Is reality real? Does it exist when an observer measures it? Similar to the age-old question of whether a tree sounds if it falls in a wooded area, this question remains one that is most interesting in the field of quantum mechanics. This science is concerned with the behavior and microscopic levels of subatomic molecules.
A form of Play-Doh that you mold to different shapes using your actions might be called quantum reality. Scientists at the Federal University of ABC, located in Brazil’s Sao Paulo metropolitan area add fuel to the notion that reality might exist “in the eye of any observer.”
A Research published in the journal Communications Physics in April, Brazilian scientists attempted to justify the “complementarity principle” the famous Niels Bohr Danish physicist proposed in 1928. The statement that objects can have certain complementary properties makes it impossible to observe them all at once. It doesn’t matter how you set up an experiment that involves two particles, you cannot study both their positions simultaneously. For example, the test will display the position for the first electron but hide the position for the second (the complementary particle).
This history lesson will help us understand how the complementarity principle is related to objective reality. It all began over a century ago. The fifth Solvay Conference, the largest annual international conference in physics or chemistry, saw a famous debate in Brussels between Bohr (1927) and Albert Einstein (1927).
Einstein, who was surrounded by 77 other scientists who were present in Vienna to discuss quantum theory’s nascent field, insisted that quantum states could have their reality regardless of what scientists did. Bohr, however, supported the notion that quantum systems have their reality only after the scientist has established the experimental design.
“God does not play dice,” Einstein said.
After the conclusion of the 1927 Solvay Conference, it took only a few years for Bohr publicly communicate his complementarity principles. Over the next few decades, the controversial Bohr notion was tested and retested until the bone. John Archibald Wheeler, an American theoretical physical physicist who tested the complementarity principle, was one of them.
Wheeler attempted a reimagining of Thomas Young’s 1801 Double-slit Experiment into the properties and light in 1978. In two-slit experiment includes shining light on a wall with parallel slits. The light passing through slits will diffract and overlap with the light from another slit. No straighter lines. The graph pattern you see after the experiment is an interfering pattern, that indicates that light is moving in waves. The fundamental idea behind the light is that it has both a particle-wave nature and a wave one, and they are not separate.
“We used RF resonance techniques similar in use to medical imaging,” says Roberto M. Serra. The nuclear spin is a magnetic property that’s analogous to the position of a needle within a compass. These nuclear spins were created by manipulating electromagnetic radiation in a molecule. Serra explained that in this setup, we created an interference device for the proton-nucleus spin to examine its wave and particle reality within the quantum realm.
The key takeaway from the April 2022 quantum reality study is that although they are mutually exclusive entities, they do not contradict or complete each other.
It’s a study that highlights the long-standing adage of Richard Feynman (American quantum physicist, Nobel laureate): “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don’t understand quantum mechanics,” Holler states. Researchers continue to work hard to grasp even the most basic principles of quantum mechanics, and this is crucial as we enter an age in which quantum devices and computing are increasingly popular.
Dieguez is happy and stated, “The fact a material particle can behave like a wave or light like a particle depending on the context is still one of the most fascinating and beautiful mysteries of quantum Physics.”
The possibility that reality is in the eye of an observer is a peculiar aspect of the quantum domain’s physical reality. Both researchers agree that this mystery has no signs of abating.