Physics

Can quantum matter have different forms?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. As of yet, quantum matter is the smallest level of matter that we've detected in the universe. Because quantum matter is so miniscule, it can be quite difficult for scientists to study, and it often raises more questions than answers. For example, does quantum matter take on different forms?

    As it turns out, scientists have seen quantum matter change form; for example, they have seen individual photons (the smallest measure of light) appear as particles and waves [source: Brown University]. Photos can change a particle's speed and velocity by bouncing it around. According to Werner Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, people affect quantum matter's form just by observing it. However, without observing quantum matter, it's obviously difficult to learn much about it.

    Danish physicist Niels Bohr proposed the theory of superposition, in which quantum matter exists in all its possible forms simultaneously. He also proposed that the act of observing the particle affects the state it will be observed in; this theory is known as the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. While many scientists tend to view quantum matter as chaos, others believe that it's actually more organized and predictable, which will eventually be revealed with further study.

    More answers from Science Channel »



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