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LATEST CONVERSATIONS: Quantum physics just got less complicated: Wave-particle duality and quantum uncertainty are same thing

Date: December 19, 2014
Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

Here’s a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has demonstrated that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing.

Quantum physics says that particles can behave like waves, and vice versa. Researchers have now shown that this ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum uncertainty principle in disguise.

Credit: Timothy Yeo / CQT, National University of Singapore; CC-BY
[Click to enlarge image]

Here’s a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications.
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Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum ‘uncertainty principle’ in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.
“The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information,” says Wehner, who is now an Associate Professor at QuTech at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
The discovery deepens our understanding of quantum physics and could prompt ideas for new applications of wave-particle duality.

Wave-particle duality is the idea that a quantum object can behave like a wave, but that the wave behaviour disappears if you try to locate the object. It’s most simply seen in a double slit experiment, where single particles, electrons, say, are fired one by one at a screen containing two narrow slits. The particles pile up behind the slits not in two heaps as classical objects would, but in a stripy pattern like you’d expect for waves interfering. At least this is what happens until you sneak a look at which slit a particle goes through — do that and the interference pattern vanishes.

The quantum uncertainty principle is the idea that it’s impossible to know certain pairs of things about a quantum particle at once. For example, the more precisely you know the position of an atom, the less precisely you can know the speed with which it’s moving. It’s a limit on the fundamental knowability of nature, not a statement on measurement skill. The new work shows that how much you can learn about the wave versus the particle behaviour of a system is constrained in exactly the same way.

Wave-particle duality and uncertainty have been fundamental concepts in quantum physics since the early 1900s. “We were guided by a gut feeling, and only a gut feeling, that there should be a connection,” says Coles, who is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo, Canada.

It’s possible to write equations that capture how much can be learned about pairs of properties that are affected by the uncertainty principle. Coles, Kaniewski and Wehner are experts in a form of such equations known as ‘entropic uncertainty relations’, and they discovered that all the maths previously used to describe wave-particle duality could be reformulated in terms of these relations.

“It was like we had discovered the ‘Rosetta Stone’ that connected two different languages,” says Coles. “The literature on wave-particle duality was like hieroglyphics that we could now translate into our native tongue. We had several eureka moments when we finally understood what people had done,” he says.

Because the entropic uncertainty relations used in their translation have also been used in proving the security of quantum cryptography — schemes for secure communication using quantum particles — the researchers suggest the work could help inspire new cryptography protocols.
In earlier papers, Wehner and collaborators found connections between the uncertainty principle and other physics, namely quantum ‘non-locality’ and the second law of thermodynamics. The tantalising next goal for the researchers is to think about how these pieces fit together and what bigger picture that paints of how nature is constructed.
Story Source:
The above story is based on materials provided by Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Quantum physics just got less complicated: Wave-particle duality and quantum uncertainty are same thing

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Once one discovers the true nature of reality and the true nature of who we are, there is a freedom and a sense of loss. We spend many lifetimes in this virtual reality. The freedom comes when we realize we are no longer trapped by the illusion. The sense of loss comes from identities desperately clinging to time.
But in the end, time means nothing to eternity.


2 Responses to “Quantum physics just got less complicated: Wave-particle duality and quantum uncertainty are same thing”

  1. January 21, 2015 at 10:14 am, Paolo Manzelli said:


    <> is a world wide network proposed by EGOCREANET/MIND
    MAGAZINE that would construct future horizons of creativity for
    developing an intellectual adventure to revolutionize mechanical limits
    of industrial knowledge to get a
    conscious responsibility to better human life and protect the
    environment and biodiversity in the current age of globalization. The
    impact of FNL endeavor would cover trans-disciplinary research in
    science & technology & art affecting the change of policy
    ,social and economic factors of the future knowledge society.


    1) The gene expression and coordination at distance .

    The activation of specific sections of DNA is determined by the
    specific conditions of space-time. As we know DNA is wrapped tightly and
    it is not curled up randomly in the center of cells.

    Therefore, to express the total DNA potentialities living at the center
    of each cells , it must be activated simultaneously in a differentiated
    way in various parts of the body and brain.

    Currently genetics
    believes that the operations of conduct and subsequent activation of
    specific DNA sections are locally independent from a coordination
    program of sharing and controlled simultaneously the genetic activities
    in the body and brain.

    When asked what causes the remote
    coordination of DNA different expression both in the body and brain into
    a shared programme able to grow different life-cells of the body and
    the brain and finally un-structuring them by an apoptosis program ?
    .Currently there NOT answer by mechanical science about the simultaneity
    of coordination of gene expression at distance to grow up in a perfect
    co-organization very different cells in the body and brain.

    The whole description of the factors of able to simultaneously
    communicate the coordinated action planned by DNA in the body and the
    brain may be a new important field of Life research.

    For this
    probably is useful to change the way of we configure the Space-Time as
    in the way that we have proposed in the new structural dimension
    identified by Quantum Space- Time Matrix.

    Certainly …
    2)….. 3)… Other issues on the need of overcoming the mechanical thought of academic science may be improved.
    Paolo 21th Jan 2015 Firenze


  2. May 10, 2015 at 6:41 pm, Oscillate said:

    It is that easy!
    I’m trying to push this truth in a community on Artificial Intelligence. It is the teaching of Dharma, two are one. The above result is just confirming what enlightenment is.
    It will sound boring to most people, but reality is best understood as flow of agnostic data. Understanding is not living, so we are not a flow of data. We are That!
    If you want to know how we became That: 2 c m E is looking at E m c 2 backwards.
    E=mc2 IS To See Me. That is the zen paradox, That is the roaring silence, That is knowing as not knowing.
    The hard part is knowing conscience. If you know That, the rest is no problem at all.
    I am yet to meet some one actually wanting to know what experience is. Most will keep it a mystery, an unknown. That is because knowing mind correctly is the death of Self. Very few subjects agree to that. They want to keep Their experience to Them Selves.
    I’ve stopped trying to explain This. If you ask me what consciousness is, I will tell you.
    For now, I’m apparently used for telling engineers how to design AI. It is the same teaching, but in disguise. I do not care about the robots, but trying to create intelligence forces mankind to learn knowledge and to know knowledge is to know mind. When they finally get it, they soon do, actually building that artificial intelligence will be of less interest. Knowing it is to let it go.
    Reality is always certain. Knowledge is not.
    Reality cannot be used by subjective self. That is why we use knowledge. Not because it is true, but because the Self can use it.
    Conscience is no mystery. It is sensing reality with thought.
    Thinking con Sensing. Patterns of real data sensing reality with the attachment of patterns of real data believed to be “My” thoughts. They are not mine. They are just conditioned attachments to the sensible aspect of reality. Thoughts are real attachments, but they are not “on” reality.
    Thoughts are attached “on” experience as Waves are attached “on” water.

    So now you know what you don’t know.
    Now forget it.

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