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post #121 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avonosac View Post

Careful with that, you're close to saying its law. It isn't. Every good scientist operates with skepticism for everything they see. They might not expect to prove a theory wrong, but if they do in the process they deal with it and move on.

Well , as i stated before, there is a non zero chance of being wrong, but because it is so unlikely, we basically accept it as fact unless new experiments suggest otherwise. If everyone was always skeptical towards everything that science has devised, then nothing would ever get done because people would be too busy being skeptical. I mean its like saying that we should be skeptical about the fact that gravity exists. Sure, it has a nonzero chance of not existing, but we accept it as fact because we're still on the planet earth. I mean it could be that we're all being tricked somehow, but you would agree with me that its pretty ludicrous to be skeptical about the fact that gravity exists. Same idea applies to quantum physics but on a much more complicated scale. You're right, I am close to saying its law, because its very unlikely that it will be proved wrong, and I will essentially accept it as fact just as much as I accept that the sun exists, the moon goes around the earth, etc. Every fact in existence has a nonzero chance of being wrong, and so its a moot point to say that quantum physics could be wrong. Either give proof that its wrong, or accept it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil~ View Post

Of course.

Just because a large number of "smart people" believe something, it must be true.

When Roentgen discovered X Rays, people that he was a roaring idiot as well. Back in the late 1800/1900's, scientists thought there was nothing left to discover.

I never said quantum physics is wrong, we have technology today that uses quantum mechanics. I said some ideas related to the theory need to be researched more.

Saying that something is absolute and that it's the law means that you know about something in it's entirety. No scientist would be so arrogant to make such a claim. Even evolution is fiercely debated among scientists even today, with it being generally accepted.

Yeah, claiming ad populum counter argument doesn't work as well when you're talking about feynman, einstein, etc. If a large number of smart people believe something over the course of two-three centuries, it means its most likely correct. I will accept their viewpoints before I agree with some skeptical forum posters. If you do disagree with these people, you'd better have damn good evidence/ and or arguments. Never said anything was guaranteed if smart people believe it, just very likely.

And I realize that you weren't saying that you thought quantum physics was wrong, but you were saying that if you believe it is wrong, then other people basically think you're religious. But if you disagree with the evidence accumulated over three centuries, then you are religious, or a crackpot scientist. My main point was that it's reasonable to accept quantum physics as a fact, even though its not absolute, for the same reason that you accept the existence of gravity as a fact, even though its not absolute either. But yes, I agree that the theory is not complete!
Edited by serp777 - 3/12/13 at 3:48pm
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post #122 of 174
Ugh, too many trolls in this thread. How can people argue strongly that theories always have that element of doubt, then beat down people that side with the doubt? People say religion is full of hypocrisy - looks like science is too, geez....

Anyway, rant over, back to my post. I'm not arrogant enough to suggest that I'm smarter than all the great minds of science, but even these can be wrong. Given new information, even steadfast theories can be very much downnplayed in accuracy (Newton).

I think it's a bum deal that because I'm no mathematician, I'm excluded from new science. If science makes no effort to break down the maths into something more pallatable, how can it expect to remain popular enough to garner funding? People like Brian Cox should be knighted for keeping public/political interest.

Anyway, I digress - basically, if you can't draw a diagram for it, I'm not interested. I like the quantum stuff that can be shown diagrammatically, but not the pure maths stuff that can't be related to physical things (for want of a better description). Take quantum tunnelling (as DuckieHo mentioned) - I'm almost comfortable with that. It's the monkeys-typewriters-Shakespeare "theory", try something enough times, and it'll happen (that's why people still research proton decay, lol). I would like someone to explain it to me from the electron's perspective though, as it tunnels through a barrier ("it just happens" is NOT an explanation), in terms of energy, forces, and interactions with the barrier.
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post #123 of 174
So boring......must stay awake......such closed mindedness in this thread.

ZZZzzzzzZZZzzzzz
post #124 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digikid View Post

So boring......must stay awake......such closed mindedness in this thread.

