One of the weirdness aspect of a quantum environment is that the act of observation defines its reality.
For example as long as you are not actually observing an electron, its behavior is that of a wave of probability however moment you do it is becomes a particle. But as soon as you are not looking at it it behaves like a wave again. That is rather weird, and no ordinary idea of classical objectivity can accommodate it.”
Bohr summarized this reality as follows:…”however far the [quantum physical] phenomena transcend the scope of classical physical explanation, the account of all evidence must be expressed in classical terms. The argument is simply that by the word “experiment” we refer to a situation where we can tell others what we have done and what we have learned and that, therefore, the account of the experimental arrangements and of the results of the observations must be expressed in unambiguous language with suitable application of the terminology of classical physics.
This crucial point…implies the impossibility of any sharp separation between the behavior of atomic objects and the interaction with the measuring instruments which serve to define the conditions under which the phenomena appear…. Consequently, evidence obtained under different experimental conditions cannot be comprehended within a single picture, but must be regarded as complementary in the sense that only the totality of the phenomena exhausts the possible information about the objects.
In other words the choice one makes on how to observe a quantum object determines if it is a particle or wave.
This behavior is exposed by the double slit experiment in which a coherent source of light illuminates a screen after passing through a thin plate with two parallel slits cut in it. The wave reality of light causes the light waves passing through both slits to interfere, creating an interference pattern of bright and dark bands on the screen. However, when being observed, the light is always found to be absorbed as discrete particles, called photons.
However one of the reason it is so difficult to understand how observation effects a quantum system may be because too much attention has been focused on its mathematical properties and not enough on its physical meaning in a space-time environment. This is made even more difficult because they are defined in terms of the spatial properties of a quantum system instead of its space-time properties.
This suggest one may be able to obtain a better understanding of what happens when one observes it if one could view it in terms its spatial instead of its time or space-time properties.
Einstein gave us the ability to do this when he use the equation E=mc^2 and the constant velocity of light to define the geometric properties of space-time because it provided a method of converting a unit of time he associated with energy to unit of space associate with position. Additionally because the velocity of light is constant he also defined a one to one quantitative correspondence between his space-time universe and one made up of four *spatial* dimensions.
The fact that one can use Einsteinâ€™s equations to qualitatively and quantitatively redefine the curvature in space-time he associated with energy in terms of four *spatial* dimensions is one bases for assuming as was done in the article â€œDefining energy?â€ Nov 27, 2007 that all forms of energy can be derived in terms of a spatial displacement in a “surface” of a three-dimensional space manifold with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension.
However redefining the physical properties of quantum system in terms of its spatial instead of its time components would allow one to derive a single picture of its wave and particle characteristics thereby allowing one to understand how observation effects our perception of it.
For example the article â€œWhy is energy/mass quantized?â€ Oct. 4, 2007 showed one can derive its physicality by extrapolating the laws of classical wave mechanics in a three-dimensional environment to a matter wave on a “surface” of a three-dimensional space manifold with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension.
Briefly it showed the four conditions required for resonance to occur in a classical environment, an object, or substance with a natural frequency, a forcing function at the same frequency as the natural frequency, the lack of a damping frequency and the ability for the substance to oscillate spatial would occur in one consisting of four spatial dimensions.
The existence of four *spatial* dimensions would give a matter wave the ability to oscillate spatially on a “surface” between a third and fourth *spatial* dimensions thereby fulfilling one of the requirements for classical resonance to occur.
These oscillations would be caused by an event such as the decay of a subatomic particle or the shifting of an electron in an atomic orbital. This would force the “surface” of a three-dimensional space manifold to oscillate with the frequency associated with the energy of that event.
The oscillations caused by such an event would serve as forcing function allowing a resonant system or “structure” to be established space.
Therefore, these oscillations in a “surface” of a three-dimensional space manifold would meet the requirements mentioned above for the formation of a resonant system or “structure” in four-dimensional space if one extrapolated them to that environment.
Classical mechanics tells us the energy of a resonant system can only take on the discrete or quantized values associated with it fundamental or a harmonic of its fundamental frequency.
Hence, these resonant systems in four *spatial* dimensions would be responsible for the discrete quantized energy associated with quantum mechanical systems.
Yet it also allowed one to derive the physical boundaries responsible for the creation of a particle in terms of the geometric properties of four *spatial* dimensions.
For example in classical physics, a point on the two-dimensional surface of paper is confined to that surface. However, that surface can oscillate up or down with respect to three-dimensional space.
Similarly an object occupying a volume of three-dimensional space would be confined to it however, it could, similar to the surface of the paper oscillate â€œupâ€ or â€œdownâ€ with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension.
The confinement of the â€œupwardâ€ and â€œdownwardâ€ oscillations of a three-dimension volume with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension is what defines the spatial boundaries of the resonant system associated with the particle component of it’s wave properties in the article â€œWhy is energy/mass quantized?â€œ
However assuming its wave energy is result of a displacement in four *spatial* dimension instead of four dimensional space-time as was done in the article â€œDefining energy?â€ Nov 27, 2007 allows one to not only derive the physicality of its particle component as was just done but also the reason why when you are not actually observing it its behavior is that of a wave however moment you do it is becomes a particle with a physically defined position.
For example Classical wave Mechanics tell us that because of the continuous properties of waves, the energy the article â€œWhy is energy/mass quantized?â€ associated with a quantum system is free to move over the entire “surface” of three-dimensional space with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension similar to how the wave generated by a vibrating ball on a surface of a rubber diaphragm are free to move or be distributed over its entire surface. However to observer it one would have to touch its surface with a probe thereby restricting the wave motion of its surface.
Similar the wave reality of a quantum system that is not being observed is allow to freely move though space as is done in the double slit experiment when it moves though the slits undetected thereby allowing is wave reality become observable as demonstrated by a diffraction pattern on a screen placed behind the slits.
In other words similar to the rubber diaphragm there is a probability that its wave reality could be found anywhere on the “surface” of three dimensional space.
However if we decide to restrict or redirect some of its energy by probing or observing it becomes a particle that appears to be at a specific place in space and time because as was shown in the article â€œWhy is energy/mass quantized? the act of observation confines its wave component to specific volume thereby allowing the resonant system that article showed was responsible for its particle reality to become reality.
In other words by assuming space it composed of four spatial dimensions instead of four dimensional space-time one can understand why the act of observation defines the reality of a quantum environment by extrapolating our experiences in a three-dimensional environment to a fourth *spatial* dimension.
It should be remember that Einsteinâ€™s genius allows us to choose whether to define the reality of a quantum system in either a space-time environment or one consisting of four *spatial* dimension when he derived its physical geometry in terms of the constant velocity of light.
Copyright Jeffrey O’Callaghan 2015