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Quantum weirdness: The battle for the basis of reality

Quantum weirdness: The battle for the basis of reality

作者:随彘冂  时间:2019-03-15 10:12:02  人气:

Marie Luise Emmermann By Michael Brooks AT FIRST, it looks like an ordinary mirror. But it’s not. It is “half-silvered”. Half of the light that hits it is reflected. The other half passes straight through. This is not in itself extraordinary. Any time you look out of a window and see the room you are sitting in partially reflected, you’re seeing a similar effect. Special beam-splitting mirrors are part of any teleprompter, and you can buy them online without breaking the bank if you really want to. It’s what they do to the individual photons of light that’s the strange thing. Peer too closely, and these looking glasses might destroy your very perception of reality. They could leave you unsure where or even who you are, and make you question whether you exist at all. They might even so skew your notions of cause and effect that they leave you wondering whether you, rather than the mirror, are to blame for all this. The question is whether science gets any more profound than what happens at a half-silvered mirror. “I don’t think it does,” says Terry Rudolph, a physicist at Imperial College London. The culprit, as usual when we find ourselves assailed by doubt and racked with existential fear, is quantum theory. Quantum theory is our best stab yet at delivering a picture of how material reality works at the smallest scales, and its predictions have been confirmed time and time again by experiment. It’s just that the reality it describes seems to bear little relation to… well, reality. Video: Discover reality’s hidden layers For a start,