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Quantum mechanics  deals mainly with the extremely small such as atoms and subatomic particles. While it works on the macroscopic level as well, with few a exceptions; such as superconductorsand superfluids; the results are usually the same as Classical mechanics. It is mainly at the subatomic level that the differences become significant.
Quantum mechanics was developed out of an effort to understand why atoms emit only discrete frequencies of light, but it works outside the atom as well.
There several classes of phenomena called "quantum effects" that have no counter part in Classical mechanics. They included:
- The uncertainty principle.
- Wave-particle duality.
- Quantum tunneling.
- Quantum entanglement.
- Quantum teleportation.
While Quantum mechanics has been questioned by some creationists, it turns out that it can be a useful tool after all.
Quantization is the situation where physical quantities like position, energy and momentum can have only certain discrete values. For a particle free in empty space these physical quantities are continuous, but when a particle is bound to an area of space they can only have certain values discrete.
The energy contained in a given frequency of electromagnetic waves is also quantized in that it always as the same value at the same frequency. The energy is found in discrete packets or particles called photons
Quantization of electron energy within an atom explains much of their behavior, such as why atoms emit only discrete frequencies of light.
The uncertainty principle.
Uncertainty principle basically states that there is a limit on the accuracy of simultaneous measurement of physical quantities like a particle's position and momentum. This is most commonly expressed as:
- x is a particle's position.
- p is a particle's momentum.
- h is Planck's constant
The result is that the more accurately one measures a particle's position the less accurately one can measure its momentum and vice versa. This is not the case because the act of measurement disturbs the system; which it only does sometimes; but it is related to Wave-particle duality.
There are similar uncertainty relations between other physical quantities as well, but Planck's constant is so small ( h = 6.626 X 10-34 J * S ) for the uncertainty principle show up in the macroscopic world.
Wave-particle duality is the tendency of for light and matter to exhibit both wave and particle like properties. It is a key concept of quantum mechanics.
Some times they behave like particles, exhibiting properties like scattering, but under the right circumstances they behave like waves, exhibiting properties like interference and diffraction. The wave length ( λ ) of a particle's wave is λ = h / p. Where h is Planck's constant and p is momentum. The waves wavefunction ( ψ ) is related to the probability of finding the particle a given point in pace. The relationship is based the square of the amplitude of the wavefunction. ( |ψ(x)|2 ) It is called the probability density.
Quantum tunneling is related to Wave-particle duality in that it is a result of the wave nature of a particle. It is the process by which a particle gets across a barrier that it can not classically pass. The probability of the particle getting through the barrier drops exponentially with the thickness of the barrier, based on the formula:
- ψ(x) = ψ(0) e-k x
- Where ψ is the wavefunction, k it is particles wavenumber inside the barrier, and x it the distance.
It needs to be noted the particles wavenumber inside the barrier is not the same as it is out side, though they are mathematically related, based on the properties of the barrier.
In Quantum tunneling the travel time across the barrier is zero, thus it is an instantaneous process, and there by faster than the speed of light. While it suggests a possible mechanism for faster than light travel and transmission, it would take an exceedingly large barrier wavenumber to get any significant distance, thus it may never be practical for long distances.
Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects have to be described with reference to each other, even though the individual objects may be separated in space. The result is a correlation between the observable physical properties of the systems, such that a change in one object causes an instantaneous change in the other.
It is currently thought that classical information can not by this means. One reason is two particles need to be near each other to become entangled, except by an intermediate particle, which has to be near one particle and then the other.
Quantum teleportation is the transporting of a quantum mechanical state, between two locations by way of an entangled state and some classical information, such as light. The need to use classical information eliminates this as a potential faster than light communication methods.
- Illustration of quantum teleportation.
- Blue dots are the quantum entangled particles.
- Black lines are the paths of the entangled particles.
- Left red dots is the particle to be "teleported."
- Right red dots is the "teleported" particle.
- Red line is a photon that goes between the two entangled particles.
This process actually destroys the particle at one end and make a copy of it at the other end. So that all that actually transported are quantum mechanical states, not the actual particles.
Here are several Interpretations of quantum mechanics.
According to this interpretation of quantum mechanics simply predicts the probabilities of various alternative histories.
According this interpretation the only thing that matters are the experimental results. This is currently the most popular interpretation, but it is losing ground.
This interpretation sees quantum mechanical waves as stand waves in space time that constructively interfere were the particle is and destructively interfere every place else.
According to this interpretation it is consciousness causes collapses the quantum mechanical waves. While this view fits well with Hinduism, it also fits well with the Christian world view. See below.
- General Grand Unification (GGU), also known as General Intelligent Design.
According to this interpretation quantum mechanical waves and their collapse are the result of intelligent agents that determine the states resulting from the waves' collapse. These intelligent agents could be intelligent beings or mechanisms preprogrammed by an intelligent being. This interpretation fits well with the Christian world view. See below.
- [Many worlds of quantum mechanics Many worlds of quantum mechanics]
This interpretation sees the world constantly splitting off into multiple universes in which possible quantum event occurs. This fits perfectly with Evolution since in some universe the extremely improbable event of life spontaneously coming from non life would have occurred as would all the extremely improbable events needed to evolve that life to man. According to this view our existence by natural processes would be a quantum certainty.
According to this interpretation the wave guides the particle, while it is totally deterministic, it requires a large number of hidden variables that can not be directly measured.
The consciousness causes collapse interpretation fits the Biblical worldview well. Since according to this interpretation quantum mechanical waves are collapse consciousness it provides a scientific model for a link between physical and the spiritual. For example it could provide a model for soul body interaction.
Also a sufficiently powerful consciousness would be capable of collapsing quantum mechanical waves to highly improbable states, such an event would by definition be a miracle. This provides a scientific bases for miracles. God being the most powerful consciousness of all, would be capable of collapsing quantum mechanical waves to even the most improbable of states, including making the universe from nothing. This opens the door to a possible scientific model for creation.
General Grand Unification fits the Biblical worldview well. It allows for the intelligent design and control of the universe. It shows how the universe could have been created from nothing and provides a scientific model for creation.
- Miracles, Materialism, and Quantum Mechanics
- Quantum Mechanics
- Quantum mechanics
- Quantum mechanics by Genesis Science Mission
- Quantum Mechanics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
- Measurement in quantum mechanics FAQ
- Quantum Non-locality
- Science Declares Our Universe Is Intelligently Designed