By Menas Kafatos
This dialogue resulted from a discussion which begun a few seven years in the past among a physicist who makes a speciality of astrophysics, common relativity, and the rules of quantum idea, and a scholar of cultural heritage who had performed post-doctoral paintings within the background and philosophy of technology. either one of us at the moment have been anticipating the result of a few experiments being performed below the path of the physicist Alain element on the college of Paris-South. ! The experiments have been the final in a chain designed to check a few predictions according to a mathematical 2 theorem released in 1964 via John Bell. there has been no expectation that the result of those experiments would supply the root for constructing new applied sciences. The questions which the experiments have been designed to respond to involved the relation send among actual truth and actual idea within the department of physics often called quantum mechanics. Like so much questions raised by way of physicists which bring about startling new insights, they have been disarmingly easy and direct. Is quantum physics, requested Bell, a self-consistent conception whose predictions could carry in a brand new classification of experiments, or might the implications show that the obvious demanding situations of quantum physics to the knowledge in classical physics of the connection among actual conception and actual fact have been in simple terms illusory? Answering this query in genuine experiments may also, steered Bell, bring about one other, relatively dramatic, result.
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Additional info for The Conscious Universe: Part and Whole in Modern Physical Theory
The point, once again, is that the relationship between the unvisualizable theory, which better explains events in nature, and the mathematical complexity of that theory is intimate and ongoing. Waves as Particles and Particles as Waves The next development in the progress toward quantum theory was based upon the results of experiments conducted by Arthur Compton using X-rays, published in 1923. Einstein had earlier discovered that photons possess a momentum, p, related to their wavelength, A, by the simple relation p = lilA.
Photons are "bosons," after the physicist Bose who, along with Einstein, studied their statistics, and do not obey the exclusion principle. If photons could not crowd together in the energy of light, the light energy which fuels the quantum mechanical processes that lead to the evolution of chemical structures, including what we call life, would not exist. We coordinate our experience with fermions and bosons with fundamentally different statistics. The point, once again, is that the relationship between the unvisualizable theory, which better explains events in nature, and the mathematical complexity of that theory is intimate and ongoing.
Based on an estimate of the number of alpha particles emitted by a gram of radium in one second, Rutherford was able to arrive at a more refined picture of the internal structure of the atom. 1. Thoplson, presumed that the positive charge was distributed over the entire space of the atom. The observed behavior of the alpha particles suggested, however, that some particles, those which were deflected backwards, were encountering a highly concentrated positive charge, while most of them traveled through the space of the atoms as if this space were empty.