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Introductory On Quantum's

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Introductory On Quantum's

Post by Agrimony on Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:36 am

In physics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction. Behind this, one finds the fundamental notion that a physical property may be "quantized," referred to as "the hypothesis of quantization". This means that the magnitude can take on only certain discrete values.

A photon is a single quantum of light, and is referred to as a "light quantum". The energy of an electron bound to an atom is quantized, which results in the stability of atoms, and hence of matter in general.

As incorporated into the theory of quantum mechanics, this is regarded by physicists as part of the fundamental framework for understanding and describing nature at the smallest length-scales.

Quantum Mechanics
Quantum mechanics is, at least at first glance and at least in part, a mathematical machine for predicting the behaviors of microscopic particles — or, at least, of the measuring instruments we use to explore those behaviors — and in that capacity, it is spectacularly successful: in terms of power and precision, head and shoulders above any theory we have ever had. Mathematically, the theory is well understood; we know what its parts are, how they are put together, and why, in the mechanical sense (i.e., in a sense that can be answered by describing the internal grinding of gear against gear), the whole thing performs the way it does, how the information that gets fed in at one end is converted into what comes out the other. The question of what kind of a world it describes, however, is controversial; there is very little agreement, among physicists and among philosophers, about what the world is like according to quantum mechanics. Minimally interpreted, the theory describes a set of facts about the way the microscopic world impinges on the macroscopic one, how it affects our measuring instruments, described in everyday language or the language of classical mechanics. Disagreement centers on the question of what a microscopic world, which affects our apparatuses in the prescribed manner, is, or even could be, like intrinsically; or how those apparatuses could themselves be built out of microscopic parts of the sort the theory describes.

That is what an interpretation of the theory would provide: a proper account of what the world is like according to quantum mechanics, intrinsically and from the bottom up. The problems with giving an interpretation (not just a comforting, homey sort of interpretation, i.e., not just an interpretation according to which the world isn't too different from the familiar world of common sense, but any interpretation at all) are dealt with in other sections of this encyclopedia. Here, we are concerned only with the mathematical heart of the theory, the theory in its capacity as a mathematical machine, and — whatever is true of the rest of it — this part of the theory makes exquisitely good sense. Read More Here...

Consciousness, Biology & Fundamental Physics
In trying to discover the physical basis of consciousness, it may first be helpful to consider the physical structure of the universe from which consciousness somehow arises. Everything that we see or otherwise perceive is comprised of quanta that are best described as energy waves oscillating as excitations or disturbances of the quantum vacuum. In terms of modern physics nothing else exists, there are no things, there is no color green, although it is not usually put quite as bluntly as that, perhaps for fear of frightening the horses.

In the view of some physicists, it is the vacuum that is fundamental rather than the quanta. These waves of energy are seen as excitations of the more fundamental vacuum. The quantum vacuum is not a void or nothingness, but could better be described as a plenum, as being full of virtual particles or photons that leap in and out of existence, and whose existence can be made permanent by the presence of energy, such as the energy of an extreme gravitational field or equivalent acceleration.

Some physicists are at pains to emphasize the existence of the quantum vacuum as a reality rather than an abstraction. Thus it is proposed that if we were on board a space ship  accelerating towards some high percentage of the speed of light, we would see hot particles heading towards us out of the vacuum equivalent to the energy of our acceleration. Read More - Quantum Mind

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