Posts Tagged ‘Quantum Wave’

QUANTUM FLUCTUATIONS & ARROW OF TIME

January 18, 2016

What is time? Quantum Physics gives an answer, classical physics does not. Quantum Physics suggests that time is the set of all irreversible processes. This is a world first, so it requires some explanations. I have been thinking, hard, of these things all my life. Sean Carroll, bless his soul, called my attention to the new development that mainstream physicists are starting to pay attention to my little kingdom(so I thank him).

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SCIENCE IS WHAT WE DO:

Sean Carroll in “Quantum Fluctuations”:

“Let’s conjure some science up in here. Science is good for the soul.”

Patrice Ayme’: Why is science good for the soul? Because the human soul is centered on finding truth. Science is truth, thus science is human. Nothing is more human than science. Science is what humans do. Another thing humans do is art, and it tries to both duplicate, distort, and invent new nature, or interpretations, interpolations, and suggestions, of and from, nature:

Claim: Quantum Interference Is An Irreversible Process, Time's Arrows All Over. Quantum Interference Goes From Several Waves, To One Geometry. Soap Bubbles Brim With Quantum Interference..

Claim: Quantum Interference Is An Irreversible Process, Time’s Arrows All Over. Quantum Interference Goes From Several Waves, To One Geometry. Soap Bubbles Brim With Quantum Interference..

SC: …what are “quantum fluctuations,” anyway? Talk about quantum fluctuations can be vague. There are really 3 different types of fluctuations: Boltzmann, Vacuum, & Measurement. Boltzmann Fluctuations are basically classical: random motions of things lead to unlikely events, even in equilibrium.

Patrice Ayme’: As we will see, or we have already seen in my own “Quantum Wave”, Quantum Fluctuations are just the Quantum Waves. Richard Feynman, at the end of his chapter on entropy in the Feynman Lectures on Physics, ponders how to get an arrow of time in a universe governed by time-symmetric underlying laws. Feynman:

“So far as we know, all the fundamental laws of physics, such as Newton’s equations, are reversible. Then where does irreversibility come from? It comes from order going to disorder, but we do not understand this until we know the origin of the order. Why is it that the situations we find ourselves in every day are always out of equilibrium?”

Patrice Ayme’: Is that really true? Are equations time-symmetric? Not really. First, equations don’t stand alone. Differential equations depend upon initial conditions. Obviously, even if the equations are time-symmetric, the initial conditions are not: the final state cannot be exchanged with the initial state.

Quantum Physics make this observation even more important. The generic Quantum set-up depends upon a geometric space S in which the equation(s) of motion will evolve. Take for example the 2-slit: the space one considers generally, S, is the space AFTER the 2-slit. The one before the 2-slit, C, (for coherence) is generally ignored. S is ordered by Quantum interference.

The full situation is made of: (C, S & Quantum interference). it’s not symmetric. The Quantum depends upon the space (it could be a so-called “phase space”) in which it deploys. That makes it time-assymmetric. An example: the Casimir Effect.

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QUANTUM PHYSICS IS ABOUT WAVES:

Sean Carroll: “Nothing actually “fluctuates” in vacuum fluctuations! The system can be perfectly static. Just that quantum states are more spread out.”

Indeed. Quantum states are, intrinsically, more spread out. They are NON-LOCAL. Why?

One has to go back to the basics. What is Quantum Physics about? Some, mostly the “Copenhagen Interpretation” followers, claim Quantum Physics is a subset of functional analysis. (The famous mathematician Von Neumann, one of the creators of Functional Analysis, was the founder of this system of thought; this scion of plutocrats, famously, yet satanically, claimed that De Broglie and Bohmian mechanics were impossible… Von Neumann had made a logical mistake; maybe that had to do with being involved with the satanic part of the American establishment, as, by then, that Hungarian had migrated to the USA and wanted to be called “Johnny”!).

