Jump to content
BrainDen.com - Brain Teasers
  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
Guest

Question

Guest

It seems there is a lot of controversy over this topic on Brainden.... Understandable... Well I just mean spiritual as in God but also as in ghosts and things. What is your opinion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0
Guest
Yoinks! You guys have been busy while I was away...

Maybe it's time for a new dictionary, or maybe just time to stop pretending to be so naive. Take the sentence: "I have faith in my wife." and replace faith with its "synonym" religion. Does the sentence retain its original meaning? No? Funny that. Now try it with the sentence "Christianity is my faith." Ah! Much better. Just because two words are synonyms, does not mean they are equivalent in every meaning and context.

regarding pretending to be naive: react to the statement "My faith in my wife is stronger than my faith in God." Are the two definitions of faith invoked by this speaker different? How do you know?

Just because a word is used in two different contexts by a speaker, it does not mean (s)he is equivocating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
Shouldn't it be everything or nothing? What are your thoughts on homosexuality? Prosecuting heretics? Why are you online instead of stoning gays and murdering atheists? :huh:

Ouch take it easy,anyway no. if God loves athiests and gays why should i even judge? And dont worry seeksit im a big boy thanks anyway. And about the evolution thing i didnt say "God put us here" was a counter act i mean for example some say there was billions of years of water under us,(im bringing up the 6000 year old thing up, they sorta connect)

well the Bible talks of a flood. That sorta counter acts.

Edited by dath244

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
Oh, c'mon, Izzy. Why are you stoning Dath? What gets under your skin so bad that you can't let someone believe something different from what you believe? As far as I'm concerned, believers of intelligent design can believe whatever they want as long as they don't try to make me believe it. You and some of the other holy-roller non-theists here seem to be the true evangelicals, trying to make somebody else believe your personal portfolio of favorite platitudes.

I totally agree im not trying to convert anyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I wasn't converting. I was pointing out a general flaw in Dath's views. Is that wrong of me? Can't I make people question their faith if I want?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Ouch take it easy,anyway no. if God loves athiests and gays why should i even judge?

..God loves gays and atheists? I was under the impression we're all going to hell because we're (especially gays!) nonconformists by choice!...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
..God loves gays and atheists? I was under the impression we're all going to hell because we're (especially gays!) nonconformists by choice!...

Of couse he loves them, he loves everyone even satan,he might not be proud of what some of them are doing but he loves them all the same.

I also dont believe in Hell and the eternal burning thing, i believe the wicked will be raised from their graves, try to attack heaven, and then burn according to what they did. :(

Edited by dath244

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
I wasn't converting. I was pointing out a general flaw in Dath's views. Is that wrong of me? Can't I make people question their faith if I want?

I just wanted to tell you that this isnt making me question my faith in fact your strengthing it thank you. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
regarding pretending to be naive: react to the statement "My faith in my wife is stronger than my faith in God." Are the two definitions of faith invoked by this speaker different? How do you know?

Just because a word is used in two different contexts by a speaker, it does not mean (s)he is equivocating.

In your example, a direct comparison is made between the speaker's faith in his wife and faith in God. Therefore, the word "faith" needs to have the same meaning in both cases if s/he expects to be understood. It is deliberately misleading (and therefore akin to the fallacy of equivocation) to mean two different things by "faith" in this sentence.

It should also be clear to the audience that by "faith", the speaker means "trust" or "confidence", because the alternative definitions ("believing in the existence of", and "religion") are frivolous or absurd when simultaneously applied to "wife" and "God". No rational and sane person would doubt another rational and sane person's belief that their wife exists, and it is meaningless to state that one "has religion in" one's wife or God.

If any meaning of "faith" other than "confidence" is intended, the speaker is either not communicating clearly, or not communicating in good, er... faith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
Regarding equivocation: Define precisely what you mean by "Spirit World." Is it the same as "spiritual world"?
I haven't given it a precise meaning, only stated "I think most people would view the spirit world as being a supernatural realm accessible only to spirits (ghosts, souls, or suchlike, maybe gods get in there too, being supernatural)". There's no point in trying to be more precise than that since the supernatural aspect already renders it nonsensical. And in my opinion there is no distinction between "spirit world" and "spiritual world".

