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Quantum Quandary

Updated on April 22, 2013

The single slit and marbles

When a screen, with a single vertical slit wide enough to allow a marble through, is bombarded with a steady stream of marbles it is observed that the marbles that go through the slit leave a pattern on the wall behind the slit and this pattern is always vertical band as anyone would expect to happen.

The double slit and marbles

When a screen with two vertical slits wide enough to allow a marble through is bombarded with marbles it is observed that the marbles leave two vertical bands on the wall behind the slits. This too is a result that anyone would expect.

How waves behave

The single slit and waves

Waves striking a single vertical slit make a similar single vertical pattern as the marbles do.

The double slit and waves

When a second slit is added the waves striking the screen with the double slits produce an interference pattern on the wall behind the screen and this result was used to distinguish between particles and waves.

The quantum dilemma

On the quantum level things don't go according to plan. When a beam of tiny particles (electrons) are fired through a single slit the pattern is the same as for the marbles. We get a single vertical pattern on the wall behind the slit. However when a second slit is added rather than observing two vertical band patterns on the wall behind the slits we get an interference pattern. So although we know we fired matter at the screen the interference pattern suggests that the electrons behaved as waves.

Scientists tried to explain this by suggesting that the tiny particles must be hitting off each other as they go through the slits to account for the interference pattern they observed. To investigate this they set up the gun firing the electrons to only fore one electron at a time. This would rule out any interferences between the particles as they go through the slits.It made no difference because they still observed the same interference pattern on the wall behind the screen.

Scientists then decided to observe what was happening by placing a measuring device near one of the slits. This time when the slits were bombarded with electrons the pattern observed was the same as the pattern for the marbles – two vertical bands.

By deliberately observing the electrons, the electrons had gone back to behaving like particles. This really puzzled the scientists. They could not understand how electrons would behave as waves when not being watched and as particles when they were being watched. It looked as if the electrons had minds of their own.

Seeing is believing

The following video describes very simply and clearly the phenomenon described in this hub by means of an animation.

I highly recommend you watching this 5 minute video before proceeding.

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

People are still distracted by the physical aspect of our existence and as long as Man places store in the physical appearance of things He is missing the point.

As a result of all this experimentation scientists are no nearer to an explanation of this phenomenon as they were when they first discovered it.

A great scientist called Werner Heisenberg concluded that the act of observation interferes with the object being observed and as such the observer sabotages his results.

It is like saying that a blind man can detect a dog in the room by touching him with his stick but by touching the dog he can no longer say with certainty that the dog is still there. If the dog gets a fright and runs off then he is going to be somewhere else and so the blind man would have to keep hitting the dog to find him and in the process keep moving him.

This became known as Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and when applied to the double slit experiments it means that the act of observing the electrons interfered with the process and subsequently the result is altered.

Every day parallels

In our every day lives we experience parallels to this quantum phenomenon every time we choose to observe an experience from a different perspective. When we deliberately change how we perceive something we change our belief about it and in so doing we change our experience of it.

As a Hypno-Psychotherapist in private practice I get to see many examples of this. An example would be a client coming to me to address a weight problem. The client describes herself as overweight and physically unattractive. She then explains how she is unable to control her eating and she has begun to feel depressed.

After some questioning it transpires that the client is in a loveless marriage. Her husband had an affair five years ago and though she says she forgave him when they decided to try again she now cannot bear her husband to touch her and there is little intimacy between them.

When I ask the client how her being overweight might be serving her she eventually realises that it is easier for her to become physically repulsive than to express how she really feels. The weight keeps her husband away but there is a price she pays for repressing her true feelings. Once the client sees the physical symptom from this new perspective everything changes. The act of observing has changed everything.


World of illusion

Science seeks to view the world from the same perspective over and over and though scientists continue to refine their explanations they always fall short. The reason for this is that they are focussed on the effect rather than the cause. The answers they seek do not lie in the physical but in the realm of mind they refuse to admit even exists.

Science is fun and is a wonderful way for Man to play with ideas and opinions but that is all they ever will be in this world of illusion.

Wake up call

The following video is Part 1 of a series designed to make you think about the things you take for granted and question what you imagine reality to be.

Diogenese has Something to say on The Matter

Hubber diogenes has also written an article about this same phenomenon called Does The Human Brain Create His Universe?

It is always a good thing to hear different points of view on any subject.


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    • Anandkg22 profile image

      Anand Kumar 4 years ago

      Quantum physics say's that subatomic particle exists in wave form, as every matter can be finally broken down into subatomic particle so their interaction with each other is through wave form communication or vibrational form of communication. This is very important to remember as in higher order of spiritual consciousnesses we can control matter through our vibrations.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      Thank you Wesman Todd Shaw

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Hats Off for covering this subject!

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      Electrons like all matter are part of the external world and as such are a construct of the mind. The separateness I refer to is the illusion that deceives most people who believe they are separate from their perceptions. If you are interested I explain this in more detail

      Thank you again for your comments and interest in what I write I really do appreciate it.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK

      Exactly so. Secondary gain can apply in the human situation (the overweight lady example) but is unlikely to apply to electrons!

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      It is fascinating isn't? I am not sure about your secondary gain theory as this would imply a separateness between the observer and that which is observed and that separateness is the illusion that most people invest in believing and maintains the ego!

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK

      This is all very intriguing. The human example you gave falls firmly into the 'secondary gain' basket of behaviours, but what secondary gain would the electrons have in acting like particles? Having seen telekenesis at first hand, I know that not everything around us has an obvious explanation. I suspect that the electrons were affected by the energy vibrations of the observers in a way that we have yet to identify. There's always so much more to learn.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      Thank you diogenes for reading my article and I appreciate your very generous gesture and kind words. Would you like me to do likewise for you?

    • profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago

      I wish I had been aware of your article before I fuddled along with mine. I am going to add a suggestion that others read your hub first as you do a far better job of explaining the odd behaviour of the particles, etc. Great hub! Bob