October 21, 2009

roads not taken

An unusual formulation of one of the fundamental concepts of quantum physics, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, is provided by R.P. Feynman & A.R. Hibbs in "Quantum Mechanics & Path Integrals" (McGraw Hill, 1965):

"Any determination of the alternative taken by a process capable of following more than one alternative destroys the interference between alternatives."

1 comment:

  1. See, I grew up with my brother, too, as did most fortunate to remain half of a particle pair, and all, and he was always oriented north-south, and I was an east-west kind of guy, and then we separated, see, and I called him up from way up north, and I said, guess what, and he said, yep, and he said well, I'm out west, and I said, isn't it true you open merely one slit in the interference test of photons, and it will singly as a particle follow the wave pattern, even though there can be no wave? And you know what he said? He said, well, actually, Reno is west of Los Angeles.

    Still trying to figure that one out.



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