Regarding the definition of "supernatural" in bold: Define precisely what you mean by "transcend". Define precisely what you mean by "nature".
Well, I didn't write the definition, and words generally don't have precise meanings. But here's definitions of "transcend" and "nature" for you. I've highlighted what I consider to be the more relevant meanings in this context.

tran·scend

v. tran·scend·ed, tran·scend·ing, tran·scends

v. tr.

  1. To pass beyond the limits of: emotions that transcend understanding.
  2. To be greater than, as in intensity or power; surpass: love that transcends infatuation. See Synonyms at excel.
  3. To exist above and independent of (material experience or the universe): "One never can see the thing in itself, because the mind does not transcend phenomena" (Hilaire Belloc).
v. intr.

To be transcendent; excel.

This would imply that the supernatural either extends beyond nature or exists entirely beyond nature.

na·ture n.

  1. The material world and its phenomena.
  2. The forces and processes that produce and control all the phenomena of the material world: the laws of nature.
  3. The world of living things and the outdoors: the beauties of nature.
  4. A primitive state of existence, untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or artificiality: couldn't tolerate city life anymore and went back to nature.
  5. Theology Humankind's natural state as distinguished from the state of grace.
  6. A kind or sort: confidences of a personal nature.
  7. The essential characteristics and qualities of a person or thing: "She was only strong and sweet and in her nature when she was really deep in trouble" (Gertrude Stein).
  8. The fundamental character or disposition of a person; temperament: "Strange natures made a brotherhood of ill"(Percy Bysshe Shelley).
  9. The natural or real aspect of a person, place, or thing. See Synonyms at disposition.
  10. The processes and functions of the body.
So everything that interacts with the material world could be considered "nature" (and perhaps other things too, but more on that later). This is why the notion of the supernatural is nonsensical. Whatever affects us can be considered part of nature, part of our universe. If anything exists beyond nature, it does not affect us. Believers in the supernatural may like to think there are mysterious forces that affect us, and try to preserve their mystery by saying they cannot be observed in any way because they belong to a different realm. It's self-contradictory. If that "realm" is in some way connected to ours, and there is interaction between the two, then both areas can be considered part of nature. There is potential for observation, study, and evidence. If not, it is completely separate and none of our concern. You can't have it both ways.

Looking at the wider context of multiple universes, could other universes or other structures also be considered part of "nature"? Calling them supernatural doesn't fit, so I may be inclined to widen the concept of nature to include all things that are possible. But perhaps it would be more fitting to just consider it an example of how trying to give words a precise meaning doesn't always work.

In your view, where are the bounds of the physical universe? Does it include the matter that we cannot now observe because it is outside of our world line (our event horizon)? Does it include things like Dark Energy? If so, does Dark Energy include processes that "transcend nature"? How do you justify your answer?
In my view, the physical universe could be defined iteratively, in the sense that if A is part of the physical universe, and B can interact with A, then B is part of the physical universe too. To start the process off I can declare myself part of the physical universe and work outward. In this sense the universe extends well beyond what we can observe. If "Dark Energy" exists, then since it affects matter we can consider it part of the universe in my view, and part of nature too. Our lack of information about it wouldn't change that.

In an earlier post responding to my "Socrates" questions you made a flat statement: " I'm sure truth(organized conceptual structure) is infinite."(emphasis is mine). Please provide me with the basis of this belief. Does anything in your justification transcend nature?
I was referring to the set of all consistent structures. This is infinite because an infinite number of such structures could be constructed (for example you could construct a space with any number of dimensions, simply varying the number of dimensions gives you infinite possibilities). This has nothing to do with transcending nature, unless you confine your definition of nature to this universe, in which case all other structures transcend nature.

I'm very interested in exploring the contrast between your apparent view of the biggest, outermost shell of existence and mine. I've stated my opinion that the most fundamental outermost shell contains nothing but disorganized, random, indifferent chaos, which reason and logic can only address as paradox. If I understand you correctly, you claim that some sort of potentially understandable structure (an embedded "design") is at the root of everything.
Not really, I was not suggesting that a structure was at the root of everything, rather that the general concept of structure can explain everything that we experience. Maybe structure springs from chaos but I don't currently have anything useful to say on that topic.

I continue to look at that as an interesting equivalent to what theists say, but without the anthropomorphisms.
It's very different. For example, it is not only without anthropomorphism, but just as indifferent as the chaos you propose. In order for such an idea to make sense I would expect it to arise inevitably, without any arbitrary structures, gods or creating forces being presupposed. Also it is not a belief system, but a thought exercise.

