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Can someone explain this quantum physics concepts to me?

  1. Apr 24, 2010 #1
    I dont understand how matter can be transformed to light and light can be transformed into matter?

    Also, how exactly does this happen when something happens to one particle and something equivalent happens to another particle of the same type on the other end of the earth instantaneously?

    I was trying to look up "Quantum Physics" definition of 'world' but I was unable to find anything. Can someone give me a brief explanation of the definition of 'world' in quantum physics?

    How do quantum physicist explain our existence?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2010 #2
    light is one type of matter
  4. Apr 24, 2010 #3
  5. Apr 24, 2010 #4
    light is a type of matter, photons
  6. Apr 24, 2010 #5
    okay, I appreciate your comment but those 6 words are near worthless... I was hoping to get something more informative, if someone had the time...

    thanks though
  7. Apr 24, 2010 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    Here and elsewhere your questions are so far from the truth as to make them impossible to answer. How would one answer "what's the name for the longest side of a circle?" You are asking for quantum mechanics to support some sort of mystical mumbo-jumbo. It doesn't.
  8. Apr 25, 2010 #7
    What I am saying, just as Vanadium is pointing out, is that the question is wrong already from the beginning so there is nothing to be answered.
  9. Apr 25, 2010 #8
    I'm not sure why you guys think the OP's questions are so outrageous. "Light is one type of matter" you say? I was under the impression that the term "matter" is generally used to refer to particles with mass (or nonzero rest mass if you prefer). It's pretty dismissive to act as if light and matter are so obviously the same thing that no sensible person should wonder how they interconvert. Einstein proved that matter and energy can be converted into one another and share many basic properties (gravitational interaction, etc...), but to say that they're the same thing seems to be missing almost the whole point.

    In my opinion, the first question is actually a very good one, although I'm not sure it belongs in the quantum physics section, and I don't actually have a satisfactory answer.

    The second question does seem a bit more confused, but it's pretty clear you're talking about entanglement, which is a very specific quantum phenomenon that is distinct from energy/mass equivalency. Here is the wikipedia article on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement

    As for the use of the term "worlds" in physics, I guess it depends on context. Maybe you mean Everett's "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many_worlds). If so, then "world" is actually shorthand for "the entire universe."

    I certainly can't claim to know how every quantum physicist would explain existence. Many wouldn't even try to, and would be happy to leave that one to philosophy and metaphysics.

    Your questions don't seem nonsensical to me, but they are somewhat vague and badly formed. I suggest you look at those wikipedia articles and come back with any further questions you have. Try to ask something a little more specific, and you'll probably get less grief.

    Hope that helps.
  10. Apr 25, 2010 #9
    Shouldn't it be the other way around: matter is a type of light? Matter is made of "tangled up" waves, tangled up light essentially (see string theory). Matter is light that cannot explode--it is energy that is "stored". When there is a nucluar explosion (such as in the Sun), that energy is unleashed.

    Note that the equation E=mc^2 doesn't say that where there is energy, there is matter. It's the other way around: it says that where there is matter, there is energy.

    Did I answer the matthayzon89's question?

  11. Apr 25, 2010 #10


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    Equal signs are commutative, there is no precedence of energy over matter or vice-versa ... they are both different forms of the same thing.
  12. Apr 25, 2010 #11
    "In my opinion, the first question is actually a very good one"

    cdbfarley is right, surely. This chap is asking a reasonable question with the first one. Is it just language, is potential energy really equivalent to temperature, for example?

    Of course they are, one can be changed into the other. But what is changing into what? A position (of mass) within a gravitational field is changing into sound and heat and deformation of mass. Most of it - in normal life - disappears as a Newtonian impulse on a body so large it may as well be infinite in mass.

    This hides the real question. Why do we see mass as containing so much more energy than weightless particles, why do weightless particles always travel at the same speed, and what does the speed of light have to do with the energy contained in 'stationary' matter?

    Does anyone understand this?
  13. Apr 25, 2010 #12
    Exactly what I was thinking.

    Thanks for all the replies guys! I'll be sure to read from the links.
  14. Apr 27, 2010 #13
    What you say is mathematically correct. But physics is not mathematics. What I meant is that the equation *doesn't* say that if there is energy, there is matter. For instance light is not matter (although, given favorable circumstances, light can be transformed into matter). However where there is matter, there is always energy because matter is a form of energy.

  15. Apr 27, 2010 #14
  16. Apr 27, 2010 #15

    what is matter then? define matter

    light = photons, clearly a building block for matter...
  17. Apr 27, 2010 #16
    I support your point with all my authority.
  18. Apr 27, 2010 #17
    This is known as Quantum Pairing. In a nutshell two particles are made to vibrate in sync with each other using lasers. It takes about 40 million attempts to get 1 success. Once they are in sync information travels between them instantaneously. So basically when you alter ones state you instantly alter the others state no matter the distance between them.

    So far I don't think there is an explanation behind it, yet. It just is.

    That's the layman's example anyhow.
  19. Apr 27, 2010 #18
    Hmm I would only say that a big part of physics is math, there are clearly elements in physics which are not math...
  20. Apr 27, 2010 #19
    For example? (pure physical axioms, which can not be expressed in math terms are always interesting)
  21. Apr 27, 2010 #20
    Simple answer.

    Matter is particles that can't share space with each other. They maintain their exact force resistance properties uniquely.

    Bosons can share space and their properties can be combined.
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