Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."  
– Albert Einstein
The world is real isn’t it? You're in it so of course it must be, but have you ever wondered what happens to the universe when you turn your back on it? 

Some quantum physicists believe that electrons and even the nucleus of the atoms all around us, exist everywhere at the same time. This is called super positioning, where matter exist as waves, that is at least until we get involved. The moment it is observed and the spotlight of our senses sweep across, it stops being a wave and locks into position as a particle in our reality.

It’s a bit like that child’s game Statues, in which the curator turns their back on the other players. They then have to try to sneak up and tag the curator, but the moment the curator turns they have to freeze into statues, Now imagine the children could be everywhere at once and you have a reasonable metaphor for how reality may actually work. The curator, the observer, you, turns and the world becomes solid. In other words we create the world as we experience it! 

Makes you wonder what would happen if you turned your head quickly enough, what you might catch from the corner of your eye.


  1. Who knows what trees do in the woods when no one's looking? Fall over, have tea, perform A Midsummer Night's Dream?

  2. And don't get me started on Schrodinger and his poor cat! ;o)

  3. This makes all of us creators then!

  4. I saw a fascinating documentary about neutrinos the other day... Some had arrived earlier than predicted between Cerne and an Italian monitoring station the other side of a mountain. This could mean they traveled faster than the speed of light - shock! The poor scientist was trying to dumb it down for us non-physicists and explain how it might have happened. Apparently our universe is like a slice in a loaf of ready sliced bread - other universes are the other slices. Speed of light is the limit for everything on our slice - but neutrinos can get off our slice and into the gaps between the slices and somehow travel much faster before coming back into our slice. So neutrinos from future events could arrive before the event itself - and its possible that animals (and even humans) can sometimes be aware of this (earthquakes, Tsunamis etc?) - could this be intuition about impending events, fortune telling etc??! If only I understood it more I'm sure it could be a great basis for a new supernatural/sci fi novel!!

    The other theory about the neutrinos arriving early, not as romantic and wild is that the mathematicians got it wrong or they measured the wrong thing.

    Which do you think is right?


  5. Hi Emma,

    I was actually thinking about writing a new blog entry about exactly that. The simple explanation is there may have been a simple mistake somewhere... but... and there is a but, the fact the scientists in question have thrown open their work for everyone to scrutinise says an awful lot.

    Certainly if this turns out to be true, it's a huge discovery that will overturn many years of our understanding of the laws physics. Certainly it has those who believe in parallel realities rubbing their hands with glee... this could well be the smoking gun that they've been waiting for.

    As for me I'd love the findings to be true... because the implications will just be astonishing and will revolutionise everything!