What is a Quantum in Physics?

Reference: Relativity and the Problem of Space
  • Newtonian mechanics seem to cover the area where mass is concerned.

  • Einsteinian relativity seems to cover the area where field is concerned.

  • But the interface between mass and field is not fully resolved.

This is the area of Quantum Mechanics that needs to be resolved fully.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum
  1. In the attempt to bring theory into agreement with experiment, Max Planck postulated that electromagnetic energy is absorbed or emitted in discrete packets, or quanta.

  2. In 1905 Albert Einstein suggested that radiation existed in spatially localized packets which he called “quanta of light”. A photon is a single quantum of electromagnetic radiation. It is proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation it represents.

  3. While quantization was first discovered in electromagnetic radiation, it describes a fundamental aspect of energy not just restricted to photons.

  4. Quantum is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction. The magnitude can take on only certain discrete values. The energy of an electron bound to an atom is quantized, which results in the stability of atoms, and hence of matter in general.

  5. Quantum is part of the fundamental framework for understanding and describing nature.

Quantum seems to have replaced the “material point” of the old.


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  • vinaire  On November 27, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    Here is an interpretation of Barak Shoshany’s response at https://www.quora.com/What-is-quantum-field-theory

    (1) A “particle” is a high frequency pulse in a low frequency background field. We may refer to the low frequency field as the corresponding “space”.

    (2) The movement of a “particle” within the “space” is like movement of a pulse relative to other pulses within a field.

    (3) A pulse is seen as continuous with the surrounding field. Thus a “quantum particle” is always continuous with the surrounding “field space”.

    (4) The steep gradient of frequency change from “field space” to “quantum particle” appears as gravity around a particle. The high frequency of the particle appears as mass.

    (5) The “quantum particle” may be wide enough to contain a still higher “frequency spike” within it. The frequency spike shall appear as “condensed particle” within the particle. The particle shall now be perceived relatively as space.

    (6) Thus there can be more condensed particle within a particle; and more condensed space within a space. It is just how you look at it. At higher frequencies the “particle – space” shall appear more condensed.

    (7) Thus all particles shall be related to each other. They will maintain continuity among themselves.

    (8) The “wave-particle” duality is now adequately explained by this iterative “particle – space” model.

  • vinaire  On November 27, 2015 at 11:28 AM

    Barak says, “There’s one field for each type of particle. So one field for all photons in the universe, one field for all electrons, and so on. And these fields exist everywhere.”
    There seems to be a “particle-field (space)” correspondence, and some kind of relationship among different “particle-field (space)” sets.

  • vinaire  On November 27, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    Barak says,”To “extract” a particle from a field, you need to give the field energy. If you give it enough energy, the field will go to a higher energy state. These states are what we interpret as particles.”

    I would say it differently as in my interpretaion in the first comment above. The nucleus of an atom is a particle within the electronic field of the atom. And the electronic field of the atom is a particle within the field we call space. So the nucleus of an atom is a “particle within a particle”. This makes atom a “compound particle”.

  • vinaire  On November 27, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    Barak says, “The point in the field where you gave it energy will look like a particle, and as the energy propagates through the field, it will look like the particle is moving.”

    Nobody gives energy. All energy is simply connected. The particle is a high frequency pulse within a pulsating field. Its motion shall be measured relative to similar pulses in the field. It may appear either motionless or in motion.

  • vinaire  On November 27, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    Barak says, “Some fields require more energy than others in order to create a particle. The amount of energy is proportional to the mass of the associated particle. For example, a Higgs boson is much more massive than an electron. So electrons are very easy to create, but Higgs bosons are very hard to create.

    “This is why it took us so long to discover the Higgs boson. We had to build a huge machine, the Large Hadron Collider, that was capable of giving the Higgs field enough energy to create Higgs bosons from it.”

    I see it differently. The Higgs field is more like the theoretical field of zero frequency. It is the theoretical undisturbed space. It is the basis of all other “disturbed spaces” or fields.

    Any spike in this field will appear as “creation of mass” because one is going from zero frequency to a finite frequency pulse. To appreciate mass the pulse frequency has to be closer to the frequency of the nucleus of an atom. This is a big jump in frequency and will require a large amount of energy.

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