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Question about the game of "Half Life" -- Resonances...

  1. Jan 2, 2016 #1
    So just a fun thread/question about the game Half life, and one of the events that happen in the game called a Resonance cascade.

    In the game, a Resonance Cascade is basically a "quantum event" where the crystal resonates at a certain frequency, causing other particles to resonate, cascading, or rather amplifying the resonance of the crystal, and when amplified to much it creates portals and other sci-fi stuff.

    My question though is whether there is a parallel to this sort of thing in the real physics we know and love. In quantum mechanics, we've got wave-particle duality, in which a mathematical wave dictates the likely hood of a particle being in a certain location. I'm sure that quantum wave function resonance exists, but to what degree does it match the half life game's physics? Can the resonance of a wave function cause an avalanche effect? What would such an effect even have on a quantum system.

    Just to assert my stance here, no i don't believe we can create portals or other worldly dimensions. Please do not assume I'm promoting any sort of Pseudo-science, or fringe science.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2016 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    I'm sorry, but this is just fiction. It's not real physics or even close to real physics.

    And the cake is a lie.
     
  4. Jan 2, 2016 #3
    :cry: Maybe the cake is just in superposition.

    So nothing happens when two wave functions resonate with one another?
     
  5. Jan 2, 2016 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    "So nothing happens when two wave functions resonate with one another?"

    I don't even know what "two wave functions resonate with one another" means. Wave functions superpose - they just add.
     
  6. Jan 2, 2016 #5

    ZapperZ

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    Where do you get the idea that this is a "quantum event"? Who gave it that designation?

    We can understand the concept of resonance using classical wave theory. After all, your radio antenna was designed to work using classical E&M.

    And I highly doubt that a "game" can actually and accurately describe a quantum phenomenon.

    You may claim that you're not promoting any kind of pseudo-science, but actually, you are!

    Zz.
     
  7. Jan 2, 2016 #6
    As i stated, the game says it's a quantum event. The "resonance cascade" is exclusive to the game and it's internal logic, and ofc doesn't exist in the real world.

    Yes, exactly, why would a sci-fi game accurately depict real science. I said i was looking for a parrellel, wasn't saying the games physics is true in our real world lol.

    I said in post that I'm not...I tried to specify many times that i'm not promoting the game's physics as being more of a correct interpretation over real physics...

    So what would make a quantum wave function not have the capability to resonant, like a sound wave would?
     
  8. Jan 2, 2016 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    "have the capability to resonant"

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. (I always wanted to say that) I think you explain what you mean by "resonant" should describe what it is that you think sound waves are doing. I strongly suspect that even sound waves don't do what you think they are doing.
     
  9. Jan 2, 2016 #8
    By resonate, I'm talking about the apparent amplification of a specific frequency. For example, you have two objects, Object (A) has a specific frequency, the other is an object (B) that can transfer energy (sound energy for example) at a specific frequency. When Object B emits a frequency that matches the frequency of A, it transfers energy over to A, causing A to resonate(amplify) at that frequency.

    Another example, Take a resonant cavity, or chamber, which has a natural frequency. When a sound (at the natural frequency of the cavity) is triggered in this cavity, it will transfer energy to the walls, and the walls of this cavity will amplify the signal, and exchange the energy to the opposing walls. Those walls then amplify the signal again and again.
     
  10. Jan 2, 2016 #9

    ZapperZ

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    This is wrong. The cavity doesn't amply the signal - that will violate conservation of energy. It simply means that that particular mode can exist within the cavity. Other modes are suppressed because the geometry doesn't allow those to exist.

    This, btw, doesn't require quantum mechanics. It is classical E&M.

    Zz.
     
  11. Jan 2, 2016 #10
    Right, my mistake. But the point is that the outstanding signal is amplified when similar signals interact with it.

    And ya, of course, that's what were trying to get at here. I'm wondering why resonance isn't in the quantum dictionary, even though its a wave...
     
  12. Jan 2, 2016 #11

    ZapperZ

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    What is "the outstanding signal"?

    There is nothing amplified here. When you turned your radio, you are changing the internal circuit of your radio until it matches the frequency of a particular radio station. That is an example of resonance. I have no idea where, in this case, is there a "similar signals interact with" the signal from the radio station.

    You appear to be mixing up the idea of resonance with the idea of constructive/destructive interference.

    It is not a physical wave. Just because you see the term "wave" being used, it doesn't mean that it is the classical wave that you think you know. It is called a "wavefunction" because it is a solution to the Schrodinger equation, and that equation has some resemblance to the standard wave equation. That's it. It is only similar in name. You need to look at the physics to know that the wavefunction has a whole lot of other properties that do not make it similar to the regular physical wave.

