About Quantum Weirdness
Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) theory has developed to be the theory that defines almost all of the understanding of our physical universe. It is the most successful theory of our time to describe the way microscopic, and at least to some extent, macroscopic things work.
Yet there is experimental evidence that all is not right. Some weird things happen at the photon and atomic level that have yet to be explained. QED gives the right answers, but does not clear up the strange behavior – some things are simply left hanging on the marvelous words “Quantum Weirdness”. A few examples of quantum weirdness include the reflection of light from the surface of thick glass by single photons, dependent on the thickness of the glass; the apparent interference of single photons with themselves through two paths in double slit experiments; the reconstruction of a polarized photon in inverted calcite crystals, among others.
My intent is to introduce some ideas that may explain some of the weirdness.
I want to introduce the subject in a way that appeals to the non-scientist public, but also introduce some ideas about what is going on, ideas that may explain some of the weirdness and include a few thoughts about the speed of light and relativity that should stimulate thought on the subject. Hopefully a few physicists will look in and not be too annoyed with my thoughts. This will not be a mathematical treatment other than some basic equations from Einstein that most of us are already familiar with. The later chapters will be more theoretical, but easily understood if I do it justice. I will include some experimental diagrams and discussion of results.
Photo and illustration credit for the banner above: me. The deer is part of a twosome, twins (paradoes) left in front of my front porch (laboratory) one day while their mama went off to do whatever deer mamas do. It took a while to get the door open (adjust the slit) to take the picture (accumulate the data) because every tiny sound (packet) was picked up by those enormous ears (detectors) and they would instantly stand up (modify the setup). Then seeing no photons indicating movement, they would lie back down. Finally I had the data I wanted and you see it in the banner above, modified to highlight the pertinent information and showing the double slit setup. If you want to see the whole effect go to Oldtimer Speaks Out (another of my blogs) and see the twins together.