The Quantum-as-functional analysis school became dominant. It had great successes in the past. It allows to view Quantum Physics as “Non Commutative Geometry”. However, contrarily to repute, it’s not the most fundamental view. (I have my own approach, which eschews Functional Analysis.)

But let’s backtrack. Where does Quantum-as-functional-analysis come from? A Quantum system is made of a (“configuration”) space S and an equation E (which is a Partial Differential Equation). Out of S and E is created a Hilbert Space with a basis, the “eigenstates”.

In practice, the eigenstates are fundamental waves. They can be clearly seen, with the mind’s eye, in the case of the Casimir Effect with two metallic plates: there is a maximal size for the electromagnetic wavelengths between the plates (as they have to zero out where they touch the metal).

The notion of wave is more general than the notion of eigenstate (Dirac pushed, successfully, the notion of wave so far that it created space, Spinor Space, and Quantum Field Theory has done more of the same, extending the general mood of De Broglie-Dirac to ever fancier Lagrangians, energy expression guiding the waves according to De Broglie scheme).

Historically, De Broglie suggested in 1923 (several publications to the French Academy of Science) that to each particle was associated a (relativistic) wave. De Broglie’s reasons were looked at by Einstein, who was impressed (few, aside from Einstein could understand what De Broglie said; actually De Broglie French jury thesis, which had two Nobel prizes, was so baffled by De Broglie’s thesis, that they sent it to Einstein, to ask him what he thought. Einstein replied with the greatest compliment he ever made to anyone: “De Broglie has started to lift the great veil,” etc…).

The De Broglie’s wave appears on page 111 of De Broglie’s 1924 thesis, which has 118 pages (and contains, among other things, the Schrödinger wave equation, and, of course, the uncertainty principle, something obvious: De Broglie said all particles were guided by waves whose wavelengths depended upon their (relativistic) energy. An uncertainty automatically appears when one tries to localize a particle (that is, a wave) with another particle (that is, another wave!)

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CLASSICAL PHYSICS HAS NO ARROW OF TIME:

Consider an empty space S. If the space S is made available to (classical) Boltzmann particles, S is progressively invaded by (classical) particles occupying ever more states.

Classical physicist (Boltzmann, etc.) postulated the Second Law of Thermodynamics: something called entropy augmented during any process. Problem, rather drastic: all classical laws of physics are reversible! So, how can reversible physics generate a time-irreversible law? Classical physicist have found no answer. But I did, knight in shining armor, mounted on my powerful Quantum Monster:

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QUANTUM PROCESSES CREATE IRREVERSIBLE GEOMETRIES:

When the same space S is made available as part of a Quantum System, the situation is strikingly different. As Sean Carroll points out, the situation is immediately static, it provides an order (as Bohm insisted it did). The observation is not new: the De Broglie waves provided an immediate explanation of the stability of electronic waves around atoms (thus supporting Bohr’s “First, or Semi-Classical, Quantum Theory”.

What’s a difference of a Quantum System with a classical system? The classical system evolves, from a given order, to one, more disordered. The Quantum system does not evolve through increasing disorder. Instead, the space S, once accessed, becomes not so  much an initial condition, but a global order.

The afore-mentioned Hilbert Space with its eigenstates is that implicit, or implicate (Bohm) order. So the Quantum System is static in an important sense (from standing Quantum Waves, it sorts of vibrates through time).

Thus Quantum Systems have an intrinsic time-assymmetry (at least when dealing with cavities). When there are no cavities, entanglement causes assymmetry: once an interaction has happened, until observation, there is entanglement. Before interaction, there was no entanglement. Two classical billiards balls are not entangled either before or after they interact, so the interaction by collision is fully time reversible.

Entanglement is also something waves exhibit, once they have interacted and not before, which classical particles are deprived of.

Once more we see the power of the Quantum mindset for explaining the world in a much more correct, much simpler, and thus much more powerful way. The Quantum even decides what time is.

So far as we know, all the classical fundamental laws of physics, such as Newton’s equations, are reversible. Then were does irreversibility come from? It does NOT come, as was previously suggested, from order going to disorder.

