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Thread: Tripping out on quantum mechanics

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    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    Tripping out on quantum mechanics

    I am studying for my exam tomorrow and some of the ideas are whack! Basically, there is a definite possibility that your entire body can be teleported instantly to another part of the universe (or a part of you at least). Of course, this possibility is ridiculously small, but quantum mechanics tells us that there 100% is a definite chance (which itself is incredible). This is based on the fact that your position in space is actually infinite.

    This is all based on the fact that matter is a wave and waves are matter. An electron has a mass but also has a frequency and a wavelength (de Borgilie wave length). If you want you can calculate your wavelength with a simple equation... wavelength = planck's constant / momentum. Since we are all waves with a very very small wavelength, and waves have no definite position (Imagine a rope with a wave moving through, you can't really say where the wave is), we are literally everywhere defined by a simple probability. The probability that you are 13 billion light years away is extremely small, but it exists.

    This is all the simple qualitative stuff, we go more in depth but I thought you would find it interesting.
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    Quantum mechanics is awesome. Everything has a 100% probability of happening somewhere in some universe at some time and there are an infinite number of universes. Everything you have ever potentially done has happened. It's cool how it applies to the law of attraction too - did they teach you about how particles act the way you expect them to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFGUITAR View Post
    I am studying for my exam tomorrow and some of the ideas are whack! Basically, there is a definite possibility that your entire body can be teleported instantly to another part of the universe (or a part of you at least). Of course, this possibility is ridiculously small, but quantum mechanics tells us that there 100% is a definite chance (which itself is incredible). This is based on the fact that your position in space is actually infinite.

    This is all based on the fact that matter is a wave and waves are matter. An electron has a mass but also has a frequency and a wavelength (de Borgilie wave length). If you want you can calculate your wavelength with a simple equation... wavelength = planck's constant / momentum. Since we are all waves with a very very small wavelength, and waves have no definite position (Imagine a rope with a wave moving through, you can't really say where the wave is), we are literally everywhere defined by a simple probability. The probability that you are 13 billion light years away is extremely small, but it exists.

    This is all the simple qualitative stuff, we go more in depth but I thought you would find it interesting.
    Messed up!
    The Elegant Universe explains all these things. It's incredibly interesting. I'm not a physicist but I still take interest in it.
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    WannabePLer fpr's Avatar
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    There's no way that can be more exciting than how cells communicate with each other! G-protein coupled receptors, tyrosine-kinase receptors, etc...

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    Senior Member Invain's Avatar
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    I understand that electrons have a frequency and can behave like a wave, but in the end an atom is still a tangible object (or atleast the nucleus is). Matter travels/behaves like a wave but saying matter is a wave in itself seems a little farfetched to me. I also don't understand how our bodies technical "wavelength" meens we are defined as everywhere.
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    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    Atoms are also waves, but their wavelengths are extremely small.

    Lets show this. Lets assume we have an electron, a large molecule, and a really fat powerlifter all moving at 100 meters per second.
    The equation is wavelength = planck's constant / mass x velocity

    For the electron the wavelength is 0.00000727 meters. Electrons move faster than this, a lot faster. But even than, it's wavelength is only a micrometer long. This is still quite large compared to an atom and can easily be detected using simple experiments (which it has been, numerous times. This is a sound theory).

    For the large benzene molecule weighing about 1.33x10^-25 kg (thats about 150 000 times the mass of an electron) the wavelength is 5x10^-11 meters. This is about as small as molecular bonds. It still is possible to detect the wavelength of such a molecule, but it is much much harder to detect.

    For the fat powerlifter of 160kg... this yields a wavelength of about 4x10^-38 meters. This is MUCH MUCH MUCH smaller than even an atom. We don't know what's going on at such small numbers. How could you detect a wavelength that is so small? Really, you can't.

    They discovered that electrons were waves by shooting them through two slits and realizing they left an interference pattern (overlapping of waves) that correlates to it's wavelength. If you were to shoot fat powerlifters through two slits you wouldn't see any thing like that. Of course you wont, the interference pattern would practically be non existent. You can't measure something a million times smaller than an atom.

