Skip to comments.Symphony of science: The Quantum World
Posted on 05/27/2012 9:45:37 PM PDT by Windflier
A musical investigation into the nature of atoms and subatomic particles, the jiggly things that make up everything we see. Featuring Morgan Freeman, Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Brian Cox, Richard Feynman, and Frank Close.
"The Quantum World" is the eleventh installment in the ongoing Symphony of Science music video series.
Track back to source website: Symphony of Science
One for string theory ping list.
“I really think you’ll like it.”
Thanks for trying, but I could not get past the first 30 sec. of the MTV presentation.
I’m too old, I guess, or dumb or senile.
Cute video, and I'll use it with my grandsons. But it doesn't take me any closer to really understanding quantum physics.
Lolan I wouldn’t worry about that if I were you. There are probably only a dozen people on the planet who really understand QM. And that”s being generous...
I was greatly impressed years ago by an essay of Victor Weisskopf's, Of Atoms, Mountains, and Stars: A study in Qualitative Physics. It's pretty technical actually, but the gist of it was to emphasize the way that quantum laws present themselves to us in the way they shape the qualities of our everyday world, which qualities we are prone to accept as "givens" without questioning their origin. For example, he explores the question, "Why can we see objects?"
There's stuff that I remembered being in there that I don't see, looking at it now. Perhaps these were my own interpolations. For example, the quantum nature of substances, e.g. water. Water has very particular and exact properties everywhere we find it. This is alluded to where he says, "Specific shapes had no justification in the classical physics of particles; quantum mechanics introduced this morphic trait, which is connected with the existence of quantum states with well-defined properties." Yes, I think that's what I remember.
As I said, I was greatly impressed with all this, and I always think of it as a counterpoint to the "exalted stardust" rhetoric. Consider ye well aluminum foil!
Listen to some Beethoven, Mozart, or even The Rivingtons - Papa Oom Mow Mow 2:23
That’s very true. I’m one of them.
Well, in another parallel universe. ;)
No, it doesn't, but that's not the point of the video. The point is to communicate the beauty and wonder of our universe.
I believe that aesthetics is a carrier wave that can provide a bridge for people to explore something as complex as quantum physics. Think of how people in the latter half of the 20th century were inspired to reach for the stars because of the influence of writers of science fiction.
I played a few of these videos for a couple of my kids, and they were spellbound. The artist created an effect on them, and stimulated their interest. I think that's a good thing :-)
... sorry about the ad !
I'm pushing 60 myself, and I understand.
The music isn't necessarily my favored genre, but it's tastefully done, and the artist succeeds at making beautiful lyrics out of the recorded statements of well-known scientists.
Feynman always said it was a mistake to try and understand it. If you did, you would "go down the drain into a blind alley, from which no one has ever escaped." You just have to accept it.
It was a cute vid, and useful for the 3 to 5 Y.O. crowd that needs that kind of hip stuff.
Dude, I'm a frigging cook.
But you are talking to a man that couldn't get past matrix form of finite differences on numeric integration.
Cooking school only goes so far. And I took it as far as I can go.
Would you like fries with that? ;)
Yeah, but you know things about the culinary sciences that blow me away :-)
I don't understand quantum physics either, but I'm not even trying. I just find the basic concepts fascinating. Like a lot of other scientific subjects that I'll never be fluent with.
And when it's over, I'm going to ask them how many dimensions it requires.
We'll see what the results are.
From a PBS Nova special titled, "Time Travel"...
NARRATOR: The leader in this field, Raymond Chiao, has misgivings about Nimtz's interpretations, but even he agrees with part of what Nimtz is saying.
PROF. RAYMOND CHIAO (University of California): In our experiments we have measured that a single photon can tunnel across a tunnel barrier at 1.7 times the speed of light.
NARRATOR: Chiao agrees that quantum mechanical tunnelling allows occasional random photons to break the light speed limit. What upsets him, and the rest of the physics world, is that Nimtz claims to have used it to send information faster than light. That really is taboo.
