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Old 03-29-2009, 05:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I can't say I've done much research myself, but the film What the Bleep Do We Know!? (2004) is a great introduction to quantum physics.
I
One of my favorite movies.
A couple interesting books that I definitely reccomend are:
The Dancing Wu-Li Masters - Gary Zukav
The Tao of Physics - Fritjof Capra
The Elegant Universe - Brian Greene

The first two deal primarily with relationship between quantum theory and eastern philosophy. The last one is just an excellent primer on quantum physics in general.
I will admit that as much as I am fascinated with the complexities of it all, the more I learn about it the less I seem to understand. It's a very paradoxical science.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I like the youtube thing- "Imagining the Tenth Dimension"
I just watched that, that's totally insane.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I
One of my favorite movies.
A couple interesting books that I definitely reccomend are:
The Dancing Wu-Li Masters - Gary Zukav
The Tao of Physics - Fritjof Capra
The Elegant Universe - Brian Greene

The first two deal primarily with relationship between quantum theory and eastern philosophy. The last one is just an excellent primer on quantum physics in general.
I will admit that as much as I am fascinated with the complexities of it all, the more I learn about it the less I seem to understand. It's a very paradoxical science.
Thanks for the book suggestions - one of my favorite things to receive. I'd love to delve into it a little more, but between school and work (and now MB), I have no time for anything it seems. Plus, the bulk of studies I do are quite enough for me for the time being, but I'll definitely write down these books. I'm sure you've watched Waking Life, right?
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm sure you've watched Waking Life, right?
Several times
Love that movie as well.
Are you one of those masochistic students that's not giving themselves a summer break? I see them more and more frequently lately.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Several times
Love that movie as well.
Are you one of those masochistic students that's not giving themselves a summer break? I see them more and more frequently lately.
No, I'm one of those students who appreciates the school of life, too.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The Elegant Universe - Brian Greene

The last one is just an excellent primer on quantum physics in general.
I will admit that as much as I am fascinated with the complexities of it all, the more I learn about it the less I seem to understand. It's a very paradoxical science.
The Elegant Universe is a really great introduction to Quantum Theory with a focus on string theory and super-symmetry. It is about as digestible as it gets without skimming over important topics.

The key to understanding quantum physics is in accepting that you just can't visualise it in the same way you can other problems. It seemingly has no basis in the reality of the world we see around us. You have to be comfortable with the mathematics and have an understanding of the implications, consequences and experimental evidence for it all.

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Old 03-30-2009, 05:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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One of the most interesting topics to me ever.

I like the fact that particals only act a certain way when we observe them. Its the first step toward mind over matter in my opinion.

Check out the Double Slit Experiment. Really gets the wheels turning.
Technically nothing in quantum physics is proven in the way you're implying. Its equally possible for any number of other theories to be as correct as quantum physics.

Not to mention the logical problems that are explained by Schrodingers Cat. Science is the discovery of fact. If the schrodigners cat experiment is taken as the definitive definition of quantum probability, we end up endorsing a science based on NOT knowing the facts.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Science isn't really based on knowing facts, it's about falsifiable hypotheses verified by repeatable experiment.

The predictions of quantum mechanics have been verified by experiment and until something better comes along, it's all we have to work with. In fact, it is "good enough" to enable practical use in the real world, specifically in the field of semiconductor devices (in a similar way to Newtonian mechanics being good enough in the field of sending stuff into space).

As stated previously, the problems posed by Schrodinger's Cat only become a problem when attempting to apply classical physics to quantum mechanics. Take the maths and experimentation at face value (both of which have advanced considerably since the early 1900's) and such issues go away.

Dave
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
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your use of 'at face value' is a bit ambiguous for me, but as far as i understood it collapse of the wave function is still somewhat problematic on the conceptual level, no? i agree that we've gotten very proficient at using quantum theory, but quantum effects still baffle us somewhat, especially when we can replicate them on macroscopic levels...
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I actually just started quantum physics today. I can't say I'm the least bit excited.
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