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  1. 18 Oct '10 06:38
    This reasonably informed layperson seeks clarification from the qualified in the area.

    What is the correct current understanding of "what" is there at the sub atomic quantum level?

    I am aware of the apparent dual nature of light and the associated early experiments of quantum discovery. I have read all matter ultimately has this nature at that level.
    I had the concept of "forces", but I read from some on this forum that this is not correct. The knowledge of quantum discoveries underlie much new applied science, so "something" is being "used" in some manner.

    Is it ultimately unable to be measured (and not through inability of current technology), or isolated, and thus "empty" of definition?
  2. 18 Oct '10 11:13
    I'm not sure I understand your question. Forces are an emergent macroscopic phenomenon from quantum processes, but there is no microscopic quantum analog of a classical force.
  3. 18 Oct '10 11:30
    Originally posted by Taoman
    This reasonably informed layperson seeks clarification from the qualified in the area.

    What is the correct current understanding of "what" is there at the sub atomic quantum level?

    I am aware of the apparent dual nature of light and the associated early experiments of quantum discovery. I have read all matter ultimately has this nature at that level.
    ...[text shortened]... through inability of current technology), or isolated, and thus "empty" of definition?
    “...What is the correct current understanding of "what" is there at the sub atomic quantum level? ...”

    I could be wrong but I don't think anyone can currently give a satisfactory answer the question of “.."what" is there at the sub atomic quantum level..” without indulging in wild metaphysical speculation that makes assumptions that are rather difficult or awkward to qualify or justify.

    “...Is it ultimately unable to be measured (and not through inability of current technology), ...”

    Not quite. You CAN measure a property of a quantum particle BUT, according to quantum physics, you cannot simultaneously measure all the properties of a quantum particle. So you CAN 'measure' it but only with various constraints.
  4. 18 Oct '10 11:37
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    “...What is the correct current understanding of "what" is there at the sub atomic quantum level? ...”

    I could be wrong but I don't think anyone can currently give a satisfactory answer the question of “.."what" is there at the sub atomic quantum level..” without indulging in wild metaphysical speculation that makes assumptions that are rather di ...[text shortened]... perties of a quantum particle. So you CAN 'measure' it but only with various constraints.
    You CAN measure a property of a quantum particle BUT, according to quantum physics, you cannot simultaneously measure all the properties of a quantum particle. So you CAN 'measure' it but only with various constraints.

    That is one interpretation, a different one is that particles simply do not have those properties prior to "measurement".
  5. 18 Oct '10 11:49
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I'm not sure I understand your question. Forces are an emergent macroscopic phenomenon from quantum processes, but there is no microscopic quantum analog of a classical force.
    Sorry if I am not clear, as I may well not be.
    We go from atomic structures to sub nuclear "particles" which as I understand it, are ultimately like the wave-particle dual nature of photons. I understand this is a simplistic description and first would like to know if at that simplistic level I am correct in my understanding.
    There is a particle presentation at some points and a wave presentation at other points. I associated the wave with some sort of force. I am apparently incorrect in that. As I understand we are still not able to say there is something of substance or force at the most deeply examined aspects of matter, that can be differentiated.
    Are we still in limbo on this question?

    I am also aware as a non-mathematician of the wave equations that are the basis of much of this. Some have said there are only the equations! And that these equations work excellently in applied science. What do we know currently about what can be ground differentiated (not theoretically) at the deepest current atomic research? Is our knowledge still at the wave/particle duality level?
    If so, it appears that we cannot finally say what it "is" at this most deep level.
    Obviously energy must be involved, but in what form?.
    I am not arguing any point, just how it appears to me from my reading etc.

    Thanks for any clarifications.
  6. 18 Oct '10 13:05 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Taoman
    Sorry if I am not clear, as I may well not be.
    We go from atomic structures to sub nuclear "particles" which as I understand it, are ultimately like the wave-particle dual nature of photons. I understand this is a simplistic description and first would like to know if at that simplistic level I am correct in my understanding.
    There is a particle presentati any point, just how it appears to me from my reading etc.

    Thanks for any clarifications.
    At the (sub)atomic level, "forces" are emergent from interparticle interactions (broadly speaking, due to "energy" ).

    I think you are asking if the wave/particle duality has been "solved"? Particles are both waves and particles, there is no real paradox here as soon as you realize that the concept of e.g. "place" in a quantum sense is not the same as a place in the classical world.
  7. 18 Oct '10 16:04
    Originally posted by Taoman
    Is our knowledge still at the wave/particle duality level?
    One way to see it, is to see everything as a wave. However, when the wave is compressed, it looks like a single spike and thus you see it as a particle. On the macro level, most things have such a short wave that you just see them as particles. It is only on the microscopic level that the waves can be 'seen'.
    However, sometimes the wave has an obvious effect even on the macroscopic level- such as int the refraction of light.

