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Re: Lost World physics (SPOILER)



On Thu, 29 May 1997, Steven S. Lazarus wrote:
> jrhutch@socrates.berkeley.edu (John R. Hutchinson) wrote:
> >2) I don't think the Heisenberg (sp?) uncertainty principle was used
> >correctly by Dr. Malcolm. I didn't quite catch what he was saying, but I
> >think he was really talking about Schrodinger's cat or something of that
> >ilk. Aww heck, he had his tenure revoked, so he had paid his karmic dues
> >already.
> No, Malcomb's usage was correct. The Heisenberg principle refers to the
> behavior of subatomic particles reacting to the experimentor's measuring
> devices and expectations. Hence, the notion that the act of observation
> changes the outcome of the event being observed. Schrodinger's Cat is along
> the lines of parallel universes. In the analogy a cat inside a box is both
> alive and dead at the same time but the reality in this thread of
> space/time is not determined until the box is opened and the event is
> actualized. The other reality still exists but no longer for this thread. I
> know this sounds convoluted and without going into alot of background and
> detail and context of what the analogy is supposed to illustrate, it may
> make seem nonsensicle. But that's the general idea.

I'm not so sure about Ian's application of the Heisenberg principle. Ian
states that trying to observe  (study) a system changes the system. This
does not scale up well from the subatomic. He was talking in the context
of studying the dinos, and I would maintain that a lot of study could be
done WITHOUT changing the system. Hammond's people were observing the island
with satellite derived infrared images; in no way could this ever change
or disturb the system(s) there.

Alot depends on the method of observation and what you're looking for.
For a more modern and relevant example, consider the recent news
stories about companies spying on workers. 

+----------+    Rich Travsky   RTRAVSKY @ UWYO . EDU
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