I know I’ve touched upon it a couple of times already, but before we go much deeper we really need to understand fully what I’ve been describing and saying up until this point regarding knowledge. As I mentioned before, this is a point of contention among many.
When I say that it appears as though knowledge of a system can collapse a wave function it’s easy to relate this to our conscious being. That very well may be the case, but we do have to keep in mind what forms knowledge can take. To do that we have to consider that at it’s core knowledge is simply information.
What I’m trying to say here is that I don’t want you starting to think that when you “look” at a particle there is some sort of laser beam that shoots out of your eyes and collapses a wave function and brings a particle into being.
It is possible to record which-path information, never look at it and yet see what appears to be wave function collapse. Seeming to imply that our individual knowledge of the which-path information made no difference. What I feel is important to note here is that the information did in fact exist. That information was created at the time of measurement. This leads some to argue that consciousness plays no role in our physical reality.
Before making any arguments before or against I think one needs to really think about exactly what consciousness means. Sure you can look in a dictionary and find a few definitions for it, but do they really fit or explain things fully?
I realize this is a bit out there and somewhat hard to follow, and I won’t drone on much longer about it. I just want to be clear before moving on much further that “knowledge” of a particle or anything for that matter can be interpreted in many different ways. Soon as we do move on we’ll see it becomes quite important, but perhaps not in the way you would expect.
I suppose yet one more way to think of it is this. If I have extensive knowledge about plumbing and you have extensive knowledge about cooking, I could claim that I know nothing about cooking and you know nothing about plumbing. Despite that combined as a whole or a group it could be said that we know a lot about plumbing and cooking. If we are both really just parts of a single consciousness, then that consciousness has knowledge of both cooking and plumbing. In fact, that consciousness has knowledge about everything that any individual aspect of it has. Even further we could say that if the universe or at least what we perceive to be “real” is a construct of that consciousness, then the entire knowledge contained in that universe is contained somewhere in consciousness. Taking it even further if that universal consciousness has knowledge of every particle in the universe how could there ever NOT be a collapse? Where is that line drawn?
It gets a little tricky doesn’t it? For now, don’t get too crazy over it. We’ll definitely explore more as we continue trudging on. Just keep an open interpretation when it comes to knowledge and information as we’ll be exploring both much more in depth very soon!