RAYMOND CHIAO: To have a genuine signal you really have to control the signal, but in, in quantum mechanical tunnelling it's a completely random process. Fundamentally we cannot, we cannot send information with this tunnelling particle.
GUENTER NIMTZ: Yeah, some colleagues are claiming that you cannot send information and then we started to transmit Mozart 40 and this is for instance the original tape. That's what we sent at a speed of 4.7 times the velocity of light and a distance of about 14 centimetre. Whether you can recognize Mozart 40 or not...
NARRATOR: Despite the random nature of the process, Mozart seems to have got through.
RAYMOND CHIAO: The essential question is: what is a signal, or what constitutes information? Has he really sent a signal in the sense of information faster than the speed of light? This is where Professor Nimtz and I part company because we don't really have a rigorous definition of what is information at the quantum level.
GUENTER NIMTZ: Maybe that this is not information for American colleague, but for a German or a British colleague. I think Mozart 40 has some information in it.
NARRATOR: Whilst well established in his own field, Nimtz is new to tunnelling and claiming to send Mozart faster than light has brought him perilously close to being called crackpot. His critics cite signal fronts and carrier waves. He counters with a limited bandwidth, but so far he stands alone.
Right or wrong, this leads to an interesting thought experiment, a gerdanken experiment in German. What if you could tunnel a message to the other side of the universe? Going faster than light, the message would
seem to go backwards in time.
Just remember....the video doesn’t educate. It only inspires. But, it does that very well.
Now, about them eggs. I’ll take mine over easy with sausage and toast :-)
PS I studied under one of his protegees. He understood it. Few do. I can do the math, but I don't truly understand it beyond the basics.
So? One of the brightest minds in physics started out as a plumber.
What do you mean, “truly understand” ? This is what Feynman was saying was futile. You can understand the rules, and develop an intuition of how they work, but there is no way to delve behind the rules, to see WHY the rules should be as they are. And no Feynman was not “down the rabbit hole”. He was very up front and straight forward in all his expressions, if I may take him at his word. Guys like Wigner and Pauli were indeed “down the rabbit hole”, looking for philosophical or metaphysical implications of QM, which is what Feynman was warning against.
Everyday, large-scale physics seems to make sense. Objects move along in a straight line at a constant rate of speed unless acted upon by an outside force, etc. It's when you get down to the scale of the atom and beyond when things get totally bizarre and seemingly impossible. Events occur simultaneously over, in theory, indefinite distances. Objects behave as if they are 'everywhere' at the same thing. Objects seem to 'know' what other objects are doing and therefore avoid particular actions themselves. Objects pop in-to and out-of existence for no apparent reason at all... But then the ultimate source/mechanism for gravity remains a fundamental mystery of nature. ie, how can "space-time" be 'curved' or 'warped'? The answer likely lies in the realm of quantum gravity involving vacuum energy and 'negative pressure'. Newton is reported to have remarked on the workings of gravity (the ultimate source of gravity): I have no hypothesis. All he could work out was *how* it worked, at least at the ordinary and large scales.
Richard Feynman banging his bongos: “I want my orange juice!”
"In the context of encounters of Science and Religion, "In Search of Divine Reality" proposes that the traditional conflict between the two disciplines is mainly one involving classical, Newtonian Science; and many of its most pressing issues have obtained an entirely different meaning by the change in world view effected by the discovery of Quantum Mechanics. In Classical Physics, there is no room for the Spiritual and for God. In the world of Quantum Mechanics, the foundations of physical reality have revealed all the aspects of a transcendent reality; with non-material entities at the basis of material things; with components of ordinary things that are not as real as the things that they make; with instantaneous, long-distance (non-local) connections pervading the universe; and with elementary entities that have mind-like properties.
Thus, in the same way in which dead atoms can form living organisms and stupid molecules can form intelligent brains, the metaphysical can engender the physical.