    The devil is in the details here.

    Zz.
     
  13. Jan 2, 2016 #12

    Vanadium 50

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    That's what I thought you meant. That doesn't happen, even with sound. The only source of energy is what you put into the system.
     
  14. Jan 2, 2016 #13
    It's not nice to assume i don't know what quantum wave function's are. I already stated in my OP that its a probability density wave.

    Okay, but you can still amplify a signal using resonance, by putting energy in the system...i don't think we put any constraints on whether were talking about a closed system or not.

    If i constantly hit a bell, causing a pitch fork to resonate, then of course i'm putting energy into the system by ringing the bell in the first place. COE doesn't really apply to anything here, until we put a energy constraint on a system. Lets settle for now on the definition provided by ZapperZ, that Resonance just allows for the continued existence of a frequency in a given space. For now as well, it doesn't have to be a closed system.
     
  15. Jan 2, 2016 #14

    ZapperZ

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    Then if you already know that, why do you keep asking if it "resonates"?

    By putting energy into the system, yes. But this amplication has nothing to do with "resonance". I can amply a lot of different signals, resonance or not.

    It applies to everything here, actually. You ring the bell, you apply energy to the system. If the bell happens to ring at the resonance frequency of the fork, the fork will ring due to the vibration of the air molecules even though you did not strike the fork. Again, conservation of energy.

    The principle of resonance simply means that some frequency matches another frequency, usually the natural frequency (and any higher order modes) of that system.

    Zz.
     
  16. Jan 2, 2016 #15
    I won't dispute that, but here is a better definition : "resonance is a phenomenon that occurs when a vibrating system or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at a specific preferential frequency."

    I think we can all agree on that?

    So the question is, why would quantum mechanics be exempt from this? If it is exempt, that's a totally cool answer, I'm cool with that. I just want to know the reason why it would be exempt from common wave like behavior like resonance.

    If QM does have some sort of resonance behavior, the question is how...how would resonance behave when talking about probability.
     
  17. Jan 2, 2016 #16

    ZapperZ

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    What do you think is "vibrating" in a QM wavefunction? Compare that to what you think is "vibrating" at some frequency in an RF.

    Please note that if you shine light onto, say, an atomic gas, certain frequencies of that light (assuming a broad-enough band) can be absorbed. These absorbed lines corresponds to the various transitions in an atom. Now, some might want to call that a form of "resonance". After all, when I shoot through a broadband rf into a waveguide, the transmission/reflection that I get is analogous to light on an atomic gas. But I don't call that "resonance", and it is also seldom (never?) referred to in popular description as such.

    Zz.
     
  18. Jan 2, 2016 #17
    That's pretty interesting to think about.

    Well, i can imagine a configuration where the wave function has a constant oscillation? I wouldn't know how to interpret it physically, but one can simply create an oscillation that is shown in the wave function like so : PF RESO.png
     
  19. Jan 2, 2016 #18

    ZapperZ

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    That's how we identify elements in the stars, and elements presents in hot gas clouds.

    Not exactly sure you actually understand what you showed.

    For EM wave, the E and B field oscillates with some frequency. What do you think oscillates in a probability density wave? Keep in mind that the wavefunction contains, in principle, all the information of the system in terms of the observables. So if you solve for, say, the free particle, what do you think all those wiggly lines represent? Is this really similar to EM wave, which is a physical, real wave?

    Zz.
     
  20. Jan 2, 2016 #19
    My perception can only goes so far, But in the probability density, then whats oscillating is its location along x, 0% at the minima, and some nominal amount at each maxima. If i were to amplify any of those maximas, it's position would become more precise at the cost of momentum P. I can't really go any further then that since i don't know how to plot it in respect to time., but i think you can pick up what i'm trying to explain though, which is over time, it would oscillate between having a more definite momentum and a more definite position (ideally)

    Maybe to help my explanation, it would look sort of like this. Not saying its a physical wave, but the probability density would fluctuate in this manner.

    Drum-large.gif
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  21. Jan 2, 2016 #20

    ZapperZ

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    Fine, let's assume that you know what you're talking about.

    So how does the "modulation" in position can couple to another system and induce a "resonance"?

    Remember, in EM field, the E or B field can couple onto a system having either a proper dipole mode, or a cavity that can sustain and match the E-B components of the EM field. Can you find something similar to induce resonance with your position modulation?

    Zz.
     
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