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    Quantum Mechanics might be the greatest intellectual feat of humanity. I hope you appreciate the field, and take some time to appreciate the scientists who worked in it.

    They could be seen as humanity's greatest heroes, because essentially almost all new technology past the 1950's is based on quantum theory.

    The feats of brilliant by those men are still amazing.

    BTW, its easier to work out the Math while thinking about everything conceptually, because Math is the language of the universe, and it prefers to converse in that mode.

    Also, pay attention to how they ran experiments and made theories, they were VERY rigorous while still staying very open minded, its a good life lesson.
    Last edited by nejar462; 10-24-2008 at 03:25 PM.
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    How'd the test go? Go down to covent garden market and get yourself 5 bureks (combo of spinach n cheese and the meat ones) and a Portuguese bbq chicken with that spicy sauce. Then go lift something to celebrate. The market has great bulk food in general btw.

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    IRL my name is Trent Hazerboy's Avatar
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    I actually have a modern physics test on monday that is mostly quantum mechanics. We're going over matter diffraction, Fourier transformations, quantum tunneling, schroedinger's equation, and general wave-particle duality. Are you in an introductory course BF or are you majoring in physics? Electron diffraction is cool stuff too - we actually did that experiment on thursday using a cathode ray tube.

    Quantum mechanics is interesting, but I think a lot of times people take the theory for more than its worth. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how great your theory is or how accurate its predictions are, its still just a theory. Its not the actual phenomenon. Its like we have a watch, and we can come up with a model for how the watch works that makes perfect predictions, but its impossible to break open the watch and figure out how it really works. All we have is the model.
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    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    O I bombed it... of course the teacher has to put things on the exam that I haven't seen before ever... w/e I can still get a mid 70 if I work harder.

    It's an intro course really, my major is chem bit I still need to take this.

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    WannabePLer fpr's Avatar
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    Damn dude that sucks. I've read about those teachers on ratemyprofessor.com.... which is why I absolutely AVOID them, completely. Fortunately, I haven't had one to date.

    Are you sure it just wasn't stuff you may have missed while reviewing?

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    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    At the start of the year I asked him if trig functions will be a big part of the course. He said what ever math we will cover will be covered during the calc review section. There wasn't any trig... until the exam.

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    Just another dick. Don't worry about it but make sure you study everything for th next test.

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    IRL my name is Trent Hazerboy's Avatar
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    Lawl that sucks man. It happens though, the important thing is that if he puts something new on the test it will be new for EVERYONE, hence the curve will be higher XD.

    Don't you have to take physical chemistry too if you're a chem major? I have some friends in that class and it looks like that stuff is very similar to what we're doing.
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    Senior Member Steven001's Avatar
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    I don't know much of what's being discussed in this topic, but I heard that proper teleportation is highly unlikely. All that can be teleported is the position of something. So, all that would be teleported is the position and looks of the person, but not the brain, personality etc of the person.

    As I say, I may be talking rubbish.
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    Quantum was fun.
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    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    I took physical chemistry last year, it was easy. One semester was kinetics the other was thermodynamics. Kinetics was horrible... the question on the exam was something like "Derive Maxwell's formula" literally. I basically memorized derivations... I had no idea what I was doing. Physchem was a lot of work but it wasn't too bad. This physics actually makes sense lol.

    Got my mark back... 60% LOL. One of the lower marks in my university career so far. Luckily I am averaging an 85 on quizzes worth 25% and there is always the final worth 45%. I can still pull off a mid 70 if I work hard enough! And learn my freakin trig.
    Last edited by BFGUITAR; 10-27-2008 at 03:19 PM.

  19. #19
    WannabePLer fpr's Avatar
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    Dang that blows. What was the class average? Does your professor curve at all? Drop the lowest exam?
    I had a Bio test about a week ago, class average was a 60% so the prof curved it by 12 points, I ended up getting a 96%

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