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Quantumness - F*cking with Clusters

About Quantumness

Previous Entry Quantumness Jan. 25th, 2027 @ 06:03 pm Next Entry

So, what is quantum mechanics? Even though it was discovered by physicists, it's not a physical theory in the same sense as electromagnetism or general relativity. In the usual "hierarchy of sciences" -- with biology at the top, then chemistry, then physics, then math -- quantum mechanics sits at a level between math and physics that I don't know a good name for. Basically, quantum mechanics is the operating system that other physical theories run on as application software (with the exception of general relativity, which hasn't yet been successfully ported to this particular OS). There's even a word for taking a physical theory and porting it to this OS: "to quantize."


http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec9.html

This is the best description I've ever seen of quantum probabilities. Its also a fun read! (via A.C.)
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From:benfrantzdale
Date:January 26th, 2007 03:21 am (UTC)
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That's a great quote.

It reminds me of a philosophical question I have: If energy weren't quantized, would the first law of thermodynamics suffer from rounding error?
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From:tortoise
Date:January 26th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
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I also like this talk of his (at least, once you get past the "NP-completeness for physicists" bit at the beginning).
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From:silverhawk
Date:January 26th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
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Personally, I think his hierarchy is upside down.
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