Quite the opposite: irreversibility comes from disorder (several waves)going to order (one wave, ordered by its surrounding geometry). And we do understand the origin of the order: it’s the implicit order of Quantum Waves deployed.

You want to know the world? Let me introduce you to the Quantum, a concept of wealth, taste and intelligence.

Last and not least: if I am right, the Quantum brings the spontaneous apparition of order, the exact opposite picture which has constituted the manger in which the great cows of physics have found their sustenance. Hence the fact that life and many other complicated naturally occurring physical systems are observed to create order in the universe are not so baffling anymore. Yes, they violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. However, fundamentally, that violated the spirit, the principle of the universe, the Quantum itself.

Patrice Ayme’

Nature Quantum Tunneling

May 12, 2014

What’s nature? Many cultures, in the last two million years, identified nature to God(s). What’s god? The end-all, be-all. Assuredly nature fits the bill.

A more constructive point of view is to introduce the notion of computer. Nature is a computer, and the universe the set of all solutions. 

The notion of computer is not really new: the Greeks had very elaborated mechanical computers. They used it to predict the motions of celestial objects.

As I have argued in “ULTRABIOLOGY”, the 2,500 year old notion of computing has become obsolete. It turns out that Nature is a QUANTUM computer.

Electrons Tunnel, Therefore We Are

Electrons Tunnel, Therefore We Are

What’s the Quantum about? As I argued in QUANTUM WAVE, the Quantum is about emitting and receiving energy by packets, while transmitting it as waves.

A world of waves? It’s going to be fuzzy, because stopping a wave with a wave is not going to be work too well, or be instantaneous. So Quantum waves tend to go through walls a bit.

Indeed, the wave equations proposed to depict Quantum processes are always characterized by having a potential on the right-hand side. Even if the potential changes abruptly, the wave will not. This is what the “Tunnel Effect” is all about.

Matt Strassler wrote an excellent article on Quantum tunneling (abstracted in The Amazing Feat Of Quantum Tunneling). Here are some extracts, although readers are encouraged to read the much more complete original.

..in the quantum world we live in, no object is ever quite stationary for more than an instant, nor is its location exactly knowable.”

Why? Because waves are always moving and waves are never really local.

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From Tunneling A QUANTUM Process:

It's Worse Than That: Even The Jitter Jitters, As It's Waving All Over...

It’s Worse Than That: Even The Jitter Jitters, As It’s Waving All Over…

A trap for an electron, which is like a bowl for a marble. (Left) Normal life would lead us to expect that the electron, like the marble, would be stationary if placed at the center. (Right) But quantum `jitter’ assures that the electron is always slightly in motion, and never quite at the center for more than an instant. A blue fuzz evokes the fact that the electron is, in some sense, spread out around the center of the trap.

If  I put an elementary particle like an electron in a magnetic trap that acts like a bowl, tending to push the electron toward the center just the way gravity and the walls of the bowl push the marble toward the bowl’s center in Figure 1, then what is a stable location for the electron? Just as you would intuitively expect, the electron’s average position will be stationary only if I place the electron the center of the trap.

But quantum mechanics adds a wrinkle. The electron cannot remain stationary; there is a sense in which its location is subject to a sort of “quantum jitter”. This causes its position and its motion to be constantly changing, or (better) even to be undefined, by small amounts. [This is the famous “uncertainty principle” in action.]”

[BTW, this uncertainty reflects only the fact that Quantum Physics does not say what an electron “IS”. There is no “IS” there. A wave is all there is. And a wave is hard to define “locally”, it always comes with a neighborhood! Actually, it’s even worse than that: the only way to localize a wave is to make it a “wave packet”]

“Only the average position of the electron is at the center of the trap; if you look for the electron, you’ll typically find it somewhere else in the trap, near but not at the center. And the electron is only stationary in the following sense: it’s typically moving, but its motion is in a random direction, and since it’s trapped by the walls of the trap, on average it goes nowhere.

