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Quantum Quandaries

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Posted by Mario Dovalina on October 24, 2003 06:08:12 UTC

I don't like quantum mechanics..... I never really have. I don't know if I'm alone in this, however it strikes me as incomplete and loaded with guesswork. The fact that it is so useful and experimentally accurate means that it is at least pointed in the right direction, however I am very cautious to use certain quantum mechanical postulates in arguments about the structure of the universe, as I see them as garish approximations and not neccesarily indicative of what is truly going on on the quantum level. Heisenberg uncertainty, probabilistic mechanics, and wave-particle duality, primarily.

However, for the sake of simplicity (also due to the fact that I have been conscious for far too long and thus have a tendency to ramble) I think the best way to respond to the point I think you were making is through probability. You can view electron interference patterns as proof of divine interference in the universe if you like, but I don't think that's neccesary. A wave-interference pattern is exactly what you would expect in a dual-slit experiment, whether your incident particles be photons or electrons and whether you send them through individually or part of a larger wave group. Each particle has a certain probability of hitting different areas on your recieving plate, so no matter over what time interval you send them through or in how many wave packets, you'll get the same pattern. It's like saying "I get the same pattern when I shoot a target with a shotgun that I get when I shoot it 50 times with a B.B. gun."

In any event I consider this an academic exercise as I loathe probabilistic mechanics with a passion normally reserved for Jacques Chirac. It's a way of cancelling out what is truly happening by saying "meh, it's chance" much like I can say that there's a 50/50 chance of a coin landing on "heads," when in fact when I flip the coin there is either a 100% chance of it being heads or a 100% chance of it being tails, depending on angular momentum, air flow and density, and so forth. I don't see why quantum effects should be any different, fundamentally speaking.

That was the most incoherent thing I've ever writting.... to heck with this, I'm off to bed.

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