Posted: Aug 16, 2010 2:06 am
by Oldskeptic
Going back to the beginning:

Hackenslash wrote:
Errr, no. That nothing is unstable (actually, it's worse than that, it's impossible) is a proven fact, and stems from one of our most successful and accurate scientific principles. The uncertainty principle isnt a though experiment, it's a categorical feature of the universe, and beyond any serious questioning.

AMR wrote:
As I understand classical QM the uncertainty principal requires observers; what observers were there in the beginning of the universe…

The standard model of quantum mechanics includes the uncertainty principle as a demonstrated principle that cannot be refuted without overturning all of the standard model. If in theory, accepted theory, it is impossible to know precisely position and momentum of a particle at the same time then no observer is necessary. The uncertainty is always there as a part of the system.

Observers interfering with the system is another matter. This happens, but it is physical interference not just the act of observation. It depends on what is used to make the observation. You can use an electron microscope to look at lots of really tiny things without the observation affecting the tiny things. That is until you get to the atomic level where the energy of an electron actually accounts for something.

Here the energy used to make the observation does affect the system and can add uncertainties that must be accounted for and reconciled, but this has nothing to do with Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle which says nothing about devices or observations.

In principle the position and moment of a particle cannot be known. Where is an observer required in this to make it true? It is not that observers cannot determine position and momentum accurately at the same time, it is that it is impossible whether there is an observer or not.

Anyway, this whole thing with the uncertainty principle here seems to have started with Hackenslash correctly saying that the uncertainty principle makes “nothingness” so unstable as to be impossible. But AMR instead of wanting to know why went off on a tangent about observers affecting probability wave collapse, which has little if nothing to do with the uncertainty principle.

@AMR :
If you would like to learn why “nothingness” is so unstable as to be virtually impossible and how the uncertainty principle fits in then just ask. There are a few of us here that will happily explain it to you.