David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
We have already seen what happens in a typical experiment in quantum physics. When an observation is recorded say on a phosphor screen or photographic plate quantum entities (like photons or electrons) will appear as particles in precise positions. But their observed distribution is predicted by Schroedinger's wave function, and in appropriate conditions they exhibit Airy's wave associated ring pattern. This suggests that while unobserved they were behaving as waves which can spread out in more than one direction at once but once they are observed, they have just a single position, a characteristic of a particle. The act of observation "collapses the wave function" and an actual state precipitates, as it were, out of the cloud of previously possible states. This is what scandalized Einstein: that the chance event of an observation should not merely uncover but actually create the reality of the universe. But the question arises: what is so special about a device such as a light sensitive plate, that its interception of a quantum entity should count as an observation and so "create" actuality in this way?
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
K. S. Shrader-Frechette (1982). Quark Quantum Numbers and the Problem of Microphysical Observation. Synthese 50 (1):125 - 145.
Richard Schlegel (1970). Statistical Explanation in Physics: The Copenhagen Interpretation. Synthese 21 (1):65 - 82.
Nicholas Maxwell (2004). Does Probabilism Solve the Great Quantum Mystery? Theoria 19 (3):321-336.
Jeffrey A. Barrett (1995). The Distribution Postulate in Bohm's Theory. Topoi 14 (1):45-54.
Dick Bierman (2003). Does Consciousness Collapse the Wave-Packet? Mind and Matter 1 (1):45-57.
Brian A. Woodcock (2007). Bloch's Paradox and the Nonlocality of Chance. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (2):137 – 156.
Nicholas Maxwell (1988). Quantum Propensiton Theory: A Testable Resolution of the Wave/Particle Dilemma. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1):1-50.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads5 ( #242,222 of 1,168,018 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #140,193 of 1,168,018 )
How can I increase my downloads?