So far I have been unable to "crack the code" of how you can justify that position without invoking any unsupportable belief systems.
It is rooted in the fact that our universe has structure, so clearly structure is possible. There is no reason to consider the structure of our universe special in some way that makes it "exist" when other potential structures don't. Abandoning that assumption leads me to the more consistent and simpler view that all structure may be equivalent and no structure "exists" more than any other. Questioning the concept of "existence" reveals that I cannot see a valid purpose for it beyond its local application within our universe. Abandoning it means that we fall back on the wider concept of "possibility" or "logical consistency", which is all that is required for a structure to have definite properties (such as where you are and what you are thinking at this moment). No creation needed, which just happens to neatly answer the question of Why We Are Here. No belief has been invoked, other than my belief that it's a good idea to do away with as many assumptions as possible.

After all, we're talking about stuff that nobody has seen, some of which nobody will ever see, and some of which, based on the established laws of physics, it is physically impossible to see. How can you make claims about the nature of something that it is physically impossible to see without invoking good old fashioned unjustifiable and unsupportable "belief" (synonym for "faith")?
I had hoped in the context of my previous posts that it would go without saying that what I offer is a point of view, a possible way to see things. Sometimes maybe even an opinion. By all means think about what I have to say, but believe me at your peril. No faith is required or desired here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Of couse he loves them, he loves everyone even satan,he might not be proud of what some of them are doing but he loves them all the same.

I also dont believe in Hell and the eternal burning thing, i believe the wicked will be raised from their graves, try to attack heaven, and then burn according to what they did. :(

Why doesn't God accept gays though? You don't believe in Hell, but why shouldn't gays be admitted into Heaven when their only 'crime' was being gay? It isn't a choice, so people aren't purposely disobeying him, their using the 'love he entitled them to'. So, why don't gays go to heaven?

I just wanted to tell you that this isnt making me question my faith in fact your strengthing it thank you. :)

Bah. You're meant to question it though. If you can question it, properly research it, and come to the same conclusions, good for you. But until you've done that, you're just a victim of the environment you've grown up in. You do realize, your faith is because of your random chance of birth? You could totally be in Africa right now, or India, or wherever, believing in something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
I wasn't converting. I was pointing out a general flaw in Dath's views. Is that wrong of me? Can't I make people question their faith if I want?

You can pose questions and state your own views with the intent or hope of changing someone's views. (The old "you can lead a horse to water ..." thing).

But at the same time, are you, by the exchange, gaining anything that strengthens or adds to or even modifies your own views? If you project even the appearance that your own views are rigid and inflexible (e.g. "I know I'm right that reason is the only way to gain a useful understanding of the world"), they why should the other person "do as you say, but not as you do?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
It is rooted in the fact that our universe has structure, so clearly structure is possible. There is no reason to consider the structure of our universe special in some way that makes it "exist" when other potential structures don't. Abandoning that assumption leads me to the more consistent and simpler view that all structure may be equivalent and no structure "exists" more than any other. Questioning the concept of "existence" reveals that I cannot see a valid purpose for it beyond its local application within our universe. Abandoning it means that we fall back on the wider concept of "possibility" or "logical consistency", which is all that is required for a structure to have definite properties (such as where you are and what you are thinking at this moment). No creation needed, which just happens to neatly answer the question of Why We Are Here. No belief has been invoked, other than my belief that it's a good idea to do away with as many assumptions as possible.

Well said ... I now feel that I understand. At least from my point of view, we've reached a meeting of the minds.

Maybe structure springs from chaos but I don't currently have anything useful to say on that topic.

I want to plunge ahead and say something on that subject, to which you can react if you wish.

As I think I've said before, I feel that structure emerges randomly because chaos isn't any more perfect (or absolute) than anything else. If you flip a coin infinite times, somewhere within that set is the set of an infinite string of "heads". More practically, in a large number of coin flips, there will be a sufficiently large number of consecutive occurrences of heads to be considered "interesting", or on which to base a concept of structure for an observer with a limited "world line" or field of view. In an even more practical example, certain "flips of the coin" in selecting the constants and laws of physics lead to a universe capable of sustaining huge variety and complexity and choice. Then within that subset of all possible universes, given the flexibility and variety that is permitted in this one, self-replicating structures emerge (life) and structure-recognizing life emerges (sentient beings--us).

