Saturday, August 3, 2013

Quantum Physics- It's all about Relationships

Full disclosure: I'm a nut, not a scientist. However, I read Science articles and frankly, I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Our Physicists are worried, which has me worried.

The more we know, the less our world makes sense.

Last month, in order to correct this truism, some scientists suggested we just declare the damn cat dead and move on. And forget waves. There are no waves. Just particles. If we'll just stop paying attention to waves and ambiguously live/dead cats, the math will be so much easier.

This month, out comes an article pointing out the problems with particles. We like to imagine these subatomic particles being little round balls, located in a specific spot.  Think again. Whatever they are, they aren't that.

Particles do not exist in one place at one time. And they don't roll about like billiard balls.

I believe, but don't quote me on this, they behave like the frenetic thoughts in my head...which is highly unstable and rather frightening. 

Nor do they always stay in my head. When I least expect it, one will pop into the food I'm eating and make it taste like crap.

Scientist don't like to share this fact, but particles have been out of control since the earliest formations of quantum mechanics. When we merged quantum mechanics with relativity then the floodgates opened. Now the little devils can pop up anywhere in the universe. They are completely out of control.

Fortunately, there's something to be said about safety in numbers. If one particle that should be in your body, let's say in your heart suddenly decides to go check out the merging galaxies of NG227 and IC 2163 you won't even notice you're short a particle.

While the particle will have a great time watching the galaxies merge into something that looks like a turquoise-eyed monster.  (I have not doctored that image at all. This is really two galaxies merging and I'm thinking it is going to get ugly for the aliens and planets involved.)

Back to the particles:
Maybe more than one is running off and you want to count how many you have because the idea that your body particles are hopping off on their own disturbs you sufficiently to give you OCD.

You're  in trouble, because you CANNOT COUNT PARTICLES (that's because the little buggers exist everywhere and nowhere at the same time.)  Want proof? Create a closed vacuum which technically should not have any particles in it.  Then sweep a geiger counter over it, and it'll goes off.  

Particles are like cockroaches. They are everywhere, but the moment you pull out a can of Raid, they are nowhere.

So in come the force field scientists, insisting particles are simply ripples in a field.

Great, so exactly what are these fields? And how do you (notice I said YOU, because no way am I going to do this) mathematically display them?  To manage the insanely complex math involved, theorists place 'operators' in place of real values. Thus, when all is done, we have a layer of operators lying between reality (whatever the hell that is) and theory.  And they are naturally up for interpretation, which is no doubt why the damn cat is both dead and alive.

At this point in the article, I neared having a brain aneurism. Finally, the author admitted neither theory worked and suggested we consider a Structural Realism theory which I translate to say:

We might not have a rat's ass clue as to what is going on, but let's describe how this inexplicable thing relates to that inexplicable thing?

Great, we've reduced life, the universe and everything to 'feelings' instead of the number 42. 


In the end, everything comes down to it's relationship with other things.  

And on that note I'm going to check on my cat, Schroder.

That doesn't look good...

If your brain hasn't exploded, leave a comment.
And if you want to read the actual article Liza poorly represents, buy the August edition of Scientific American. (Sorry, they lock up their jewels so they can remain in business.)


  1. That is totally hilarious. And reflects some of my reading lately. What the...

    Next time someone tells me they like real science in their fiction and I'm going to ask if they have actually talked to any real scientists recently? Because, dude...

    Good one!

  2. LOL, so true. The more we learn about reality, the less we realize we understand. Thanks for commenting. Feel free to grab a space towel on the sidbar. They come in handy.

  3. It's a shame I didn't see this first time round.......

    You need to remember the cat was a thought experiment. As a consequence of this it is purely imaginary and so can exist in any state that can be imagined and possibly many other states as well. Perhaps in an infinite number of states if the concept of infinite universes existing in infinite formats and states is a correct assumption. Personally I blame the photons and electrons for the state we are in. This is an untenable situation and they can’t be trusted after their actions in the double slit experiment. Perhaps they should all be given ASBOs for unruly behaviour.

    1. You are two years late in your response. Which means I no longer remembered writing this. A great deal of Quantum Physics is a 'thought experiment' which is why I take such liberties when experimenting with my thoughts. I agree the double slit experiments are disturbing, but could you tell me what ASBO means? Unless you meant particles are anti-social, in which case I must object. They in fact seem to be far too social, popping into two places at once. Thanks for commenting, you are fun, but very very late. Two years...really? Are you by chance an alien who just arrived on earth and is trying to make sense of the sentient beings? If so, you should talk to the Octopus. Humans are silly creatures.

  4. Yes the reply was very late but I only saw your article on my Flipboard for the first time when it was posted the other day. Thank you for complimenting me on being fun :-), your article was also fun so I decided to join in. ASBO is indeed an Anti-Social Behaviour Order frequently given out to rebellious teenagers for acts of mischief. The anti-social refers to acts against society not the general sociable nature of the recipients. I liked the concept of mixing ideas from quantum physics with those about social order and public behaviour for a piece of my own. Coincidently my piece of work is also quite old, about 3 years old. If you're interested you can find out more about it here and in neighbouring posts


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