An Idiots Guide to Quantum Theory

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Danish physicist, Niels Bohr said that whoever wasn’t shocked by quantum theory, didn’t even understood it!

The success of scientific theories, particularly Newton's theory of gravity, led a French scientist, Marquis de Laplace, to establish that the universe is completely deterministic. Laplace believed that there is a set of scientific laws that should allow people to predict what will happen in the universe, provided they know the entire state of the Universe at a given time. For example, if they knew the positions and velocity of the Sun and planets at some point, then they can use Newton's laws to calculate the state of the solar system at any other time. Determinism seems fairly obvious in this case, but Laplace went further, finding that there are similar laws that govern all other areas, including human behavior.

One of the first indications that this belief must be abandoned was followed by a British scientist Sir James Jeans concluding that a hot object, or body, such as a star, must radiate energy in endless amounts. In accordance with the laws of which are believed correct at the time, a warm body is needed to transmit electromagnetic waves at all frequencies evenly. For example, hot body should radiate the same amount of energy at frequencies between one and two million waves per second, and the frequencies between two and three million waves per second. Since the wave frequency is unlimited, it would mean that the total radiation energy is infinite.

To avoid this obviously ridiculous result, German scientist Max Planck presented on 14 December 1900. the idea that light, X-rays and other waves are not being broadcast in an arbitrary scale, but only in certain packets that he called quanta. In addition, each quantum has a certain amount of energy that is even greater because the higher frequency waves, so that a sufficiently high frequency broadcast of a single quantum require more energy than is generally available. Therefore, radiation at high frequencies would be reduced, and the rate at which the body loses energy would be final.

In order to predict future position and velocity of a particle, it is necessary to accurately measure its current position and speed. The obvious way to do this is to highlight the item. Particles will reflect light waves of one, which will indicate its position. However, the position of the particles will not be able to determine more precisely than it is between two hills of the light wave, so you need to use light of short wavelengths to determine the precise position of the particle. According to the Planck quantum hypothesis, however, a small amount of light  can not be used arbitrarily and should be at least one quantum. This quantum will disturb the particle and change its speed in a way that we can not predict. Moreover, they accurately measure the position, it should use shorter wavelengths of light, so the higher the energy of one quantum. A time and velocity of a particle will be disturbed to a greater extent. In other words, they're trying to accurately measure the position of the particle, the less accurately you can measure its speed and vice versa.

New insight into the real world has enabled Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger and Paul Dirac in the twenties of the twentieth century to reformulate mechanics into a new theory that became known as quantum mechanics and is based on the principle of indeterminacy. In this theory, particles are no longer separate or in very specific positions and speeds that can not be seen. Instead, they have a quantum state that is a combination of position and velocity. In fact, in quantum theory, particles are not just particles and waves are not just waves, quantum theory introduces the dual nature of matter by which every particle is attributed a particular wave frequency, and each wave of corpuscular attributed to the corresponding structures.

Einstein was very opposed to this, despite the important role that he played in the development of this idea. He has, in fact,  won the Nobel Prize for his contribution to setting the quantum theory. But Einstein never accepted the idea that coincidence governments universe: his views on this matter were stated succinctly in the famous sentence: "God does not play dice!" Most other scientists, however, was willing to accept quantum mechanics because it is a perfect match with the findings of experiments.

More about this author: Hannah L.

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