Wave Particle Duality and Infinite Worlds

in #steemstem3 years ago (edited)

Easy experiments sometimes lead to amazing ideas and discoveries.

Quantum mechanics is far removed from anything we understand and observe in our daily lives. This happens to the point where even the simplest experiments can have some of the wildest implications we have ever thought of. The double slit experiment is one example of this, it’s so simple that it is a staple in the modern high school physics classroom.

The Double Slit Experiment

The double slit experiment is one of the most famous experiments in quantum mechanics. This is because this experiment proves wave-particle duality. The double slit experiment is simple, and is often done in the physics classroom, but the implications are massive.

The double slit experiment is usually done with photons, but it can be done with any particle. In the average physics classroom visible light is the most commonly used. With a single slit the particles don’t show any major signs of being waves. Imagine cutting a rectangular slit into a piece of paper and shooting photons through it, the photons go straight through the slit, spread out in a bit, but will still be roughly rectangular when it hits the wall. When another slit is added this changes. Instead of forming neat rectangles on the wall, they form a series of lines.

The photons form a series of lines because of the inherent probability within quantum mechanics. Each particle only take on a position and velocity when they are interacted with. Because of this, each particle does not really have an exact position or velocity and instead all aspects of the particle appear based on random probability, and this takes on the aspects of a wave. One of the aspects of a wave is interference. Interference takes on two forms, constructive and destructive. In constructive interference the crests of two or more waves line up, in destructive interference the crest and the trough line up. In constructive interference the amplitude of the wave can be greater than each wave would be individually, while in destructive interference the waves can completely cancel each other out. For constructive interference, water will be higher, sound will be louder, and the chance a particle lands in a position higher. Destructive is the opposite, the water may not move at all, there may be no sound, and there may be nearly zero chance for a particle to show up in a position.

There is still one question to ask in this situation, what waves are the photons in this experiment interacting with? The answer to the question is the particle is interacting with itself. This is possible because of the two slits and because in quantum mechanics nothing has a set position or velocity. When the slit the wave goes through is not measured, it enters a state where it goes through both slits as a probability wave, and then interacts with the target as a particle. When this happens an interference pattern emerges, which is based on the position of the particles. Measuring the particle at the slit forces it to choose which slit the particle goes through, which causes the interference pattern to disappear. This is great evidence that what is happening is the probibility wave interacting with itself.[1] [2]

Infinite Slits

There will be no major change in the outcome of the experiment when a third slit is added. The only change will be the shape of the probability wave, not its characteristics. This holds true as four, five, six, and even seven slits are made, all the way up to infinity. A new question arises from this, what happens when empty space is treated as a set of infinite slits? The answer is that the particle has a chance to take every possible path. This includes looping back on itself, visiting the center of the sun, and disappearing off to somewhere on the other side of the universe.

Even though the particle can travel all paths, some are more likely than others. This can be determined through path integral formulation. In this complicated calculation each of the infinite paths is given a number, and after all these numbers are added together, the probability of each path through spacetime is determined. Some paths happen to cancel each other out, while others increase the probability of the particle landing at a location. This cancels out many paths a particle can take, and is what causes the strangeness of the double slit experiment.
[3] [4]

Infinite Possibilities and Many Worlds

The many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is mostly based on the information above. In the many worlds interpretation when something about a particle is determined our reality “splits”. All of reality enters a state like the particle going through the slits, and act out all possibilities. In other words, when we interact with a particle and cause it to determine its position, velocity, or anything else about it, we become just one probability within the universe’s probability wave. One example is if we have Schrodinger's cat in a box. Schrodinger's cat is either dead or alive within in the box. When somebody opens the box to determine the state of the cat they themselves enter two states, one for each possible state of the cat. When anybody observes this person they enter the state of observing this person in one of the two states, and so on.

That explanation leaves a lot out though. Everything is made out of insane amounts of smaller particles and they are constantly being “measured” by their own interactions with the environment and themselves. So the split does not happen only when we observe it, but that does not really matter too much. [5]

Quantum mechanics is very different from what we normally observe in interactions throughout our daily lives.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]



great post man, following you and wish i knew more about science myself

Beautiful text! In a very simple and understandable way, the quantum mechanical phenomena is presented...I enjoyed in reading.

