January 23, 2011


Reality check (Simon Hoggartt, 1/21/11, The Spectator)

Horizon (BBC2, Monday) asked, ‘What is reality?’ and didn’t really have an answer. Well, it seems nobody does, though plenty of physicists, mathematicians and astronomers are working on it. As the voiceover told us, ‘Once you have entered their reality, your reality may never look the same.’ You can say that again. It appears that quantum particles can literally be in two places at the same time. But we are made up of quantum particles, and we are never in two places at the same time, even if that would occasionally be useful. So maybe there are more of us, all made up of the same particles but doing different things in different places. Possibly infinite numbers of us. [...]

Even the anecdotes taxed the brain. Apparently, Einstein asked Niels Bohr, ‘Can you say that the moon is not there if nobody is looking at it?’ Bohr replied, ‘Can you prove the opposite?’

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Posted by Orrin Judd at January 23, 2011 8:55 AM
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