Weekly Digest #114
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In this digest-
1. Article- Quizzical Quantum Mechanics
2. Happiness Quotient From Around The World
3. Did You Know?
4. Entertainment Quotient
Quizzical Quantum Mechanics!
By: Mihir Rao
The constantly-evolving branch of physics, quantum mechanics, is one of the most intensely studied branches of physics at the moment, since it could have an innumerable amount of uses and be extremely informative about the inner workings of the Universe.
A big problem that arises is that science at the quantum scale and at a large scale have different rules, which has generated a lot of confusion in the scientific community. Even though these two theories are describing the universe at different scales, the different rules lead to many inconsistencies.
Why is this? Well, quantum mechanics is weird. In quantum mechanics, the most bizarre and unbelievable events happen, such as:
Superposition is a concept in quantum mechanics where a particle can exist in many different states at the same time. This may sound unbelievably weird, however this isn’t a rare phenomenon, as it happens with regular electrons and photons. Electrons can be at many places at once, and photons are both a particle and a wave at the same time.
Here are a few advantages and disadvantages:
Pro: Superposition allows for the creation of quantum computers which are unbelievably fast and can do calculations in minute time frames.
Con: Superposition is difficult to observe, making it tough to properly understand it and record it.
Pro: Superposition is a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics which allows us to understand more complex topics better.
Quantum entanglement is an even weirder concept in quantum physics. According to this concept, there can be two particles that, when unobserved, are in two different states at once, but if you observe one particle, the other particle’s state is automatically determined, and it is no longer in two states at once. But the really weird part is that the other particle could be anywhere. No matter where this particle is, even if it is a million light years away, it would still change its state as soon as the other particle is observed.
Here are a few advantages and disadvantages:
Pro: Understanding quantum development well would allow us to create extremely secure quantum communication that is nearly impossible to hack into.
Con: The particles that are entangled are very fragile and could become untangled, which could be potentially problematic.
Pro: Understanding quantum entanglement and superposition well would allow us to create extremely fast and powerful quantum computers.
Without going into extensive explanation, quantum tunneling is basically teleportation. At the quantum scale, obstacles may not be obstacles anymore, since sometimes, particles may be able to go through obstacles even though they are physically present. This actually presents a problem towards quantum computers as electricity would have no boundaries, because the electrical parts would be too small to block the electrons. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages:
Allows for the phenomenon of alpha decay, an integral topic in radioactive dating techniques.
Con: Quantum tunneling may cause errors in electronic devices such as information loss or degradation
Pro: Quantum tunneling enables quantum computers to perform some calculations more efficiently by exploiting it to complete the calculation at a more efficient rate.
Additionally, quantum mechanics may even provide for the possibility of a multiverse! I have already written about this before, but the “many worlds” interpretation suggests that at every instant, whatever is possible, would happen in a universe. For example, in the famous “Schrödinger's cat thought experiment” where a cat is placed in a closed box with a bomb that had a 50% chance of exploding, the many worlds interpretation would posit that there would be a universe where the cat is dead and a universe where the cat is alive! Therefore, whatever is possible, could be happening right now in another universe, which is baffling.
In conclusion, quantum mechanics is a mind-boggling and advanced topic, which holds tremendous potential for scientific and technological evolution. Even though it does pose a few challenges, with further research it could revolutionise many industries and possibly, science as a whole!
By: Abhimanyu Rao
By: Agastya Rao
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