Now here's where the argument falls back on randomness, or its paradoxical consequence. As sentient beings we are observer-participators in the universe. It is well known in quantum physics that the observer impacts the outcome of experiments. Schroedinger's cat isn't alive or dead, but both, until you check. When a single photon encounters a partially silvered mirror, its wave nature splits it into two paths, one that is reflected and one that passes straight through. But it is only one photon. As a particle, it has to take only one of the two paths. It is equally valid to say that the observer actually "created" the path that the photon took as it is to say that the photon "chose" a path. By extension, our observation of the nature of the universe can be said to have "created" it.

"I observe (myself, 'thinking'), therefore I am."

So, in the biggest picture, I claim that the randomness argument and its consequent paradox "trumps" the coherent structure argument. But who am I? I can't prove that I exist any more than I can prove that God exists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
As I think I've said before, I feel that structure emerges randomly because chaos isn't any more perfect (or absolute) than anything else. If you flip a coin infinite times, somewhere within that set is the set of an infinite string of "heads". More practically, in a large number of coin flips, there will be a sufficiently large number of consecutive occurrences of heads to be considered "interesting", or on which to base a concept of structure for an observer with a limited "world line" or field of view. In an even more practical example, certain "flips of the coin" in selecting the constants and laws of physics lead to a universe capable of sustaining huge variety and complexity and choice. Then within that subset of all possible universes, given the flexibility and variety that is permitted in this one, self-replicating structures emerge (life) and structure-recognizing life emerges (sentient beings--us).
I'd like to clarify exactly what you mean by that. Does this imply that the laws of physics are not actually laws but the equivalent of flipping a vast number of heads in a row? You might support such a view using the anthropic principle, and say that our universe has the appearance of structure even though it is actually random because we would only be here observing it if that were the case. Interestingly, that means that the entire universe could disintegrate into randomness at any moment and is infinitely more likely to do so than to continue in order, however the infinitessimally small proportion of cases in which it does continue in order account for us continuing to experience our existence. That would be a pretty cool idea but it doesn't stand up, because at any moment, rather than simply continuing to follow non-existent laws of physics, we would be far more likely to see all kinds of random stuff happen (say an elephant materialises outside my window). And as long as my consciousness can continue to operate in these circumstances, I cannot exclude that on the basis of the anthropic principle.

Now here's where the argument falls back on randomness, or its paradoxical consequence. As sentient beings we are observer-participators in the universe. It is well known in quantum physics that the observer impacts the outcome of experiments. Schroedinger's cat isn't alive or dead, but both, until you check. When a single photon encounters a partially silvered mirror, its wave nature splits it into two paths, one that is reflected and one that passes straight through. But it is only one photon. As a particle, it has to take only one of the two paths. It is equally valid to say that the observer actually "created" the path that the photon took as it is to say that the photon "chose" a path.
I'm more inclined to think the photon took both paths, and the observer observed the photon taking both paths, but on different branches of reality, so each version of the observer thinks that only one path was taken.

By extension, our observation of the nature of the universe can be said to have "created" it.
I agree with that but maybe not entirely in the sense you're suggesting. Structures which do not contain embedded observers are not considered to exist, because there is nobody to consider them so. In our own minds we give the universe the property of existence. I'd say that makes it a case of "I think therefore I think I am"

But who am I? I can't prove that I exist any more than I can prove that God exists.
In order to prove that you exist you'd have to first define what it means to exist. I define it as being a subset of our universe, and since I already defined our universe primarily based on the premise that I am a part of it even if nothing else is, I'm happy to declare that I exist (though I can't guarantee that you do) but you might call that a cop-out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
You can pose questions and state your own views with the intent or hope of changing someone's views. (The old "you can lead a horse to water ..." thing).

But at the same time, are you, by the exchange, gaining anything that strengthens or adds to or even modifies your own views? If you project even the appearance that your own views are rigid and inflexible (e.g. "I know I'm right that reason is the only way to gain a useful understanding of the world"), they why should the other person "do as you say, but not as you do?"

