“The mathematical laws [you mean ever changing theories] of quantum physics”

In a nutshell, the laws of quantum mechanics rely on 4 simple mathematical rules, each of which describes the following: (1) How to mathematically describe a single quantum state, (2) how to describe multiple systems linked together, (3) how to describe how a quantum system changes or evolves in time, and (4) how one can “observe” the current state of a quantum system.

These 4 rules have been pretty much set in stone for the last century. In fact, they have resisted attacks even from Einstein himself, who strongly disbelieved that these rules could be correct. Quantum theory has been remarkably successful at explaining famous physical phenomena such as in the double-slit experiment — in fact, the theory was developed by Planck and friends precisely to explain physical phenomena which completely broke Newton’s laws of classical mechanics. (Note that Newton’s laws are still quite valid, however, just not at the atomic scale.)

What definitely HAS remained a big question mark over the last century, however, is the INTERPRETATION of quantum mechanics – how do we make intuitive sense of the mathematical laws of quantum mechanics? For example, quantum theory predicts that a particle can be in two places at once – what in the world does this mean? In this area, there are indeed many theories, from the Copenhagen interpretation to Everett’s many-worlds theory to pilot-wave theory, none of which are generally agreed upon as being THE correct answer. And this is not surprising, as there is a very deep philosophical question underlying the theory, akin to asking “why do we exist”? This is no way detracts from the correctness of the theory.

“remarkably [you mean sometimes] accurate at predicting how quantum systems will behave in a lab [if low probability of corrolation is "predicting"]

And this has proven remarkably useful [in keeping R&D funds flowing]. …

(Thoeretical physics) is in many ways a branch of science [real physics] which underlies much [none] of the technology we have availible to us today.”

I’m not certain as to the status of funding for theoretical physics (again, I’m a computer scientist), so I won’t comment on that. Regardless, you clearly haven’t read the link I’d posted in my first response, because if you did, you’d realize that without quantum mechanics, there would be no transistors. Without transistors, you can kiss computers goodbye. And without computers, well, I don’t think I need to go there.

At the end of the day, you’re missing an extremely important point. Theoretical research is the underpinning of all of modern science. Everything we’ve built around us has resulted from the basic practice of postulating a theoretical model which aims to predict how nature works, and then trying to corroborate this model in the lab. This includes everything from Newton’s laws of motion to Bohr’s model of the atom to Mendeleev’s periodic table of elements and the development of vaccines.

Nature is a very complicated thing in certain respects – there were models of the atom before Bohr’s, and there were models for DNA before Watson and Crick’s — we need multiple models out there so that we have many candidates from which to choose the most correct one. And yes, the argument over which model is correct can become quite personal at times; after all, these models are the pride and joy (not unlike a child) of their founders. But that doesn’t detract from the importance of the overall process.

]]>(Thoeretical physics) is in many ways a branch of science [real physics] which underlies much [none] of the technology we have availible to us today.”

Re – Fixed. I’d agree that the large umbrella of physics is very important, but there is absolutely nothing gained though quantum theory except wasting time and money while real science and understanding goes by the wayside.

I’m all for subatomic particle physics experiments like colliders as a quest for understanding, but it’s gotten to the point of naming some bits while dismissing others (that’s not science, but agenda), all to fill in blanks of a theory/model that itself makes spectacular and unprovable assumptions about the Universe, matter, etc. That’s not a quest for understanding, but storytelling to make a check.

Getting back to physics, although the interpretation of quantum mechanics remains a topic of much debate after almost 100 years, one thing is certain: The mathematical laws of quantum physics are remarkably accurate at predicting how quantum systems will behave in the lab. And this has proven remarkably useful: See this link for a number of important applications of quantum mechanics: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/10-real-world-applications-of-quantum-mechanics.htm .

So please think twice before posting negative comments about theoretical physics. It is in many ways a branch of science which underlies much of the technology we have available to us today.

]]>For years scientists have theorized about the smallest particles and have gone about smashing bits to create them. The conclusion; Yes, they’ve convenietly created whatever they were looking for and it’s always immediately dissolved.

I’d say it’s all man-made, has no bearing on the Universe or scientific understanding. The scientists claim their underlying theories explain existence, but cannot be directly tested or proven, fundamentally rely on even more dubious theories that have failed experimentally, but that these man-made experiments “might” support it all – in some way – some how.

Eventually, physicists are going to have to wind much of their understanding back to around the 1920s and redo their work, stepping away from geocentrism and into heliocentrism. Sure, quantum mechanics and much of theoretical physics makes great books and garners funding, but how about they pursue truth instead since it’s my dime.

]]>First PR blitz: “We’re looking for X!”

Second PR blitz “We may have found X!”

Third PR blitz “Yes, it really looks like X!”

Fourth PR blitz “X possibly confirmed!”

…and of course between each blitz a light shower of articles about “X may suggests that maybe Y!” and (regardless of subject) “Parallel univeses may be possible!”. ]]>