Thought-Provoking Quantum Experiments Which Show That Reality Is Only An Illusion
No one in the world can fathom what quantum mechanics is, this is perhaps the most important thing you need to know about it. Granted, many physicists have learned to use its laws and even predict phenomena based on quantum calculations. But it is still unclear why the observer of an experiment determines the behavior of the system and causes it to favor one state over another. Here are some examples of experiments with outcomes which will inevitably be influenced by the observer, which show how quantum mechanics deals with the intervention of conscious thought in material reality.
Today there are many interpretations of quantum mechanics with the Copenhagen interpretation being perhaps the most famous to-date. In the 1920s, its general postulates were formulated by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg.
The wave function has become the core term of the Copenhagen
interpretation, it is a mathematical function containing information
about all possible states of a quantum system in which it exists
As stated by the Copenhagen interpretation, the state of the system and its position relative to other states can only be determined by an observation (the wave function is used only to help mathematically calculate the probability of the system being in one state or another). We can
say that after observation, the quantum system becomes classical and
immediately ceases to exist in other states, except for the state it has
been observed in.
This approach has always had its opponents (remember for example Albert Einstein's "God does not play dice"),
but the accuracy of the calculations and predictions prevailed.
However, the number of supporters of the Copenhagen interpretation is
decreasing and the major reason for that is the mysterious instant collapse of the wave function during the experiments. The famous mental experiment by Erwin Schrodinger with the poor cat was meant to demonstrate the absurdity of this phenomenon.
Let us recap the nature of this experiment. A live cat is placed
inside a black box, together with a vial containing poison and a
mechanism that can release this poison at random. For instance, a
radioactive atom during its decay can break the vial. The precise time
of atom's decay is unknown. Only half-life, or the time during which the
decay occurs with a probability of 50%, is known.
Obviously, for the external observer, the cat inside the box exists in two states:
it is either alive, if all goes well, or dead, if the decay occurred
and the vial was broken. Both of these states are described by the cat's
wave function, which changes over time. The more time has passed, the
more likely is that radioactive decay has already happened. But as soon
as we open the box, the wave function collapses, and we immediately see
the outcomes of this inhumane experiment.
In fact, until the observer opens the box, the cat will be subjected
to the endless balance on the brink of being between life and death, and its fate can only be determined by the action of the observer. That is the absurdity pointed out by Schrodinger .
Since more than 70 percent of the planet is covered in water and 60 percent of the human body is made up of water, the experiments on water hit very close to home. It does not help that they are also phenomena in quantum mechanics. Two experiments about water gathered interest in scientific communities. The first experiment was by a Japanese scientist who evaluated the consciousness of water while another experiment by a German scientist discovered water has a memory.
The research produced by scientists at the Aerospace Institute of the University of Stuttgart, suggested that water found in oceans, rivers, lakes and rain might be transporting information around the world.
Masaru Emoto is an energy scholar in Japan. Through his experiments he claimed human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water. His controversial declarations were that water is directly affected by the energy put towards it and that positive words and prayer have a positive result on the molecules. He demonstrated this through water crystal formations.
DIFFRACTION OF ELECTRONS
According to the poll of the greatest physicists conducted by The New York Times, the experiment with electron diffraction is one of the most astonishing studies in the history of science. What was its nature?
There is a source that emits a stream of electrons onto photosensitive screen. And there is an obstruction in the way of these electrons, a copper plate with two slits. What kind of picture can be expected on the screen if the electrons are imagined as small
charged balls? Two strips illuminated opposite to the slits.
In fact, the screen displays a much more complex pattern of alternating black and white stripes. This is due to the fact that, when passing through the slit, electrons begin to behave not as particles, but as waves (just like the photons, or light particles, which can be waves at the
same time). These waves interact in space, either quenching or
amplifying each other, and as a result, a complex pattern of alternating
light and dark stripes appears on the screen.
At the same time, the result of this experiment does not change, and
if electrons pass through the slit not as one single stream, but one by
one, even one particle can be a wave. Even a single electron can pass
simultaneously through both slits (and this is also one of the main
postulates of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, when
particles can simultaneously display both their "usual" physical
properties and exotic properties as a wave).
But what about the observer? The observer makes this complicated story even more confusing.
When physicists, during similar experiments, tried to determine with
the help of instruments which slit the electron actually passes through,
the image on the screen had changed dramatically and became a "classic"
pattern with two illuminated sections opposite to the slits and no
alternating bands displayed.
Electrons did not seem to show their wave nature under the
watchful eye of observers. Is this some kind of a mystery? There is a
more simple explanation: no observation of a system can be carried out without physically impacting it. But we will discuss this a bit later.
Experiments on the diffraction of particles have been conducted not
only for electrons, but for much larger objects. For example, using fullerenes, large and closed molecules consisting of dozens of carbon atoms.
Recently, a group of scientists from the University of Vienna supervised by Professor Zeilinger tried to introduce an element of observation in these experiments. To
do this, they irradiated moving fullerene molecules with a laser beam.
Then, warmed by an external source, the molecules began to glow and
inevitably displayed their presence in space to the observer.
Together with this innovation, the behavior of molecules has also changed.
