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A Quantum Physics First: Measurement WITHOUT Distortion

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posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 02:14 PM

Quantum mechanics is famous for saying that a tree falling in a forest when there's no one there doesn't make a sound. Quantum mechanics also says that if anyone is listening, it interferes with and changes the tree. And so the famous paradox: how can we know reality if we cannot measure it without distorting it?

An international team of researchers, led by University of Toronto physicist Aephraim Steinberg of the Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control, has found a way to do just that by applying a modern measurement technique to the historic two-slit interferometer experiment in which a beam of light shone through two slits results in an interference pattern on a screen behind.

With this new experiment, the researchers have succeeded for the first time in experimentally reconstructing full trajectories which provide a description of how light particles move through the two slits and form an interference pattern.

This is pretty weird to me because ever since I first heard about the uncertainty principle, when I was 18, I always thought that we should be able to tell where it came from if we knew how fast it went initially.

Sort of like knowing where a ball will go if you hit it with a certain speed.

Anybody else have any thoughts on it?
edit on 3-6-2011 by binomialtheorem because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 02:25 PM
the ball in flight you talk about works for classical physics but not quantum effects.
Yhe problem with previous attempts to measure the double slit experiment was that the act of observing the photons caused the probability wave to collapse into a single path.
but from what ive been seeing lately is that rather then measure the particles directly they are sort of peeking at the surroundings to get a little bit of info about it.
sort of like looking at a reflection of light on a wall, not at the light its self.
but whats even cooler is scientists managed to create a super position in a photon using just a mirror.
they were able to create a particle/wave that was moving towards and away from the mirror at the same time.
but the basics of the measurements boils down to this.
you can tell the speed and direction of something or the size and shape of it, but not both subsets at the same time.
and that apply's to classical physics as well.

posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 02:38 PM
I do not buy into this at all.

It is just another form of recording.

Until we understand more we can not overcome the two major issues

First, the test is still being observed.

Second, there is no way to correlate findings.

I too want to further our understanding, but in my humble opinion this is more closely related to research of semantics.


posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 02:38 PM
I think this is marvelous news. I cannot imagine how many interesting discoveries this may spawn, and I wonder what use this method might be to those who are dealing with things like the LHC. My main interest in this discovery, is that if , finaly, we can now observe the quantum universe without altering its behaviour, then this will obviously lead to better information about how the deepest recognised elements of existance behave , and that in turn will result in better understanding and control over the activity of machinery and equipment which uses particle emmissions to produce a desired effect.

posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 05:59 PM
Interesting, although I think the article, in efforts to make it understandable for normies like us, dumb the issue so much that ends up telling something quite different from the real thing...
But, being just a pleb, I don't have access to the paid full article, shame... So I can't read the study to understand how in hell did they accomplish this! I know... quartz crystals and light properties and such...
I mean how do you measure BOTH a wave-like and particle-like behavior at the same time???
If someone has access to the full article please be a good little pirate and bring it down to the people, pretty please!

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 11:20 AM
AnyOne who knows a little bit more about science care to take a crack at the article?

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