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Download free A guide to quantum physics.pdf Quantum physics (historically known as quantum mechanics) covers a set of physical laws that apply at microscopic scale. While fundamentally different from the majority of laws that appear to apply at our own scale, the laws of quantum physics nevertheless underpin the general basis of physics at all scales. That said, on the macroscopic scale, quantum physics in action appears to behave particularly strangely, except for a certain number of phenomena that were already curious, such as superconductivity or superfluidity, which in fact can only explained by the laws of quantum physics. Furthermore, the transition from the validating the paradoxes of quantum physics to the laws of classical physics, which we find easier to comprehend, can be explained in a very general way, as will be mentioned later.

A guide to quantum physics. Quantum physics gets its name from the fundamental characteristics of quantum objects: characteristics such as the angular momentum (spin) of discrete or discontinuous particles called quanta, which can only take values multiplied by an elementary quantum. There is also a quantum of action (product of a unit of energy multiplied by time) called Planck's constant (symbolized as h) which has a value of 6.626 x 10-34 joule·second. While classical physics separates waves from particles, quantum physics somehow covers both these concepts in a third group, which goes beyond the simple wave-particle duality that Louis de Broglie imagined. When we attempt to comprehend it, it sometimes seems closer to waves, and sometimes to particles. A quantum object cannot be separated from how it is observed, and has no fixed attributes. This applies equally to a particle - which in no way can be likened to a tiny little bead following some kind of trajectory - of light (photon) or matter (electron, proton, neutron, atom, etc.).

A guide to quantum physics. This is the underlying feature behind the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which is another cornerstone of quantum physics. According to this principle (which is more indeterminacy than uncertainty), the position and the velocity of a particle cannot be measured simultaneously at a given point in time. Measurement remains possible, but can never be more accurate than h, Planck's constant. Given that these approximations have no intrinsically real value outside the observation process, this simultaneous determination of both position and velocity becomes simply impossible.


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