Prior to the beginning of such comprehensive surveillance, fullerenes
quite successfully avoided obstacles (exhibited wave-like properties)
similar to the previous example with electrons passing through an opaque
screen. But later, with the presence of an observer, fullerenes began
to behave as completely law-abiding physical particles.
One of the famous laws in the world of quantum physics is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle which claims that it is impossible to determine the speed and the
position of a quantum object at the same time. The more accurate we are
at measuring the momentum of a particle, the less precise we are at
measuring its position. But the validity of quantum laws operating on
tiny particles usually remains unnoticed in our world of large
Recent experiments by Professor Schwab in the U.S. are even more valuable in this respect,
where quantum effects have been demonstrated not at the level of
electrons or fullerene molecules (their characteristic diameter is about
1 nm), but on a little more tangible object, a tiny aluminum strip.
This strip was fixed on both sides so that its middle was in a
suspended state and it could vibrate under external influence. In
addition, a device capable of accurately recording strip's position was
placed near it.
As a result, the experimenters came up with two interesting findings.
First, any measurement related to the position of the object and
observations of the strip did affect it, after each measurement the
position of the strip changed. Generally speaking , the experimenters
determined the coordinates of the strip with high precision and thus,
according to the Heisenberg's principle, changed its speed, and hence
the subsequent position.
Secondly, which was quite unexpected, some measurements also led to cooling of the strip. So, the observer can change physical characteristics of objects just by being present there.
it is well known, unstable radioactive particles decay not only for
experiments with cats, but also on their own. Each particle has an
average lifetime, which, as it turns out, can increase under the
watchful eye of the observer.
This quantum effect was first predicted back in the 1960s, and its brilliant experimental proof appeared in the article published by the group led by Nobel laureate in Physics Wolfgang Ketterle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In this paper, the decay of unstable excited rubidium atoms was studied (photons can decay to rubidium atoms in their basic state).
Immediately after preparation of the system, excitation of atoms was
observed by exposing it to a laser beam. The observation was conducted in two modes: continuous (the system was constantly exposed to small light pulses)
and pulse-like (the system was irradiated from time to time with more
The obtained results are perfectly in line with theoretical predictions.
External light effects slow down the decay of particles, returning them
to their original state, which is far from the state of decay. The
magnitude of this effect for the two studied modes also coincides with
the predictions. The maximum life of unstable excited rubidium atoms was
extended up to 30-fold.
DOUBLE SLIT EXPERIMENT
The double slit experiment or wave/particle theory is a validation that matter and energy can behave as waves and particles. This demonstrates the problem of not being able to place particles into a category scientists are comfortable with where waves behave as waves and particles behave as particles. Instead, they behave as both. This is the foundation of the nature of quantum mechanical phenomena where findings conclude individual cells think for themselves.
The physicist, Robert Lanza, recently proposed his theory of "biocentrism" by using the double slit experiment. He concluded humans are eternal beings that created the concept of life and death through their own consciousness. He claimed death does not exist and that humans believe it exists because they collectively believe in it. Many in the quantum mechanic field disagree with his findings.
QUANTUM MECHANICS AND CONSCIOUSNESS
Electrons and fullerenes cease to show their wave properties,
aluminum plates cool down and unstable particles freeze while going
through their decay, under the watchful eye of the observer the world
changes. Why cannot this be the evidence of involvement of our minds in
the workings of the world? So maybe Carl Jung and Wolfgang Pauli (Austrian physicist and Nobel laureate, the pioneer of quantum mechanics) were right after all when they said that the laws of physics and consciousness should be seen as complementary?
We are only one step away from admitting that the world around us is just an illusory product of our mind.
Scary, isn't it? Let us then again try to appeal to physicists.
Especially when in recent years, they favor less the Copenhagen
interpretation of quantum mechanics, with its mysterious collapse of the
wave function, giving place to another quite down to earth and reliable
Here's the thing, in all these experiments with the observations, the
experimenters inevitably impacted the system. They lit it with a laser
and installed measuring devices. But this is a common and very important
principle: you cannot observe the system or measure its properties without interacting with it. And where there is an interaction, there will be a modification of
properties. Especially when a tiny quantum system is impacted by
colossal quantum objects. So the eternal Buddhist observer neutrality is
This is explained by the term "decoherence",
which is an irreversible, from the point of view of thermodynamics,
process of altering the quantum properties of the system when it
interacts with another larger system. During this interaction, the
quantum system loses its original properties and becomes a classic one
while "obeying" the large system. This explains the paradox of Schrodinger's cat: the cat is such a large system that it simply cannot be isolated from
the rest of the world. The mere design of this mental experiment is not
In any event, compared to the reality of consciousness as an act of creation, decoherence represents a much more convenient approach.
Perhaps even too convenient. Indeed, with this approach, the entire
classical world becomes one big consequence of decoherence. And as the
authors of one of the most prominent books in this field stated, such an
approach would also logically lead to statements like "there are no
particles in the world" or "there is no time on a fundamental level".
Is it the creator-observer or powerful decoherence? We have to choose between the two evils. But remember, now scientists are increasingly convinced that the basis
of our mental processes is created by these notorious quantum effects.
So, where the observation ends and reality begins, is up to each of us.