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> Quantum Mechanics, some of the original discoverers
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post Jan 27, 2009, 02:05 PM
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A photo of some of the original discoverers of Quantum Mechanics.

On the 24th October 1927 a group of physicists met in the Metropole Hotel in Brussels at the Solvay Conference.

This photo is of most of the physicists that met.
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post Jan 27, 2009, 03:07 PM
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.... my personal favorite image of Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist widely considered one of the greatest physicists of all time. While best known for the theory of relativity (and specifically mass-energy equivalence, E=mc2), he was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his 1905 explanation of the photoelectric effect and "for his services to Theoretical Physics". He was known for many scientific investigations, among which were: his special theory of relativity which stemmed from an attempt to reconcile the laws of mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field, his general theory of relativity which extended the principle of relativity to include gravitation, relativistic cosmology, capillary action, critical opalescence, classical problems of statistical mechanics and problems in which they were merged with quantum theory, leading to an explanation of the Brownian movement of molecules; atomic transition probabilities, the probabilistic interpretation of quantum theory, the quantum theory of a monatomic gas, the thermal properties of light with a low radiation density which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light, the theory of radiation, including stimulated emission; the construction of a unified field theory, and the geometrization of physics.
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post Jan 27, 2009, 03:36 PM
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Quantum mechanics - physics or mathematics? (Answering 'both', will not suffice)
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post Jan 27, 2009, 04:05 PM
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Physics. Einstein (from Einstein; The Life and Times) said he was a scientist, not a mathematician.
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post Jan 27, 2009, 05:00 PM
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I want to say neither (such a Cartesian dualistic either/or - one or the other type of question) but I just can't verbalize the thought that I have about the fundamental nature of what exactly quantum mechanics symbolizes or represents for the whole of mankind!
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post Jan 27, 2009, 05:05 PM
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It means that photons are quanta of light energy in wave form that can travel through two slits simultaneously. Nothing all that mysterious, eh?
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post Jan 28, 2009, 03:35 AM
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.... yes, but I mean what did these discoveries represent at an underlying level across all planes of intellectual signification, which I believe goes well beyond a classification of either 'physics' or 'mathematics'!
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post Jan 28, 2009, 04:55 AM
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QUOTE
It means that photons are quanta of light energy in wave form that can travel through two slits simultaneously. Nothing all that mysterious, eh?
But didn't they do some experiment where they showed that an electron (maybe incorrect) separated from its siblings, by any distance, is still somehow connected to them by an unknown instantaneous mechanism? So if they forced the spin/charge of the electron to be different on the separated electron, the sibling(s) would instantaneously show the change, regardless of the distance. I may not have all the details right, but thats the jist of it, and I definately find that mysterious!

Even physicists have difficulty describing and discussing quantum, so for anyone on these boards to say its not mysterious is a little arrogant surely?
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Physics. Einstein (from Einstein; The Life and Times) said he was a scientist, not a mathematician.
I'm not sure what this has to do with anything. Mathematicians and Physics are mutually supportive. Leonardo probably didn't classify himself at all, but if he said 'Artist' then are all his scientific discoveries and insights invalid?

If an biologist draws an anatomically correct human body, is it art or science? If he notes some chemical processes on the drawing, is it art or science? If he details the formula for the creation of a protein, is it science or maths?

Florence Nightingale was basically a nurse, yet she invented pie charts among many other things. Your job title, or even how you categorise yourself, shouldn't effect how your creative output is categorised.
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Quantum mechanics - physics or mathematics? (Answering 'both', will not suffice)
Given how we keep pointing out that categories are not physical, but constructs of the mind, how can we begin to answer the question fully? I'd say neither, they're both a small part of our understanding of the whole of reality.

We can't understand the whole by splitting it into parts, we can only get a low level look at the parts. Unfortunately, specialisation requires looking at the parts, and ignoring the whole. On that note, I refuse to answer the question! lol
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post Jan 28, 2009, 08:18 AM
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Show me one communication or computation device that uses "quantum entanglement" to communicate faster than light or compute faster than clock speed. It's only a theoretical abstraction with no real application. When it gets real, then it will be mysterious.
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post Jan 28, 2009, 05:20 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 28, 2009, 08:18 AM) *

Show me one communication or computation device that uses "quantum entanglement" to communicate faster than light or compute faster than clock speed. It's only a theoretical abstraction with no real application. When it gets real, then it will be mysterious.


I don't think quantum entanglement is a theoretical abstraction. They've conducted lots of experiments with entangled particles. Do you really think that a quantum computer wouldn't have a real application if it existed?
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post Jan 28, 2009, 07:34 PM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Jan 28, 2009, 04:55 AM) *

Mathematicians and Physics are mutually supportive.

