""every atom is everywhere..."

This is a discussion on ""every atom is everywhere..." within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; interesting article for the physics lovers: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine...1/b3874102.htm your thoughts? I actualy read a similar article in this past Friday's Wall ...

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    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    ""every atom is everywhere..."

    interesting article for the physics lovers:

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine...1/b3874102.htm

    your thoughts? I actualy read a similar article in this past Friday's Wall Street Journal...unfortunately I can't find it on their webpage.

    your thoughts?
    Last edited by axon; 03-10-2004 at 05:47 PM.

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

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    C++ Developer XSquared's Avatar
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    At my highschool, we had a researcher from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics visit us and talk about the theory behind quantum teleportation, including entanglement, and the like. I personally found it quite interesting, although it went way over the heads of most of the other people in my class.
    Naturally I didn't feel inspired enough to read all the links for you, since I already slaved away for long hours under a blistering sun pressing the search button after typing four whole words! - Quzah

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    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    Quantum computation holds great potential, if it can be done and it is done i think the chemical revolution following it will be astounding.

    Quantum mechanics itself is IMO a fascinating subject, its is probably the most powerfull theory of the twentieth century, and yet there is still debate surrounding the interpretation and how to resolve (and even i think if you need to resolve) some key issues like the measurement problem, and the EPR paradox.
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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    Registered User caroundw5h's Avatar
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    Re: ""every atom is everywhere..."

    Originally posted by axon
    interesting article for the physics lovers:

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine...1/b3874102.htm

    your thoughts? I actualy read a similar article in this past Friday's Wall Street Journal...unfortunately I can't find it on their webpage.

    your thoughts?
    Damnit, i can't believe you beat me to it. I have no technical knowledge on this subject, but this seems to tell me - computer implications aside - time travel is possible, and parralell universes are real. there is a possibility for every possible choice one can make, which in my opinion is either a 1 or 0, yes or no.

    if every one is a result of there yes or no choices -- never mind, this article is just exciting. I don't have enough knowledge to be babbling, but this article was wow!!!!

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    Even death may die... Dante Shamest's Avatar
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    in which each of many millions of atoms act identically and are everywhere in the sample at once
    For real?

    Is it saying all the atoms everywhere have the same properties....

    or is it really saying that each atom is literally everywhere?

  6. #6
    erstwhile
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    >>or is it really saying that each atom is literally everywhere?<<

    Literally everywhere. They exist in a superposition of all possible states but some of these states are considerably more probable than others.
    CProgramming FAQ
    Caution: this person may be a carrier of the misinformation virus.

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    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    time travel is possible
    The Bose-Einstein condensate does not indicate anything about time-travel.

    parralell universes are real
    There is an interpretation of quantum mechanics known as the "many worlds hypothesis" though as far as i'm aware its not a widely held view among scientists.

    there is a possibility for every possible choice one can make
    I'm not quite sure what you mean here.

    or is it really saying that each atom is literally everywhere
    It's trying to put quantum superposition into words, if you have a quantum system like say an electron in a small box prior to measurement the electron is not actually at one position with one momentum rather it is spread across multiple positions and multiple momenta. (edit: Ken beat me to it)
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    The wall street journal gives a very simple explanation and example to this rather hard to grasp subject, and I quote:
    In a whimsical version of superposition, quantum pioneer Erwin Schrödinger once imagined a cat locked in a box with a radioactive atom. The atom has a 50-50 chance of decaying in one hour. If it decays, it emits a particle that hits a vial of cyanide and releases toxic gas, killing kitty. After an hour, is kitty alive or dead?
    The standard answer is that the atom is on a superposition of intact and decayed, so kitty is in a superposition of alive or dead. Only when an observer peeks into the box does a single possibility - alive or dead - become an actuality.
    I hope this clears up the whole subject a bit.

    This leads to another topic that Heidegger wrote about many years ago, and that is that only philosophers and poets will understand the world and its nature. Scientists get the raw facts, but it is the philosophers that make heads or tails of it. This might seem ridiculous, but what about Einstein and his famous quote about the moon?

