Quantum Mechanics 

Kevin Aylward B.Sc.



I felt somewhat compelled to write this little ditty due to my somewhat irritating frustration of the prevalence of so much misunderstanding and nonsense associated with Quantum Mechanics.

It is quite clear that, although there are innumerable higher/better qualified Quantum Mechanics than yours truly, many of them simply fail to understand that the waffle descriptions that they use to "explain" Quantum Mechanics is trivially contradictory to the accepted and indisputable Quantum Mechanics/Mathematics that they presumably accept without question.

I am by no means the only one to notice this stunning state of affairs. For example, Luboš Motl presents extremely clear technical explanations as to why/how Quantum Mechanics is systematically misunderstood. Unfortunately, one can argue that this presentation with regard to other qualities is less than stellar.  

The Problem

A BBC2 episode of Horizon “What Universe Are We In” 2015, illustrates the problem. Professor Seth Lloyd PhD., in explaining the double slit experiment produces the usual standard twaddle “the electron went through both slits at once”.

Unfortunately, such a statement is indisputable false, according to accepted standard Quantum Mechanics. The fundamental issue is that there is a general refusal to accept that the universe is subject to Quantum Mechanics, not Classical Mechanics. It is a “new” result or axiom that stands on its own and can not, in principle, be “explained” by any type of classical reasoning. For example, …well if the particle did this, to account for that… it must do this…  

If this classical type of argument is applied to the double slit experiment, the apparent result is a result that contradicts the axioms of Quantum Mechanics. The basic mathematics of Quantum Mechanics is settled, irrespective of any ad-hoc metaphysical interpretations to the mathematics. Quantum Mechanics states that the result of any measurement, i.e. a true physical fact, is that a measurement can only result in a single eigenvalue. Applying the rules of Quantum Mechanics, unequivocally states that the probability of a particle being measured, i.e. a true physical fact, to have, say, both spin up and spin down simultaneously is zero. This means, absolutely, that if Quantum Mechanics is correct, a particle can not be in two locations at the same time. Period.  

This is so simple and obvious, that I would guess that most would be going, wow…if it is so trivial under the standard rules of Quantum Mechanics, that two at once is a no no, why do so many “experts” tout all this metaphysical claptrap? One can only conjecture…

So, rather than the typical waffle of  “…this physical explanation of the two slit experiment proves that a particle can be in two places at once” the argument, essentially, is an argument that proves that  classical mechanics is false. Quantum Mechanics gives the correct answers, Classical Mechanics does not. It’s that simple.

I would refer the reader to Luboš Motl for the detailed mathematics.


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