When I first heard about the Observer Effect, some 25 years ago, I could not believe it. But during the years I’ve come across a documentary every now and then and just the other day I saw one again. The Observer Effect refers to the phenomenon that might happen when a person just by observing an experiment changes the way the particles are behaving. Within quantum mechanics there is a classic example where electrons are being projected towards a wall. On their way to the wall the electrons have to go through two rectangular holes, thus making the same pattern on the wall. As if you were spraying color through a template to make a decoration on your wall. Nothing strange about that. Waves, which is not any kind of particles, makes a completely different pattern on the wall, since they are not moving, before and after the template, in the same way as particles.
Now comes the interesting part! When the researchers were looking at the difference between how particles and waves are behaving, they could suddenly see on their recordings that when nobody was observing the experiment, the particles were behaving as if they were waves. That never happened when someone was observing them. Nobody could explain what was happening. Some years later other researchers did the same experiment, with a person present but with his eyes closed. Just before the electrons were to hit the wall he opened his eyes. On the recordings you could see how the particles started out, behaving as waves, but in the same moment that the person opened his eyes they turned into behaving as particles again. And they even changed their history, so looking back it looked as if they had behaved as particles from the start.
Still there is no explanation for this that scientists within all disciplines are accepting, but I don’t care so much about that. I’m mostly fascinating by the thought that there might be a consciousness behind the matter. That would mean that our reality is not built by particles, but by a consciousness deciding who, when and where the particles should act. That opens up a lot of new possibilities! Doesn’t it?
If you’re interested you can look at this fascinating documentary (the Observer Effect comes towards the end): The Simulation Hypothesis
And here you can read about the first experiment: ScienceDaily; Quantum Theory Demonstrated: Observation Affects Reality