The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen is a concise history of quantum mechanics reveals the pioneering science behind the study of atoms and energy that make up the cosmos.
The Quantum Universe Summary
Quantum mechanics might seem intense. After all, even Einstein never really go his head around the quantum universe. Yet this book by British scientists Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw is a pretty sharp introduction to the subject for the general reader.
Below are some of the key insights from the literature.
- No one really understands why things happens in quantum mechanics, but we can predict what will happen.
- Quantum mechanics is an assemblage of theories that seem to work for all practical purposes.
- Particles exist in two places at once.
- Quantum mechanics let us determine the probability of a particle existing in a set position by mapping particle movement as waves (Schrodinger Equation)
- “Everything that can happen, does happen” – Newton was wrong. Any particle can exist anywhere in the universe at any time.
- Therefore, quantum calculations assume that particles move in infinite waves spreading out across the universe.
- Despite this, quantum interference implies particles are more likely to appear in some places then others (Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle)
- Particles don’t move, they simply are.
- Confined particles behave like standing waves in a confined pool of water.
- Atoms stick together by sharing electrons but only two electrons can occupy each energy level (The Pauli Exclusion Principle)
- Every particle in the universe is connected to every other particle via interference.
- However, localised interference is far stronger than non-localised, making universe wide interference patterns only academic in nature.
- Quantum mechanics paved the way for the invention of transistors in 1947 which powers all digital devices.
- There are now more than 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 produced every year and there are 1 billion transistors in the average smartphone.
- Quantum Electrodynamics Theory (QED) maps how particles move in space based on Quantum Field Theory, which won a nobel prize in 1965.
- Empty space isn’t empty. Instead, it is filled with Higgs Boson particles which impact how particles move.
- This particle was first theorised in the 1960s and discovered by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in 2013 – validating the standard model of Quantum Mechanics.