[Advaita-l] Elementary Particles and Nature of Reality
Shrinivas Gadkari
sgadkari2001 at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 28 06:55:50 CST 2007
Namaste,
In quantum physics we have something that is
fundamental and then there is a mathematical
framework that is built using this fundamental
understanding.
Based on my understanding elementary particles are
almost like some constants within the mathematical
framework, while Wave-particle duality is the
fundamental principle. (In my personal study
I have not tried to understand any elementary
particle other than electron and photon).
Here is a brief summary of this concept for
benefit of list members (this is formulation of
the Schrodinger's equation)
1. In general there are waves that constitute
everything in this universe.
2. Wave has two basic parameters: frequnecy(F),
and wavelength (L).
3. F = E/h (Planck's hypothesis)
E is some representative of energy of the
wave - for light this is energy of a single
photon, for matter waves I think we should be
able to take relativistic total energy or
something similar here.
h = Planck's constant
4. L = h/p (de-broglie's hypothesis)
p = momentum - of the particle that we
will construct with this wave(s)
5. Particles are constructed using superposition
of waves to create wave-packets that are
roughly localized in space.
Note: complex exponentials of the form
exp(j * theta) = cos(theta) + j * sin (theta)
enter into quantum physics in a fundamental
manner. This is a SURPRISE - in classical
physics and engineering these are introduced
purposely to simplify things.
6. Bigger Surprise: Wave packet can never
we completely localized - i.e. made to
vanish everywhere except in a small region
of space where we feel the particle is located.
The more we want it to be localized, the
more are the wavelengths we need to add to
the wavepacket. And since wavelengths are
related to momentum, the more uncertain the
momentum becomes. This is the uncertainty
principle.
7. Biggest surprise however is trying to understand
how the mathematical process described in point
6 manifests physically in the process of
obseravtion, and the role of the observer -
collapse of a wave function.
To understand nature of reality one can focus
on understanding this wave-particle duality
rather than the elementary particles.
I believe one can get some insights into the
nature of reality from wave-particle duality.
This if supplemented with yoga sutras, Vedanta
and sankhya the understanding can get a sound
footing.
Needless to say, understanding physics is a not
a necessary condition to understand the nature of
reality.
Regards,
Shrinivas
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