Without the employment of advanced mathematics, the book uses the phenomena of Quantum Reality to provide a clear and generally understandable description of the concepts of Quantum Mechanics and its consequences for our views of human nature."
Lothar Schäfer is the Edgar Wertheim Distinguished Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He received his Ph.D. (in Chemistry) from the University of Munich in 1965, and is the recipient of numerous awards for his scientific work. His current research interests include topics in Applied Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Structural Studies by Electron Diffraction.
In a review of Schäfers book, Professor Quentin Smith, Department of Philosophy, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, writes:
Schäfers book is an integrative approach to Modern Science and Religion that aims to show how some traditional religious and philosophical notions can be understood or redefined in terms of modern science. The scientific explanations are reliable and the scientific interpretations of religious ideas are interesting and should be taken seriously and respectfully by even the most sober-minded adherents of the scientific world-view. Rather than science being opposed or subordinated to religion, religious views are refashioned in terms of currently accepted scientific theories. Most of the arguments of the book are based on conclusions drawn from the phenomena of quantum reality and it is one of the clearest introductory explanations of quantum mechanics on the market. Schäfers book is written in a lively and accessible style that will appeal to the general reader. I really enjoyed reading this book...."
by Lothar Schäfer
That the basis of the material world is non-material is a transcription of the fact that the properties of things are determined by quantum waves, - probability amplitudes which carry numerical relations, but are devoid of mass and energy. As a consequence of the wave-like aspects of reality, atoms do not have any shape - a solid outline in space - but the things do, which they form; and the constituents of matter, the elementary particles, are not in the same sense real as the real things that they constitute.
Rather, left to themselves they exist in a world of possibilities, between the idea of a thing and a real thing, as Heisenberg wrote, in superpositions of quantum states, in which a definite place in space, for example, is not an intrinsic attribute. That is, when such a particle is not observed it is, in particular, nowhere.
In the quantum phenomena we have discovered that reality is different than we thought. Visible order and permanence are based on chaos and transitory entities. Mental principles - numerical relations, mathematical forms, principles of symmetry - are the foundations of order in the universe, whose mind-like properties are further established by the fact that changes in information can act, without any direct physical intervention, as causal agents in observable changes in quantum states. Prior to the discovery of these phenomena information-driven reactions were a prerogative of mind. The universe, Eddington wrote, is of the nature of a thought. The stuff of the world is mind-stuff.
Mind-stuff, in a part of reality behind the mechanistic foreground of the world of space-time energy sensibility, as Sherrington called it, is not restricted to Einstein locality. The existence of non-local physical effects - faster than light phenomena - has now been well established by quantum coherence-type experiments like those related to Bells Theorem. If the universe is non-local, something that happens at this moment in its depths may have an instantaneous effect a long distance away, for example right here and right now. By every molecule in our body we are tuned to the mind-stuff of the universe.
In this way the quantum phenomena have forced the opening of a universe that Newtons mechanism once blinded and closed. Unintended by its creator, Newtons mechanics defined a machine, without any life or room for human values, the Parmenidian One, forever unchanging and predictable, eternal matter ruled by eternal laws, as Sheldrake wrote. In contrast, the quantum phenomena have revealed that the world of mechanism is just the cortex of a deeper and wider, transcendent, reality. The future of the universe is open, because it is unpredictable. Its present is open, because it is subject to non-local influences that are beyond our control. Cracks have formed in the solidity of the material world from which emanations of a different type of reality seep in. In the diffraction experiments of material particles, a window has opened to the world of Platonic ideas.
