Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quantum Tunneling -- "Impossible Physics"

The Quantum Activist poster, I am getting this...Image by Alin S via Flickr
Have you ever stood next to a wall and suddenly appeared on the other side? Impossible right? Wrong! In the world of quantum mechanics, this, like many other strange phenomena, are possible and even ordinary. To learn more about tunneling in quantum mechanics, click to watch the video below.

The understanding of quantum mechanics represents a huge triumph of modern physics and physicists and has largely shaped the world in which we live. Most modern electronics are heavily dependent on tunneling for their successful operation, and, without quantum tunneling, most of our electronic devices would cease to function.

If you're disturbed by quantum mechanics and the idea that a subatomic particle could have a probability cloud associated with its position, consider the alternative. If the position of an electron was exactly defined for all positions at all times, then the electron would either a) be made of smaller particles (which doesn't appear to be the case from experimental evidence) or b) be a "singularity", which would bring along it's own set of problems.

Hotty Physics Girl:

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