ZZZzzzzzZZZzzzzz

The 'closed mindedness' argument is really overused... I find that a majority of the time when someone calls someone out for being closed minded they are actually just saying 'you have a really strong belief'... But closed mindedness is the unwillingness to change your belief when evidence is stacked up against it, which you should not find in the scientific community, other communities are riddled with it though, don't know really who your comment was put towards though lol
post #125 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post

I would like someone to explain it to me from the electron's perspective though, as it tunnels through a barrier ("it just happens" is NOT an explanation), in terms of energy, forces, and interactions with the barrier.
You really can't explain tunneling in any way that makes sense classically. It falls out of the math of quantum mechanics and is not intuitive. It happens because the mathematical requirements for a particle's wavefunction have it bleed into "classically forbidden" areas, meaning that if you have potential energy barrier of a certain height, and an electron without enough energy to overcome that barrier, the electron still has a finite probability of going through it. You can't really make an analogy to that. If you have a tennis ball that you throw at a wall, classically if it doesn't have enough energy to go over the wall, it bounces off. Yet If that tennis ball was an electron, there'd still be some probability that the ball tunnels through the wall anyway. How does that happen? I don't know!
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post #126 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavefunction View Post

You really can't explain tunneling in any way that makes sense classically. It falls out of the math of quantum mechanics and is not intuitive. It happens because the mathematical requirements for a particle's wavefunction have it bleed into "classically forbidden" areas, meaning that if you have potential energy barrier of a certain height, and an electron without enough energy to overcome that barrier, the electron still has a finite probability of going through it. You can't really make an analogy to that. If you have a tennis ball that you throw at a wall, classically if it doesn't have enough energy to go over the wall, it bounces off. Yet If that tennis ball was an electron, there'd still be some probability that the ball tunnels through the wall anyway. How does that happen? I don't know!

Haha, thanks for trying to bring it down to "my level" smile.gif

I know the tennis ball vs wall doesn't make sense, but it's unnecessary - I'm more than happy with the electron (probably happier to be honest, takes so many variables away). It's exactly what you've described that makes me uneasy with quantum physics - we observe something occuring, have maths to explain it, but cannot explain it in a microscopic, physical way.

I've got a couple of hypotheses about it (from "my level") - 1) Given that the electron energy/velocity is unknown (if I understand the uncertainty principle correctly), it's possible that it in fact does have enough energy to pass through the barrier, without disrupting the barrier (no momentum transfer). This could be down to size - most of an atom is space, so it could be that it just missed everything. From the electron's perspective, the barrier must look like a bit like a net with massive holes in it. 2) It's possible that the electron was absorbed into the barrier, and re-emitted on the other side (I assume it's not that simple, as surely the experiment could detect that?). 3) The electron imparted energy into the barrier, and the excess energy was then used to "create" an electron on the other size (energy-mass equivalence). This doesn't work unless the original electron gave up ALL it's energy (i.e. came to rest), otherwise energy isn't conserved. Unless it originally carried more than enough energy to create a new electron, AND both electrons keep some energy to keep them moving a little bit. I guess you'd have "directional" issues there though - the new electron could be moving in any dirrection

I find thinking about physics in this way fun. I've always hated maths, yet have a fasciation for the fundamental, microscopic physical processes. Hawking once said that "God doesn't play dice", and I like to think he doesn't use a calculator either smile.gif
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post #127 of 174
Finally we can commuicate with our battlefleets in Andromada with out that millions of years of lag.
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post #128 of 174
First off, I applaud you for trying to understand these things. I think it's an admirable thing that a lot of people don't have.
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Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post

Haha, thanks for trying to bring it down to "my level" smile.gif

I know the tennis ball vs wall doesn't make sense, but it's unnecessary - I'm more than happy with the electron (probably happier to be honest, takes so many variables away). It's exactly what you've described that makes me uneasy with quantum physics - we observe something occuring, have maths to explain it, but cannot explain it in a microscopic, physical way.
Where I take issue with this is that we can explain it in a physical way, just not the physical way we're used to experiencing. We as humans want to explain and understand things in terms of classical physics because that's what we know ("know" in this case referring to how we experience the world). The problem is that classical physics completely fails to describe the atomic world. Therefore we are unable to create analogies for quantum mechanics that fit into our classical frame of reference.
Quote:
I've got a couple of hypotheses about it (from "my level") - 1) Given that the electron energy/velocity is unknown (if I understand the uncertainty principle correctly), it's possible that it in fact does have enough energy to pass through the barrier, without disrupting the barrier (no momentum transfer). This could be down to size - most of an atom is space, so it could be that it just missed everything. From the electron's perspective, the barrier must look like a bit like a net with massive holes in it. 2) It's possible that the electron was absorbed into the barrier, and re-emitted on the other side (I assume it's not that simple, as surely the experiment could detect that?). 3) The electron imparted energy into the barrier, and the excess energy was then used to "create" an electron on the other size (energy-mass equivalence). This doesn't work unless the original electron gave up ALL it's energy (i.e. came to rest), otherwise energy isn't conserved. Unless it originally carried more than enough energy to create a new electron, AND both electrons keep some energy to keep them moving a little bit. I guess you'd have "directional" issues there though - the new electron could be moving in any dirrection

