What does Quantum Physics tell us?

In summary, quantum mechanics is a mathematical tool for predicting experimental results and has not provided a complete understanding of the nature of reality. It suggests that our intuition may not always be reliable and that there may be limitations on our ability to fully comprehend the universe. However, it has also led to the development of other theories, such as string theory, and has philosophical implications that challenge traditional beliefs about reality. Ultimately, it serves as a window between us and the actions of the world, but cannot be used as a complete basis for philosophy.
  • #1
Bigtex005
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To those who come close to understanding the quantum world, what does it mean to you? I mean what difference has it made in your view of the universe? I understand that people have interpreted it in many ways, and not everyone agrees, but there must be some general consensus about what it's saying about my reality. Right :confused:
 
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  • #2
Bigtex005 said:
To those who come close to understanding the quantum world, what does it mean to you?

It tells us never to follow human intuition when trying to understand nature.

marlon
 
  • #3
Are you asking about the philosophical or physical implications? Marlon gave the philosophical - the physical implications are that it explains as much about how the microscopic world works as gravity does about the macroscopic one: ie, an awful lot.
 
  • #4
marlon said:
"QM" - It tells us never to follow human intuition when trying to understand nature.
Of course in the current QM world view would say we can not improve on QM.

Don’t you think it might take human intuition and creative insight to find a real solution to the parts of nature we don’t yet understand? Where QM can only give good answers, but not an explanation. Allowing that not everyone’s intuition is the same, just one out many might include the insight that provides a real explanation through on improved view of our physical reality that QM doesn’t provide.

Also, Marion, did you come across a copy of the IMEC document you spoke of in your May 7 Journal entry?

Without wax
RB
 
  • #5
Bigtex005 said:
To those who come close to understanding the quantum world, what does it mean to you? I mean what difference has it made in your view of the universe? I understand that people have interpreted it in many ways, and not everyone agrees, but there must be some general consensus about what it's saying about my reality. Right :confused:

Quantum theory doesn't give any consistent intuitive view
of the deep reality of the sub-microscopic world. It isn't
a 'deep' theory in that sense. It gives a mathematically
consistent method for calculating the probable results of
experiments. It's about experimental data -- which can be
*interpreted* (vis some picture of the 'deep reality') in a
number of ways. That's why very knowledgeable people
are still arguing about the nature of the universe.

This does *not* mean that your intuition about deep reality
is necessarily not to be trusted. As you learn more, your
'intuition' changes. Experimental results restrict what
one can and can't say about the nature of reality.
But, in the sense that extant observations are possibly
just scratching the surface, then experiments are a rough
guide, at best, wrt the how/what the universe 'really' is.

Rule of Thumb: Take what physicists (or anybody for that
matter) say about their 'philosophical' preferences wrt the
*nature* of reality with a grain of salt. One reason why
physics is such a fascinating pursuit is that nobody really
knows the deep answers.
 
  • #6
That we are drunk

Another topic with the same. It's simple to understand, becouse formulae are universal.



http://www.usuarios.lycos.es/Rufianin/schrodinger.pdf
 
  • #7
Quantum mechanics tells us that the universe is governed by particles, their intrinsic properties and interactions. The so-called sea of energy is the most important.
 
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  • #8
In my opinion, QM serves as a base to one of the most beautiful mathematical theories every constructed, i.e. string theory.
 
  • #9
Bigtex005 said:
To those who come close to understanding the quantum world, what does it mean to you?

It tells me one method (and usually the best) of several for predicting measurements within the regime it has been tested in. What it "means" to me is that we have another method for predicting what we observe mathematically.
 
  • #10
In many respects, QM seems to be a built-in limitation or filter, preventing sentient beings emerging in this universe such like us from being able to "pull up the courtains" and see the real rules of the game.
Let's hope it's not so
 
  • #11
Gerinski said:
In many respects, QM seems to be a built-in limitation or filter, preventing sentient beings emerging in this universe such like us from being able to "pull up the courtains" and see the real rules of the game.
Let's hope it's not so

This is close to my belief too. To repeat what I have said elsewhere, Quantum Mechanics is not about the world, but about our relationship to the world, and it presents a narrow window, which does not pretend to be a complete view, between us and the actions of the world. It enables physicsts to design and interet experiments, but it cannot, I believe, be used as a basis for philosophy, except possibly as part of a neo-Kantian view.
 
