You cannot discuss Quantum Mechanics without mentioning Young’s Interference Experiment (which is also called the double-split experiment) Anyone can actually re-create this experiment on their own. All you have to do is cut two slits in a piece of paper, shine a flashlight through the slits, and pay attention to the linear patterns created. If you want a video to show you what I’m actually talking about click here.
The video will give you a better understanding and explaining the patterns mentioned above. In simpler terms, the experiment shows that light photons act as both particle and wave, a property called (not officially) “wave-particle duality”. The first detection of the duality of particles took place before science created the field of quantum mechanics, and payed way for things like the first photograph of light in both its particles and wave states.
In the span of 135 years of scientists trying to understand the ramifications of Young’s experiment, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger devised a thought experiment that would further baffle everyone’s minds, but also became one of the most popular building blocks of the quantum superposition theory.
Schrodinger presented the following idea of mental gymnastics: If there’s a cat stuck in a booby-trapped box, only upon observation (i.e. when you open the box) can you ascertain if the cat is alive or dead. Which entails, until the very moment of observation, both possibilities are true, so the cat is both alive and dead at the same time. By imagining this insane cat torture, Schrodinger hoped to understand when particles leave a state of quantum superposition to become one thing or another. Quantum superposition add that a thing can exist in all possible states until it’s observed. Light is both a particle and a wave, a cat in a box is both alive and dead. It isn’t until we observe something that it “fixes” on a state of being. Which leads us to binge-watching Netflix on a computer drastically more powerful than anything we know today through a project named “Quantum computing”
Quantum computing is a new concept on processing power utilizing principles like quantum superposition and entanglement. The ability to process data at speeds beyond the scope of classic computers and with numerous applications. The most advanced quantum computer in the world right now is found at the USC-Lockheed Martin Computing Center.
Quantum Entanglement illustrates that particles can be linked together regardless of physical distance. For example if you have two linked particles, one in Hawaii and the other in Antarctica, if you measure the one in Hawaii, the particle in Antarctica will respond to the measurement. A second property of quantum entanglement is of “opposites attract” where physical properties (spin, position, and so on) of the linked particles will always be opposite. Measuring one particle has an effect on the other, which leads us to quantum teleportation.
Quantum teleportation, how does it work? You generate two entangled photos and send one of them over a distance and medium (for instance 102 km of optical fiber). Based on their entangled states, you can identify when they are in opposite states, “in effect (‘teleporting’) the evil twin of the photon” For visual explanation, click here.
Scientists might have figured out the fiber optic teleportation of information encoded in light, but they haven’t figured out the teleportation of matter. There is still a million of pieces to determine the gap between fiber optic teleportation and matter teleportation, so you won’t be able to Mike TeaVee yourself anytime soon.
There is still a meta layer of paradox here: the science of things at a small scale doesn’t work with the science of things at the bigger scale. Scientists including Einstein are still baffled on trying to explain or unify these two theories together as they both remain in opposition to each other but maintain to explain a good deal of each one. This leads us to the “Unified Field Theory”. Einstein tried to unify this theory using electromagnetism. The “Theory of Everything” and “Grand Unified Theory” are similarly related to unified field theory but unsimilar by not needing the basis of nature to be fields, and often by attempting to explain physical constants of nature. There are currently four fundamental forces which result from the exchange of gauge bosons. The four fundamental interactions to be unified are: Strong interaction, Electromagnetic interaction, Weak interaction and Gravitational interaction. The first successful classical unified field theory (attempts based on classical physics) was created by James Clerk Maxwell.
Until the 1960s, almost everyone agreed that smallest of the smallest building blocks into which we’ve divided the universe – subatomic particles – were basically particles. But what is a particle really? Why didn’t this discovery explain things like dark matter? Geoffrey Chew would lead his associates to think outside the box to consider items beyond the particle. This research integrate into string theory as it’s proposed today. String theory claims speculate that everything is composed of one-dimensional, vibrating objects. How these strings act determines everything from gravity to M&M crumbs. Yet the most bizarre assumption is the following: if string theory is what’s going on, extra dimensions would have to exist.
What about parallel universes? universe theory of quantum mechanics, relying on probabilities rather than definites, proposes that for every possible outcome of any possible decision a universe is created. So, in another universe, sectarianism in Lebanon doesn’t exist and everyone has free water and electricity.
Time travel is among the many interesting implications of quantum mechanics that makes everyone say things like, “I wish I could go back in time and encourage Hitler to pursue his dreams and remain a dictator” (just kidding)
Scientists have simulated sending particles backward through time, more on this here.
But perhaps simulation is a long way off from reality, and sending things into the future is still a murk quandary (same goes for this article)
Finally you have Simulation Hypothesis which proposes that all of reality is in fact an artificial stimulation and mostly like a computer simulation (Hello Matrix).