What is one possible response when we learn in quantum mechanics that a particle can be in more than one place at the same time? Or that particles which are across the galaxy from each other can coordinate their behavior instantaneously? The thought might pop up that possibly quantum mechanics is wrong. The question as …

# Does matter act simultaneously like a particle and a wave?

Actually, matter doesn’t simultaneously act like a particle and wave. It acts like a wave sometimes and a particle at other times, but not both at the same time. There isn’t a consensus among physicists on this particular description, but I’m going to give a current mainstream description of what’s going on. Matter acts as …

# What would it be like to live in the quantum realm?

A number of interpretations of quantum mechanics postulate a “quantum realm.” These include the Transactional Interpretation.* One of its developers, Dr. Ruth Kastner, calls it “Quantumland.” Here’s a drawing of Quantumland that Dr. David Chalmers, the noted philosopher of physics, presented in a lecture : The quantum realm on the left underlies our everyday world …

# How can I teach myself quantum mechanics, step-by-step?

I have taught myself quantum physics but without the math. In other words, I can calculate only the tiniest bit of anything quantum mechanical, but I have some understanding of quantum physics concepts. I also have a conceptual understanding of some of the equations. However, I believe that if I continue my studies, I will …

# What is the difference between quantum mechanics and quantum physics?

Both “quantum mechanics” and “quantum physics” mean the study of subatomic particles. But “quantum mechanics” is more specific. It’s the term used for the field once it was formulated into mathematical laws. Then, it became a kind of mechanics. Prior to the development of mathematical laws governing subatomic particles, the field was called “quantum theory” …

# What is wave function collapse? Is it a physical event?

In one view, a wave function is a piece of math, an equation. It’s not a physical thing. So, it can’t collapse in any physical sense. The collapse is metaphorical. This is one interpretation of quantum mechanics. It’s the interpretation taught in most university classes, the Copenhagen Interpretation. However, physicists have not settled on a …

# Are electrons waves or particles?

The accompanying video demonstrates how an electron can be both a particle and a wave. (The video has two unfortunate errors in it, which I’ll point out.) The video shows how different kinds of objects, including an electron, act when they speed towards a barrier perforated by two slits. Then, it shows the pattern the …

# What is the difference between a photon and a quantum?

A photon is a tiny particle of light. It is the tiniest particle of light possible in nature. A photon can also be described as a type of quantum, that is, a tiny particle. Some other types of quanta (plural) are electrons, neutrinos, and the Higgs boson. A quantum is the tiniest particle possible of …

# Why does the Born Rule predict quantum probabilities?

There’s both a mathematical explanation and an explanation based on the nature of reality. First, the mathematical explanation: Let’s take the example of the Double Slit Experiment. A laser shoots photons one-at-a-time through the two slits of a screen towards a photographic plate. The wave function is the equation that describes the behavior of the …

# How do we know a quantum particle is in a superposition if detecting the particle will destroy the superposition?

It’s not possible to KNOW that the particle is in a superposition of states since we can’t observe the superposition. The superposition idea is trying to explain what must be happening in the real world given that Schrodinger’s Wave Equation works. Schrodinger’s Wave Equation (and later upgrades like the equations of Quantum Electrodynamics) are very successful …