Home » Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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 …

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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 …

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What are some good online resources that can help me understand physics better?

The Physics Classroom and Khan Academy both have excellent free on-line courses on physics, starting from the beginning. They’re step-by-step and give practice problems. On Khan Academy, if you sign in, it will keep track of your progress. It also gives “awards” like badges for good progress. Both websites are excellent. Khan Academy is a little more …

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How do I get started in learning quantum mechanics?

Videos on the Youtube channel “Looking Glass Universe” provide the clearest intro to quantum mechanics that I’ve found. They don’t require math nor a prior knowledge of physics, and they take it slow. However, they really get you into the midst of quantum mechanics. It’s not a light once-over. Of course, start with #1 and …

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Can quantum mechanics be understood? Does it make logical sense?

Quantum mechanics is logical. By logical, I mean that the assumptions, the principles, the equations, and the empirical data all fit together. They don’t contradict each other. However, quantum mechanics (QM) does not fit with the assumptions and principles of classical physics (physics prior to 1900 that we learned in high school). QM is the …

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What is the relationship between quantum physics and consciousness?

Some of the basic principles of quantum physics fit well with the Buddhist and New Age ideas that physical matter and energy arise from consciousness. However, there is also a misunderstanding of the relationship of quantum physics and consciousness (in regard to the notion of an “observer”) that I will address later in this answer. …

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Can you explain the essence of quantum mechanics in three sentences?

Quantum mechanics is the study of the tiniest components of matter and energy. The components of matter are the tiny bits inside the atom: protons, neutrons, electrons, etc. The components of energy are, in the case of light, photons. Other types of energy have other components. These components follow laws different to those of everyday …

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