That the universe should be mind-like and not communicate with the human mind - the one organ to which it is akin - is not very likely. In fact, one of the most fascinating faculties of the human mind is its ability to be inspired by unknown sources - as though it were sensitive to signals of a mysterious origin. It is at this point that the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Ever since the discovery of Humes paradox - the principles that we use to establish scientific knowledge cannot establish themselves - science has had an illegitimate basis. Hume was right: in every external event we observe conjunction, but infer connection. Thus, causality is not a principle of nature but a habit of the human mind. At the same time, Hume was not right in postulating that there is no single experience of causality. Because, when the self-conscious mind itself is directly involved in a causal link, for example when its associated body takes part in a collision, or when the mind by its own free will is the cause of some action, then there is a direct experience of, and no doubt that, causal connections exist. When this modification of the paradox is coupled with the quantum base, a large number of pressing problems find their delightful solutions.
Like the nature of reality, the nature of knowledge is counter-intuitive, and not at all like the automatic confidence that we have in sensations of this phenomenon. The basis of knowledge is threefold. The premises are experience of reality, employment of reason, and reliance on certain non-rational, non-empirical principles, such as the Assumptions of identity, factuality, permanence, Causality, and induction. Where do these principles come from? Neither from an experience of external phenomena, nor from a process of reasoning, but from a system program of the self-conscious mind. By being an extension of the mind-like background of nature and partaking of its order, mind gives the epistemic principles - those used in deriving knowledge - certainty. Since they are not anchored in the world of space-time and mass-energy but are valid nevertheless, they seem to derive from a higher order and transcendent part of physical reality. They are, it can be assumed, messengers of the mind-like order of reality.
In the same way, moral principles. Traditional societies based their social order on myths and religious explanations. By assuming a purpose in the world, they told people why things are the way they are, and why they should act the way they were supposed to act. In the animist ontogenies values and knowledge derived from a single source, and life had meaning in an animist covenant as Monod called it. By destroying the ontological base of the animist explanations, - their astronomy, physics, and chemistry, - science also destroyed the foundations of their values.
In this process Monod saw the origin of the contemporary sickness in culture, das Unbehagen in der Kultur: on the one hand science is the basis for our power and survival; on the other, it has broken the animist covenant, rendered life meaningless in the process, and disconnected the world of values from the world of facts.
The sickness of spirit and the concomitant erosion of moral standards are the great danger for the future of mankind, already apparent in the public adoration of violence and debased behavior. At its roots is the unsolved question, on whose authority are the moral principles to be based now that the authority of the animist myths has been found lacking?
For those who are willing to listen, the answer is: on the authority of mind. In the same way that the self-conscious mind grants certainty to the epistemic principles, it invests authority in the moral principles. Like the former, the moral principles are non-empirical and non-rational, - not derived by a process of logic nor verified by experience - messengers from a higher reality beyond the front of mass-energy sensibility.
Epistemic principles give us a sense of what is true and false; moral principles, of what is right and wrong. The former establish the certainty of identity, permanence, factuality, causality; the latter, of responsibility, morality, honesty. By the same process that allows us to accept, without possible verification, the epistemic principles, we can also accept the authority of the moral principles. Violation of any one of them will put us in contrast to the nature of reality. If the nature of the universe is mind-like, it must be assumed to have a spiritual order as well as a physical order. As the epistemic principles are expressions of physical order, the ethical principles are expressions of the spiritual order of physical reality. By being an extension of the transcendent part of the nature and partaking of its order, mind establishes the authority of the ethical principles.
The challenge of reality and the ability to explore it are wonderful gifts to mankind. Understanding reality requires refinement of thought. That is, it has to do with culture. It requires an effort, is not afforded by automatic, intuitive reflex. Making sense of the world takes the response to a challenge, not the complacency of common sense. It is one and the same as striving for the moral life. An important part of it is the need to become aware of the specific character of human nature, to recognize the human mystery as Eccles called it: the mystery of how mind and body interact, how self-conscious human beings with values emerged in an evolutionary process supposedly based on blind chance and brutality. The evidence is growing that there is more to human nature than the laws of physics or chemistry, more to the process of evolution than blind chance and brutality; that evolution is more than, as Monod wrote, a giant lottery, and human beings live at the boundary of an alien world that is deaf to our music and indifferent to our hopes and suffering and crimes.
