Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Classic or quantum

  1. Nov 28, 2003 #1
    which physics is easier?
    which physics is dominant?
    which physics is correct?

    Classic or quantum

    or even new one: quantassic physics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2003 #2
    - I suppose classical concepts can be easier to deal with in some cases.

    - Quantum is dominant at small size scales, classical at large ones. It depends on the situation and your assumptions.

    - Both. Again, it depends what you're talking about. In many cases, classical physics gives a perfectly good picture of what's going on, although it may not take into account aspects that more advanced theories do.

    And I have no idea what quantassic physics is.
  4. Nov 28, 2003 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    One thing I remember about quantum, once I got over the conceptual hurdle, the math was much easier than the math for classical mechanics. I don't think that is an intrinsic property of the physics involved, but more a decision on the teaching community's part. You can make the coursework as hard as you want, but since students are going to have the conceptual difficulties with quantum, they ease off in the mathematical difficulties.

  5. Nov 29, 2003 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Nearly all quantum mechanics is linear, while modern classical physics is into nonlinear stuff like chaos.

    Since physics is like puzzles that the community makes up for itself, I think that any theoretical subject becomes as complex as the community can handle and then stops. Then you have to wait for someone like Witten who can handle harder puzzles to show the way forward, or you can "can" a lot of knowledge and go back to simpler reasoning at a higher level, like category theory.

    Bottom line on this question, when you really get into them, classical and quantum physics are about equally hard. People's talents and tastes differ. Try to see which one you like to struggle with better, for struggle you will, and you might as well enjoy it.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook