It’s not uncommon for the scientific community to be shaken up by a new concept – and have everything we know about the current state of physics be called into question. Indeed, many experiments have made scientists question it in one form or another. But few scientific experiments have actually changed our perception of reality so drastically as a seemingly benign experiment called the double slit experiment. But what it essentially suggested by the end was that reality was completely different based on whether or not parts of it were understood or observed. In simple terms – it suggests this may all be nothing more than a simulation that breaks down at a certain point.
Descartes suggested that all of life and all of reality may in fact be the resut of one man’s imagination – and that person’s imagination could be anyone with perception. The Indians believed that we were all living in the dream of the ancient Lord Brahma. And in 1999 the film “The Matrix” transformed this idea into a modern day mythology that would come up in most conversations had about the subject of a simulated reality afterward. Of course this was a novel idea to those who believed in an objective truth to the universe we were all drawing from collectively with the brain being at fault for interpreting it any other way.
But the double slit experiment challenged all of that. For the first time there was a scientific experiment that suggested a breakdown in logic altogether that seemed to follow with almost discordian prowess how the universe and the laws of physics seemed to react and shape itself around the human mind. It was as if some cosmic entity were going around patching the holes in the simulation once we came too close to unraveling the illusion of it all.
When light is passed through a single slit as a single particle of light, known as a photon it will pass through like a bullet and hit against the photo paper behind it. But when two slits are put behind it, in order to study the probability of it all, the light will act like a wave and show up in several different lines behind the two slits – something that goes against everything we know of physics. But then it gets even stranger. If two sensors are placed in front of the slits to chart the trajectory of the photons, no matter their size or their position, the phenomenon will “correct itself.” Other things, such as props made to look like sensors register no change. It is only the act of being observed that changes these photons and makes them behave in accordance to our understanding of the laws of physics.
Why? Perhaps the most disturbing element is this is precisely what was predicted by scientists and philosophers such as Nick Bostrum and Hans Moravec. If we were to look closely enough at the universe’s finest points eventually it would look increasingly illogical and break down, even responding to our very observations as if we were somehow controlling what was real with our minds. It’s strange to think, but some have said the experiment disproved reality.