By Brian Cox
The subatomic realm has a name for weirdness, spawning any variety of profound misunderstandings, trips into japanese mysticism, and woolly pronouncements at the interconnectedness of all issues. Cox and Forshaw’s rivalry? there's no desire for quantum mechanics to be considered this manner. there's a lot of mileage within the weirdness” of the quantum global, and it frequently results in confusion and, frankly, undesirable technology. The Quantum Universe cuts in the course of the Wu Li and asks what observations of the flora and fauna made it important, the way it used to be built, and why we're convinced that, for all its obvious strangeness, it's a reliable theory.
The quantum mechanics of The Quantum Universe supply a concrete version of nature that's related in its essence to Newton’s legislation of movement, Maxwell’s thought of electrical energy and magnetism, and Einstein’s thought of relativity.
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Additional info for The quantum universe : (and why anything that can happen, does)
Three different clocks all with the same projection in the 12 o’clock direction. 38 What Is a Particle? just one number: the wave height. That is why the use of clocks is not really necessary when it comes to describing water waves. 6: they all correspond to the same wave height and so they provide equivalent ways of representing the same height of water. But clearly they are different clocks and, as we shall see, these differences do matter when we come to use them to describe quantum particles because, for them, the length of the clock hand (or equivalently the size of the clock) has a very important interpretation.
This therefore is the challenge: build a theory of point-like particles such that those same particles are also spread out. This is not as impossible as it sounds: we can do it if we let any single particle be in many places at once. Of course, that may still sound impossible, but the proposition that a particle should be in many places at once is actually a rather clear statement, even if it sounds silly. From now on, we’ll refer to these counterintuitive, spread-out-yet-point-like particles as quantum particles.
We want to know what the probability is to find an electron at a particular point – we want to put a number on it. This is where the clocks become necessary, because the probability that we want is not simply the wave height. The correct thing to do is to 1. For those who are familiar with mathematics, just exchange the words as follows: ‘clock’ for ‘complex number’, ‘size of the clock’ for ‘modulus of the complex number’ and ‘the direction of the hour-hand’ for ‘the phase’. The rule for adding clocks is nothing more than the rule for adding complex numbers.