Change an Amp's Tone Just by Looking at it?

FourT6and2

Silver Supporting Member
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2,206
If anybody is familiar with quantum mechanics and/or particle-wave theory this might make sense. If you are not, then it will sound like B.S.

Ok, so their is a phenomenon which occurs when you look at (literally observe) an electron. This means, measuring it or observing it in any way.

When you don't look at it (read: observe, measure, quantify, etc.) it behaves and exists as a wave (for example, a sine wave). When you do look at it, it exists and behaves as a single particle or point in time/space. This is because you are observing it at any single point in time. As a wave, it can exist in more than one place at the same instant. Since you measure or observe things in only one point in space-time, you cannot possibly conceive of things existing in more than one place in time.

Take a picture of a someone running, and the person in the photograph is obviously not running...the image is stationary. Same thing with video. Video is just a bunch of changing still images.

An electron (depending on the freq.) moves at or near the speed of light so, in essence, it can exist as a wave (like light) and therefore be in more than one place at any given point in time, until you observe it.

So, if you measure or observe what's going on in a guitar amp's vacuum tubes, what happens to their output compared with what happens to their output when you do not?

How would you even go about conducting such an experiment since any sort of observation would affect the experiments outcome?
 

III

Senior Member
Messages
620
I know about those slit tests... crazy. I'll be sure to give my tubes and all their little electrons a good stare down tomorrow.
 

FourT6and2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,206
To follow up, there is a famous experiment to prove/demonstrate this.

An electron is fired at a metal plate which changes color at the point where the electron makes contact. But first, the electron must pass through a lead plate with various slots cut into it at different locations.

The electron gun is turned on while people are literally looking at the plate. The end result is one dot/mark on the plate where the electron passed straight through the lead barrior via one slot.

The experiment is then done while nobody watches. The result are marks on the plate which match up to every slot cut into the lead filter plate.

The single electron passed through every slot at the same time. How is this possible? The electron behaved as a wave and was able to flow through every slot rather than only a single particle, which can only pass through one slot at a time.

Make sense?
 

TheGrooveking

Member
Messages
2,210
How does an electron in a vacuum tube know you are looking at it? Is it the reflected light from your eyes i.e. the lightwave that interferes with the electron and inflects a trajectory modification? This does add up to that inanimate objects can collectively exist and an being?

I know have definitely starred and a few malfunctioning amps/pedals during gigs and they never really gave me any indicator that they acknowledged my attention.

TheGrooveking
 

FourT6and2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,206
How does an electron in a vacuum tube know you are looking at it? Is it the reflected light from your eyes i.e. the lightwave that interferes with the electron and inflects a trajectory modification? This does add up to that inanimate objects can collectively exist and an being?

I know have definitely starred and a few malfunctioning amps/pedals during gigs and they never really gave me any indicator that they acknowledged my attention.

TheGrooveking

Ok, you don't understand. It doesn't know you are looking at it. An electron acts as a wave when it is observed and a particle when it is not. That's just the way it is.

Google or Wikipedia the particle/wave theory experiements to get more information.
 

re-animator

Senior Member
Messages
8,240
if an e-chord falls in the forest but nobody is around to hear it does dave davies still sue for royalties??
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
20,616
I read "dancing Wu li masters" too...a long time ago ;) and have read follow ups, etc. It's an interesting subject...but

Quantum mechanics is at such a micro-level that is has no bearing really on the "newtonian" world...which is the one we live in.

Take a voltmeter...a voltmeter alters also the circuit...at is is actually a parallel circuit you introduce into a circuit simply by attaching leads to two points in a circuit. The thing is, ohms law, and the way parallel circuits work, you have such a HUGE (if I remember correctly) resistance built in that effectively (but not actually) you are adding little more than an open circuit parallel to what you are measuring. It affects it, but by such a small degree that it is not perceptible.

An ammeter breaks the circuit and is in series...also, adding a circuit to the circuit, so there too...but in this case such a LOW value of resistance that it is not loading down.

You can't test anything without altering, but if you also realize what is going on in a tube ("clouds of electrons" some moving, changing direction, dispersing, etc.) it is like asking "I have a thousand billiard balls that I have carening around, and if I then throw a ping pong ball into the mix, aren't I affecting the whole of it?"

I used to think about the old "if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it...does it make a sound" and it is the same thing...there is NO way to tell (when I was younger I thought "of course it does...how stupid") because without an "ear" (whether human, or device to measure, or just other trees to absorb the waves) there is no HEARING...

There is no tree in the forest, that nothing can hear, because it would have to be existing in a vacuum, with nothing else around it...and it wouldn't have anything to fall ON..

Cool questions though
 

pharmx

Member
Messages
215
To follow up, there is a famous experiment to prove/demonstrate this.

An electron is fired at a metal plate which changes color at the point where the electron makes contact. But first, the electron must pass through a lead plate with various slots cut into it at different locations.

The electron gun is turned on while people are literally looking at the plate. The end result is one dot/mark on the plate where the electron passed straight through the lead barrior via one slot.

The experiment is then done while nobody watches. The result are marks on the plate which match up to every slot cut into the lead filter plate.

The single electron passed through every slot at the same time. How is this possible? The electron behaved as a wave and was able to flow through every slot rather than only a single particle, which can only pass through one slot at a time.

Make sense?

