Quantum Weirdness and Schrödinger's Cat

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Quantum Mechanics
Episode 8 of Redefining Reality
Delve into the paradoxical subject of quantum mechanics, which was pioneered by scientists probing atomic structure in the early 20th century. Learn about Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, and Erwin Schrodinger. Focus on the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and the strange behavior of the Schrodinger wave function.
Quantum Mechanics
In 1926 Erwin Schrodinger developed an equation that underlies much of our modern quantum-mechanical description of physical reality. Solve a simple problem with the Schrodinger equation. Then learn how the merger of quantum mechanics and special relativity led to the discovery of antimatter.
Particle or Wave?
In 1923, Louis de Broglie proposed that, like light photons, particles of matter might also display wave properties. The wave nature of smaller particles such as electrons is quite visible and leads to many unusual phenomena, including quantum tunneling mentioned in Lecture 1.
Quantum Consciousness
Episode 13 of Redefining Reality
Can physics explain consciousness? Start with Descartes, who held the dualistic view that the mind and body are separate, and see how materialists countered that brain processes produce the mind. Then discover what physics has to say about free will, and probe the famous thought experiment involving Schrodinger's cat.
Wave or Particle?
Einstein's resolution of the photoelectric effect problem suggests that light consists of particles (photons). But how can this be reconciled with the understanding of light as an electromagnetic wave?
Grand Unified Theories
Episode 12 of Redefining Reality
Since its earliest days, science has been on a mission to unite disparate phenomena under the umbrella of more comprehensive theories. Follow the search for a grand unified theory (GUT) that unifies the workings of quantum forces, and a theory of everything (TOE) that quantizes gravity. One current TOE candidate…
Let There Be Light!
The study of motion is not all there is to physics. By the 18th century, scientists were delving into the relationship between the two phenomena. Today, electromagnetism is known to be responsible for the chemical interactions of atoms and molecules and all of modern electronic technology.
A New Theory of Matter
Episode 3 of The Nature of Matter
Discover how the idea that light comes in discrete packets called "quanta" led to a startling new theory of matter: quantum mechanics. One prediction is that matter, like light, behaves as both a particle and a wave, a property observed in subatomic particles such as electrons.
Into the Heart of Matter
With this lecture, you turn from relativity to explore the universe at the smallest scales. By the early 1900s, Ernest Rutherford and colleagues showed that atoms consist of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons whirling around it. But Rutherford's model could not explain all the observed phenomena.
Time in Quantum Mechanics
Quantum mechanics is the most precise theory ever invented, yet it leads to startling interpretations of the nature of reality. Probe a quantum state called the collapse of the wave function that may underlie the arrow of time. Are the indications that it shows irreversibility real or only illusory?
Time Travel, Tunneling, Tennis, and Tea
What are the two big ideas of modern physics? How can nonscientists gain a handle on these ideas and the radical changes they bring to our philosophical thinking about the physical world?
Atoms
Drawing on what you now know about quantum mechanics, analyze how atoms work, discovering that the electron is not a point particle but behaves like a probability cloud. Investigate the exclusion principle, and learn how quantum mechanics explains the periodic table of elements and the principle behind lasers.