Randomness in electron position

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So from what I understand the position of an electron at any given time is based on a probability model. My question is how does gravity play a role in this model?
Can we say the position of the electron is truly random? What if this "randomness" is caused gravitational forces pulling it in unpredictable yet
non-random directions?
 

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  • #3
PeroK
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So from what I understand the position of an electron at any given time is based on a probability model. My question is how does gravity play a role in this model?
Can we say the position of the electron is truly random? What if this "randomness" is caused gravitational forces pulling it in unpredictable yet
non-random directions?
If you could measure the position of an electron by its gravitational force, then that would constitute a measurement of the electron's position. But, as above, this is not practical as the gravitational force is dominated by the electromagnetic force.

In principle, you could more easily measure the position of the electron using its electric charge. You could put it together with a proton, but then you get a bound system called a hydrogen atom that doesn't help you localise the electron. In fact, a hydrogen atom in the ground state gives a good example of the proabilistic nature of the electron's position.
 
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If you could measure the position of an electron by its gravitational force, then that would constitute a measurement of the electron's position. But, as above, this is not practical as the gravitational force is dominated by the electromagnetic force.

In principle, you could more easily measure the position of the electron using its electric charge. You could put it together with a proton, but then you get a bound system called a hydrogen atom that doesn't help you localise the electron. In fact, a hydrogen atom in the ground state gives a good example of the proabilistic nature of the electron's position.
Yes but my point is that this seeming randomness in position at the quantum level could be explained by a sort of gravitational noise influencing all particles.
 
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PeroK
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Yes but my point is that this seeming randomness in position at the quantum level could be explained by a sort of gravitational noise influencing all particles.
In what way could it be explained?
 
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In what way could it be explained?
It's quite simply actually. Every object in the universe influences every other object gravitationaly, no matter how far. If object A moves slightly closer to object B, it will pull object B closer to it with a greater force. This would affect the positions of the electrons in both the objects.

Now if you look at things on a much bigger scale (the scale of the universe) it would make sense that the complex movements of objects/particles throughout it could gravitationaly disrupt the positions of particles noticeably on a quantum level thus giving us that seeming randomness in these particles' positions.
 
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PeroK
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It's quite simply actually. Every object in the universe influences every other object gravitationaly, no matter how far. If object A moves slightly closer to object B, it will pull object B closer to it with a greater force. This would affect the positions of the electrons in both the objects.

Now if you look at things on a much bigger scale (the scale of the universe) it would make sense that the complex movements of objects/particles throughout it could gravitationaly disrupt the positions of particles noticeably on a quantum level thus giving us that seeming randomness in these particles' positions.
That sort of speculation has no relevance to quantum physics. It's just something you made up without any reference to any experimental data whatsoever.
 
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That sort of speculation has no relevance to quantum physics. It's just something you made up without any reference to any experimental data whatsoever.
Gravity is not speculation lol it exists
 
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Vanadium 50
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When faced with the options "I must not understand something" and "I have caught something that was missed for more than a century by people who have studied this longer and harder than I have" I am always surprised by the number of people who jump right into Option 2.

You appear to be thinking that a classical electron path could be traced out by a sufficiently sensitive plumb bob. This will not work for at least four reasons.
  1. The electron does not have such a path. That's what QM says.
  2. Even in Newtonian mechanics, the center of mass of the system does not change from internal motion.
  3. The plumb bob is subject to the same rules of QM as the atom. Even if you didn't have items 1 and 2, this wouldn't work.
  4. The same argument could be applied to the electron's charge as the electron's mass. This implies the electron would radiate and lose energy and that atoms would be unstable on microsecond timescales.
 
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It's quite simply actually. Every object in the universe influences every other object gravitationaly, no matter how far. If object A moves slightly closer to object B, it will pull object B closer to it with a greater force. This would affect the positions of the electrons in both the objects.

Now if you look at things on a much bigger scale (the scale of the universe) it would make sense that the complex movements of objects/particles throughout it could gravitationaly disrupt the positions of particles noticeably on a quantum level thus giving us that seeming randomness in these particles' positions.
Im reviewing Lee Smolin book Einstein Unfinished Revolutions and he has similar ideas. Quoting a bit.

"In this theory, the phenomena of quantum physics arise from a continual interplay between the similar systems that make up an ensemble. The partners of an atom in my glass of water are spread through the universe. The indeterminism and uncertainties of quantum physics arise from the fact that we cannot control or observe those different systems. In this picture, an atom is quantum because it has many nearly identical copies of itself, spread through the universe.

An atom with its neighborhood has many copies because it is close to the smallest possible scale. It is simple to describe, as it has few degrees of freedom. In a big universe it will have many near copies.
Large, macroscopic systems such as cats, machines, or ourselves have, by contrast, a vast complexity, which takes a great deal of information to describe. Even in a very big universe, such systems have no close or exact copies. Hence, cats and machines and you and I are not part of any ensemble. We are singletons, with nothing similar enough to interact with through the nonlocal interactions. Hence we do not experience quantum randomness. This is a solution to the measurement problem.

This theory is new, and, as is the case with any new theory, it is most likely wrong. One good thing about it is that it will most likely be possible to test it against experiment. It is based on the idea that systems with a great many copies in the universe behave according to quantum mechanics, because they are continually randomized by nonlocal interactions with their copies.

I argued that large complex systems have no copies, and hence are not subject to quantum randomness. But can we produce microscopic systems, made from a small number of atoms, which also have no copies anywhere in the universe? Such systems would not obey quantum mechanics, in spite of being microscopic."
 
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Now if you look at things on a much bigger scale (the scale of the universe) it would make sense that the complex movements of objects/particles throughout it could gravitationaly disrupt the positions of particles noticeably on a quantum level thus giving us that seeming randomness in these particles' positions.
No, that doesn't make sense for two reasons. First of all, quantum particles don't have a well-defined position. It's not that the position keeps changing randomly, it's that the position is not something that exists.

And secondly, even if we if we ignore this fundamental facet of quantum physics and insist that quantum particles have a definite position that's being interfered with by gravity, the math just doesn't work out. The gravitational force is too weak to account for it.

Heisenberg originally thought that quantum particles have have a definite position, and his uncertainty principle described an uncertainty associated with a knowledge of the position. But he soon realized that this so-called disturbance principle wouldn't work. The notion of a definite position is a purely classical notion and it doesn't exist in modern quantum theory.
 
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  • #12
ohwilleke
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Are you trying to get at something along the lines of this paper?

[Submitted on 20 Jul 2020]
Noise and decoherence induced by gravitons
Sugumi Kanno, Jiro Soda, Junsei Tokuda
We study quantum noise and decoherence induced by gravitons. We derive a Langevin type equation of geodesic deviation in the presence of gravitons. We calculate the noise correlation in squeezed coherent states and find that the squeezed state enhance it compared with the vacuum state. We also consider the decoherence of spatial superpositions of massive objects caused by gravitons in the vacuum state and find that gravitons might give the leading contribution to the decoherence. The decoherence induced by gravitons would offer new vistas to test quantum gravity in tabletop experiments.
Comments:18 pages, 2 figures
Subjects:High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph); Quantum Physics (quant-ph)
Report number:OU-HET-1065, KOBE-COSMO-20-12
Cite as:arXiv:2007.09838 [hep-th]
(or arXiv:2007.09838v1 [hep-th] for this version)
 
  • #13
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We don't discuss speculative ideas at PF.

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