Is not quantum theory the most notable invention?

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Wilcot

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Wilcot asked the Naked Scientists:
   Good day.

I have a physics background and have been pondering a question on what the greatest inventions are from a few weeks back's podcast.

I would rate the development of Quantum Theory as the most notable achievement. My question is: Would a substitute theory have been developed if Quantum Theory was not formulated to explain the many facets or features in our physical world?

What do you think?

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Offline DrChemistry

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Is not quantum theory the most notable invention?
« Reply #1 on: 25/08/2009 16:34:00 »
Possibly, but I think that it would then have been disproved by today. We have gained a lot of insight of the atom since the Copenhagen Interpretation which was practically settled as the victorious interpretation at the Solvay Conference in 1927 (82 years ago). If we had not had the 'new generation of scientists' like Mr. Bohr, Mr. Heisenberg and Mr. Pauli, and we had left the work in the hands of Mr. Schrodinger and Mr. Einstein (I am just mentioning main figures here), then the quantum theory would never have evolved as it did. Einstein and Schrodinger disliked the Copenhagen interpretation and would come up with arguments against it.

I have no idea what the substitute theory could have been, but most likely it would have had stumbled upon new problem unexplainable without Quantum Mechanics. Probably then a new generation would take up the work and discover Quantum Mechanics.

Hope I understood your question correctly, but most importantly, answered correctly. [:)]
« Last Edit: 25/08/2009 16:36:14 by DrChemistry »
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Offline Bored chemist

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Is not quantum theory the most notable invention?
« Reply #2 on: 25/08/2009 19:38:52 »
Maybe it's just me but I think that while QM is very clever and important, "The Wheel" and "Sewer Systems" beat it in terms of overall notability.

If QM hadn't been discovered when it was, it would have been discovered shortly afterwards; the evidence was piling up that "classical" physics was inadequate. Someone would have come up with something and that "something" would have  had to look like QM.
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Offline DrChemistry

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Is not quantum theory the most notable invention?
« Reply #3 on: 27/08/2009 20:05:21 »
If you ask me the Cartesian Plane also reach up high in the list of notable inventions. Helped, and still helps us to solve a variety of different problems, from different areas of Maths.

Edit: Cartesian Plane
« Last Edit: 28/08/2009 18:55:51 by DrChemistry »
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Offline Nizzle

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Is not quantum theory the most notable invention?
« Reply #4 on: 28/08/2009 14:54:33 »
Do you mean Cartesian Plane?

I'm still gonna go with Electricity as greatest discovery all times (for now)
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Offline DrChemistry

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Is not quantum theory the most notable invention?
« Reply #5 on: 28/08/2009 18:55:13 »
Oh yes [:)] Typo.
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