Which experiment are you referring to?
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
20,616
Which experiment are you referring to?

I can't tell if this is the same experiment he is mentioning, but I suspect it might be...

It is an experiment with photons, where they act as particles AND as waves depending on how you look. In that experiment (from my fuzzy memory) there is one slit, the photon behaves one way, but when to slits, the photon behaves differently...sorry I would have to brush up on it, but in that case it doesn't matter if someone is "looking" but the weird part is that it seems the individual photon "knows" there are one or two and acts differently accordingly.

Sorry for my vagueness, but it is in the "Dancing Wu-Li Masters" which is a great book, and a tandem book to "The Tao of Physics" (which may actualy be the one that goes deep into this...)
 

FourT6and2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,206
I never read those books.

I forgot the name of the specifc experiement. But, yes...it is with photons.

They don't change the number of slits, they only change one variable and that is whether they observe the photons or not.

When they observe the photons, they act as particles. When they don't the results of the test indicate they act as waves.

My initial question was how do vacuum tubes, on a microscale, behave differently if the electrons inside them act as particles vs. waves. Obviously this a question for a physicist or some such. But, I thougt it would be interesting to post my ponderings.

I don't know about all the philisophical stuff you are all bringing up. It doesn't really have anything to do with particle/wave theory besides the "observing" part. This stuff is pretty much based in sound facts; not rhetorical, philisophical zen sayings.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
44,901
There is also the chance that your car will quantum tunnel its way, overnight, out of your garage and onto your lawn. Unfortunately, a car is not a single photon so it would take a googleplex longer than the estimated age of the universe for this to happen but "it could."

And that's my reaction to this thread. ;)
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
20,616
I never read those books.

I forgot the name of the specifc experiement. But, yes...it is with photons.

They don't change the number of slits, they only change one variable and that is whether they observe the photons or not.

When they observe the photons, they act as particles. When they don't the results of the test indicate they act as waves.

My initial question was how do vacuum tubes, on a microscale, behave differently if the electrons inside them act as particles vs. waves. Obviously this a question for a physicist or some such. But, I thougt it would be interesting to post my ponderings.

I don't know about all the philisophical stuff you are all bringing up. It doesn't really have anything to do with particle/wave theory besides the "observing" part. This stuff is pretty much based in sound facts; not rhetorical, philisophical zen sayings.

Well...whether you like it or not, quantum physics does go a lot more on philosophy as you get more down to it. What kind of world are we living in, etc.

I or maybe WE would need to see a little more than this description then of the experiments you are talking about. It is well known that an electron, you can know where it is at a point (but you influence it) but not where it was or where it is going, or you can see where it went but not where it is..etc., etc.

The philosophy of some matter, being "observed" without influencing it, is the age-old problem, understood now to be even more impossible. There is NOTHING in this universe that is not somehow connected to another part of it in some way. There is no "objective" lab where the universe stops working, or where you can suddenly step outside and observe.
 

Erdare

Member
Messages
56
If you subscribe to sting theory (I do) , the multiple slit experiment referenced demonstrates the multi-dimensional properties of particles (and all matter sort of). Electrons being composed of oscillating stings of energy exist in 11 dimensions, some of which are independent of time, thus they can exist in more than one location at the same time, popping in and out of our observable 3 dimensional universe.
In reference to amplifiers, because there are so many electrons involved and we are observing only the avarage behavior of them, Quantum effects do not really come into play. So stop looking at those tubes hoping your ideal tone will materialize..:)

Regards,
Gene
 

eru

Member
Messages
717
If anybody is familiar with quantum mechanics and/or particle-wave theory this might make sense. If you are not, then it will sound like B.S.

Ok, so their is a phenomenon which occurs when you look at (literally observe) an electron. This means, measuring it or observing it in any way.

When you don't look at it (read: observe, measure, quantify, etc.) it behaves and exists as a wave (for example, a sine wave). When you do look at it, it exists and behaves as a single particle or point in time/space. This is because you are observing it at any single point in time. As a wave, it can exist in more than one place at the same instant. Since you measure or observe things in only one point in space-time, you cannot possibly conceive of things existing in more than one place in time.

Take a picture of a someone running, and the person in the photograph is obviously not running...the image is stationary. Same thing with video. Video is just a bunch of changing still images.

An electron (depending on the freq.) moves at or near the speed of light so, in essence, it can exist as a wave (like light) and therefore be in more than one place at any given point in time, until you observe it.

So, if you measure or observe what's going on in a guitar amp's vacuum tubes, what happens to their output compared with what happens to their output when you do not?

How would you even go about conducting such an experiment since any sort of observation would affect the experiments outcome?

dr. hubert farnsworth said:
No Fair! You changed the outcome by measuring it.

The effect you're referring to has to do with inversely related levels of certainty about an electron's characteristics related to wave dynamics (f, λ) vs. particle physics (x, v, m). It's not simply looking at something that somehow changes it.

It has almost nothing to do with electronics or circuits as they exist in a guitar amplifier for the simple reason that THOSE ELECTRONS DO NOT MOVE LIKE THAT. The current in a guitar amplifier is a summed mass action of a LOT of electrons moving almost at random between atoms in conductors.

The heisenberg uncertainty principle has nothing to do with your tone.

BTW, I'm aware this was probably a joke, but....it sounded really dumb.
 




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