Do we live in a world with a reality that is independent of the observer, which can be assessed objectively and compared to an observer’s perceptions? Or do we live in a world that has a reality dependent on the consciousness of the observer? The two most successful scientific theories do not agree on the role of the observer in reality. The Theory of Relativity implies that there is an observer-independent reality whereas The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics implies an observer-dependent reality. In this paper, I will critically examine the views of both and evaluate what our observation can tell us about the world.
For the dissection of the Theory of Relativity, I will be focusing on two important concepts: that of spacetime as the 4th dimension and the speed of light. The fourth dimension is called space-time because the two elements cannot be separated: as I move in space, I also move forward in time. Spacetime as a unified dimension is a smooth constant. As 3D beings we only experience a “now” and Special Relativity says each person has their own relative time (CITE). If two people were observing the same event from two different locations, it would appear that the event happened at two different times. This is caused by the time it takes for light to travel through space to reach the observer. An example of this is two people standing half a mile away from one another and hearing the siren of an ambulance traveling on the road. The sound waves reach the observers at different times and fade away from their hearing at different times. The event being observed occurs at the same instant but is perceived relative to the observer.
The postulate of invariability says that the speed of light in any inertial syste...
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... Philosophy of Science: An Anthology. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2007. 619-32. Print.
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4. Bub, Jeffrey. "Quantum Entanglement and Information." Stanford University. Stanford University, 13 Aug. 2001. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
5. Zimmerman Jones, Andrew. "The Abuse of Quantum Physics, and the Possibility of Quantum Consciousness." About.com Physics. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.
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