Not so, as Mathematics is but a tool of Physics, but the opposite may not be true. Mathematics, via the set theory ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set_theory ) intentionally seperated itself from reflecting reality's intrinsic nature in the early 20th century on the count of not wanting to make any assumptions that are not necessarily true such as the paralell postule
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_postulate
Thus, Mathematics is (at least in some respects) closer to Philosophy than it is to Physics.
QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Jan 28, 2009, 04:55 AM) *

But didn't they do some experiment where they showed that an electron (maybe incorrect) separated from its siblings, by any distance, is still somehow connected to them by an unknown instantaneous mechanism?

"The now-familiar puzzle of what are called "non local" interactions develops from theoretical work by John Bell, of CERN, in the 1960s and experiments by Alain Aspect in Paris in the 1980s. Together, these show that a pair of photons ejected in opposite directions from an atom remain somehow entangled, as if they were one particle. Measuring the state of one of the photons instantaneously affects the state of the other one, wherever it may be. Now, it seems that even atoms which have never come into contact (from the perspective of classical Newtonian physics) are entangled in a similar way."
http://www.lifesci.sussex.ac.uk/home/John_...bin/quantum.htm
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post Jan 28, 2009, 11:57 PM
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QUOTE
Not so, as Mathematics is but a tool of Physics, but the opposite may not be true.
I believe mathematics to be a separate subject, but I see how it came about when trying to understand the world. 1 animal = food, 2+ animals = danger!
QUOTE
Thus, Mathematics is (at least in some respects) closer to Philosophy than it is to Physics.
Inventing Dark Matter/Energy and another 7+ dimensions is definately pushing the limits of philosophy! These ideas make the equations work, but that doesn't mean they're correct... A sawtooth road and square wheels works, but its not the best way to do it.

Any theoretical mathematics which includes anything similar to nature (spheres, waveforms, recursion etc.) is on the right track, at least in my view. I say this because everything we've done so far was already done by nature. The most efficient forms are already out there due to the process of evolution 'naturally' selecting those forms.

I still find it odd that rational people can believe that everything is made of tiny vibrating 2D strings, yet are unwilling to project that onto a coherent system of belief that includes the concept of a overall Universal system. We've never seen anything like it before, have no handle on the formula behind the reasoning, and yet we still have Faith that the people doing this work for us are capable.

If vibrating strings do it for you then good for you. If a Deity does it for you then thats ok too. But to believe in one and have disrespect for people who believe the other is slightly childish, regardless which side you sit on.
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post Jan 29, 2009, 02:18 AM
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Much of what we take as knowledge is hypothesis, at best theory, and neither of these are necessarily actuality. We (scientists) always seem to come up with good stories to put the critics aside temporarily and to make some use or application from our findings. But perhaps the word "story" should be replaced by "fairy story", as much of our explanation for the natural world, like religion, relies on a belief system - that we can eventually explain all. But until (if) we do, all we have is "belief" that we might. The stories we tell to explain phenomena, like the nature of matter, or energy, only serve to provide something tangible for our very restricted brains to grasp. If we actually knew what was out there, we might shit our pants!
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trojan_libido
post Jan 29, 2009, 02:38 AM
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What if we found a Grand Theory of Everything. Every single process could be modelled from the very large to very small. Every mechanism was explained. Would that satisfy scientists? Would there be any remaining questions? I'm pretty sure by finding a GTOE the only question that would remain would be a theological one - Why?

I could know all about how a TV works internally, but I couldn't begin to explain the incoming signal, or the quality of TV shows. I really hope we do find the theory to end all theories. Then we can get on with the really important questions.
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post Jan 29, 2009, 03:20 AM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Jan 29, 2009, 10:38 AM) *
What if we found a Grand Theory of Everything.
Probably for this universe only and I reckon that it won't be that grand, but just another interim.
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post Jan 29, 2009, 04:42 AM
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QUOTE
Probably for this universe only and I reckon that it won't be that grand, but just another interim.
Side stepping my original question slightly. If it were a theory of everything, multiverses would be included and explained by it. I don't see how adding another theoretical idea like a multi-verse helps in the discussion.

But once theres nothing more to find, there will only be questions on what we've found. This will give rise to more religious belief.
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post Jan 29, 2009, 05:20 AM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Jan 28, 2009, 11:57 PM) *

If vibrating strings do it for you then good for you. If a Deity does it for you then thats ok too. But to believe in one and have disrespect for people who believe the other is slightly childish, regardless which side you sit on.

