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Posts Tagged ‘Quantum mechanics’

Stephen Hawking’s The 71st Birthday

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 9, 2013

Stephen Hawking, Cambridge, Jason Bye, 19/09/08Sitting in a wheel chair since the age of 28 due to paralysis because of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) related motor neuron disease, Stephen William Hawking, (born 8 January 1942) became world renowned theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. He can’t speak thus he communicates through a speech generating device with a vocal supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

His doctor told him that he won’t survive long because in the world ALS survival for more than 10 years after diagnosis is uncommon. however now he is 71 years.

Among his significant scientific works have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularities theorems in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set forth a cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He is a vocal supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of thePresidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Light A Particle Or Wave? ‘Quantum Nonlocality’ Experiment Spotlights Dual Nature Of Light

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 6, 2012

By: Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience Senior Writer

Is light made of waves, or particles?

This fundamental question has dogged scientists for decades, because light seems to be both. However, until now, experiments have revealed light to act either like a particle, or a wave, but never the two at once.

Now, for the first time, a new type of experiment has shown light behaving like both a particle and a wave simultaneously, providing a new dimension to the quandary that could help reveal the true nature of light, and of the whole quantum world.

The debate goes back at least as far as Isaac Newton, who advocated that light was made of particles, and James Clerk Maxwell, whose successful theory of electromagnetism, unifying the forces of electricity and magnetism into one, relied on a model of light as a wave. Then in 1905, Albert Einstein explained a phenomenon called the photoelectric effect using the idea that light was made of particles called photons (this discovery won him the Nobel Prize in physics). [What’s That? Your Physics Questions Answered]

Ultimately, there’s good reason to think that light is both a particle and a wave. In fact, the same seems to be true of all subatomic particles, including electrons and quarks and even the recently discovered Higgs boson-like particle. The idea is calledwave-particle duality, and is a fundamental tenet of the theory of quantum mechanics.

Depending on which type of experiment is used, light, or any other type of particle, will behave like a particle or like a wave. So far, both aspects of light’s nature haven’t been observed at the same time. Read the rest of this entry »

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What Happened Before Creation?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 6, 2012

By Robert Lanza 

Everyone knows that something is screwy with the way we visualize the cosmos. Theories of its origins screech to a halt when they reach the very event of interest — the moment of creation, the “Big Bang.”

The current scientific model proposes that the universe is like a watch that somehow wound itself and that will unwind in a semi-predictable way. Life arose by an unknown process, and then proceeded to change form under Darwinian mechanisms that operate under these same physical rules. Life contains consciousness, but the latter is poorly understood and is, in any case, solely a matter for biologists.

But there’s a problem. Consciousness isn’t just an issue for biologists; it’s a problem for physics. Nothing in physics explains how molecules in your brain create consciousness. The beauty of a sunset, the miracle of love, the taste of a delicious meal — these are all mysteries to science. It can’t explain how consciousness arose from matter; our understanding of this basic phenomenon of our existence is nil. Not coincidentally, consciousness comes up again in a completely different realm of science. Quantum theory, while working well mathematically, makes no logical sense. As new experiments show, particles seem to behave as if they respond to a conscious observer. Because that can’t be right, physicists have deemed quantum theory inexplicable. The simplest explanation — that particles actually do interact with consciousness at some level — is too far outside the model to be seriously considered.

But even putting aside the issues of consciousness, the current model leaves much to be desired when it comes to explaining the universe. The cosmos sprang out of nothingness 13.7 billion years ago, in a titanic event humorously labeled the Big Bang. We don’t understand where it came from and we continually tinker with the details, including adding an inflationary period with physics we don’t yet understand. Read the rest of this entry »

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Quantum theory survives latest challenge

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 15, 2010

Since quantum mechanics was first formulated, a string of physicists including Albert Einstein have been

Putting Leggett's inequality to the test

uncomfortable with the idea of entanglement – whereby a group of quantum particles have a closer relationship than allowed by classical physics. As a result, some physicists have proposed alternative theories that allow such close relationships without the need for quantum mechanics. While it has been difficult to test these theories, researchers in the UK have used “twisted light” to make an important measurement that backs up quantum theory.

Quantum theory seems foreign to our everyday experience because it defies our idea of “realism” – the expectation that objects have definite properties whether we’re looking at them or not. Quantum theory also seems to call for entities that can instantly react to an event occurring elsewhere – apparently defying the principle of locality, which forbids communication faster than the speed of light.

These oddities were expressed mathematically by the physicist John Bell in his famous inequality. Bell showed that a particular combination of measurements performed on identically prepared pairs of particles would produce a numerical bound (or inequality) that is satisfied by all physical theories that obey realism and locality. He also showed, however, that this bound is violated by the predictions of quantum physics for entangled particle pairs. Read the rest of this entry »

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