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Quantum oddity

  1. Jul 9, 2012 #1
    As I watched a documentary lately on an experiment by Aaron O'Connell, that "proved" that quant exist in two points in space at the same time I couldn't help but wonder why that was the result derived from such an observation.

    I am not a physics specialist but have a background of physics and electronics, but have read an studied a lot about what we consider quantume to be or how they behave in our perception. One thing that we most of the times fail to include or consider in our measurements is the fact that we limit ourselves in the 3 or 4 dimensional space that we feel and understand with our minds. We don't push it to the next level and test the fact that what we observe is only the "projection" of higher dimensions that cross our universe. As we live in a x-y-z space and consider that it travels in the "t" domain as the extra dimension that we only agree as a fact that explains certain things in every day life.

    If we would consider an extra level of reality, an extra dimension, which I will just call "energy density" just as a convention (you can call it anything you like) If that is where energy crosses in and out of our reality of 4-d space. it is a dimension that is vertical to all our four dimensions. We cant start to imagine and comprehend the shapes and sizes that that dimension can have and how those intersect our domain, and what kind of projections they leave as traces.

    An easy way to understand is to consider we lived in a 2d space where our 3rd dimension would be time.. now if a 4-d being would bring an odd object through ou 2d plain we would observe only the points that intersect with our reality. We wouldnt be able to understand what the item that makes these odd shapes appear in our realm, but then again we would tryto somehow control that dimension (the 3rd one) to prove that it can exist in multiple ponts at the same time.. when in reality in its own dimension the object is just one.

    Shouldnt we be looking at alternate ways of trying to understand what we observe what really is in other dimensions thatn saying that one thing occupies two spots in space-time? Or if that's what we are already saying why arent we trying to see the bigger picture by not just guessing at small scale what the one point projection is.. how many and what shape the actual object projects to our space.

    Any ideas or re-calibration of my thoughts and ideas.. or even critiques are welcome.. but I am trying to sort this mess of dimensions in my mind and not limit to what we observe.. see the forest and not the tree.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2012 #2


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    Sure, there are in fact hypothetical dimensions (degrees of freedom) considered by some theoretical and mathematical physicists. However, if the purpose of extra dimensions is to solve such a problem, it should not create more. And that is precisely what happens in most such models.

    For example, let's suppose there is a "hidden" doorway between 2 points in space time which tunnels through dimension 17. Why can't we see such doorways everywhere? What are the consequences of such assumptions? It turns out that there are severe issues that lead to ever funkier solutions.
  4. Jul 10, 2012 #3
    I agree that complexity and number of solutions would rise dramatically if we try and include more variables in those equations, theoretically and practically. After all this part of physics is edging the limits between philosophy and science.

    In order for my brain to adjust to these concepts of extra dimension I alway like to push them down to 2d space with 3rd dimension being time. If we could have a mindset of such a world and try to solve a system of 4 unknowns with 3 equations we would never be able to achieve a realistic result, instead the nearest we could get is a number of solutions that have an unknown in them. So (and correct me if I am wrong) the unknown dimension would be an infinite number of solutions that fully satisfy the other 3 equations. Now adding multple dimensions to it , yes it would not just get funky but even more incomprehensible, but it would shed no more light than just 1 additional dimension would. So in effect, we are trying to prove something that is not real but satisfies only the observed values rather that the real ones? In other words we only prove the relative part of what we can see rather than the actual event?

    I am not against such experiments, pls dont get me wrong, but I wonder if the results should be worded in better accuracy or at least more generally than being firm on the observations and interpreted as dogmas, or we will be in danger of acting like inquisition against Gallileo and shutting our ears on another "yet it moves".
  5. Jul 10, 2012 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    What you are talking about is the superposition principle of Quantum Mechanics which says any two states can exist as a superposition ie partly in both states simultaneously. For positions it means a particle can literally be in two positions at the same time. Feynman took this as the central and essential mystery of QM (he applied it to paths) - and it is. All the wierdness of QM basically follows from it. Dodn't sit there and say how can it be like that - such will take you down a path no one has escaped from. People have thought extra dimensions could solve the issue before - it doesn't. You simply have to accrept thats the way nature is.

    However a lot of the mystery of this is solved by decoherence:

    What it says is interaction with the environment changes a superposition to one where it is in a definite state that will be indicated by what you are observing it with - but we simply do not know which one. Tecnically it goes from being in a pure state that is a superposition to a mixed state which is an ensemble of pure states - but each pure state is no longer in a superposition. To be sure not all problems are solved this way and some of the details still needs to be worked out but things are much much clearer.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  6. Jul 10, 2012 #5
    I am trying to work on a basis that the simplest solution is always the right one.. Even if it seems a bit ironic trying to combine the word "simplest solution" with QM. :)

    "interaction with the environment" sounds impossible if not impropable, with QM, as far as I understand. because environment is made of quanta..it's not a separate entity, so we'd be talking of internal "collision" or "self interaction". The fact alone that we can observe these things and all other phenomena of QM , we do it by usually lowering temperature to almost absolute zero for example, hence starving energy from the particles, or in other words.. making a small pinch of the higher dimension so that it focuses on a "unit" of our 3d space. So can we say that we manipulate energy.. and maybe we should treat energy as a dimension rather than a derivative of the observed and measurable 3d world?
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