Quantum Physics Part 1

Overview part 1

Classical physics
Development of quantum physics
Wave-particle duality
Uncertainty principle
Double slit experiment
Superposition
The world consists of energy

Overview part 2

Quarks
The Fist on the table
Entangled particles (EPR-Phenomenon)
Conclusion
Digital physics and virtual reality
What does Max Planck say about matter

The classical (Newtonian) Physics

At the time of Galileo (1564-1642), Kepler (1571-1630), and Newton (1642-1726) the world was still in order. There was a fight, whether the Earth or the Sun is in the center of our Planetensystemes is, if the planets go on circular or elliptical orbits. Otherwise, however, the world was more or less logical and understandable. Classical physics is the mechanical physics, it clears up questions like the lever laws and fall velocity. It is needed to build machines, etc. It is the “real” Physics and it deals with the world, that we can see and touch.

Classical physics sees our world and our universe as a huge calculable machine. Everything is calculable. The same cause has always the same effect. The physical laws are the same everywhere in the universe. A particle, e.g. a stone with a mass of 100 g is and remains a stone, it can not become lighter, it can only fall downwards, never upwards, and it can only be liquefied by the supply of a very high energy. If one knew the exact state of each particle of the universe in the present second, one could accurately calculate the future of the universe one hour or one week later. However, only if the living creatures and, in particular, man would behave exactly according to the laws of classical physics, and this is not certain.

There are some strange exceptions to these laws: every substance expands when it is heated, and contracts when it cools. For water only, this law applies only between 4° and 100°, it is different between 0° and 4° Celsius. This anomaly of the water is vital for the living creatures: when a lake cools down, the water at 4 ° has the smallest volume and sinks to the deepest point of the lake, when it continues cooling down to 0 ° it will rise again, and when it freezes to ice, it is only at the surface. By this way, creatures can survive in the fresh water even in the winter. If water was to behave differently, a lake would freeze from the bottom upwards to the top and become a single block of ice, no fish could survive. It is as if someone had planned the fishes ahead before establishing the thermal behaviour of water.

Even if classical physics can explain only a part of our world, it still determines our worldview and our way of thinking, even in many fields of science.

Development of quantum physics

With today’s quantum physics this is different. The scientific description of the smallest building blocks of our world seems more like magic.

Max Planck began in 1900, when he discovered that heat radiation can release its energy only piecemeal, just quantum way, as “Quanta”.

Wave-particle duality

Discoveries of Einstein and de Broglie in 1923 led to the concept of the particle/wave duality that says that each particle (Atom, Proton, electron,…) at the same time is a tiny body with a weight (mass) and at the same time an electromagnetic wave.

A wave can be compared with the water waves created by a stone thrown into the water. Water waves consist of movements from molecules of water, sound waves of movements from molecules of the air. The waves form circles and form certain patterns. The electromagnetic waves, which include waves of light, follow the same principles as water and sound waves, so form circles and patterns. But the electromagnetic waves do not consist of movements of particles, but consist in nothing, in the airless vacuum, they propagate in space.

They have no weight and are completely immaterial. As well they are not localizable, they are at the same time in several places, so they have no exact localization. A particle, however, has an exact localization at a given time.

The theory of wave / particle dualism now says that each particle in our universe can be a wave at the same time, while each wave in our universe can be a particle at the same time.

The theory of the wave/particle duality explains that even the intangible rays of light have a tiny weight (photons) and can be deflected by gravity. That is why you can not see “black holes” in space, because they have a so immense attraction that even the photons of light rays are too heavy to overcome this attraction and to beam into outer space.

In turn, the wave nature of light explains the Rainbow, that are patterns of the different wavelengths of light. The striking and contradictory in this theory is that electromagnetic waves, light beams or even heat waves are at the same time both, locatable particles afflicted with weight and not locatable weightless waves. This contradicts the principle of uniqueness in classical physics, but it is true for each particle and each atom.

Uncertainty Principle (Indeterminacy Relations)

And now let us continue the magical aspects of quantum physics: in 1927 the Heisenberg uncertainty principle was added. For a particle such as an electron, it is in principle impossible to determine both the exact location and the velocity at the same time. If the location is determined with nanometer accuracy at a specific time, the speed can not be determined and vice versa.

