Quantum Quality Control

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Offline Ultima

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Quantum Quality Control
« on: 05/02/2004 22:54:43 »
Iím a computer science student with an interest in physics, or any science for that matter. However, I can only do so much at degree level, so donít crush me if I sound naÔve.

I was wondering, how can we tell if what we accomplish in a lab is a true image of the universe at large. It seams to me as we put more and more energy into smashing matter apart, the universe just becomes increasingly fragmented and complex, how do we know that this trend wonít continue with more and more exotic forms of matter indefinitely as the energy increases? For that matter how do we know that the whole universe isnít part of a far grander complex system, how can we be certain of any particular scale????? Anyway just a thoughtÖ

I've just read this through I'm sorry for the excessive use of "we" [:I]

wOw the world spins?
« Last Edit: 05/02/2004 23:59:15 by Ultima »
wOw the world spins?


Offline tweener

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Re: Quantum Quality Control
« Reply #1 on: 06/02/2004 04:33:31 »
Welcome Ultima.
Right now, there are theories (several of them) about how the universe is put together.  Most of the theories suggest that there is a lower limit to the size of the smallest "things".  The only way to find out is to keep smashing away and checking to make sure that the theory agrees with results.  Some theories do, some don't.  If they don't they get tweaked or revised, or trashed.

Since the lab is a part of the universe, it must be a true image of the universe.  One of the biggest problems confronting cosmologists today is tying together the microscopic sub-quantum world with the macroscopic full size universe.  The latter is made up of the former, so they must be tied together.  The "observable universe" is the term that is used.  It may be part of a grander complex system, but so far we haven't observed that.

If you want a really good introduction to this area of physics, check out the books by Steven Hawking.  He is IMHO the best of the contemporary physics writers.

It's hard studying a science that is unrelated to your degree program. There is never enough time.  Some of the "popular" books are really fun reading and don't take huge chunks of time (like a course).

John - The Eternal Pessimist.