not subjective, it's mathematical. Part of that is explained here:

If this wave-particle duality seems so readily demonstrated, one might wonder why we don't see more examples of this in our everyday lives. Why, for example, don't we see obvious ``particles'' like bowling balls behaving as waves sometimes. The answer to this lies in the very small size of Planck's constant (6.63 x 10^-34 J-s), which implies that wave-particle duality exists most readily at the atomic scale. However, in principle we could illustrate the wave nature of bowling balls by setting up a suitable diffraction experiment. Recall, though, that for significant diffraction to occur that the width of the slits must be of the order of the wavelength being used. For a bowling ball traveling at 1 m/s, this would mean that we would need slits about 10^-34 m wide, which is far beyond today's technology. One could increase this size by reducing the speed of the bowling ball (recall the wavelength of the de Broglie wave is inversely proportional to the speed of the particle). However, to use a slit of about 10^-5 m in width would imply that the bowling ball would have to travel at about 10^-29 m/s, which would mean that it would take a very long time (longer than the age of the universe) to pass through the slit. The conclusion we draw from this is that in our everyday lives we are protected from ``quantum weirdness'' by the smallness of Planck's constant, but that this does occur readily at small length scales and, at least in principle, also applies at larger scales.
So instead of "micro" and "macro" you can think "buckyballs" and "bowling balls". Note if you had longer than the age of the universe to do the experiment with bowling balls it might be possible according to the math, but of course we don't have that long which is why we say it's not really possible given any realistic experimental conditions.

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