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Author Topic: Would a quantum sub-atomic particle be faster than the speed of light?  (Read 1405 times)

Offline unstman

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DAVID SPENCE  asked the Naked Scientists:
   Hi Chris

Here is a paradoxical (I think) Question(s).

If we are to believe that, based on certain elements of Quantum Physics, what we see is instantly created and when we are not looking at whatever matter, it maybe then disappears, the question is :-

If matter is created as and when our eyes creates the realistic image, wouldn't the physical world of protons, atoms and molecules within the Quantum Reality be faster than the speed of light if physical matter, no matter what the distance, can be instantly created giving all 4 dimensions a ' true value' ?

Would the quantum sub-atomic particle be faster than the speed of light?

David Spence
Lerwick, Shetland Islands

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 09/09/2011 09:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline imatfaal

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DAVID SPENCE  asked the Naked Scientists:
   Hi Chris

Here is a paradoxical (I think) Question(s).

If we are to believe that, based on certain elements of Quantum Physics, what we see is instantly created and when we are not looking at whatever matter, it maybe then disappears, the question is :-

If matter is created as and when our eyes creates the realistic image, wouldn't the physical world of protons, atoms and molecules within the Quantum Reality be faster than the speed of light if physical matter, no matter what the distance, can be instantly created giving all 4 dimensions a ' true value' ?

Would the quantum sub-atomic particle be faster than the speed of light?

David Spence
Lerwick, Shetland Islands

What do you think?

Hello David

I think you are misinterpreting the observer role in quantum mechanics - it is not that the act of observation creates the entity, it is that an entity which is in an indeterminate state is forced into one state or another by the act of measurement or observation.   QM does not imply that only observed matter exists - but it does say that an object can exist in a superposition of two exclusive states (a single photon can go through two gaps in a sheet of metal) but that when an observation is made that the state is only one or the other never a mixture (some photon go through one gap the others go thorough the second gap).  If you fancy a couple of hours reading and head scratching the wikipedia pages on the double slit experiment - and then the delayed choice quantum eraser; will alternatively make things clearer or blow your mind (or actually both).

a quantum of light/electromagnetic radiation is the photon which by definition travels at the speed of light. 

there is a possibility that quantum tunnelling could lead to superluminal speeds (possibly only for information). A simple (and a bit wrong) explanation is that all quantum mechanical objects have fuzzy positions (this is because of the Heisneburg Uncertainty principal whihc limits the precision of an objects position and momentum) and in a situation where there are two positions that a particle could exist at low energy (this is the prefered state) there is a finite chance that a particle in position one is also at position two - and sometimes (improbable things do happen) it switches from one position to the other.  How quickly it does this is a matter for debate - but it does seem to be very fast and superluminal
 

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