5.1.1 The Double-slit experiment

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5.1.1-1  The Double Column Experiment is impossible to explain with both classical physics and quantum physics theory. What one observes is seemingly impossible and shows that something must be wrong or deficient in our understanding of the world.

5.1.1-2  A light source is set up and in front of it a plate is placed, for example of thick paper, where two thin slits have been cut out. Behind the paper is a light-sensitive screen that shows the light that comes through the slots. This is basically the same type of screen that was used in old TVs. They had a fluorescent material on the surface that lit up when they were hit by a beam controlled by the TV signal.

5.1.1-3  When the light is turned on, you will see on the screen that an interference pattern is forming, ie a series of light and dark stripes. This happens because light is waves that come out through the two slits and mix with each other so that wave peaks and wave valleys are formed, ie more and less light, which appears as a long series of stripes, an interference pattern.

5.1.1-4  If you go close to the screen, you will see that the light has also formed small dots, ie that they are also particles. This classic experiment from the beginning of the 19th century is used to show that light is both waves that spread everywhere in space, but at the same time also particles that are located in a specific place when it hits something.

5.1.1-5  This in itself is strange, but it is so.

5.1.1-6  But that's just the beginning, it's going to get weirder.

5.1.1-7  We have equipment that can emit light one particle at a time, ie one and one photon, as a light particle is called. The experiment was also performed with electrons, atoms and large, heavy molecules.

5.1.1-8  We now shoot out one photon at a time and see that it hits the back plate where a dot appears. It is reasonable to assume that some photons pass through one and some through the other slot. Thus, one would think that over time two stripes were formed, with about the same shape as the slits. This is not the case.

5.1.1-9  Instead, it is seen that gradually, after an hour of launching individual particles, an interference pattern is formed again as if the backplate had been hit by waves. How can these individual particles behave in this way? How can a particle know where the previous particles have hit so that it can hit in such a way that it helps to form the pattern?

5.1.1-10  This is even more mysterious.

5.1.1-11  And there is more.

5.1.1-12  We now place measuring instruments at the slots that register whether the particles pass one or the other slot. We "observe" them, that is the word used. This does not mean that a person is sitting there looking at the measuring devices, it is insignificant. The point is that the particles are registered by something that unambiguously tells whether they are at one slot or the other.

5.1.1-13  After one hour of firing individual particles, an interference pattern is no longer formed with a long series of stripes, but two clear and delimited stripes corresponding to the two slits.

5.1.1-14  The fact that the particles were observed meant that they no longer behaved like waves, but only like particles, as if they were grains of sand.

5.1.1-15  As long as the light is not observed it is a wave, as soon as it is observed it is a particle. How do you explain that?

5.1.1-16  Physics has no good explanation for the phenomenon. Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman once said that this is the only real problem in quantum physics.

5.1.1-17  So how can it be explained from a worldview where everything is thought and nothing material exists?

5.1.1-18  We have to turn things around.

5.1.1-19  We do not have particles and waves, we have a thought about particles and waves - and everything else that is included in the experiment.

5.1.1-20  The thought thinks of a light source, such as a laser cannon. The thought is that a ray of light is coming out of the cannon. The idea is that the beam flies through the slits, which is also just a performance, there are no physical slits.

5.1.1-21  The idea is that the beams must pass through both slots and mix on the back before they hit the back plate. How then can the light be thought to look like when it hits the plate? Yes, it must form a pattern, the thought thinks, an interference pattern.

5.1.1-22  This is how waves behave, the thought has been thought of before. This is also what you are thinking right now when you read this text. You see it in your own mind, without anything physical in front of you, so you should not be surprised.

5.1.1-23  Then the thought thinks that it goes close to the screen and studies the light pattern. It thinks that here there are dots, particles, just as the whole world apparently consists of myriads of dots. One of the first thoughts I ever thought was that everything is particles and that these particles form patterns, which in turn become shapes that are experienced as things.

5.1.1-24  This thought about the pattern on the screen, the thought thinks, must also be formed by particles. That's what it's imagining it sees. This is what it thinks, as you think it when you read about it.

5.1.1-25  Then we start shooting the light particles one by one instead. The thought sees that it is light, the thought knows that it is light, because it is the thought that thinks that the launch is happening. There is no physical launch.

5.1.1-26  It's slow. The thought is that light is being emitted. Light is waves. The light accumulates on the screen and shows a pattern. Which pattern is displayed? What pattern should the mind imagine it seeing?

5.1.1-27  Is it not reasonable to see the same pattern as last time? The only thing that is different now is that everything goes so slowly. It takes an hour to form the pattern. But does it change the mind's mind about what it is it sees? It's still light. The idea has no idea that light looks different whether it occurs in large or small amounts within a period of time. Light is light, much or little - it behaves the same. Have you ever experienced that light behaves differently when there is a lot or little? That would be sensational.

5.1.1-28  So the thought thinks that it took its time, yes, but finally it starts to become something, an interference pattern, as usual.

5.1.1-29  Then the thought thinks that it studies the screen and sees again that the pattern is formed by dots, as last.

5.1.1-30  The third time the tank thinks of the experiment, it has also thought that there are two measuring devices, one at each slot. You too can imagine this where you are reading, without there being any measuring devices physically in front of you.

5.1.1-31  The tank rethinks the beam of light that comes in tiny shocks from the cannon. The thought thinks that it looks at the beam at the measuring points and discovers, again, that light is really photons, particles, the thought thinks. This is as it always has been, the thought thinks. So there are particles I experience flying through the slots. Particles! No waves! I know, I imagine particles.

5.1.1-32  These are tiny and come individually, the thought thinks. Particles that come individually can then not perform miracles and form interference patterns? How could they? One particle then does not know what the other is doing? This thinks the thought, just as you think the exact same thought. The thought thinks the same no matter where it is thought, because there is really only one thought.

5.1.1-33  So the tank thinks particles and particles that pierce through two cracks in a thick sheet of paper and hit a light-sensitive material on an imaginary screen can only form two stripes that resemble the slits.

5.1.1-34  Thinking the thought. Problem solved, Feynman.