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An Observer Can Change Everything

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jcstack6

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Recently in our physics class we were discussing the theory of relativity and how it works in nature. Without learning the math behind the theory yet, the theory is incredibly confusing, but it reminded me of a video we watched last year in my physics class that discussed how observers can change the way particles act. In a certain experiment, physicists shot electrons through a small slit to see the nature of an electron, whether it would act as a wave or as a particle. Incredibly, even though an electron is a particle, when the experiment was first run, it acted as a wave and diffraction occured from its passing through the small slit. The physicists desired to know more about this remarkable discovery so they ran the experiment again, except this time with an extremely accurate slow motion camera recording the electrons movement. In this trial the electrons acted as particles. The physicists were astounded, but checked again and again and realized it was the camera that changed the electrons behavior. A particle, which has no ability to think, changes its behavior based on whether or not it is being observed. I believe this is one of the most fascinating things about physics, how particles, and our planet, changes its actions based on whether or not its certain actions are being observed. Here's a short video explaining the experiment.

 

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