I find thinking about physics in this way fun. I've always hated maths, yet have a fasciation for the fundamental, microscopic physical processes. Hawking once said that "God doesn't play dice", and I like to think he doesn't use a calculator either smile.gif
One issue with these ideas is that a lot of times the "barrier" isn't matter. Frequently they're electric fields. And in regards to the "net" idea, yes atoms are mostly space, but the reason why atoms bounce off each other and don't pass through is because of electron-electron repulsion, so Coulombic repulsion would stop an electron from passing through an atom (although other processes can occur, such as the atom capturing the electron or the incoming electron knocking off more of the atom's electrons).
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post #129 of 174
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Originally Posted by Wavefunction View Post

First off, I applaud you for trying to understand these things. I think it's an admirable thing that a lot of people don't have.
Where I take issue with this is that we can explain it in a physical way, just not the physical way we're used to experiencing. We as humans want to explain and understand things in terms of classical physics because that's what we know ("know" in this case referring to how we experience the world). The problem is that classical physics completely fails to describe the atomic world. Therefore we are unable to create analogies for quantum mechanics that fit into our classical frame of reference.
One issue with these ideas is that a lot of times the "barrier" isn't matter. Frequently they're electric fields. And in regards to the "net" idea, yes atoms are mostly space, but the reason why atoms bounce off each other and don't pass through is because of electron-electron repulsion, so Coulombic repulsion would stop an electron from passing through an atom (although other processes can occur, such as the atom capturing the electron or the incoming electron knocking off more of the atom's electrons).

Can you explain complex numbers in a physical way? No you can't, but that doesn't mean they don't exist or that they're wrong, because there are a huge number of real applications that use complex numbers. Also technically, the moving electron is representative of a current, and so there is a very strong magnetic field which actually has more of an influence than the Coulombic repulsion, especially at a larger distance. I might be wrong about this, but if i am i would like an explanation
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post #130 of 174
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Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post

Ugh, too many trolls in this thread. How can people argue strongly that theories always have that element of doubt, then beat down people that side with the doubt? People say religion is full of hypocrisy - looks like science is too, geez....

Anyway, rant over, back to my post. I'm not arrogant enough to suggest that I'm smarter than all the great minds of science, but even these can be wrong. Given new information, even steadfast theories can be very much downnplayed in accuracy (Newton).

I think it's a bum deal that because I'm no mathematician, I'm excluded from new science. If science makes no effort to break down the maths into something more pallatable, how can it expect to remain popular enough to garner funding? People like Brian Cox should be knighted for keeping public/political interest.

Anyway, I digress - basically, if you can't draw a diagram for it, I'm not interested. I like the quantum stuff that can be shown diagrammatically, but not the pure maths stuff that can't be related to physical things (for want of a better description). Take quantum tunnelling (as DuckieHo mentioned) - I'm almost comfortable with that. It's the monkeys-typewriters-Shakespeare "theory", try something enough times, and it'll happen (that's why people still research proton decay, lol). I would like someone to explain it to me from the electron's perspective though, as it tunnels through a barrier ("it just happens" is NOT an explanation), in terms of energy, forces, and interactions with the barrier.

I truly hope you don't believe that it's the job of scientists to simply math for the general public to understand.

How do you explain calculus to a child in elementary school? You can't. The child must progress through math until they reach a point where Calculus can be understood.

If you want to learn Calculus, you must first understand the lower level math that it's comprised of. If you want to learn quantum physics, you must learn the math to support it.

If you want to complain about not understanding the concepts, you only have yourself to blame because you're the one that is ill prepared for the curricula.
 
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