Originally posted by deafence#
well nyeff, you posted just before i did, i mean this is the paranormal board, so yes i was implying more that what i put out. sorry if i didnt mention it. anyways, just wanted to say that you got what i meant.
There's a famous quantum physics experiment called the "double-slit experiment," which was one of the first proofs that all this wacky stuff was actually true. In the double-slit experiment, you shine a light through a piece of cardboard with two small slits that allow the light to pass through. On the other side of the cardboard, is a piece of film. When the photon hits the film, it leaves a spot, so you can measure where the individual photons land.
Intuitively, this is pretty simple: One photon, two slits. The photon has to go through one or the other slit. So what you'd expect is to find a whole bunch of photons grouped near each of the slits, since the photons obviously went through either one slit or the other. And if you only have one slit, that's actually what you get, a clump of photons near the slit. THERE IS NO WAVE!
But when you have two slits, everything gets insane. Instead of two clumps, you get a pattern, as if a wave had simultaneously hit both slits, passed through and became two waves which interfered with each other. THERE IS A WAVE! BUT THERE ISN'T! There are only photons, one after another.
When the photon can only go through one slit (one possible course), there is only one photon traveling in a line. When there is more than one possibility, the single photon no longer exists; it becomes a wave of imaginary photons traveling along various possible paths. Nevertheless, when the photon eventually lands on the film, there's only one photon. If you only release one photon at a time, you still get the interference pattern, even though there's no possibility of more than one photon on the path at the same time.
The wave is a real thing. It affects where the photon lands. But the only way it can be real is if the photon actually exists in every possible place it could exist at the same time, which it clearly doesn't. But the experiment works in exactly the way described, which means all this is true. From this point, all bets are off. Once you accept the paradox that unrealized probabilities have a tangible existence, almost anything becomes possible.
If you run the double-slit experiment explained above, but put a detector on each slit to determine for certain which slit the photon went through, the interference pattern disappears and you get the clumps of photons you would expect. In other words, the act of simply knowing which slit the photon went through changes the outcome of the experiment. Therefore, in principle (but not in currently imaginable practice), a specific state of mental knowledge could theoretically cause a change in physical states without direct interference.