You are deluded if you think that the world around you is a physical construct separate from your own mind.
By far the most important consequence of the conceptual revolution brought about in physics by relativity and quantum theory lies not in such details as that meter sticks shorten when they move or that simultaneous position and momentum have no meaning, but in the insight that we had not been using our minds properly and that it is important to find out how to do so.
It would take a civilization far more advanced than ours, unbelievably advanced, to begin to manipulate negative energy to create gateways to the past. But if you could obtain large quantities of negative energy—and that's a big “IF”—then you could create a time machine that apparently obeys Einstein's equation and perhaps the laws of quantum theory.
The Theory of Relativity confers an absolute meaning on a magnitude which in classical theory has only a relative significance: the velocity of light. The velocity of light is to the Theory of Relativity as the elementary quantum of action is to the Quantum Theory: it is its absolute core.
There are many, many, many worlds branching out at each moment you become aware of your environment and then make a choice.
Fine Structure Constant: Fundamental numerical constant of atomic physics and quantum electrodynamics, defined as the square of the charge of the electron divided by the product of Planck's constant and the speed of light.
Quantum theory tells us, Mr. Thomas, that every point in the universe is intimately connected to every other point, regardless of apparent distance. In some mysterious way, any point on a planet in a distant galaxy is as close to me as you are.
The more we delve into quantum mechanics the stranger the world becomes; appreciating this strangeness of the world, whilst still operating in that which you now consider reality, will be the foundation for shifting the current trajectory of your life from ordinary to extraordinary.
All perception is the result of electrical impulses in the brain - the world of the individual is tantamount to a highly advanced computer running and analyzing programs in its working memory.
It was like bouncing tennis balls off a mystery piece of furniture and deducing, from the direction in which the balls ricocheted, whether it was a chair or a table or a Welsh dresser.
Heisenberg's uncertainty relation measures the amount by which the complementary descriptions of the electron, or other fundamental entities, overlap. Position is very much a particle property - particles can be located precisely. Waves, on the other hand, have no precise location, but they do have momentum. The more you know about the wave aspect of reality, the less you know about the particle, and vice versa. Experiments designed to detect particles always detect particles; experiments designed to detect waves always detect waves. No experiment shows the electron behaving like a wave and a particle at the same time.
In his first philosophical lecture on modern physics that Pauli gave in November 1934 to the Zurich Philosophical Society he said that only a formulation of quantum theory would be satisfactory which expresses the relation between the value of [the fine structure constant] and charge conservation in the same complementary was as that between the space-time description and energy-momentum conservation.
Quite obviously, a theoretical determination of the numerical value of α would signify great progress in our understanding of fundamental interactions. Many physicists have tried to find it, but without significant success to this day. Richard Feynman, the theory wizard of Caltech in Pasadena, once suggested that every one of his theory colleagues should write on the blackboard in his office: 137 -- how shamefully little we understand!
Here the attention of the research workers is primarily directed to the problem of reconciling the claims of the special relativity theory with those of the quantum theory. The extraordinary advances made in this field by Dirac ... leave open the question whether it will be possible to satisfy the claims of the two theories without at the same time determining the Sommerfeld fine-structure constant.
A university student attending lectures on general relativity i the morning and others on quantum mechanics in the afternoon might be forgiven for thinking that his professors are fools, or have neglected to communicate with each other for at least a century.
If the deep logic of what determines the value of the fine-structure constant also played a significant role in our understanding of all the physical processes in which the fine-structure constant enters, then we would be stymied. Fortunately, we do not need to know everything before we can know something.
Realizing its fundamental importance in understanding spectral lines, in atomic physics and in the theory of how light and electrons interact, quantum electrodynamics, Pauli and Heisenberg were determined to derive it from quantum theory rather than introducing it from the start. They believed that if they could find a version of quantum electrodynamics capable of producing the fine structure constant, it would not contain the infinities that marred their theories.
Let us begin with the fine-structure constant. ... The fine-structure constant is really the ratio of two natural units or atoms of action. ... We obtain action when we multiply energy by time. ... We are challenged to find a unified theory of electric particles and radiation in which the electrostatic type of action and the quantum type of action are traced to their source.
All integral laws of spectral lines and of atomic theory spring originally from the quantum theory. It is the mysterious organon on which Nature plays her music of the spectra, and according to the rhythm of which she regulates the structure of the atoms and nuclei.
Another very good test some readers may want to look up, which we do not have space to describe here, is the Casimir effect, where forces between metal plates in empty space are modified by the presence of virtual particles.Thus virtual particles are indeed real and have observable effects that physicists have devised ways of measuring. Their properties and consequences are well established and well understood consequences of quantum mechanics.