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

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    RoD
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    Redundantly Redundant RoD's Avatar
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    >>although it went way over the heads of most of the other people in my class.

    they done did what to the who now?

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    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    The standard answer is that the atom is on a superposition of intact and decayed, so kitty is in a superposition of alive or dead. Only when an observer peeks into the box does a single possibility - alive or dead - become an actuality.
    Actually as far as i'm aware there is no standard answer to Schrodinger's cat. Schrodinger himself used this example to demonstrate an apparent absurdity of quantum mechanics. Schrodinger goes on to argue that the only way to resolve the paradox is to appeal to the limits of knowledge itself.

    This is essentially the measurement problem:

    You have a system like an atom in a superposition of states, when it get's measured it collapses down to a single state.... but if you put both the measuring device and the atom in another box, then they form a new system which is in superposition untill measured... etc. So when does this collapse occur? It looks like you would just end up with more and more superpositions, and yet we observe a definite world.

    To clarify, imagine a person in a box, is the person really both alive and dead until measured by another person? and is then the person-person in a box system in all possible states untill measured by a third person... and on and on. This completely jars with our experience of the world around us.

    Von Neuman (a mathematician who put quantum mechanics into a riigious mathematical framework) argued that the collapse occurs in the first conscious mind to observe the situation, so our cat is then not superpositioned after all and is really either dead or alive. But most people seem to reject this interpretation as it lacks any formal basis ie. why? how? does consciousness cause the wavefunction to collapse (interesting physicist Roger Penrose tries to answer these questions in his book "The Emperor's New Mind", i have yet to read it but again his arguments do not appeared to have swayed many physicists), and further given are knowledge of evolution is seems to throw into question how you could ever get the first conscious mind.

    Most scientists who regularly use QM seem to go along with the view that when stuff gets big superposition collapses, some form of quantum decoherence goes on. Now as far as i know this also runs into problems because supposedly we have managed to place a cation into a superposition, a cation is a negatively charged atom and is small compared to a cat but as far as i know is large enough to mean problems for simple big = collapse views, which is why its sometimes jokingly refered to as Schrodinger's cation.

    So that leaves us back at square one, where does the collapse occur? Some people do not even think there is a collapse at all, they think that QM is incomplete that a so called hidden variable model will reveal a hidden layer of determinism and solve all the quantum weirdness once and for all. This view is generally not accepted but I have come across some arguments convincing enough to make me want to read into it further.

    The orthodox interpretation was developed by Heinsenberg, Bohr and Pauli but i still do not really know what it really says, i do know it is similar in some ways to the positivist philosophy adopted by people like Hawking that essentially claims talking about how reality "actually is" is meaningless, i think that ties in with what Heisenberg says about his cat paradox its beyond the limits of what is knowable but i'm not sure.
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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    Registered User caroundw5h's Avatar
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    Originally posted by axon
    The wall street journal gives a very simple explanation and example to this rather hard to grasp subject, and I quote:


    I hope this clears up the whole subject a bit.

    This leads to another topic that Heidegger wrote about many years ago, and that is that only philosophers and poets will understand the world and its nature. Scientists get the raw facts, but it is the philosophers that make heads or tails of it. This might seem ridiculous, but what about Einstein and his famous quote about the moon?
    YOu mean like reality is only what we perceive it to be?

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    Even death may die... Dante Shamest's Avatar
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    Does this mean Elvis may still be alive?

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    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    >>Ou mean like reality is only what we perceive it to be?

    more like only what we can see, as that example goes.

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

  14. #14
    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    >>Does this mean Elvis may still be alive?

    this means that you either have a brain or you don't.

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

  15. #15
    carry on JaWiB's Avatar
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    This whole subject is fascinating to me. I really should learn more about it rather than playing video games all the time

    Isn't this Bose-Einstein condensate the same one that light travels extremely slowly through?
    "Think not but that I know these things; or think
    I know them not: not therefore am I short
    Of knowing what I ought."
    -John Milton, Paradise Regained (1671)

    "Work hard and it might happen."
    -XSquared

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