  • #12
I'm not sure why quantum mechanics is not about the world. If it's not then why do we do it? Weren't we forced to develop it as a result of observing the world? Particle/waves, nonlocality, complementarity, superposition, uncertainty etc., all these things must be explained by any metaphysic or cosmological theory, and this seems to mean that QM is central to philosophy, ontology at least, just like all other scientific discoveries regarding the nature of reality, for they cannot just be ignored. It cannot be a good idea to philosophise about reality while ignoring physics. If a metaphysical theory does not explain the findings of QM then it's not much of a theory, and if it contradicts QM it is a false theory.

To me what is important about QM is precisely its philosophical implications, since it shows that naive realism is false and that reality has the dual and complementary aspects that many have always said it has. Also I agree with the observation that it means we cannot "pull up the curtain" by doing just science.
 
  • #13
Canute said:
I'm not sure why quantum mechanics is not about the world. If it's not then why do we do it?
As selfAdjoint said QM is about our effort to explain the world by understanding how we see the world insead of diectly defining the world. Explaining "what we see" is a little “trick” to give us a foundation to work from uncertainty and probabilities. Is it ‘fair’ to use such a trick?? Even IF it does not directly describe a correct view of the world. The success of so much of the science we use today is directly related to QM helping us to relate to what what we see. Correct or not, fair or not, no one can deny the success or at least usefulness of QM.

if it (a theory) contradicts QM it is a false theory.
That’s only true if we can “Prove” QM is completely correct! Even with all the effort on Strings, M, etc. QM hasn’t done that yet.
An anolagy can be found in our Brain Teasers
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=74121&
Assume we have a Box that produces numbers that perfectly matches our “QM” statistical predictions of the box containing two normal dice. But it could have a pair of funny dice (1,2,2,3,3,4) & (1,2,3,4,5,6,8), OR a Roulette Wheel with the 0’s blocked and the numbers renumbers OR a single Die with 36 sides. Which of the 4 is real. If we cannot test for doubes etc. we cannot resolve what is really in the box.
QM has yet to open the box.
QM … means we cannot "pull up the curtain" by doing just science.
NO, QM just hasn’t been able to open the box or pull up the curtain!
Kepler, Newton, Einstein all helped raise the curtain, but often by learning from those that were tugging on the wrong curtain! Maybe QM is tugging on the wrong curtain. I believe by using science we can look in the box, the only thing that will stop us is if we give up looking. QM by no means has proven itself to the point we should give up - to assume what we have now is good enough would be Ptolemaic.

RB
 
  • #14
Besides the probably most familiar features such as the uncertainty principle, the particle-wave duality etc, I find particularly intriguing the sub-question "what does quantum theory tell us about time?"

I guess the evidence of non-locality and in particular the "delayed choice experiment" should be pointing to something about time that we do not grasp. Any comments?

In fact, I think I'm going to start a thread in the Quantum Physics chapter with the question "does the delayed choice experiment violate the standard relativistic "cause-and-effect" thinking? It's not clear to me
 
  • #15
QM tells me that the only way I'm ever going to survive is if I never stop finding better ways to learn.
 

Related to What does Quantum Physics tell us?

1. What is Quantum Physics?

Quantum Physics is the branch of physics that studies the behavior and interactions of subatomic particles, such as electrons and photons. It explains how these particles behave differently from larger objects and how they interact with each other.

2. How does Quantum Physics differ from Classical Physics?

Classical Physics describes the behavior of larger objects, such as planets and cars, while Quantum Physics describes the behavior of subatomic particles. In Classical Physics, objects have definite positions and velocities, while in Quantum Physics, particles can exist in multiple states at the same time.

3. What is the uncertainty principle in Quantum Physics?

The uncertainty principle, also known as Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, states that it is impossible to know both the position and momentum of a particle with absolute certainty. This is because the act of measuring one property of a particle affects the accuracy of the other property.

4. How does Quantum Physics relate to our everyday lives?

Quantum Physics has many practical applications in our everyday lives, such as in electronics, lasers, and medical imaging. It also plays a role in understanding chemical reactions and how materials behave at the atomic level.

5. What are some of the key principles of Quantum Physics?

Some key principles of Quantum Physics include superposition, entanglement, and wave-particle duality. Superposition refers to the ability of particles to exist in multiple states at the same time, while entanglement is the correlation between the properties of particles that have interacted with each other. Wave-particle duality means that particles can exhibit both wave-like and particle-like behavior.

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