David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal for General Philosophy of Science 33 (2):369-379 (2002)
Light is puzzling in modern physics–witness wave-particle duality, the two-slit experiment, and the invariant speed of light. These puzzles are not intrinsic to light but arise from overly narrow views of light. Disregarding the expansive, unitary nature of light that informs everyday experience, modern physics treats light as if it were self-bounded and separable. Further, physics assumes that light is not complicit with observations of light, that the two are separable. By likening light to light-illuminated entities, these attitudes set the stage for puzzles. When,however, conceptions of light are aligned with visual experience, those puzzles become occasions of understanding.This is because visual experience already embodies that aspect of light which physics finds so anomalous: nonseparability. Light's interactive vastness shows up wherever light shows up, and because no observer can back away from light or step outside its integrative embrace, different parts of light (photons) cannot be lifted out ofthe observation as distinct – i.e., distinctly-observed – entities.
|Keywords||light observation nonlocality nonseparability EPR two-slit experiment quantum theory relativity theory|
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