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Science experiment confirms that reality does not exist until it is measured.

Stashed in: Facts, Science!, Meaning of Life, science, Physics, Physics

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The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured. Physicists have conducted John Wheeler's delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. The group reversed Wheeler's original experiment, and used helium atoms scattered by light.

Yep that's a fundamental principle of Quantum Physics: measurement modifies the state of a system.

For example when you send light against an opaque screen with a slit A and a slit B, both perfectly similar.


Quantum Physics say that each photon (particle) can go through both A and B at the same time, as a wave would do, and that's what produces an interference figure after the slits on another screen behind.


It's called the superposition of states.

But, if you add a captor, next to the slits, to determine for each photon, through which slit he goes, then you break the superposition of states, you "force" the photon to chose between A and B. They can't act as a wave anymore and the interference figure disappears from the screen behind!

So yes, Quantum systems are so sensible to everything, than even just observing them will modify their state. Because observation means exchange of information/energy, for example with a photon, and that's enough to destabilize such systems.

But then it's difficult to be rigorous with words, saying that "reality doesn't exist" is, in my opinion, quite an extreme interpretation of the thing and is obviously very used for click-bait science articles.

Without that headline I might never have learned this wonderful fact from you!

The meaning of life is to measure reality.

Yeah maybe for you, but with that headline, most scientifically uncultured people will start believing weird stuff, invent new superstitions, construct new pseudo-scientific theories and all of that will lead to lot of wasted time.

I can change the headline on this page if you have something better you'd prefer. 

But yeah in general my message to people is to learn science and lean on facts.

haha! instead of lean in we can have lean on facts.

That's a really good idea. Facts help us all.

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