09 January 2011

Quantum Mechanics & General Relativity

So, I've been reading about Quantum Gravity (a convergence of both Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity) and it inspired me to learn more about Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity and though I had a gist of the two; I wanted to take the time to look at the fundamentals as opposed to my generalist understanding of each.

The Small ~ Quantum Mechanics
A theory initiated in order to better explain the fundamental properties of matter. In early 1900's while studying the interactions of matter and radiation; scientists ran into an issue. Neither Classical Mechanics nor Electromagnetism solved certain radiation effects on atoms. Particularly, scientists were perplexed by the nature of light; as was discovered by Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787-1826) through analyzing peculiar lines in the spectrum of sunlight. These lines were recorded as existing; but, no one could explain their origination. Same such occurrences were seen through radiation experiments with atoms.

A hundred years later, scientists established Quantum Mechanics to explain this conundrum among others. Quantum Theory was not established by one scientist, as the theory of relativity was, but as a collective and progressive effort. Though there were some key players, if you will, by the names of Niels Bohr (The Bohr model,) Erwin Schrodinger, Wolfgang Pauli, Max Born and predominantly Max Planch (1858-1947~credited as originator of Quantum Theory) & Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976~formulated on of the most eminent laws of quantum theory, the Uncertainty Principle.)

Uncertainty Principle is a principle that states that 'Any two variables which do not commute cannot be measured simultaneously- the more precisely one is known, the less precisely the other can be known (I had a difficult time with this, but I think it's saying that you may be able to learn about the velocity; but lack the ability to find out the expanse at the same time; whereas is you are looking for the expanse, you cannot find the velocity at the same time… so, at any given moment you can only know one of the two attributes as one is changing while you’re looking at the other… but, I could have it all wrong.)

*** which it turns out I do (update 2/28/09) This is because the matter is being perceived by an observer. The observer is the manipulation of what the matter appears to do... it's like, there are two marbles that are actually one and portrayed as two by a projector... and, that projector also has the ability to play out different possible actions of the same marble's abilities. So, you look at the marble on the right and think about spinning and... it spins. Then you look at the one to the left and imagine it rolls... and it rolls. Both marble's are simultaneously doing things that the observer, um, observes. It seems that matter can do multiple things due to living on multiple universe's of reality. It can be something, while being another if across planes of universe's because of a connection that I cannot grasp.. a connection of absolute, or complete malleability, affect and an 'observer' control Umm.. let me try this. A particle of matter can be anywhere/do anything, without restriction; it is your eyes that make it do what it does in your universe. With no connection/communication/link whatsoever the same particle can exist differently among many universe's, but with only one existence and formation is due to something observing it. This is much like a tree falling in the forest and trying to figure if it makes a sound if no one is around to hear it. They can be the same thing, in two different places!


So, after compiling a need and producing a theory; scientists went to work on applying it. This is where we run into the 'large' vs 'small' conundrum that is trying to be solved in current day theories; including Quantum Gravity. The Quantum Mechanics in all its refinement was fantastic at explaining many components (that were previously unexplainable) but, it stumbled once faced with the more complex atoms. So, as with most theory's that lead to more questions, Quantum Mechanics had to produce additional formula's to add on to the theory in order to try explain these additional problems. So, here enters those additional theories; Matrix Mechanics and Wave Mechanics both to assist with legitimizing Quantum Mechanics and larger atoms like Hydrogen (Werner Heisenberg, Max Born and Pascual Jordan; Erwin Schrodinger- respectively.) Then through the exploration of the interactions between electrons, positrons and photons; Quantum Electrodynamics was theorized. There are other components that make up the field as it is; but, these are the originators.

There are many components to the theory that are criticized multiple scientists, including Einstein, who have not accepted the fundamental concept that dictates a certain randomness or indeterminacy of reactions between atoms (that although they are the same; randomness in reaction still exists) and instead concludes that there must be another property that is not yet known-a hidden variable- that would explain the difference between nuclei and in turn would presumably end the randomness of reactions between atoms.

The big~General Relativity
To begin, Einstein's General Theory of Relativity was founded due to his work in the four-dimensional continuum that is known as his Special Theory of Relativity. This theory explains the interactions between curved space and time as well as a fourth dimension only explainable via mathematics. Generalized; it states that the result of true distance and perceived distance disparities are due to space curvature. His General Theory goes on to prove that the curvature is the result of mass; the larger quantity of mass in any given location of space; affects space around it- causing curving or 'dips' in space. He goes on to create the physics law E = mc2; which shows that mass and energy are potentially interchangeable (the 'E' is the energy of matter with the mass as 'm' and the 'c' is the speed of light.) Einstein goes on to predict that if matter is distributed in a particular way throughout the universe that should the 'world lines' (the warped space dimension and distance due to it, if you will) become long enough; that they would curve in on themselves- creating a closed and curved piece of space, if I understand correctly.

So, to sum both up. Quantum Mechanics is a theory pertaining to the interactions between atoms as well as the actualities of atoms. Atoms make up matter. General Relativity is a theory pertaining to the interactions between space, time and matter on a colossal scale; like planets and stars.

Check out the great free resources over at the Boston Public Library.
All you need to do is sign up for a free pin to access JSTOR and Encyclopedia Britannica among others.

A great summery of Quantum Gravity-a theory on converging the two-on wiki.


*Mini Hiatus...

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I've Thought...

03.09 ~ I am but human, in my thoughts and desires- in my inconsistencies. It makes my opposing decisions no less real, no less quantitative... confusion is but the eye of truth, beckoning reason. ~ 03.12 ~ Time. It's existence is action progression, regression, reflection and projection. What in time is solidified and carried to another time is my choice. In one choice you lose all others; as an atom appreciates when the observer decides. It's a blue ocean of intrigue and a wave of contentment- that I am lost in, whilst, carried by. ~ 03.23 ~ That we are all part of one pulsing energy of life.. ~ 3.28 ~ There is no greater power, than the power of words. In speech we pass each other in halls, ride in elevators and embark in the great adventure that are words - with all of their beauty and intrigue. There are no wrong words spoken, only wrong interpretations and implications. Honest words are organic, true and expressions of what we are; existing autonomously and innocently, regardless of what others may think of them. 3.30 ~ That, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. It certainly doesn't help being in the company of those who have succeeded in accumulating far more knowledge than I. Is the differentiation between intelligence and knowledge simply the accumulation verses the ability to learn/understand? Or, are the two interchangeable. I feel as though time is passing faster than my ability to accumulate... do other people share this conundrum, I wonder... 4.02 ~ That, "It is what it is" isn't exactly accurate. "It is what I make it" is more so... 4.08 ~ That, "it's not time that matters... it's that mattering is what makes time." 4.12 ~ I watch and wonder... think and ponder... about it. Should I find that I have analyzed to much, to little; or that the quandary was all for not, I'll not know till the applicable time has passed.I hereby instill time as my guide, innocently and fully without disposition and without angst. (4.17) ~ Though random, we should not ignore paths crossed. Just as, we should not entirely exclude emotion from our conclusions. (4.26) ~ That I dispise my lack of control over my own intentions and wonder why I am so weak in this regard. (4.27) ~ That I have opened doors, I wished to open, while simultaniously putting other doors at risk of closing. It's not with resistance I contemplate, it's with anxiety. (4.28) That, I should take a break. Time to simply be, for a bit. (5.01) Its hunger drives decent of rational, a battle of wit and need. Like rain pouring down, wisped by winds, settled by gravity, I’m drawn to it ~ KAS