RE: chaos and uncertainty

James Andrix (
Sat, 17 Jul 1999 23:24:36 -0400 (EDT)

Just thought I'd relay something I saw on TV... (some kind of educational show, don't remember other than that.)

You have a laser, pointing at a wall. (little dot on wall) Presumably, all the photons are going in the same direction. You take two objects (I think maybe razor blades) And start to block the beam with them, one on each side. (forming a vertical slit, making the dot smaller) when they get _really close together_ instead of a very slotted vertical dot, you get a horizontal spread. The explanation was that the fact that you 'knew the position' of the photons so accurately (because of the very narrow slit) you _could not_ know their velocity. (and hence direction) I figured (I think correctly) that the spread was just horizontal (it was still as tall as the diameter of the laser beam) because you only 'knew' the horizontal position accurately.
I don't know if it was real or not, or if the effect was actually because of QM, but I decided I didn't want to think about QM for a few months because I might hurt something, or scare myself. (Photons should NOT be that smart)

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