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What is Quantum Theory?

Updated on May 26, 2016

What is Quantum Theory?

Qunatum Theory is a Scientific theory that is used to explain the nature and behavior of matter and energy on an atomic and subatomic scale. To put it simply it is a theory of the behavior of very small things.

Atoms And Molecules

Quantum Theory can be used to explain the behavior of atoms and molecules.

Subatomic Particles

Quantum Theory is used to explain how Subatomic Particles behave. This inturn can help us to understand the universes early years.

(ħ is the reduced Planck constant, h / 2π) 1.054571800(13)×10−34
(ħ is the reduced Planck constant, h / 2π) 1.054571800(13)×10−34

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

In 1927 Werner Heisenberg introduced the world to the Uncertainty Principle. It it he showed that the more precise we are at determining the position of a particle, the less precise we will be at calculating its speed and vice versa. In essence we can only know its location or speed at any one time, not both.

In the equation on the right Δx is the Uncertainty in Position and Δp is the Uncertainty in Momentum.

Schrödinger's cat: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i.e., a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison that kills the cat.
Schrödinger's cat: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i.e., a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison that kills the cat.

Schrödinger's Cat

This is a thought experiment that was created by Erwin Schrödinger the Austrian Physicist in 1935.

The theory is that if you place a cat in a box with a flask of poison connected to a radioactive switch then you would not know if the switch was flicked and the flask broken. So the cat could either be alive or dead. Or alive and dead at the same time.

The problem with Quantum Theory is that on its own it is incompatible with Relativity. So to connect these two main theories of Physics we need another one that is compatible with both.

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