What is an observer effect in quantum mechanics?

What is an observer effect in quantum mechanics?

When you're watching something in the world

Basics of quantum physics

The area of quantum mechanics was primarily based on three pillars. The first of these pillars is known as quantum properties. Quantified properties set the position, speed, color and other properties of the particle that can only occur in the given quantities of time and copies. This is in direct contradiction with the belief that has developed in the established area of classical mechanics, namely, that everything is going on in a smooth and continuous spectrum. It was something that scientists found very new and eventually called these particles quantum particles.

The second pillar of quantum mechanics relates to the nature of light particles. First, the idea that light can behave and be classified as a particle is faced with enormous criticism because it contradicts the well-established principle that light has a wavelike nature.

However, the nature of the light particles brought a fundamental unit that could represent tiny energy packages known as Quantums, which was proposed by no one other than Albert Einstein himself. Einstein suggested that an energy package could either be generated or absorbed in general, in particular by an electron that wanted to move from one quantum state to another.

The third and last fundamental pillar of quantum mechanics is the wave nature of matter. Although it may be difficult to digest, matter also manifests a wavelike nature. The wobbling nature of matter was proposed by two scientists independently, almost at the same time, even though they ignored each other's work. The two former pioneers were scientists Louis De Broil and Ervin Schroedinger.

They used two fundamentally different mathematical approaches to prove the wave-like nature of matter. Later, both scientists were recognized for their contribution, and their idea was jointly called the Heisenberg-Shrödinger model. Heisenberg made another important contribution to quantum mechanics. Although it is not as important as fundamentals, it has played a significant role and is known as Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. He argued that since the nature of the substance is like a wave, some properties, such as the speed and position of electrons, complement each other. Simply put, there is a limit to which each electron property can be measured simultaneously with a certain degree of precision.

Monitoring affects reality

When a quantum observer watches, quantum mechanics say that particles can also behave like waves. This can be just for electrons on a sub-micronal level, that is, at a distance of less than one micron or a thousand millimeters. When they act like waves, electrons can pass through several holes in the barrier at the same time and then meet again on the other side. This meeting is known as interference. Now the most absurd thing about this phenomenon is that it can only occur when no one is watching it.

As soon as an observer begins to see particles passing through a hole, the image is dramatically changed: if you can see a particle passing through one hole, it is clear that it did not pass through another hole. In other words, under observation the electron is more or less forced to act as particles rather than as waves. Thus, the observation act itself affects the experimental results.

To illustrate this phenomenon, the Weitzman Institute built a tiny device the size of less than one micron with a two-hole barrier. Then they directed the flow of electrons to the barrier. The observer in this experiment was not human. Instead, they used a tiny electron detector that could detect the presence of passing electrons.

The ability of a quantum "observator" to detect electrons can be changed by changing its electrical conductivity or current through it. In addition to "observation" or detection of electrons, the detector did not affect current. However, scientists found that the presence of the "observator" of the detector near one of the openings caused changes in the interference image of electronic waves passing through the barrier openings.

In fact, this effect depended on the "number" of observations: when the "observator"'s ability to detect electrons increased, in other words, when the level of observation increased, the interference weakened; on the contrary, when its ability to detect electrons was reduced and observation was weakened, the interference increased; thus, by controlling the properties of the quantum observer, scientists managed to control its influence on electron behaviour!