The barbaric view of reality is mechanistic. It is the easy view of classical science and of common sense. In epistemology mechanism is naive realism, the view that all knowledge is based on unquestionable facts, on apodictically verified truths. In physics mechanism is the view that the universe is clockwork, closed, and entirely predictable on the basis of unchanging laws. In biology, mechanism is the view that all aspects of life, its evolution, our feelings and values, are ultimately explicable in terms of the laws of physics and chemistry. In our legal system, mechanism is the view that the assumption of precise procedural technicalities constitutes perfect justice. In our political system, mechanism is the view that the assertion of finely formulated personal rights constitutes the ideal democracy. In our public administration, it is the view that responsible service manifests itself by the enforcement of finely split bureaucratic regulations. All of these attitudes are the attitudes of barbarians.
The quantum phenomena have taught us that, without naive realism, knowledge is possible. They have taught us that, without naive animism an ethic of knowledge, as Monod has called it, and a life with values are possible. Principles exist which are valid even though they cannot be verified. The discovery of the quantum phenomena has established a new covenant - between the human mind and the mind-like background of the universe - one that provides a home again to the homeless and meaning to the meaningless life. Whether or not the human mind is separate of the brain, as Sherrington and Eccles thought, I do not know. But I do not doubt that it is human only in some parts, and in others shares in the mind-like background of the universe. It is now possible to believe that the mind is the realization of universal potentia, a manifestation of the essence of the universe. Therefore, the only good life is in harmony with the nature of reality.
Thanks so much! I loved it.
Alas, the lowly yet noble photon. A packet of space, a pinch of time, and some energy, crossing the vastness of the universe always int he present of the source for its expression, arriving at a phenomenon constructed from a massing of packets made up of a bit of space, a pinch of time and a measure of energy, working in combination, arranged by the induction of information which itself has no spatial, temporal or perhaps even energy component yet understood by the human inquisitors. ... When humans step beyond the notion that dimension time is not divisible, then the new set of questions will lead to better understanding. A photon exists continually in present temporal orientation. We sensing beings sense nothing int he present of the data arriving at our ‘arrangement of space-time-energy’ packets. Yet the universe appears to flow ever in one direction, temporally but we have yet to discover the full reson why this is. From God’s prespective, ‘it’s all happening at the same time’ in the bubble we call spacetime, and God steps in and out of our continua offering clues galore our scientists still ignore (read the fifth Chapter of Daniel, and the fourteenth chapter of John’s Gospel, for starters).
Cut, copy, paste, skip ahead, re-read, print and fold.
Like fish in a fish bowl, we are hardly aware of it.
Matter has mass, software doesn't. How much does consciousness weigh?
I listen to this and Awesome God by Smith often???
Are you asking me a question, or are you making a statement?
I meant “Particles interact with other particles SIMULTANEOUSLY over, in theory, indefinite distances”, as in non-local/Belle’s Theorem/EPR Experiment (Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen)
This is, strictly speaking in terms of QM itself, not true. All particle interactions occur at spacetime points. They are "events" in relativistic terms.
Nonlocality is an interpretive description of the implications of the theory itself, and in my opinion, it is not aptly made. The requirement of nonlocality is on a presumed "hidden" reality consisting of discreet classical objects required to mimic, or reproduce, QM behavior, but such particles are in no way part of QM, and again IMO, represent the tenacious hold that classical Newtonian reality retains on our thinking.
In one of the two major QM interpretations there apparently is some form of 'signal' that reaches a particle's counterpart changing its properties--instantaneously, provided the two were once 'entangled' quantum mechanically.
Well, just as I said, you are speaking of interpretations of QM. But what good are they? What basis do they have? I claim they are revanchist classicism.
