Skip to comments.Quantum mechanics flummoxes physicists again
Posted on 07/24/2010 5:35:11 PM PDT by LibWhacker
A fresh take on a classic experiment makes no progress in unifying quantum mechanics and relativity.
If you ever want to get your head around the riddle that is quantum mechanics, look no further than the double-slit experiment. This shows, with perfect simplicity, how just watching a wave or a particle can change its behaviour. The idea is so unpalatable to physicists that they have spent decades trying to find new ways to test it. The latest such attempt, by physicists in Europe and Canada, used a three-slit version but quantum mechanics won out again.
In the standard double-slit experiment, a wide screen is shielded from an electron gun by a wall containing two separated slits. If the electron gun is fired with one slit closed, a mound of electrons forms on the screen beyond the open slit, trailing off to the left and right the sort of behaviour expected for particles. If the gun is fired when both slits are open, however, electrons stack along the screen in comb-like divisions. This illustrates the electrons interfering with each other the hallmark of wave behaviour.
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
Double slit experiment.
It’s as if the electrons know when they’re being watched and decide to behave as particles again. According to Nobel laureate Richard Feynman, the phenomenon “has in it the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery”.
Well it makes sense, electrons are very negative in private.
During my college years the more physics I learned (solid state physics was my major), the more obvious it became that God will never allow humans to understand it all.
Talk about God's sense of humor, I am convinced he just made this stuff up.
It's a little stranger than that. Even if you reduce the electron flux to the point that there is never more than one electron on the path from the source to the target at a time, you still get wave formation at the target in the case of multiple slits.
It’s neither a wave nor a particle. It’s a wavarticle.
Yeah, this is weird. So is “spooky action at a distance”. Amoebas are closer to humans than we are to God.
I leave electrons alone and let them run around the wiring. Last time I poked in an outlet with a screwdriver to see if they were there, they got really angry.
And isn't it interesting that the first word of God was "let there be light."
Light being the most obvious manifestation to us humans of created energy in the form of a wave/particle duality.
I teach my kids some of the more basic stuff - no quantum yet, their math isn't ready, but I do tell them the scale (proton the size of a marble, electron is two miles away. What we think is solid, isn't. Not by a long shot. And then, to the grownups, "the closer we look, the more it disappears." Yet, here we are, quite real!
When you see evidence of both waves and particles, the simplest explanation there could be is that both waves and particles are present. Similarly if you're on safari on the Serengeti and you see lion dung and elephant dung on the ground, you assume both lions and elephants have been around; you do NOT assume that some magical creature with properties of goth elephants and lions has been around.
It’s only a mystery to those who stubbornly cling to a 19th century view that mind must somehow be an emergent property of matter. What quantum mechanics has been telling us, in excruciating detail, for over a century is that what we call physical reality is an emergent property of consciousness.
But the most recent experiment used protons, not electrons.
Ah Ha! Let us not forget about the flux capacitor.
Are you positive?
The key to understanding the puzzle is in understanding to what level the “observer” is neutral.
That is, with sub-atomic particles, “watching” them is not the equivalent of a person watching a football game on a television, live. The observer in the latter case has practically no effect on the outcome of the game. However, in the former case, “observation” implies interference because there is no way of observing a sub-atomic particle without affecting the particle, directly. In other words, if you were to imagine the electron as a ball, in darkness, the very act of shining a hypothetical “light” to detect its reflection off of the “electron” has an effect on the electron itself. That is the scale we’re talking about here.
I thought you might be able to add to comment #20.
I take issue with one part of the explanation, which minimizes how strange the phenomenon is: it’s not that the electrons or photons interfere with each other, it’s that the electron or photon interferes with itself. If the two slit experiment is done with a slow emitter so that only one electron or photon passes the screen at a time, the interference pattern is still there!
The outcome of your financial status, most likely, LOL!
The electrons travel in a medium we can neither detect, nor describe by any means, and that appears to transcend time.
I understand the former part, but how do you arrive at the latter?
Headline should perhaps read, “Intelligent Designer continues to confuse Brilliant Human Experts in Quantum Physics”
Which begs the question - what is the "light" we're shining?
“but how do you arrive at the latter?”
By the seeming instantaneous interferance.
Yes, that is the obvious 10,000 pound elephant that they have to pretend that they do not see in the jewelry box.
Thank you for that breath of fresh air. To listen to modern biophysicists go on and on about "emergent consciousness" from enough complexity rather than through enough complexity is utterly maddening.
A good question. Perhaps that is the source of the apparent interference, as well as the behaviour of the slits themselves being changed each time a particle passes through it, to affect the following particle.
Galileo didn't think so. In his Dialogues Concerning the Two Chief World Systems he remarked that the human mind could know a mathematical truth with equal surety to the Divine mind, even if only a few such truths compared to the Divine mind, to which every truth was always present. This passage was cited as one of the textual points offensive to the church, "that he asserted some equality between the Divine and human mind in geometrical matters."
Re this topic, take a look at Wheeler’s thought experiment and actual implementations of it. Here’s an OK starting place: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheeler’s_delayed_choice_experiment?wasRedirected=true
Too tired to get into it. Let’s just say it get very weird, with some clearly atemporal (from our frame of reference) aspects.
You got it.
These guys are all going about it wrong. If any of them (there are some, and I read their works) knew God then they would be doing totally different sets of studies from totally different points of view.
Let there BE light.
Lets see.... 4 dimensions.... #4 Duration, #3 Height, #2 Width, #1... anyone? LENGTH. Pure and singular length with no mass, no width, no height. What we call light is NOT what these guys are measuring. You cannot measure an infinite singular dimension of reality. You can only measure the effects of the interactions of them with each other. In the case of light, and the old particle or wave, you have an effect of the 1st upon the 4th. Duration itself is the interference. Try to do the slit test without time. Bet you will NOT see that funny trick. Now, of course you won’t because “light moves at C khp” and thus duration is required to see it? Right?
WRONG. Wrong, wrong wrong. Light IS. The word of god says HE is the light. And within him there is NO Parallax. Which means no crossing, turning, bending.
And God is what? OUTSIDE, BEYOND time. He that, INHABITTETH eternity.
It’s right there, in plain Kings James English and our godless scientists can’t see it and keep performing the same silly tests and scratching their heads.
so are you saying that things we call “scientific fact” could
be an artefact of our consciousness only?
How about this... our minds are too feeble to understand
physical reality. And that everyone lives by some type of faith
or trust in some”thing” outside of their sensorium, whether they
acknowledge it or not.
So let's see if I understand, am I really posting?
Quantum mechanics and relativity are mutually exclusive theories. Both can’t be right. This is why Strong Theory must be wrong (string theory attempts to unify QM with R).
Ding! We have a winner!
What is at the core of the wave/particle duality? The fact that photons (and every other fundamental particle) is something else we still don’t grasp.
But we grasp some of it, and we’re grasping more. That’s what real science is about.
Are we 90% of the way to understanding how reality works (from a scientific view, not a theological one)? Some think so. I disagree. We’re maybe 10% of the way there.
But for most of history, we have been less than 1% of the way there...
That was AWESOME! I’ve been reading about the double slit for years but now I finally really get it!
Do you know where there is a good list of the reasons quantum mechanics is important? Like the things the study of QM has given us?
Well...I got it before but that was a great explanation to pass on. You get my meaning. ;-)
“But the most recent experiment used protons, not electrons.”
Are you positive?
To let us know we can exist in more than one place at the same time?
What amazing progress could be made if we accepted the truth of God’s word.
"And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.