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What is Quantum?

Posted by air_lifter Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quantum: Quantum is the minimal unit of any kind of physical entity. In simple words, it is the smallest quantity that can be thought of. For example: Photon is the smallest element of light, thus photon is the light quantum.

One another example that I can think of is the digital technology that we use intensely. We have now microprocessor, transistors and so on. But the basis of all these things starts with the concept of bits and bytes. Similarly, the physical world that we pass around is also composed of bits. These infinitesimal objects are the quanta. Everything is made up of small bits called quantum.
(Note: one quantum, two quanta)

Quantum modelling was started by famous German physicist Max Plank in 1900 which then was followed by Albert Einstein and the field is still flourishing till the date. The breakfast era of Quantum Mechanics includes names like Pauli, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, Born, Rutherford and Bohr. Eventually we are in a new era and by now we have better understanding of the quantum and the way universe works.

Believing the unbelievable: The world of quanta or the world of small is different to the world that we face. It is thus a vague part of physics to come across quantum mechanics. One has to reformat himself and the way he thinks. The system of logic works in a different way in a quantum world. The other thing one should not be confused is that the quantum world works differently compared to our world although they are the fundamentals of our world. As an example, steam is hot while ice is cold in our living world. On the other hand, the quantum world defines that they are composed of similar quanta and hence they have similar properties. Such logics make the world of quanta very different to our world.

Applications of Quantum Mechanics:-
Planck's constant is very important to quantum theory and quantum mechanics in general. It states that the energy of each quantum is equal to the frequency of the radiation multiplied by the universal constant: E=f*h, where h is 6.63 * 10E-34 Js.

Quantum mechanics can be referred to as the mathematical description of physical reality of the matter, like almost any other scientific model. According to quantum mechanics the most complete description we can make of a system is its wavefunction, which is mathematically speaking just a number varying between time and place.

Quantum theory can provide accurate descriptions for phenomenons such as black body radiation and the stability of electron orbitals.

The famous quantum theory of the atom was primarily developed as an explanation for the electron's staying in its orbital, which couldn't at that time be explained by Newton's laws of motion.

Quantum particles have one very unique property, namely they can be in different states at the same time. This is referred to as the "superposition" of two conditions. Based on this for instance the 'spin' of an electron can be pointing in two different directions at once.

Many scientists believe that super-fast quantum computer are only matter of time.

Quantum computers have also unlimited potential and they are likely able to fix problems that would normally take millions of years to solve, much faster than ordinary computers. Currently the biggest problem with development of quantum computers is that scientists can only hold a limited number of atoms in place for a very short period of time.

Quantum mechanics allows a quantum computer built on these principles (still theoretical, to perform tasks that are currently thought impossible to do efficiently on a normal computer, for instance breaking with ease all currently possible encryption standards.

Quantum mechanics plays key role for understanding how individual atoms combine covalently to form chemicals or molecules, and is so well used in chemistry that is even known under the name of quantum chemistry.

Quantum mechanics has had significant impact on today's modern technology such as lasers, transistors and diodes.

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