The physics of observers

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A brief introduction to the strange theory of quantum mechanics and how it appears to afford a special role to observers.

Traditionally, observers play no special role in physics. Like bird watchers in a perfect hide, we observe the outcome of experiments, or gaze at the stars through our telescopes, taking no part in the action. Modern physics, however, tells a different story ... find out more with these articles and videos.

Can the very act of observing something change what's being observed? This series of articles and videos explores some basic questions about the role of the observers in physics.

An untapped resource could provide the magic needed for quantum computation — and perhaps even open the door to time travel.

If you like mathematics because things are either true or false, then you'll be worried to hear that in some quarters this basic concept is hotly disputed. In this article Phil Wilson looks at constructivist mathematics, which holds that some things are neither true, nor false, nor anything in between.