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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Quantum Mechanics … Why is it tough to understand?

So, in my quest of learning, I am now doing some research around Sankhya Shastra and also complementing it by the current knowledge that we humans posses in the field of Quantum Mechanics. I was also refreshing the knowledge I already seem to have on the topic, which I have to be honest is very basic. I am not a physicist, hence, I don’t do actual experiments, nevertheless I am decent enough with thought experiments based on the things that I have learn before
While I was reading up and enhancing my knowledge in the field, I was also meeting up with some friends and acquaintances, when I spoke to them about QM, they seemed to have no idea about it. Though we are all taught the uncertainty principle, the photo electric effect and the work of Bohr, Einstein and Planck and a few notable others which form the basis of the Copenhagen interpretation of QM in schools, not many people actually understood it and no one ever wants to talk about it. I wondered, why did people not understand QM, is it that difficult ? Or is it not taught well…. While dwelling on this thought, the answer came to me in a much Philosophical  form. I thought that it is best to share it with all of you.
Now, the answer to the Question, Why is Quantum Mechanics so difficult to understand. The answer that came to me was that the reason is that it is incredibly simple. All the components of the nano-scopic world are so simple that we cant understand it…. Sounds conflicting right ? If it is simple, I should be able to understand it, but this philosophy then doesn’t hold good.. I still thought a little deeper and I remembered the one article that I had read somewhere and was explaining it to a few of my friends.
The article was elaborate, but here is the gist…  Why does a sparrow, when looking itself in the mirror pecks on it ? Why does a fish, when it sees its own reflection tries to go to fight with it and on the contrary, if you put a fake band-aid on an elephant and put the elephant in the front of a mirror, it will recognize itself and try to get rid of the band-aid on itself and not on the mirror? The answer on a philosophical level for me at that time was a little straight forward. In order to recognize others, you will first need to recognize yourself. Unless you recognize yourself, you will not be able to recognize others, and wont distinguish between a threat and friendly force.
Now, it was time to expand this theory a bit, can dogs talk to each other ? We know humans can understand each other (To some extent even if not fairly well), can other animals of the same kind understand each other ? Yes, No or Maybe ? But can dogs understand humans (and may be vice versa ?)…. If you think up on all these questions, there will be a certain similarities between the answers.
For instance, an owner of the dog, can understand the dog and Vice versa, but another human may not be able to understand it at the same level. I am fairly certain that other animals through the way of sound, movements, smell,etc can communicate and understand their kind. So why is that ? If I have to put a few more simple examples, why can you understand some people better than others ? You would say cause we are on the same level (or same wavelength) …. so, the next question is same wavelength of what ?
The answer as it happens to be is simplicity, or un complicatedness. If your state of existence is at the same state of someone or some thing else, (or at least close)  you can understand it, However, if it varies greatly you cannot. You cannot understand the reasons behind the things that people do, so on and so forth. Learning is a similar exercise, you understand the things best when you are at the same level of that thing, if its a complicated thing (and we being complicated our self) can understand it better. Though I feel “complicated” may not be the right word for the situation (Maybe Abstracted?)
This world has made our living so complicated, some times so biased and judge mental that we cannot understand the simple things anymore. However, when you loose all that complexity in you, you may be able to come to terms with the simple things and people. (Off course the term simplicity here doesn’t refer to the “simple” living style in direct connection)
Hence if you see, that all the scientists that have worked on the QM and related theories were in fact more philosophical than objective, Einstein, Bohr, De Broglie, etc were philosophical in various degrees.
So, I leave you here with a thought, (Your thoughts are welcome in the comments till its constructive), I leave you with a thought that in order to learn and understand the universe in an un-abstracted manner, we will have to remove the abstraction from ourselves before anything, we should un complicate and live and think high and simple.
Cheers !!!