Whose to say that if something interesting comes up, I won't learn anything? I will, if any sort of persuasive anything ever comes up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
As I think I've said before, I feel that structure emerges randomly because chaos isn't any more perfect (or absolute) than anything else. If you flip a coin infinite times, somewhere within that set is the set of an infinite string of "heads". More practically, in a large number of coin flips, there will be a sufficiently large number of consecutive occurrences of heads to be considered "interesting", or on which to base a concept of structure for an observer with a limited "world line" or field of view. In an even more practical example, certain "flips of the coin" in selecting the constants and laws of physics lead to a universe capable of sustaining huge variety and complexity and choice. Then within that subset of all possible universes, given the flexibility and variety that is permitted in this one, self-replicating structures emerge (life) and structure-recognizing life emerges (sentient beings--us).

Well put. There is such a theory in physics: that universes appeared with different properties (physical constants if you wish) than our own, but had too much or too little of one particular property to survive for more than a short time. It is also possible that such "universes" continue to appear and collapse, but that they exist for such a short period of time that we cannot observe them. Our universe has physical properties (and mass) within the range of what is sustainable for "long" periods of time. It's a nice theory, but to my knowledge, there is no physical evidence to support it.

This is completely off-topic, but I find the statement 'If you flip a coin infinite times, somewhere within that set is the set of an infinite string of "heads". ' interesting. I'm not sure that it is possible to take a subset of a series consisting of an infinitely long string of consecutive members. You can take, for instance, all the even numbers from the natural numbers, because that is an unbounded subset. I'll have to think on that a bit more...

[...]When a single photon encounters a partially silvered mirror, its wave nature splits it into two paths, one that is reflected and one that passes straight through. But it is only one photon. As a particle, it has to take only one of the two paths. It is equally valid to say that the observer actually "created" the path that the photon took as it is to say that the photon "chose" a path. By extension, our observation of the nature of the universe can be said to have "created" it.

That is an incorrect conclusion: a single photon takes one path or the other. As I believe I have said before, the "particle-wave duality" thing is simply a (frequently misunderstood) concept we constructed because it is convenient to think of light/electromagnetism/etc... as one or the other, depending on the specific case under consideration. When you are looking at a small number of photons, you must consider each individually (although they are not what we normally think of as particles either). When you are looking at a large number of them, you may consider them collectively as a wave, but this is merely out of convenience. It would be incredibly tedious to try and calculate, say, the color and intensity of an incandescent light bulb by considering each photon individually.

The exact same thing is true of matter: we know that steel, for example, is made up of little grains which are in turn made up of atoms of iron, carbon, and other elements (themselves made of smaller particles), but when we build a bridge, we use enough of these atoms and the grains are, from the point of view that we care about, sufficiently even in composition, size and distribution that we consider it to be an isotropic substance. We do not get confused by the "particle-continuum duality" of matter, so I don't understand why it should seem so mysterious in the case of photons and other energy-transporting particles.

So, in the biggest picture, I claim that the randomness argument and its consequent paradox "trumps" the coherent structure argument. But who am I? I can't prove that I exist any more than I can prove that God exists.

As I have just explained, there is no paradox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
I'm not sure that it is possible to take a subset of a series consisting of an infinitely long string of consecutive members. You can take, for instance, all the even numbers from the natural numbers, because that is an unbounded subset. I'll have to think on that a bit more...

OK, I thought about it a bit more: it is possible, but the subset can only be bounded on one side. You could take, for instance, all the natural numbers greater than or less than some number n. You cannot, however, take a subset (p,q) and let p and q approach +/- infinity, because that is not a proper subset of N (it is N).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
OK, I thought about it a bit more: it is possible, but the subset can only be bounded on one side. You could take, for instance, all the natural numbers greater than or less than some number n. You cannot, however, take a subset (p,q) and let p and q approach +/- infinity, because that is not a proper subset of N (it is N).
True but you're right to question the original statement: 'If you flip a coin infinite times, somewhere within that set is the set of an infinite string of "heads". '

That's not what you would expect. You would expect to see finite strings of heads, of any length (ie no limit to the length), but no actual infinite strings of heads. An infinite string of heads would be possible but infinitely improbable. Still, I think that's a little beside the point, and I agree with the gist of what seeksit was saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
True but you're right to question the original statement: 'If you flip a coin infinite times, somewhere within that set is the set of an infinite string of "heads". '

That's not what you would expect. You would expect to see finite strings of heads, of any length (ie no limit to the length), but no actual infinite strings of heads. An infinite string of heads would be possible but infinitely improbable. Still, I think that's a little beside the point, and I agree with the gist of what seeksit was saying.

