What is quantum mechanics and why is it complicated?

Quantum mechanics is one of the strangest sciences of modern physics. It is a science consisting of a number of interrelated physical theories that emerged to explain physical phenomena at the level of atoms and subatomic particles. The scientist Richard Feynman said about him that quantum mechanics is the theory that everyone uses and no one understands! Because its results are not accepted by the non-scientific public and sometimes even physics students. This is mostly because we apply the interpretation of the phenomena that we see and deal with on a daily basis to everything in the universe. But the mechanics that we need to explain phenomena at the atomic and subatomic levels are different from the mechanics that we deal with every day and that were laid down by Newton. As the phenomena that occur at the atomic and sub-atomic levels cannot be explained by the knowledge we have that we use daily. Therefore, quantum mechanics is a rather strange physical science. But what is quantum mechanics?[1]

Article contents:

What is quantum mechanics?

Quantum mechanics is a theory that studies matter and energy at very small levels. It studies the behavior and structure of the basic and primary components of nature such as the atom and its components and some of the basic forces in nature. Quantum phenomena are scattered all around us in a big way, but they are almost impossible to detect by people like us. As it is limited to particles such as electrons, protons and photons. This gives the impression that quantum mechanics is a strange science or that it is from another world. But in fact, quantum mechanics fills in a lot of gaps in the way we understand physics to give us a more meaningful explanation for our everyday lives.

Quantitative discoveries have been incorporated into our basic understanding of materials, such as chemistry, biology, and space science. Quantum mechanics has been a valuable source and cornerstone for many inventions such as the laser and the transistor. Scientists are studying the possibility of quantum mechanics explaining gravity and its connection with space and time. The madness of this theory is to the extent that it can be explained that everything in the universe (or in other universes) is connected in one way or another to everything through a set of higher dimensions that our senses cannot perceive.[1] [2]

The history of quantum mechanics

Quantum mechanics was developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1900, the German scientist Max Planck presented the quantum hypothesis which states that any radiating atomic system can theoretically be divided into a number of energy units so that each unit is directly proportional to the frequency it produces in specific energy levels. The value of units of energy can be calculated using a constant subtracted by Planck, named after him “Planck’s constant”. But Planck didn’t care at first, but that changed over time and as quantum theory was able to explain many phenomena that had no explanation in classical physics. Until the world came Einstein in 1905 AD and presented an explanation in favor of Planck for the photoelectric theory. Einstein pointed out that light is not a continuous wave, but rather particles he called photons with specific energies that can be calculated using Planck’s constant.

Quantum theory has changed our perception of an atom consisting of a nucleus surrounded by electrons. This theory depicted the electrons as particles revolving around the atom in a regular manner, without the possibility of determining their exact location in the atom. What this theory offers are just probabilities of where the electrons are. The theory also said that electrons can move between different energy levels because atoms lose or gain electrons in many places. But the electrons cannot be found between the orbitals randomly because that would bring down the structure of the stable atom.[2] Many scholars have worked on developing this theory, the most important of which are:

  • Max Planck
  • Albert Einstein
  • Niels Borg
  • Louis de Broglie
  • Max Born
  • Paul Dirac
  • Werner Heisenberg
  • Pauli
  • Schrödinger
  • Richard Feynman

The strangeness and madness of quantum theory!

Quantum mechanics says that our daily lives are only a small part of the universe. This theory says that there is no present, past and future in their independent forms. Everything is connected to each other, as the future can influence the past and vice versa. How can that be?

In the past, the prevailing belief was that matter consisted of solid circular units that could not be divided into smaller units called atoms. But what does it consist of? At the time, no one knew the answer to this question. For this reason, scientists failed to explain the glow of the Edison bulb. Scientists struggled to try to explain this phenomenon. Until Planck came and succeeded in explaining energy (light), as he said, as we mentioned earlier, that light consists of small particles, and this theory was supported by the scientist Niels Bohr, who provided a logical explanation for how light emanates from atoms. He said that if electrons gain energy at a certain value, they move from one energy level to another. Since the atom tends to be stable, these electrons will return to their original orbit. When you return it will release the energy you have gained in the form of light. This strongly supported what Planck said.

Then Einstein came out with the theory of photoelectricity to support the theory of quantum mechanics as well. But after the development of the photoelectric theory opened the gates of hell in physics. Einstein concluded that light is a particle. But then came the scientist Hooke, who proved that light is waves, that is, they are turbulence, but turbulence what? Since there is turbulence it must occur on a substance such as sea waves caused by turbulence in the water. But because light is not a substance, what is the thing that disturbs and produces light?! Einstein came back and assumed the dual nature of light. But then de Broglie said that the electron can be a wave and therefore the atom is a wave. Thus, matter is waves, and thus we and everything around us are waves! [2]

In the end, however much we delve into this science, it will be very difficult to fully understand it.

Sources

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Caltech


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