I don't know why or where you're attacking me from with your "chisdish" remarks. I don't think you understood my post. My point is, simply put, that mathematics, as it stands right now, can easily be thought of as a dogma, more than a science. As Rick put it somewhere, there are mathematical theories to travel to the moon and back, and all of them, except for one here and there, are worthless to the scientific comunity. So, chill out T_L!
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post Jan 29, 2009, 05:41 AM
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I wasn't attacking your posts at all! I was simply pointing out that believing that all matter is made up of 2D quantum strings is a question of Faith, mainly Faith that the people who came up with the theories are capable. I brought the topic up in my own post, then commented on how its still an issue of Faith, and so anyone stating religion is stupid for belief purely based on Faith has to take that into account. When talking about theories we have no personal experience or proof - therefore its Faith.

I apologise for commenting on my own mental masturbation, and for you getting hold of the wrong end of the stick. I'm as chilled as a penguin wearing sun glasses.

PS. you spelled childish wrong wink.gif
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trojan_libido
post Jan 29, 2009, 05:44 AM
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QUOTE
As Rick put it somewhere, there are mathematical theories to travel to the moon and back, and all of them, except for one here and there, are worthless to the scientific comunity.
I think someone else said that failures are all proof of how not to do something, and are equally important to finding a solution!
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post Jan 29, 2009, 06:00 AM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Jan 29, 2009, 05:41 AM) *

PS. you spelled childish wrong wink.gif

Sory 'bout that!
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post Jan 29, 2009, 07:33 AM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Jan 29, 2009, 01:44 PM) *
I think someone else said that failures are all proof of how not to do something, and are equally important to finding a solution!
Hadrons and colliders come to mind. Could be the final solution!
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post Jan 29, 2009, 04:54 PM
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.... Werner Heisenberg in the Solvay Conference lecture hall

WERNER HEISENBERG (1901–1976) was born in Würzberg, Germany, and received his doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of Munich. He became famous for his groundbreaking Uncertainty (or Indeterminacy) Principle and was the recipient of The Nobel Prize in Physics 1932. After World War II he was named director of the Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics.
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post Jan 29, 2009, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE(lokum @ Jan 28, 2009, 05:20 PM) *
I don't think quantum entanglement is a theoretical abstraction. They've conducted lots of experiments with entangled particles. Do you really think that a quantum computer wouldn't have a real application if it existed?

Yes, there have been some laboratory experiments, but as soon as they observe the result, the result vanishes, leaving no way to get any use out of it. As I said, communication faster than light and faster than clock speed computation have not been demonstrated, and may not be possible. If a quantum computer existed, then it could factor numbers in polynomial time, but it would still be useless for the NP-complete intractable problems. See the recent Scientific American article on the subject.
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post Jan 30, 2009, 12:09 AM
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but it would still be useless for the NP-complete intractable problems
As I understand it, a decent sized NP-complete problems can take anywhere from a minute to a million years, depending on luck in the order of processing. But with a quantum computer than could be reduced to a few hours, again depending on the speed of the computer. So although it can't suddenly find a quicker way to do NP-complete problems, with enough speed we'd have enough brute strength to solve the problem in a useful time.

Adding another row and column of complexity would probably put the computing time back up to a million years though lol
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post Jan 30, 2009, 08:25 AM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Jan 30, 2009, 12:09 AM) *

QUOTE
but it would still be useless for the NP-complete intractable problems
As I understand it, a decent sized NP-complete problems can take anywhere from a minute to a million years, depending on luck in the order of processing. But with a quantum computer than could be reduced to a few hours, again depending on the speed of the computer. So although it can't suddenly find a quicker way to do NP-complete problems, with enough speed we'd have enough brute strength to solve the problem in a useful time.

Adding another row and column of complexity would probably put the computing time back up to a million years though lol

Wrong. Quantum computers won't solve NP-complete problems. See the article in Scientific American. Also Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_computer

"There is a common misconception that quantum computers can solve NP-complete problems in polynomial time. That is not known to be true ..."
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post Jan 30, 2009, 02:17 PM
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Isn't the number of parallels also useful though, whatever the computational physical mechanism?
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post Jan 30, 2009, 02:36 PM
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What use of what parallels?
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post Jan 30, 2009, 02:38 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 30, 2009, 10:36 PM) *

What use of what parallels?
parallel computing, whatever the physical system.
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post Jan 30, 2009, 02:43 PM
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Parallel computing has been a research topic for many years. It has had some results in some well-formed problems, but a solution for general computing has not been found, nor is it likely to be found. The software problem is just too hard.
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post Jan 30, 2009, 02:45 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 30, 2009, 10:43 PM) *

Parallel computing has been a research topic for many years. It has had some results in some well-formed problems, but a solution for general computing has not been found, nor is it likely to be found. The software problem is just too hard.
Come on Rick, everything is too hard. You can't get away with that one! At lest give us some light at the and of the tunnel (resources, time, methods etc).
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