Astronomy

Quantum principles

Quantum principles

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the discovery of quantum mechanics brings a new worldview.

The safety of classical physics is falling apart. Until then, if we knew what had happened, we could predict what was going to happen. There were no surprises and we were sure that things were as we saw them.

Quantum physics represents the opposite: uncertainty, chaos and chance. We can no longer be sure of anything.

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle says that you cannot predict what will happen. Even if we have all the data, we can only predict the probability of something happening. And what happens one thing or another depends on chance. If we repeat the same experiment under the same conditions, sometimes it will give one result and sometimes another. They are quantum fluctuations.

In addition, there are aspects that we cannot know precisely at the same time. For example, the velocity and position of a particle, or its spin amount (something similar to a rotation movement) around different axes. If we measure its position we cannot accurately measure its speed, and vice versa. This limits our knowledge of reality.

Bohr's principle of complementarity says that apparently contradictory properties appear together. For example, an electron or a photon are, at the same time, a wave and a particle. As a particle, they are at a certain point in the Cosmos. But as a wave they spread throughout the Cosmos, and they can be anywhere. No doubt disturbing.

The Schrödinger equation mathematically describes the probability wave. We have seen that the electron, as a wave, can be anywhere in the Cosmos. But the probability that it is in one place or another is not the same. That is the probability wave. Where the peaks are higher there is a higher probability of finding it, and where they are lower the probability is lower. But it can be at any of those points.

So far it is proven. But what happens when we find it at a specific point? This second phase is not yet known. It is believed that a probability wave collapse occurs. The probability that the electron is where we have found it becomes 100%, and falls to 0% in the rest of the Cosmos.

The secrets of quantum are very elusive. Only by observing reality do we influence it. And this is something that science had never faced before.

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