Sunday, April 13, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters Section #10v

10. On Quantum Mechanics:
v. In quantum mechanics, each particle is described by its wave or state function. The wave function contains information of a statistical nature, which may be interpreted mathematically as a probability amplitude. We may then apply the principle of superposition, or add and subtract, depending upon conditions such a symmetry, the individual components to obtain a wave function as a whole for the system in question. Based on the amplitude of the wave function, the probability of finding a particle or system to be in a particular time or region of space may be determined. If we wish to observe a particular particle or system, we may do so, but upon making our measurement we will consequently collapse the wave function. Baring external influences, the system will always be found in that particular state. On the quantum mechanical scale, observation is never passive.

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