Now to add further weirdness to the mix, it has been found that matter can act as both a wave and a particle depending on whether or not it is being observed. So is is true that the electrons knew that they were being watched?
Some scientists think that they can!
Bach et al published a study in 2013, which aimed to demonstrate Feynman’s hypothesis on a practical level. This extract is from his research.
Double-slit diffraction is a corner stone of quantum mechanics. It illustrates key features of quantum mechanics: interference and the particle-wave duality of matter. In 1965, Richard Feynman presented a thought experiment to show these features. Here we demonstrate the full realization of his famous thought experiment. By placing a movable mask in front of a double-slit to control the transmission through the individual slits, probability distributions for single- and double-slit arrangements were observed. Also, by recording single electron detection events diffracting through a double-slit, a diffraction pattern was built up from individual events.
The team took measurements of the position of electrons fired individually, with a mask in a series of positions. First blocking both slits, then one slit, then none and then the opposite slit. The double-slit pattern was seen when the electrons had access to both slits, but not seen when one slit was blocked. You can watch the pattern of electron build up on the video below.
Their experiments do correlate with Feyman’s way of thinking. It opens the door to far more questions!
If tiny electrons behave as waves……
…….and if tiny electrons are affected by being observed…..
….can the tiny electrons that make bigger things (such as human beings) also behave like waves and change depending on whether we are being observed?
What do you think? “Everything that can happen does happen“? Or is that quite enough physics for you thank you very much? We would love your feedback!
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