Some few years ago, I was returning from an eastern sojourn, and on the home stretch into Chicagoland in the early evening hours, I was listening to Art Bell on some AM station. He was inteviewing some far out crackpot guy who advocated that UFO's in general, ( he did want to step on toes by ruling anything out ) were time machines, a la REPO MAN. He was pretty sharp, and as he was laying out his thesis, Art Bell interjected the old chestnut that, "time is nature's way of preventing everything from happening all at once." Without a hitch the guy responded, "Everything is happening all at once." whence ensued a moment of radio silence. I loved it.
I had no idea there were so many interpretations of QM, until I looked into it again just now.
4 Summary of common interpretations of quantum mechanics
4.1 Classification adopted by Einstein
4.2 The Copenhagen interpretation
4.3 Many worlds
4.4 Consistent histories
4.5 Ensemble interpretation, or statistical interpretation
4.6 de BroglieBohm theory
4.7 Relational quantum mechanics
4.8 Transactional interpretation
4.9 Stochastic mechanics
4.10 Objective collapse theories
4.11 von Neumann/Wigner interpretation: consciousness causes the collapse
4.12 Many minds
4.13 Quantum logic
4.14 Quantum information theories
4.15 Modal interpretations of quantum theory
4.16 Time-symmetric theories
4.17 Branching space-time theories
4.18 Other interpretations
Again from Wiki, with loads of legit references at link...
The EPR paradox is an early and influential critique leveled against quantum mechanics. Albert Einstein and his colleagues Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen (known collectively as EPR) designed a thought experiment intended to reveal what they believed to be inadequacies of quantum mechanics. To that end they pointed to a consequence of quantum mechanics that its supporters had not noticed.
According to quantum mechanics, under some conditions a pair of quantum systems may be described by a single wave function, which encodes the probabilities of the outcomes of experiments that may be performed on the two systems, whether jointly or individually.
At the time the EPR article was written, it was known from experiments that the outcome of an experiment sometimes cannot be uniquely predicted. An example of such indeterminacy can be seen when a beam of light is incident on a half-silvered mirror. One half of the beam will reflect, the other will pass. But what happens when we keep decreasing the intensity of the beam, so that only one photon is in transit at any time? Half of the photons will pass and another half will be reflected. Even if we ‘prepare’ the photons by passing them through a polarizer, there will always be an experiment of which the result could not be predicted with certainty.
The routine explanation of this effect was, at that time, provided by Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Physical quantities come in pairs which are called Conjugate quantities. Example of such a conjugate pair are position and momentum of a particle, or components of spin measured around different axes. When one quantity was measured, and became determined, the conjugated quantity became indeterminate. Heisenberg explained this as a disturbance caused by measurement.
The EPR paper, written in 1935, has shown that this explanation is inadequate. It considered two entangled particles, let’s call them A and B, and pointed out that measuring a quantity of a particle A will cause the conjugated quantity of particle B to become undetermined, even if there was no contact, no classical disturbance.
Heisenberg’s principle was an attempt to provide a classical explanation of a quantum effect sometimes called non-locality. According to EPR there were two possible explanations. Either there was some interaction between the particles, even though they were separated, or the information about the outcome of all possible measurements was already present in both particles.
The EPR authors preferred the second explanation according to which that information was encoded in some ‘hidden parameters’. The first explanation, that an effect propagated instantly, across a distance, is in conflict with the theory of relativity.
They then concluded that quantum mechanics was incomplete since, in its formalism, there was no space for such hidden parameters.
Bell’s theorem is generally understood to have demonstrated that their preferred explanation was not viable. Most physicists who have examined the matter concur that experiments, such as those of Alain Aspect and his group, have confirmed that physical probabilities, as predicted by quantum theory, do show the phenomena of Bell-inequality violations that are considered to invalidate EPR’s preferred “local hidden-variables” type of explanation for the correlations that EPR first drew attention to.
I go with
4.0 What it is
To be fair, that’s pretty much the Copenhagen Interpretation, which is Bohr. You can’t go too far wrong with Bohr, I think.
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