What is

Quantum physics - Explanation and definition of quantum physics

What is Quantum Physics?

Quantum physics is defined as the branch of physics that deals with the study and explain the behavior at the microscopic level of atoms and subatomic elementary particles, also known as quantum mechanics laws are based on probabilities breaking all schemes established in classical physics.

Classical physics is the science that deals with studying and predicting the behavior of macroscopic objects around us by mathematical laws, thanks to classical physics we can predict with accuracy the speed of a plane, the orbit of the moon or what is the gravity on Jupiter, its main feature is that it is a deterministic science, ie you can calculate accurately the values of speed or position of an object and thus its trajectory.

Furthermore, as indicated in the definition of quantum physics, this study addresses the behavior of microscopic objects such as atoms, electrons, quarks or photons, this microscopic level the laws of classical physics not serve due they are unable to predict the behavior of these particles, and its main feature indeterminacy of values as the position or velocity of a particle. Therefore the main difference compared to the classical quantum is that the latter is a deterministic science and first is probabilistic.

At the microscopic level the fundamental particles such as electrons or photons behave in a strange, disconcerting and magical way, having nothing to do with the conception we have of our reality, for example;

  • The phenomenon of superposition tells us that an electron can be both present in your home, at the highest peak of Mount Everest or on the surface of Jupiter, ie a particle is present in many places at once with different probabilities provided when it is not observed.

  • The entanglement phenomenon indicates that an electron place in our computer may be intertwined with other electron located in a distant planet 400 light years, when we change the state of any of electrons the others changes instantaneously.

  • The tunneling assures us that an electron can pass through walls or sometimes thin walls of energy like a ghost, this is due to the wave-particle duality that is confirmed by quantum mechanics.

All these principles and quantum phenomena are proven with numerous experiments, confirming each of them, so many scientists say that quantum mechanics is the most exact science ever discovered by human.

Thanks to these magical properties available to the microscopic world, humans have developed incredible instruments, such as the scanning tunneling microscope that allows us to visualize nanoscale of atoms that make up a material clearly distinguished from each other, in the future we can send information snapshot of a solar system to another due to the effect of quantum entanglement, on the other hand by the phenomenon of superposition researchers are developing computers whose computing power will surpass every computer in the world connected simultaneously.

All this is not science fiction, now we have developed quantum computers that work correctly with a power 3600 times higher than 8-core microprocessor, have teletransported a photon state nearly 100 km away, soon we will see how quantum mechanics will start a revolution that will change our way of life and habits.

History of quantum physics.

The beginning of quantum physics begins in 1900 when the physicist Max Planck presented in Berlin the studies carried out to explain the phenomenon of black body radiation, Planck discovered that the energy of radiation was not continuous but discontinuous and consists of tiny indivisible packages which he called "quantum", with a fixed and constant value known as h = 6.26 x 10-34 J * s. Quantum physics is named due the concept of "quantum" discovered by Max Planck.

The concept of "quantum" states that when you pour water into a glass is not constantly flowing but what happens is that small packets or quantums falling water discontinuously, in this water is similar to the energy, that for physicists early twentieth century marked a radical revolution of his conception of the universe.

Later the great physicist Albert Einstein used the concept discovered by Max Planck to imagine that light consisted of small particles of energy quantified which he called photons, so that could explain the photoelectric phenomenon giving the Nobel Prize in physics in 1932. Einstein was a staunch fighter against the universe proposed by quantum theory, are famous the discussions he had with the physicist Niels Bohr.

In 1926 Schrödinger developed the famous wave equation where it was confirmed that a particle like the electron is also a wave, while studying the same Schrödinger did not understand the results that threw his equations but after numerous revisions could not find any fault and now nobody has been able to find. Schrödinger mathematically represented the effect of quantum superposition in which states that a particle is at once a wave and a particle as long as it is not observed.

In 1927 the physicist Werner Heisenberg presents his uncertainty principle which states that it is impossible to know exactly the speed and position of a particle, the more you know your position unless you know its speed and vice versa, this principle breaks all applicable to the macroscopic world where we can accurately predict both the position and velocity of an object and thus its trajectory, however laws the uncertainty principle says it's impossible to know the path of a particle.

Many physicians and scientists of the twentieth century have deepened this branch of science providing new quantum phenomena and laws as well as experiments were proof, renowned physicists as Niels Bohr, Louis de Broglie, Max Born, Paul Dirac, John Bell and Richard Feynman among others.

Applications of quantum physics.

Believe it or not most of the devices and objects we use and we see in our daily life is based on some principle or phenomenon of quantum physics, for example laser operation is based on quantum mechanics and are used in CD and DVD players, bar code scanners used in shopping malls, welding and cutting tools used in industry or laser scalpels used in the medical field.

The development of transistors, the basic element of all microprocessors to use all electronic devices such as your computer, the development of atomic clocks with high accuracy as well as ultra-precise thermometers are other examples where quantum mechanics has played a key role in development.

Solar panels, motion detectors, automatic control systems of continuous quality production lines as detection of broken and defective products, empty containers or other systems, fire alarms or even to measure distant stars to our planet base their operation in the photoelectric effect explained by quantum physics.

Another example that quantum mechanics applies are USB used in our computers, these small flash memory capable of storing vast amounts of information using the tunnel effect in order to delete the various cells that compose them so that we can reuse it as many times as you want.

The near future we expect the development of quantum computers with unlimited computing power, thanks to them we can predict with great accuracy the behavior of climatic in a long-term, to design drugs and medicines at the molecular level with highly curative properties or can simulate with high acuracy complex natural phenomena such as the formation of galaxies.

On the other hand in the very near future we will have the so-called quantum Internet where communications are totally secure and snapshots, within milliseconds can download millions of Mb of information and where quantum cryptography will make a totally secure Internet.

what is quantum physics