Reality: Theory of Relativity and The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

Reality: Theory of Relativity and The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

Length: 1594 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


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...


... middle of paper ...


... Philosophy of Science: An Anthology. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2007. 619-32. Print.

3. Norton, John D. "Special Relativity Basics." Lecture. Special Relativity Basics. Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.

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.

6. Hoffman, Donald D. "What Do We Mean by "The Structure of the World"?" Commentaries (n.d.): 219-21. Web. .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Summary of the Book, Copenhagen Essay

- As I went through the isles of the book store, grabbing the text books that was required for my classes, I stopped in the ASC isle, located the two books I needed. One of the books was titled “Copenhagen”, by the size of the book, I determined it was a short reading required of the class. Having reading books galore in my lifetime, I tend to judge books occasionally by their cover. I glanced at the Copenhagen book, and really didn’t understand the context behind the picture on the front. So I turned the book to the back to read the short excerpt provided by most reading books, and came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to like the book but I will get over it....   [tags: copenhagen]

Powerful Essays
1033 words (3 pages)

Essay on Reality and Individual Interpretations

- “There are no facts, only interpretations.” These words from Frederick Nietzsche poignantly illustrate the notion that one’s reality is inevitably shaped by the influence of other’s around us. The set of values according to which one judges everyday events upon is the result of the reality formed based on other’s interpretations of the world. When one lacks the knowledge to develop a sound reality, one relies upon the reality of others to come to a sensible interpretation. However, though one may be adamant that the reality that one experiences is real, others’ continual influence upon them may eventually persuade them and thus conform to the newfound reality....   [tags: Frederick Nietzsche, reality, psychology]

Powerful Essays
840 words (2.4 pages)

The Creator of Relativity Essay example

- Imagine a world where everything made sense and where everything was easy. This all changed when Einstein challenged and revised the ideas of relativity. Physicists did not know how to deal with the concept of speeds approaching the speed of light, or with how atoms got their mass, so they stuck to their simple relativity ideas. Physicists before Einstein believed that energy and mass were two separate ideas, and they should be considered differently, leading to the belief that speeds could be added together, and that gravity was based on mass and distance....   [tags: Albert, Einstein, Physicists, Relativity]

Powerful Essays
860 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Michael Frayn's Copenhagen

- Michael Frayn's Copenhagen “Our children and our children’s children. Preserved, just possibly, by that one short moment in Copenhagen. By some event that will never quite be located or defined. By that final core of uncertainty at the heart of things.” (Frayn 94) The final line of Michael Frayn's Copenhagen suggests an approach to reading the entire work that looks at the inseparable scientific and dramatic elements of the play. Heisenberg says that no one will ever fully understand the meeting in Copenhagen between himself and Bohr in 1941; Uncertainty forever preserves the moment....   [tags: Michael Frayn copenhagen Essays]

Powerful Essays
2077 words (5.9 pages)

The Theory of Relativity Essay

- Since the days of Newton, the ideas of classical mechanics prevailed in the scientific community. The ideas of absolute velocity and absolute time were accepted phenomenon and were not at all challenged. However, as the nineteenth century drew to a close, new observations were being made, observations which contradicted the current theory of the time. For instance, throughout the nineteenth century, it was correctly believed that light was a wave. If light were a wave like all other waves, it must have a medium through which to propagate through....   [tags: physics science relativity]

Powerful Essays
2238 words (6.4 pages)

Linguistic Relativity Essays

- Introduction: Linguistic relativity is the notion that language can affect our thought processes, and is often referred to as the ‘Sapir-Whorf hypothesis’, after the two linguists who brought the idea into the spotlight. Whorf writes how “Language is not merely a reproducing instrument for voicing ideas but rather is itself the shaper of ideas, the program and guide for the individual’s mental activity” (1956:212), and I will explain how it is able to do so. In this essay I will argue that certain ways of mental categorization, spatial cognition and reality interpretation, based on the characteristics of our specific variety of language, influence our perception of the world....   [tags: Sapir Whorf Hypothesis]

Powerful Essays
1517 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Einstein's Relativity, Literature and Perception

- Einstein's Relativity, Literature and Perception The effect relativity had on literature was that it gave a new way of viewing objects moving at speeds near light. What a person sees depends on their viewpoint. Relativity states that as an object moves faster from a relatively stationary point the object becomes warped, or a plane that flies 'straight" over a merry-go-round would appear curved to the rider. These are two examples of the way relativity causes someone to think. The biggest direct effect on literature was that relativity made time travel possible....   [tags: Physics Relativity Einstein Research Papers]

Powerful Essays
1277 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Einstein's Theory of Relativity

- Motion and time are fundamental components of life. Finding himself late to work, an employee will drive faster, which in turn, will reduce the time needed to commute to his job. The rules of motion and time are known intrinsically to every person on the planet. As children, these “Laws” become common sense. No explanation is needed when a sleeping student falls out of his desk onto the floor. Motion and time were always considered to be self-explanatory and obvious parts of everyday life. This was true until a group of scientists who deemed themselves “Physicists” began challenging the known rules of motion and explaining them using mathematics and experimentation....   [tags: physics Albert Einstein theory relativity]

Powerful Essays
3230 words (9.2 pages)

Copenhagen Essay

- Copenhagen, written by the renowned author Michael Frayn, is a captivating and out of the ordinary play. The play happens to be based mostly in Copenhagen, Denmark. Frayn’s Play takes place in the afterlife, as three characters reminisce and try to sort through particularly interesting details of their lives, including the infamous meeting between two of the characters; Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr. Copenhagen proved to be a much more difficult read than expected, with very little logic and no set plot....   [tags: Literary Review]

Powerful Essays
756 words (2.2 pages)

Relativity Essay example

- Relativity is a theory in physics that can be basically implies that space and time are one in the same. This is absolutely counterintuitive to classical physics which has the two as completely different entities. Relativity can be separated into two basic concepts: Special and General Relativity. Within Relativity the fundamental concept above all else is that space and time are intertwined with each other in the universe as a fabric called space-time. Simply put, Special Relativity deals with the laws of Physics when observers are all moving uniformly relative to each other while General Relativity expands on the idea to include gravitation and acceleration....   [tags: Physics]

Powerful Essays
1941 words (5.5 pages)