So the split does not happen only when we observe it, but that does not really matter too much.

If the split doesn't matter to any being in this universe, it doesn't happen.

There is not an infinite amount of universes, there are a finite number of them, just like there is a finite number of atoms. Every one of them is known.

The choice between whether or not there is a split in the universe is whether the self reflective entity wish to explore the possibility. And many choices create no changes in the future.

Wow. Very interesting. What about collective conciousness and the mandela effect?

The collective conciousness doesn't really exist. Just like a crowd of people, or an ocean wave doesn't really exist. One being a collection of people, but there is nothing about any person that says they are a member of that crowd. There is a collective focussing on the same reality set that allows us all to interact in that reality set. And that requires a lot of working together on higher levels for it to work. But, there is really no collective conciousness.

The mandela effect is artifacts from several universes being merged into one.
They are usually not as prevalent as they are today. I feel they are so prevalent to help people get out of the old "science" mindset that the past is a fixed thing, and people just remember it wrong.

Wow. Great eau of looking at it. Thanks. :). Joy

I love reading physics on steem because it takes me back to undergrad. When I was first told we'd be doing the double split experiment I just thought 'bullshit' (from a biology background experiments never work).... half an hour later I was astounded when we'd made it work. Almost made me a convert to physics (almost!).

We can only measure one propriety at a time in quantum physics. wave or particle, one experiment at a time. The same goes for all quantum properties, we can measure quantum spin along 1 axis, but that makes it impossible to even know if it is even spinning along another axis(which we know it dose from prior measurements on just that axis, still not measurable)

The problem stems in the uncertainty principle and limits the information we can know of a quantum system without breaking this principle.

It even applies on motion vs position, if we pin down the position of an quantum particle, we can´t derive any information on where it came from or where it is going, as seen in the slith, smaller slith, smaller passage and more precise location of particle known = more distorted / spread waves.

Always interesting to read about :)

A new question arises from this, what happens when empty space is treated as a set of infinite slits? The answer is that the particle has a chance to take every possible path. This includes looping back on itself, visiting the center of the sun, and disappearing off to somewhere on the other side of the universe.

Or the model is simply wrong, reality does not work with infinite limits, but the maths on quantum physics does, there are is a massive discrepancy here :)

We can have information about multiple aspects, its just that the more information we measure about one the less information we can measure about the others

Exactly :) that is the definition of the uncertainty principle so u got my point, measure one aspect to 100% lose the others, simple.

I´ve set up numerous NMR experiments on this principle. We must measure the quantum spin along one axis forcing it to be zero along the others, and ignoring them, in order to relate the data to anything or even harder, quantify anything.

But the discrepancy in theory vs reality is extremely real and comes from the maths :) they cointain infinite limits etc and has nothing to do with reality!
Even in the most simple solutions of Schrodingers eq in 1D, with the harmonic oscillator model will result in brutal QTE due to these limits :)

Same goes for molecule models, electron dislocation outside molecules, due to the probability wave being outside the molecule in reality but not in theory!

What minimum magnet strength is appropriate for these kinds of NMR experiments?

They are pretty big! I would say 10 T + we got one @ my old uni :) The magnet alone costed way over 1,000,000$

Standard example is the 21 T magnet, would resonate a proton @900 mhz!

And you also need a adiabatic balloon to cool the liquid hydrogen, which cools the circulation of liquid nitrogen which cools the massive magnet temperatures :)

Great content, quantum mechanics opened world of opportunties in many fields it's a mind-blowing subject revealed some of the universe complexties

Interesting writing, and rarely written in others, so much science I can take in this paper, especially about the waves. actually our life is not separated from the wave, but we are very minimal knowledge of the wave or other physics, thanks @anarchyhasnogods

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Can you explain this in relation to the mandela effect?. Great post.

Physics is life. I learnt all this during my high school days. It's the bedrock of modern science