But if I drive my car in a speed camera and I’m caught at 65 km/h (40 miles/hour) in the city, then the exact location as well as the exact speed is on the penalty charge notice (well, maybe not just on the nanometer exactly). Why is this not the same whith electrons? The electron is no longer unambiguous, it becomes blurry, it eludes an exact determination, and is only detectable by statistic means.

Double slit experiment

Particles: 2 strips (shotgun)

This is a very well known and mysterious physical experiment. It was performed in 1802 for the first time, to prove light is a wave. Light is sent on a plate, which has only 2 narrow slots, through which light can pass through. If you would bombard so a double slit plate with particles likewise by a shotgun, then you would see two narrow strips of shotgun balls on the other side, just where the balls or particles can still fly due to the narrow gaps. If, however, one sends light through this slits, then one sees a pattern of many stripes on the other side, because the light from the two slits according to the laws of wave propagation of waves is increintensifies at certain points and weakens elsewhere creating a pattern. With this experiment, Thomas Young was able to prove that light is a wave, because it creates many strips forming a pattern.

Video to the double slit experiment

Waves: interference pattern

In a modern modification of the experiment, very small particles, single photons or electrons, were sent to the double slit. Surprisingly, they did not see stripes, but a wave pattern. How can an electron fly through both slits at the same time and form a wave pattern with itself?

In a further variant of the double slit experiment one established measuring instruments to determine which of the two slits a particle had just flown through. And hey presto, hardly one mesured acutally, then there suddenly was no wave pattern, but two strips like the shotguns pattern. If only the measuring instrument was there, but the measurements were not recorded, the photon turn out being a wave. How the photon can now know that it will be measured afterwards, and then suddenly can behave differently? Is it important for the photon whether it is or not observed? Does the intention of doing a measurement change the process? Is the consciousness, to try to measure the process, stronger than the physics? Until today, no one could solve this puzzle completely.

The most recent version of this experiment (1999), the “Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment”, is quite puzzling: at the time when the photon passes through the slit it is not yet determined, whether it will or not be measured afterwards. Nevertheless the electron behaves exactly as described above, : if it is not observed, the interference pattern of a wave is produced, but if it is measured by which slit it passes, it generates the stripe pattern of a particle. It is as if it could look to the future or as if the measurement of the photon in the future impacts on the past.

It is like a hide-and-seek: just when we want to look at the particle more closely, when we want to measure its place, it disappears and becomes an energy wave. The great mystery of physics remains: why the setting up of a measuring instrument, that is, the observation of the particle, does play a so huge role? Observation is a human act. If, according to the materialistic view of neo-Darwinism, human beings were merely a cleverly programmed and complex collection of molecules, there would be no possibility for this phenomenon to be explained.

Superposition

Our 3-D world may seem so clear and concrete to us, but the particles of which it consists are unclear. Electrons have a spin, that is a direction of rotation, and they can rotate clockwise or counterclockwise. Unfortunately, they turn at the same time clockwise and counter-clockwise. If they are not observed. These two states (directions of rotation) overlap, they are not set. This is called “Superposition”. Only when you want to determine the spin with any measuring device, then the electron settles in one direction. Only if you look.

In a blog a german physicist deduces the existence of a spiritual world from contradictions of the measurement problem related to superposition States and the Schrödinger equation.

The world consists of energy

The atoms that comprise our world are empty shells: in the center is an atomic nucleus of neutrons and protons, around it a shell with a radius 10,000 times the nucleus, then the electrons, which weigh only a 2000th part of the nucleus. Everything else is empty, it consists of attraction and repulsion forces, that connect the core parts and the atoms, and energy fields. I once read that if you put the atoms of our globe very close together, so that all protons and neutrons are close to each other and are glued together with the electrons, then our world would be only as large as the head of a glass pin. This of course also applies to the molecules that make up a human being. Basically, he consists only of energy fields. And even the tiny rest of matter, which theoretically still remains (protons, neutrons, and electrons) is, as we now know, also energy in the form of an electromagnetic wave, which means that the smallest particles are both material particles and at the same time waves of energy. To convert the mass of a particle into the energy of a wave, there is the famous equation E = mc². So we are made of pure energy. We and our whole world are a special form of energy, so to say slowed waves, we are “shock-frozen light”. This is the concept of modern physics.