The act of observation
Human subjects observe themselves, each other and the world around them.
- The act of observation enables us to develop our understanding and engage with the world.
- When an observer sees something they are engaging in visual perception.
- An observer can take many forms:
- A person watching an ocean sunset or the sky at night.
- A person studying their baby’s face.
- A person studying something they can’t see by collecting data from an instrument or machine.
- A person conducting an experiment in a laboratory.
- In everyday life, an observer feels themselves to be involved in the things they observe.
- A scientific observer is someone who causes no unnecessary changes to the object of their observations.
Observing light and colour
- Our eyes are sensitive to light as a result of the stimulation of photoreceptors embedded within the retinas of our eyes.
- In the presence of light, an observer perceives colour.
- The visual experience of colour by an observer is associated with words such as red, blue, yellow, etc.
- Things appear coloured to an observer because colour corresponds with a property of light that is visible to the human eye.
The subjective experience of colour
- The perception of colour is a very subjective experience.
- Factors that determine the particular colour an observer sees include:
- Different observers may see colour differently because of life experience including educational, social and cultural factors.
- The term observer has distinct and different meanings within the fields of special relativity, general relativity, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and information theory.