Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Measurement Problem?

Ask any physicist today what scares them the most. Undoubtedly their answer will relate to something called the measurement problem of Q.M. (Quantum Mechanics.) The measurement problem arises whenever we try to observe a system at the quantum level. We know that particles like electrons have a waveform nature and that they exist in a unique "superposition" such that every possible position is realized at once, they "should" appear as an indeterminate cloud. Instead, when we observe them, they instantaneously appear to take on one of their infinite number of possible positions. This jump into a definite position is known as a quantum probability waveform collapse. The measurement "problem" is the key to understanding why our universe isn't exactly what it should be, and also the key to understanding what lies beyond our universe. The big question is why does the act of observation by a person affect the observed state of the particle? This seems ridiculous, beyond even the scope of the most fanciful science fiction, nevertheless it remains true.
Perhaps if we plug in the element of consciousness into the equations of the universe, things might make more sense. When we run into problems, paradoxes or conundrums it usually a flaw in our perception or understanding that quickly resolves the matter. It took us many centuries to realize the the world was round, rotated around the sun and was one of many other heavenly bodies. Once we recognize the fact that consciousness is linked to both matter and energy, as the third primordial element then the problem of measurement makes sense, and the long battled arguments over dualism become resolved. We are forced to admit that we are inexorably linked to the systems we reside in, if our consciousness were removed from this universe (this world) it would be different because of our departure. If all consciousness were to disappear, the universe would collapse and disintegrate. We are made out of a complex process that temporarily fuses these three elements together. As conscious beings we are part of the system we are trying to understand and observe, this is bound to cause some difficulty. How are we to gain the lofty vantage point by which we might see clearly the world we live in? The Measurement Problem isn't really a problem at all! It is one of the many sign-posts pointing to the solution, (a solution I am confident will one day free mankind from the world and existence we now live in.)

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