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New principle may help explain why nature is quantum

Jenny Hogan
Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore
Tue, 14 May 2013 19:17 CDT

Like small children, scientists are always asking the question 'why?'. One question they've yet to answer is why nature picked quantum physics, in all its weird glory, as a sensible way to behave. Researchers Corsin Pfister and Stephanie Wehner at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore tackle this perennial question in a paper published 14 May in Nature Communications.

We know that things that follow quantum rules, such as atoms, electrons or the photons that make up light, are full of surprises. They can exist in more than one place at once, for instance, or exist in a shared state where the properties of two particles show what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance", no matter what their physical separation. Because such things have been confirmed in experiments, researchers are confident the theory is right. But it would still be easier to swallow if it could be shown that quantum physics itself sprang from intuitive underlying principles.

One way to approach this problem is to imagine all the theories one could possibly come up with to describe nature, and then work out what principles help to single out quantum physics. A good start is to assume that information follows.

read more http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-05/cfqt-npm05131...



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