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If you could zoom in on the light bubble to the level of photons, would you see photons, or waves?

According to quantum mechanics, if you try to 'see' either one, you end up not 'seeing' it. Now I'm wondering what would happen if we really tried, would we see the waves moving, or would it be photons? None at all? Or something else? Any ideas?

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    Apr 27 2013: You'd see nothing. At this level, things are "seen" through theoretical models.
    From what I understand, we "see" photons moving as though they were interacting with other non existing photons. This gives rise to the wave / particle misunderstanding.
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    Apr 27 2013: What is "the light bubble?"

    What do you mean by "really tried?"

    This seems like the sort of question any specialist in quantum mechanics would know the answer to rather than something that is kind of an open question. Right? As we don't have many highly trained physicists here, you might find more reliable answers on a science site, so do post on one of those also!

    If you could state your question a little differently by defining what those expressions mean, I will try to get an answer from a quantum physicist for you, as I know a couple of them.
    • Apr 27 2013: no specialist can quantify the assumptions any human soul makes for this particular question.

      this question actually deals with the imagination of the reader.

      ask your quantum physicists one thing though - what exactly do they mean by saying that the observer changes the nature of that which is observed? i believe if that stands true, then Brechet here would zoom in and imagine a unicorn inside the continuum field and lo! the unicorn is discovered to be further zoomed in!!

      please do ask them the proof/meaning of that statement.
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        Apr 27 2013: The answer to the question in your third paragraph you will find readily by looking up Heisenberg Uncertainty principle and observer effects. I know there are excellent explanations for that online related to how the tools of measurement, including bouncing light off something, can change it as well as how increasing certainty in one measurement can reduce certainty in another. But again, you will find good explanations for this on a science reference site.

        In terms of your first statement, it is quite true that no one, generally speaking, can measure all the assumptions anyone makes about any question. We all make all sorts of assumptions about lots of things.
    • Apr 28 2013: With 'really tried' I mean a thought experiment, because with today's technology, I don't think we already can zoom in to that level.
      With the light bubble I just refer to the bullet that was captured on the camera.
      Anyway, thanks already for the responses!
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        Apr 28 2013: I don't know whether this response gets at what you ask, but it is not that by looking more closely or doing a more comprehensive thought experiment that one would see one or the other.

        It is that the photon has properties of particle and wave that one sees by different ways of viewing.

        I don't know whether this is a good analogy, but if you use a scale, you would see my weight but not my height. With a measuring tape you could find my height but not my weight.
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    Apr 29 2013: When you look at the ocean do you see water or waves?
  • Apr 27 2013: well. no one knows for sure.

    i can either preach stupid theories about waht exists down there, or i can ask you to STFU and go zoom in and see for yourself.

    as far as ideas are concerned, i would imagine it would be more of an illuminated pub environment. given the fact that you didnt mention any specific materials or colors, just photons, i would assume you are looking at the entire 7 color bandwidth and trying to zoom in on a single photon? well its not really single by the deduction of logic.

    it is jsut the difference in frequency that produces color. the component is same - photon. but the frequency varies its appearance.

    it would be more like a jello vibrating at different rates at different parts and calling those parts discreete, while in reality they are continuous.

    nah. not seeing? its just that the patterns will change. but you will see, as long as the continuity exists. maybe not color.. but yes, something hazy and vibrating. you wouldn't be able to zoom past that part.

    as far as reality check goes, i might be questioned. but as far as ideas are required, it would be a continuous field, a continuum.
  • Apr 27 2013: You are using macro-environmental terms. Gosh , I like that as I never thought of it before. Tell me if I'm nuts.