Quantum Physics is beginning to get a lot of attention recently. Films are being based on quantum theories, experiments are becoming more openly promoted on social media and TV, and it seems like most people are opening up to the idea that things aren't really as we see them.
I believe there are a few stages that you go through when you first start to research into Quantum Physics, obviously this won't be the same for everyone but I have no doubt that there are people out there that will be able to relate to exactly what I am saying, this is based on some of my own experience and others that I have spoken to about QP. At first it is the craziness of the notion that attracts you or the comical side, you begin to do a bit of light research watching videos and reading up on physics websites etc and begin to get hooked on learning more about it, then you go through the stage of self doubt and darkness: am I crazy? What would society think if they thought I believed this? Should I stop researching this and head back towards the confinements of society, and then lastly, the stage where you are finally get over the doubt and worry about how people will think about you and begin openly talking about QP and feeling more confident in what you believe.
One of the most famous theories that has been floating around for some time now is that reality does not actually exist until it is measured. Yes you read it right, Quantum Physics suggests that reality doesn't exist until someone physically looks at it. In the past when I have spoken about this theory the majority of people have laughed it off and convinced themselves that this is not the case and could not possibly be true, but now some of those very same people are coming back to talk more about the theory and seem a lot more open minded about it and obviously more interested.
Back in 1978 John Archibald Wheeler carried out a series of thought experiments known as the Wheeler's delayed choice experiment. The purpose of these experiments was to try and determine whether photons adjusted their state on demand or if they never had a state to begin with. Thinking logically you could say that light is either made up of particles or waves but not both, this is Quantum Physics we are talking about though, and that doesn't quite work out. During the experiment mirrors were used to reflect light beams which were then measured, it was a hard experiment to perform in those days due to our lack in technological knowledge and apparatus, but Wheeler was quite certain that the light had neither state until the act of observing occurred and determined whether the photon would act as a particle or wave.
Since that time many different types of experiments have been carried out with more modern technology aiming to finally proving that reality does not exist until someone observes it. There is already a well known classical Quantum Physics theory that the universe does not actually exist if no one observes it, and this is one of the things that scientists are trying to prove or disprove. One of the most well known experiments is the Double Slit Experiment, an experiment that has been repeated and repeated over the years, and always has the same conclusion. I explained this experiment a few months ago, here was my explanation of the experiment:
"Another well known experiment is the Double Slit experiment, this experiment has been carried out many times by scientists world wide and always ends with the same results. Basically particles are fired at a screen which is blocked by a wall with two slits, you would expect that as the particles were fired at the screen, they would only land on the screen in between the holes in the wall, but this is not the case. The particles hit the wall the same way as a wave would, if you imagine water flowing through the slits you would see ripples that hit the screen in multiple places including the places blocked by the wall, this would suggest that particles are actually waves, but that isn't possible right? ;) "
More recently the experiment has once again concluded that at sub atomic levels, reality truly does not exist until it is observed. Scientists at the National University of Australia recreated Wheeler's delayed choice experiment, but this time used helium atoms that were scattered using lasers. Once again the experiment was a success, they created a grating pattern using 2 lasers. then fired an atom through it, once it had passed the first grating, a second grating was generated in its path. When the second path was added there was interference measured which showed the atom have traveled through both paths acting like a wave, but when the grating hadn't been added there was no interference meaning that the atom had only traveled one path acting like a particle.
In a press release which you can find in the link below, physicist Andrew Truscott stated:
"Measurements are important. This basically proves that measurement is everything. On a quantum level, what we know as "reality" doesn't really exist if you are not looking at it."
"The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,”
"If one chooses to believe that the atom really did take a particular path or paths then one has to accept that a future measurement is affecting the atom's past,"
The research was scientifically published in the following paper:
This new round of evidence will probably not be anything shocking to many people, and to people that are just finding out about this now, it should be an intriguing wake up call. Whatever you choose to believe about the subject it still stands that this has been proven, now we can look forward to more findings that are to come in the very near future as we continue to unravel the true power of our universe and find the answers to questions that have held back the human race for so long. Again to quote one of the most famous quotes in the world of Quantum Physics media from the film the Matrix:
"What is real? How do you define real? If you are talking about what you can feel, what you smell, what you can taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain."
Checkout the videos below for learn more about the Double Slit Experiment.