That’s a bit weird, but it just reflects the fact that electrons aren’t what you think they are, and don’t behave like any object you’ve ever seen.

By the way, it also assures that the electron cannot be balanced on the edge of the trap, in contrast to a marble on the edge of a bowl (as in Figure 1, bottom). The electron’s position isn’t sharply defined, so it can’t be precisely balanced; and so, even without the trap being jiggled, the electron would become unbalanced and almost immediately would fall off.

But the weirder thing is what happens if I have two traps, separated from one another, and I put the electron in one trap. Yes, the center of either trap is a good stable location for the electron. That’s still true… in the sense that the electron can stay there and won’t run away if you jiggle the trap.

However, if I put the electron in trap number 1, and walk away, sealing the room etc., there’s a certain probability (Figure 4) that when I come back the electron will be in trap number 2.

This Process Will Be Exploited In Future Memories

This Process Will Be Exploited In Future Memories

Fig. 4: An electron in one trap can tunnel into a second nearby trap, even though this naively seems as impossible as the marble in Figure 2 moving spontaneously from the blue bowl to the red one. Quantum `jitter’ is ultimately responsible for this remarkable possibility. (Actually the marble can tunnel too, but being vastly heavier, and with the bowls being macroscopically large and distant, the probability is unbelievably small that this will ever happen to any marble anywhere in the universe.)

How did it do that? If you imagine that electrons are like marbles, you will not be able to understand this. But electrons are not like marbles [or at least not like your intuitive notion of a marble], and their quantum jitter offers them an extremely small but non-zero probability of “walking through walls” — of going someplace that it would seem impossible for them to go — and ending up on the other side. This is called, poetically, “tunneling” — but you should not imagine that the electron digs a hole through the wall.  And you’ll never catch the electron in the wall — in the act, so to speak. It’s just that the wall isn’t completely impermeable to things like electrons; electrons are not things that can be easily trapped.

Actually, it’s even crazier than this: because what is true for the electron actually is true for the marble in the bowl. The marble could end up in bowl 2, if you could give it enough time. But the probability of this happening is extremely extremely extremely small… so small that if you waited billions of years, or even billions of billions of billions of years, that still wouldn’t be enough.  For all practical purposes, it will “never” happen.

The point is that our world is a quantum world, and all objects are made from elementary particles and are subject to the rules of quantum physics. Quantum jitter is ever-present. But for most objects that have a lot of mass compared to an elementary particle — a marble, for instance, or even a typical speck of dust — this quantum jitter is too small to observe, except in very specially designed experiments. And the consequent ability to tunnel through walls is also, therefore, never seen in ordinary daily life.

To say it another way: any object can tunnel through a “wall”, but the probability for it to do so typically goes down very rapidly if

  • the object has a large mass
  • the wall is thick (i.e. there is a long distance between its two sides)
  • the wall is hard to penetrate (i.e. to punch through the wall in the usual way would require a lot of energy.)

For a marble to penetrate the lip of a bowl is possible in principle, but in practice might as well be impossible. For an electron to escape from one trap to another may be easy, if the traps are close together and the traps are not very deep, but it may be very difficult, if the traps are far apart or the traps are very deep.”

WHY TUNNELING IS PHILOSOPHICALLY IMPORTANT:

Knowing about such things as the preceding, and knowing as they fit with different appearances, and knowing how we found them out, is what makes our wisdom different from that of the Ancients.

Not just a different knowledge basis, but also a different meta-knowledge basis (how we established that knowledge).

Just as drastically, recent bits of science provide us with new models for thinking in general.

For example, tunneling implies that there are no absolute separations, and that, instead, interpenetration makes the real world hold together well.

That’s why students of philosophy that have learned nothing new in the last few centuries, ought not to be taken too seriously. Even on poetry, tunneling ought to have an impact.

Tunnel Effect: if you want to be real, you have to dig it.

Patrice Aymé