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I What is the minimum quantity of experiments needed to explain what quantum physics is

  1. Feb 18, 2017 #1
    If you were to explain what quantum physics is by first introducing the historic experiments/observations undertaken by scientists and then explain the different possible accepted interpretations and theory...

    How many experiments would you need at least? Which ones?

    Double Split Experiment. (Young)
    Black Body Radiation (Plank)
    Photoelectric (Einstein and Milikan)
    Quantum entanglement experiments.
    Uncertainity principle experiments (Heisenberg)
    Some other EPR experiment.
    Other atomic/nuclear experiments: Zeeman, Rutherford, Bohr, Schrödinger, Dirca, Fermi, Pauli,Compton,Raman...

    There are many books on quantum physics and mechanics, most of them too mathematical and thick, but I haven't been able to find a poster/diagram summarizing the big picture, the relationship between the main ideas and showing the different interpretations concisely. Is there any?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2017 #2
    Make one! :wink: (Would be neat! :smile:)
  4. Feb 18, 2017 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    The double slit with single electrons is all you need to show QM is required:

    It illustrates two key principles:
    1. The principle of superposition which is a fundamental property of QM systems - its basically a postulate of QM although more can be said (eg mixed states)
    2. The uncertainty principle which is derivable from the operator formalism of QM.

    As Feynman says - it contains the basic mystery. I personally would not go that far - but it's pretty darn close.

    For me the basic mystery isn't experimental - its theoretical:

    It's why nature chose to allow continuous changes between so called pure states. This means if you have a system in a certain state at time 0 and in another state at any time later there was no jumps etc in getting there - it was smooth and continuous. It's rather intuitive and in a certain sense at odds with quantitisation you hear a lot about in QM.

    Just by the by the reason for quatitisation (systems are mostly quantisised in QM but not always) is a very deep issue that if you want to pursue is explained here:

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