Saturday, September 03, 2005

Quantum mechanics version of the exam paradox

Lets say instead of an exam we examine a particle with known speed (in this case very close to zero). We want to find out where the particle is - it could be in any of a number of different spaces (let's say five).

Now the "Heisenberg uncertainty principle" states basically that you can't know both the position and velocity of a particle (to summarize it). thus discovering the particle with a known velocity MUST be a "surprise" to any feasible computer, robot or human investigating it - otherwise it defies the fundimental quantum mechanics equasion.

Now if you do find the particle you will alter it enough to maintain the lack of complete knowledge of the particle BUT if you were to look in all the places the particle COULD be except one - and you did not find it - then you would know it was in the last place. But then you would know its velocity and speed! So it CAN'T be in the last place you look.

Lather, rinse, and repeat until there is no place any particle could exist. Since we are made of particles we can thus conclude we don't exist.



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