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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:21 am 
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Frelga wrote:
You mean, the presence of the observer prevents the observed from sneaking out on the message boards?


Eggs-zactly! :rofl:

Faramond wrote:
Strictly speaking, there isn't any result unless there is an observation in the first place. So what does it mean, really, to say the observation changes the results?


I was thinking specifically of that experiment where the photon does/does not create an interference pattern, depending on whether the part of the experiment to which the photon is not exposed would cause an interference pattern if the photon were exposed to it. If I understand correctly, there is a serious question how the photon 'knows' the experimental set-up and responds appropriately even though the only intervention by the scientist is the observation of what happens.

<sheepishly avoids any reference to Ramblers and Corvairs>

Jn

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:48 am 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
Pfaugh! <shakes fist feebly> And you probably don't even know what phlogiston is, you sprat.


LoL, I had my students read about Lavoisier and Dalton and Priestly at the beginning of the year, and that confused them, too ;).

At some level, observing isn't the same as "not doing anything" because to observe, you have to (for instance) bounce light off the object. We can't observe without ineracting just the teeniest bit....


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:51 am 
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MithLuin wrote:
Primula Baggins wrote:
Pfaugh! <shakes fist feebly> And you probably don't even know what phlogiston is, you sprat.


LoL, I had my students read about Lavoisier and Dalton and Priestly at the beginning of the year, and that confused them, too ;).

At some level, observing isn't the same as "not doing anything" because to observe, you have to (for instance) bounce light off the object. We can't observe without ineracting just the teeniest bit....


Hmmmm....

The light doesn't necessarily have to be provided by us. Yes there are effects of light on our observations, as in observing the moon, but we can hardly be held responsible for that interaction.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:56 am 
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Living in hope
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That's why I said "close range" earlier. We can certainly passively observe without interacting or changing anything, especially when it's, say, photons that left their source nine billion years ago.

However, there is no way to study a bacterium, let alone a molecule, without changing it.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:08 am 
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Affecting it, not necessarily changing it.

edit: And if November is good tea month, when is bad tea month? :P


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:26 am 
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Holbytla wrote:
edit: And if November is good tea month, when is bad tea month? :P

Not when. Where. :P

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:33 am 
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I am getting nothing but trouble over my tea. Hints, circumlocutions, insinuendo. . . .

I'm thinking of changing my sig to Scotch. And I don't even like Scotch.

If I do that will be a classic example of something changed because it has been observed. By a bunch of smart-alecks.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:36 am 
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It isn't the "tea" part, it's the "good" part.
It's all crooked and ominous looking.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:11 am 
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Living in hope
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Oh. As in "Holby is such a nice man."

:suspicious:

I see what you mean.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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