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Quantum Physics: From Illusion to Reality

Quantum Physics: From Illusion to Reality

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Quantum Physics: From Illusion to Reality

Lunghezza:
63 pagine
1 ora
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 17, 2012
ISBN:
9781301636402
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

The double-slit experiment has been widely discussed since the founding of quantum mechanics. Nearly all textbooks on quantum mechanics use the experiment to illustrate the wave-particle duality of light and matter. According to Richard Feynman, the double-slit experiment contains the only mystery of quantum mechanics. After we have unveiled the mystery, we will be able to understand quantum mechanics.

What is the mystery then? The mystery lies in the explanation of the counterintuitive experiment result. What does it imply for the nature of reality? How on earth does a single electron pass through two slits at the same time? Exactly what is an electron? There are already many possible pictures of quantum reality. From pilot wave and Brownian motion to many worlds and dynamical collapse, every interpretation claims that it gives the right answer. But which one is right? Or none of them is right? Obviously there is only one real picture of quantum reality. Can we find it now?

It has been widely thought that the mystery of quantum mechanics can only be disclosed by future precise experiments. However, this may be not the case. This little book will show that a penetrating analysis can already lead us to the way out of the maze of quantum interpretations. In the end, the real picture of quantum reality will naturally appear, and it can also be understood by general readers. To our great surprise, quantum mechanics already tells the secret. It is that a single electron passes through both slits at the same time in a discontinuous and random way.

Book & Thoughts Reviews:

This is an ambitious work that reflects admirable grip, and distinctive take, on much of the contemporary philosophy of quantum mechanics literature.
---- Reviewer of Philosophy of Science

The idea of using discontinuous motion as a realist interpretation of quantum mechanics is original.
---- Reviewer of Foundations of Physics

Its very existence is at any rate, an excellent illustration of the extent to which physical data force us to depart from commonsense ideas when we try to depict reality "as it really is".
---- Bernard d'Espagnat, theoretical physicist, philosopher of science, Templeton Prize 2009 Laureate, author of Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Mechanics and On Physics and Philosophy

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 17, 2012
ISBN:
9781301636402
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Shan Gao received his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Physics from University of Sydney in 2013. He is a theoretical physicist and philosopher of physics, whose major interests are foundations of quantum mechanics, philosophy of physics, history of modern physics, and philosophy of mind. His original ideas, including random discontinuous motion, quantum superluminal communication and quantum panpsychism, have been published in professional journals such as International Journal of Theoretical Physics, Foundations of Physics, Minds and Machines, Journal of Consciousness Studies, and so on. He is the author of God Does Play Dice with the Universe, Quantum Physics: From Illusion to Reality, Understanding Quantum Physics: An Advanced Guide for the Perplexed and several other books. His first popular science book Quantum (in Chinese) is very successful, and it has sold more than ten thousands copies in China during the last few years. For more details please visit http://gucas.academia.edu/ShanGao.


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  • In other words, the individual electrons must pass through both slits in a discontinuous way.

Anteprima del libro

Quantum Physics - Random Press

Quantum Physics: From Illusion to Reality

A Short Journey through Two Mysterious Slits

By Shan Gao

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2012 Shan Gao

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

To Vicky

We choose to examine a phenomenon which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way, and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery.

—Richard Feynman

Contents

Acknowledgements

List of Illustrations

Preface

1. The Mysterious Double Slit

The classical world is an illusion

Quantum unreality

2. Three Roads to Quantum Reality

A river of hidden variables

A jungle of many worlds

The unified road

3. Exploring Reality with Protection

The open sesame

The first glimmer of reality

4. The Picture of Quantum Reality

Field vs. particle

Field loses and particle wins

Motion is discontinuous and random

God plays dice with the universe

5. The Transition from Quantum to Classical

No hidden variables

There is only one world

No many minds

Collapse is real

6. The Mystery Unveiled

Further Reading

Acknowledgements

The ideas of this book mainly come out of my Ph.D. research in quantum foundations at the University of Sydney, though I already had an inkling of them more than ten years ago. I have benefited from discussions with several physicists and philosophers in Sydney. They are: Huw Price, Dean Rickles, David Miller, Rod Sutherland, John Corbett, Hans Westman, and Owen Maroney. I thank them all deeply.

My deepest gratitude goes to my parents, QingFeng Gao and LiHua Zhao, who spared no effort to provide the best possible environment for me to grow up in and their constant support during my extended studies. They have always allowed me to have the freedom of choice, and for that I am truly grateful.

Finally, I am deeply indebted to my wife, HuiXia, and my daughter, Vicky, for their unflagging love and support throughout my study and writing; this book would have been impossible without them. Moreover, they have never let me forget the true values of life.

List of Illustrations

Figure 1 A double-slit pattern

Figure 2 A mixture of two one-slit patterns

Figure 3 Bohmian trajectories for the double-slit experiment

Figure 4 Quantum suicide thought experiment in many worlds

Figure 5 Collapse is dynamical

Figure 6 A method of protective measurement

Figure 7 Continuous motion is an illusion

Figure 8 Electron clouds in a hydrogen atom

Preface

The double-slit experiment has been widely discussed since the beginning of quantum mechanics. Many popular science books use the experiment to illustrate the wave-particle duality of light and matter. According to Richard Feynman, the double-slit experiment contains the only mystery of quantum mechanics. After we have unveiled the mystery, we will be able to understand the strange quantum world.

The predictions of quantum mechanics agree with the results of the double-slit experiment to astonishing precision. What is the mystery then? The mystery lies in understanding the startling and counterintuitive results. What do they imply for the nature of reality? How on earth does a single electron pass through two slits at the same time? Exactly what is an electron? The mystery is not that classical

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