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Author Topic: Complementarity  (Read 3017 times)

Offline McQueen

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Complementarity
« on: 06/11/2007 06:49:18 »
Does anyone have the right to tell someone else what to do?  Suppose you were walking down the street and someone stopped you and told you not to wear blue socks but only black ones, (of course it has been done in the past) would it be acceptable?

 Even worse, suppose someone started to tell you what to think, for example what if you were asked to accept Darwin’s Origin of Species as being true, would this be any more acceptable than being told what to do?  The answer to the second question is probably yes, because there is a vast amount of evidence supporting Darwin’s theory and very little detracting from it.

  Taking the opposite view, suppose in spite of the overwhelming evidence in support of Darwin’s Theory, you were asked not to believe in it, what if terms were laid down that if you continued to believe in Darwin’s theory you would be ostracized, your reputation put at risk and your character thrown into disrepute. Would this be acceptable?

 Apparently the answer is yes. At least as far as Quantum Mechanics is concerned. The theory of Complementarity formulated by Neils Bohr states that light has both particulate qualities and wave like qualities but that it can never possess both these properties simultaneously. Thus it can either be a wave or a particle, but cannot be both a wave and a particle at the same time. This is one of the founding tenets of Quantum Mechanics, question this tenet in anyway and your reputation and credibility are on the line.

 However evidence and practical experience supports the view that a wave can simultaneously have both properties. For instance take sound waves. Ultra Sound waves can be used to pulverize kidney stones (i.e., act like a particle) or to break a pane of glass etc., Thus although sound is a wave it can under certain circumstances behave like a particle. In view of this is it right for QM to say that only their view of light is correct and that light cannot simultaneously possess particle like property and wave like property. Is it justified ?

Why can’t light simultaneously possess both properties, it would explain a lot.  Take the double slit experiment for instance, it would immediately be explained if light simultaneously possessed both properties. Also a wave is made up of particles. Throw a pebble into a pond what results are transverse waves, the waves themselves are made up of particles, molecules of water etc.,.


 

Offline lightarrow

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« Reply #1 on: 06/11/2007 17:40:18 »
Does anyone have the right to tell someone else what to do?  Suppose you were walking down the street and someone stopped you and told you not to wear blue socks but only black ones, (of course it has been done in the past) would it be acceptable?
Yes, if it's him to buy them  :)

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Even worse, suppose someone started to tell you what to think, for example what if you were asked to accept Darwin’s Origin of Species as being true, would this be any more acceptable than being told what to do?  The answer to the second question is probably yes, because there is a vast amount of evidence supporting Darwin’s theory and very little detracting from it.
I don't believe completely in it.

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Taking the opposite view, suppose in spite of the overwhelming evidence in support of Darwin’s Theory, you were asked not to believe in it, what if terms were laid down that if you continued to believe in Darwin’s theory you would be ostracized, your reputation put at risk and your character thrown into disrepute. Would this be acceptable?

 Apparently the answer is yes. At least as far as Quantum Mechanics is concerned. The theory of Complementarity formulated by Neils Bohr states that light has both particulate qualities and wave like qualities but that it can never possess both these properties simultaneously. Thus it can either be a wave or a particle, but cannot be both a wave and a particle at the same time. This is one of the founding tenets of Quantum Mechanics, question this tenet in anyway and your reputation and credibility are on the line.
Bohmian mechanics is one of the QM interpretations where both particle and wave exist at the same time; I sometimes see people expressing their belief on it, and they don't seem to be "ostracized, reputation put at risk and character thrown into disrepute" at all, even if that theory is accepted only from a few physicists.

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However evidence and practical experience supports the view that a wave can simultaneously have both properties. For instance take sound waves. Ultra Sound waves can be used to pulverize kidney stones (i.e., act like a particle) or to break a pane of glass etc., Thus although sound is a wave it can under certain circumstances behave like a particle. In view of this is it right for QM to say that only their view of light is correct and that light cannot simultaneously possess particle like property and wave like property. Is it justified ?
It's different because with sound you are considering many molecules/atoms/particles simultaneously; in QM you have wave and particle-like properties even with one only particle.
 

lyner

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Complementarity
« Reply #2 on: 09/11/2007 00:21:40 »
AS far as I can see, the Copenhagen Interpretation does just this. The wave nature describes, in statistical terms, the likelihood that a particle will be at in a certain region with a certain range of energies.
The only time you need to choose one or other model is when you actually do an experiment, which relies on one or other property to actually detect or measure the 'thing'.
Is there any problem with that, these days?
 

Offline lightarrow

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« Reply #3 on: 09/11/2007 11:25:25 »
AS far as I can see, the Copenhagen Interpretation does just this. The wave nature describes, in statistical terms, the likelihood that a particle will be at in a certain region with a certain range of energies.
The only time you need to choose one or other model is when you actually do an experiment, which relies on one or other property to actually detect or measure the 'thing'.
Is there any problem with that, these days?
Sorry but I didn't understand if your answer was directed to my post or the one of Mc Queen.
 

lyner

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Complementarity
« Reply #4 on: 09/11/2007 22:02:19 »
Just chucking my pebble into the pond and watching the ripples.
I guess I'm really answering McQueen - I almost never disagree with you, Lightarrow!
 

Offline McQueen

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Complementarity
« Reply #5 on: 09/11/2007 22:32:43 »
The answer to these comments is so important that I feel I have no option but to go to a new thread
« Last Edit: 09/11/2007 22:37:42 by McQueen »
 

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« Reply #5 on: 09/11/2007 22:32:43 »

 

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