Tag Archives: quantum

Quantum Thermodynamics Simplified

Thermodynamic theory structure is well known and documented.  Quantum theory?  Not so much.  Meshing the two fields together is a new and exciting endeavor because we have so much left to learn.  But how do we learn about things we can not see?

A:  We postulate, contrive, and come up with theories that seem to make sense.

That is how the atom was discovered.  And through the science of chemistry and mathematics we were able to verify the postulated theory of the atom to a very good degree.  And so we generally accept the atomic theory.

Quantum mechanics is the study of things that are up to hundreds of times smaller than the atom.  And we have yet to discover or mathematically quantify any of the postulations or theories that are emerging.  So, what gives?  Why are we still in the dark?

Let’s look at what we call quanta.

“Quanta” is a term attributed to Max Planck, who studied light around 1900-1918.  He postulated that light is made up of individual particles he termed quanta.  At the same time many other scientists were studying light, including Einstein.  In fact Einstein’s earliest work was to postulate that photons are physical things – later called “quanta” by Planck.  Tesla, who worked with waves and electro-magnetism, also postulated the idea of very small particles passing from the sun to earth in his much earlier work with radiant energy, long before Planck’s revelation.  Then enters Louis de Broglie, who postulated that all matter, tiny or not, moves as two distinct forms – particles or waves.  And that laid the groundwork for Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which in short form ties all natures forces together in one way or another.

Let me stop here a moment.  There are many other theories coming after the work these early pioneers did.  One of them is called the many worlds theory, which has something to do with multiple universes and changes in time-space and continuum.  That is way beyond my ability to understand but I am familiar with it – though will not endorse it for lack of better understanding.

Much of our most recent postulation about quanta is based on an idea offered by Werner Heisenberg.  Around 1930 Heisenberg offered the theory that any particle could exist in two states at the same time – until we look into it to find which state it is actually in.  This sounds like it is against nature – but it actually is key to understanding things we can not see.

Imagine putting a bird into a cage with a bowl of poisoned water.  Then leave the room.  While you are outside the room you don’t know if the bird drank the water or not.  And you don’t know if the bird is dead or not.  Therefore the bird is both dead and alive while you are outside the room.  Returning to the room will let you know if the bird is in fact dead or not.  Repeat this with 100 different birds and you can formulate a mathematical probability of finding the bird dead or alive.  It’s really not rocket science.  It’s a field called quantum computing based on superposition and it can be helpful establishing properties of things that we can not see.

Moving onto thermodynamics.  This is the field of everything physical in our environment of heat, cold and energy, and basically how they interact.  It is the basis behind theories like chemistry and mechanics.  Suffice it to say that it is a very deep source of information on all things physical.  And I’ll stop there because that is all this conversation needs to know about thermodynamics.  Einstein once said never cloud your mind with things you can more easily look up in a book.  Being smart is just knowing where to look.

Underlying all this basic information is the fact that gravity is wrong.  After several centuries of hashing and mashing out theories and others spending their entire lives and fortunes to perfect it –  recently we discovered those theories are off by a little bit.  Now what?

Literally, we must go back to the drawing board.  Back to the beginning of the theory.  Which was a long time ago.  But we have so many other theories on forces like thermodynamics, electricity, electromechanics, chemistry, etc., etc, that have come along since then….  Which ones do we discard to retrace in order to find our error in gravity?  None, I say.  There are no known observations in any field that will change because of a mathematical error in gravity.  Observations are facts, more certain than death and taxes.

So how do we find our error in gravity?  We simply look for those elements that were not  present when the theory of gravity was postulated.  What things did we not know about in the 17th, 18th, and mostly 19th centuries?

The answer is Electro-magnetics and quantum mechanics.  So that is where we will go to find our error.  Period.  The answer lies there.  And just as Einstein advised us, we now know which book to look in.

I am happily spending my life trying to find the answer.  What are you happy doing?