    But what is the wave? Now that is where quantum mechanics gets really weird.

    Its all tied into entropy and the illusion of time.
  8. 18 Oct '10 22:40
    KN
    "...the concept of e.g. "place" in a quantum sense is not the same as a place in the classical world."

    tw
    "...But what is the wave? Now that is where quantum mechanics gets really weird.
    Its all tied into entropy and the illusion of time."

    Yes, at that level the concepts of space and time are very furry, as I recall now. Which helps with the question but actually makes full answering difficult too. It is good to be as sure as possible about where the debates lie. The current debates do not seem to have shifted much.

    It is all "sort of spread out" but the moment one seeks to measure it, it "collapses. The interpretation of the "collapse", is what Schroedinger's cat was all about. Two states until "observed". And what "observation" consists of (or other possible causation) brings out the various models. Its about where the facts end, and the debates begin. I was impressed with Bohm's model as far as I could understand it.

    SO, "what" is there as far as we can physically measure, is an indistinct form of very powerful energy, out of which these these strange formative properties emerge.

    Hope that is all reasonably correct. I do know unjustified "wild" metaphysical extrapolations occur and seek to avoid that. If we are going exploring that path (beyond the parameters of physical science), as much accuracy as possible is still necessary from the starting point.

    One of the forum posts was about the "most shocking" scientific discovery. For me it has to be the now quite furry nature of space and time arising from SR and the quantum related experiments. A second related one are the unusual properties of light. Its all very fascinating.

    Thanks again.
  9. 18 Oct '10 22:50
    tw

    "One way to see it, is to see everything as a wave. However, when the wave is compressed, it looks like a single spike and thus you see it as a particle. On the macro level, most things have such a short wave that you just see them as particles. It is only on the microscopic level that the waves can be 'seen'.
    However, sometimes the wave has an obvious effect even on the macroscopic level- such as int the refraction of light."

    That helps conceptually.
  10. 10 Nov '10 11:31
    There is no correct understanding;.
  11. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    10 Nov '10 13:09
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    At the (sub)atomic level, "forces" are emergent from interparticle interactions (broadly speaking, due to "energy" ).
    Can you be slightly more specific? I read that sentence as implying a sort of unified field theory...
  12. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    11 Nov '10 04:32
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    “...What is the correct current understanding of "what" is there at the sub atomic quantum level? ...”

    I could be wrong but I don't think anyone can currently give a satisfactory answer the question of “.."what" is there at the sub atomic quantum level..” without indulging in wild metaphysical speculation that makes assumptions that are rather di ...[text shortened]... perties of a quantum particle. So you CAN 'measure' it but only with various constraints.
    I just found this very interesting take on quarks and neutrons, protons and such:
    http://www.unclear2nuclear.com/index.php

    Anyone want to tackle this site and see what they think? It's not mathematical, only conceptual, so it shouldn't be too hard to understand. I already contacted them and asked a question about the internal movements of quarks, waiting for reply. Anyone else think of questions when going through their work?
  13. 11 Nov '10 11:33
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Can you be slightly more specific? I read that sentence as implying a sort of unified field theory...
    I'm not sure I can explain it accurately. Perhaps you should try reading some Feynman.
  14. 11 Nov '10 13:32
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I just found this very interesting take on quarks and neutrons, protons and such:
    http://www.unclear2nuclear.com/index.php

    Anyone want to tackle this site and see what they think? It's not mathematical, only conceptual, so it shouldn't be too hard to understand. I already contacted them and asked a question about the internal movements of quarks, waiting for reply. Anyone else think of questions when going through their work?
    Very interesting. Now if only someone can model all those nuclei in a 3D modeling program so I can better visualize it. I think they need to do a Java applet or something for their site instead of relying on photos.

    Also, considering that their models are based on the fact that the quarks fit together according to the most stable form under the various forces involved, surely it would be trivial to design a program that can find the nuclei automatically (similar to the protein finding programs like Rosetta@home and Folding@Home), yet they seem to have come up with it all without the aid of computers.
  15. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    11 Nov '10 15:33 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I'm not sure I can explain it accurately. Perhaps you should try reading some Feynman.
    I don't believe you. I'm sure you could if you cared to bother. If you can't be arsed, just say so (believe me, I understand). If you can but you really don't think you can explain it accurately, at least tell me which book/article/paper...