What happens to particles that are never observed?

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Offline Eric A. Taylor

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According to Quantum Theory a particle's wave function doesn't collapse to a point until it's observed. What about all the particles that are never observed by anything. (assuming that humans are not the only intelligent things around). Do the wave functions never collapse? What causes the wave function to collapse in the first place? How does the particle know it's being looked at?
« Last Edit: 02/10/2010 08:55:56 by chris »
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Offline Bored chemist

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What happens to particles that are never observed?
« Reply #1 on: 02/10/2010 16:31:11 »
"What about all the particles that are never observed by anything. "
We don't know.
Since we don't know it can't matter (because if it mattered we would find out).
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Offline Soul Surfer

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What happens to particles that are never observed?
« Reply #2 on: 03/10/2010 00:26:19 »
This is a common and serious error in the understanding of quantum theory.  By "observation"  it does not mean that nothing exists until a sentient being performs an experiment to prove its existence, it means that nothing us clear until any other particle interacts with it and confirms its state.  the act of observation can be performed by any other particle or object in the universe.
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