Yeah, I agree it's not material to the point seeksit was making. Just a little junket for the brain...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
Why doesn't God accept gays though? You don't believe in Hell, but why shouldn't gays be admitted into Heaven when their only 'crime' was being gay? It isn't a choice, so people aren't purposely disobeying him, their using the 'love he entitled them to'. So, why don't gays go to heaven?

You know I honestly dont know i have looked it up but i cant come up with a settling answer. If i find something ill tell you. "sigh" :(

Bah. You're meant to question it though. If you can question it, properly research it, and come to the same conclusions, good for you. But until you've done that, you're just a victim of the environment you've grown up in. You do realize, your faith is because of your random chance of birth? You could totally be in Africa right now, or India, or wherever, believing in something else.

I do look up things and they make sense to me. And yes i could have been born in Africa and not known, but i guess im lucky to have been born here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
So, do all the people ignorant about your god not go to heaven for not knowing?

That is a VERY good question i believe people who never heard of God will go to heaven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
That is a VERY good question i believe people who never heard of God will go to heaven.

But why? They didn't meet God's standards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
Interestingly, that means that the entire universe could disintegrate into randomness at any moment and is infinitely more likely to do so than to continue in order, ...

You're assuming a sudden alteration in the laws of physics that, once established, have sustained that apparent order for 13.7 billion years. We have no example of the laws of physics changing, so we're probably safe from such a disintegration, although you can't rule it out.

I'm more inclined to think the photon took both paths, and the observer observed the photon taking both paths, but on different branches of reality, so each version of the observer thinks that only one path was taken.

We've gone over this ground before. I'm content to simply state my different position, that it's all a matter of perspective, and that the two representations actually occur simultaneously. In the broadest sense, the photon is both a wave and a particle. Its path takes a discrete course at the same time that its course is unknowable.

In order to prove that you exist you'd have to first define what it means to exist. I define it as being a subset of our universe, and since I already defined our universe primarily based on the premise that I am a part of it even if nothing else is, I'm happy to declare that I exist (though I can't guarantee that you do) but you might call that a cop-out.

I declare that I observe myself existing but make no claims that I can even prove it to myself, let alone to anyone else. But I'm happy to leave the ontology discussion there. It gets brutally dry and tedious the deeper you get into it. And it still ends up no closer to a fundamental truth (I wonder why ;) )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
a single photon takes one path or the other. As I believe I have said before, the "particle-wave duality" thing is simply a (frequently misunderstood) concept we constructed because it is convenient to think of light/electromagnetism/etc... as one or the other, depending on the specific case under consideration. When you are looking at a small number of photons, you must consider each individually (although they are not what we normally think of as particles either). When you are looking at a large number of them, you may consider them collectively as a wave, but this is merely out of convenience.

In 1978 John Wheeler conceived a "delayed choice experiment" in which an observer's decision about whether to measure a single photon one way or another determined whether the result showed that the photon behaved as a wave or as a particle. This was one single photon. His thought experiment was finally confirmed by actual experiment in 2007. My interpretation of this result is that both the particle and the wave nature of each individual photon can not be clearly established in any absolute sense. So I would modify your statement to say that "a single photon takes one path or the other; and it acts like a wave and takes both paths."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest
In 1978 John Wheeler conceived a "delayed choice experiment" in which an observer's decision about whether to measure a single photon one way or another determined whether the result showed that the photon behaved as a wave or as a particle. This was one single photon. His thought experiment was finally confirmed by actual experiment in 2007. My interpretation of this result is that both the particle and the wave nature of each individual photon can not be clearly established in any absolute sense. So I would modify your statement to say that "a single photon takes one path or the other; and it acts like a wave and takes both paths."

Curious... I had no idea the experiment had been physically performed. By whom? Do you know of a link, or journal article?. I would be very interested to read about it.

To be honest, I'm not very familiar with Wheeler's work either, but if memory and understanding both serve, the outcome depended on how you decided to take the measurement -- you could not simultaneously observe both results. I was also under the impression that the thought experiment depended on the presence of other photons -- you could imagine a photon interfering with itself if you chose to consider the beam as a wave and look at the interference pattern, but if you chose to capture photons, you would either "see" it, or not. I'm curious: did they release a single photon in the physical experiment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...