# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Why do we have a quantum universe?  (Read 371 times)

#### puppypower

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##### Why do we have a quantum universe?
« on: 17/10/2016 11:37:44 »
We know we live in a quantum universe. The question is why is the universe quantized? A secondary question, which may answer the first is, doesn't a quantum universe, by only allowing certain values, make the universe more deterministic, compared to a continuous function universe? A quantum universe reduces randomness.

As an analogy say we had a spherical dice, with an infinite number of sides; continuous function universe. If we randomly roll that dice, there is 1 in infinity odds for any given side to appear. With a quantum universe, we load the dice so only say six sides can appear. This eliminates a wide range of randomness, making the roll more deterministic. Why do we assume a random universe if it is quantized?

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##### Re: Why do we have a quantum universe?
« Reply #1 on: 17/10/2016 16:22:21 »
We know we live in a quantum universe. The question is why is the universe quantized? A secondary question, which may answer the first is, doesn't a quantum universe, by only allowing certain values, make the universe more deterministic, compared to a continuous function universe? A quantum universe reduces randomness.

I think the quantum universe theory is a reasonable explanation to quantum entanglement and nonlocality. It appears the higher levels of consciousness can reduces randomness and entropy..

#### evan_au

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##### Re: Why do we have a quantum universe?
« Reply #2 on: 18/10/2016 10:52:42 »
Quote from: puppypower
why is the universe quantized?
Early philosophers like Democritus (around 400 BC) deduced that the universe is made up of tiny objects which cannot be subdivided, which he called "atoms". He came to this deduction via logic despite the fact that atoms are so small that he had absolutely no way to detect them.

Today we would add something like "they cannot be subdivided without fundamentally changing their characteristics". Because we can now smash atoms into electrons and protons, but these behave radically different from the parent atom.

You could apply the same logic to anything - the brightness of a light (which we know is quantized), the wavelength of light from a Hydrogen atom (which we know is quantized), the strength of an electric charge (which we know is quantized), the strength of magnetic flux (which we know is quantized) or the wavelength of light from thermal sources (which we don't know is quantized, and is classically described as a "continuous spectrum").

If the continuous spectrum is quantized, it is on such a fine scale that it looks continuous to our most sensitive instruments.
- To detect quantization, you need instruments able to measure on the quantum scale.
- Some have suggested that length might be quantized on the Plank Scale; but at 10-35 m, this scale is so small that our instruments can't measure these lengths at all.
- The LHC has managed to generate Higgs Bosons with a lifetime of around 10-22 s. Traveling at almost the speed of light, these will travel about 10-16 m before they decay (ie not even the diameter of a proton). This is about 20 orders of magnitude larger than the Plank length.
- So length seems to be a continuous measure to us.

Quote
doesn't a quantum universe, by only allowing certain values, make the universe more deterministic, compared to a continuous function universe? A quantum universe reduces randomness.
I agree that a quantized value reduces choice. Restricting the flip of a coin to heads or tails certainly reduces the number of states that the coin can be in; there are 2 states, so you can guess the state with 50% probability. However, it still doesn't let you determine ahead of time whether the coin will turn up heads or tails the next time you toss it - it is still random.
- A measure like the spin direction of a subatomic particle (up or down compared to a magnetic field) is a discrete function.
- A measure like the velocity of a subatomic particle is a continuous function.
- But the Heisenberg uncertainty principle places constraints on the accuracy to which you can measure either one of them

PS: I can remember a science teacher who grabbed a coin-shaped object to illustrate head/tails probability; he and our class were astonished to see it land on the thin edge, and roll along the floor... It sort of spoiled the illustration.

#### puppypower

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##### Re: Why do we have a quantum universe?
« Reply #3 on: 18/10/2016 12:05:19 »
A quantum universe will save time. If we needed to make an infinite sided dice come up 1, two times, before event B can happen; lock opens, it will take forever for event B to occur, since it will take forever to roll 1, twice.  But if we reduced the number of sides of the dice, quantize, it will take less time for event B to happen. A quantum universe will evolve faster than one based on continuous functions.

A quantum universe adds loaded dice to randomness. If we loaded a six sided dice, so only two sides will come up with any reliability, the time interval for throwing each side will appear to change compared to a normal balanced six sided dice. With the loaded dice used as an example, two sides will now average out once every other throw, while the other four sides will average out, never. If we were unaware of the load, this would be called a meaningful coincidence; ten heads in a row.
« Last Edit: 18/10/2016 12:07:23 by puppypower »

#### jeffreyH

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##### Re: Why do we have a quantum universe?
« Reply #4 on: 18/10/2016 13:42:39 »
An infinite sided dice would be a sphere with infinite surface area. That would be interesting to attempt to throw. Roll maybe?

NOTE: This is reminiscent of the extent of some fields.
« Last Edit: 18/10/2016 13:45:23 by jeffreyH »

#### alancalverd

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##### Re: Why do we have a quantum universe?
« Reply #5 on: 18/10/2016 13:45:18 »
If it wasn't quantised, the universe would be infinitesmally small, and nothing would happen within it. Like some of the brains around here!

#### jeffreyH

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##### Re: Why do we have a quantum universe?
« Reply #6 on: 18/10/2016 13:54:25 »
If it wasn't quantised, the universe would be infinitesmally small, and nothing would happen within it. Like some of the brains around here!

I promise to try harder.

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Re: Why do we have a quantum universe?
« Reply #6 on: 18/10/2016 13:54:25 »