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Abstract implications of QM

  1. Oct 12, 2012 #1
    Just an abstract question here. How different do you think the world would be if we were taught quantum mechanics before classical mechanics, given the prerequisite that we already have a good knowledge of the mathematics? Of course, it's a highly unlikely scenario, but an interesting one none the less.
     
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  3. Oct 12, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    In NZ, you will have been taught the basics of classical mechanics by the time you are 13yo - so I figure that getting QM at age 12 would mean that everyone would get good at math real fast.
    (We don't get lagrangian mechanics before college though.)

    Of course, the other way is not to teach classical mechanics until the senior undergrad year in college... in which case, everyone would be a lot more ignorant.
    eg. "speed" would be a mysterious number on a speedometer that is used by police to fine you.

    Either way the effect would be profound.

    Thing is - there are concepts in classical that you need for the QM.
    Imagine trying to learn about quantum oscillators without knowing about the classical mass-on-a-spring?

    It would also be really hard to motivate the topic - students would want to know why they have to learn this stuff: what would they use it for?

    There are very sound pedagogical reasons for doing this way around.
     
  4. Oct 12, 2012 #3

    Demystifier

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  5. Oct 12, 2012 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    Requiring at least basic probability and statistics at age 12 ... like I said: everyone would be very good at math. Compare with general understanding now. I'd like to think that this would mean there would be less woo in the World...
     
  6. Oct 13, 2012 #5
    well if this would take place on a planet of pure mathematicians it would be quite interesting. you will find when they will first learn about physics (QM) they will be shocked the deeper you go until you present them with simple, clear and rigorously formulated theories like general relativity and classical mechanics and electrodynamics.

    the problem is that QM is not only nonintuitive (which mathematicians don't seem to notice) but also there are many weird things in its formulation.
     
  7. Oct 13, 2012 #6

    Simon Bridge

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    There may be an SF theme here - such a thing may be possible in a transhuman World where the entities have lost the knowledge that they are data in a machine. Though even then, setting it up so they'd need QM "right now" on, say, discovery of the Real World, would be tricky.

    I think it is easier to set up Worlds where GR dominates than where QM effects dominate ... and so the non-intuitive, to us, stuff would become in-your-face.
     
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