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Because relativity and quantum mechanics are not compatible with each other

Because relativity and quantum mechanics are not compatible with each other

While both can be applied, they create a struggle that physicists have been trying to resolve for decades. here because.

You’ll see movies like “Interstellar,” for example, where you’re looking for a way to collect Quantum mechanics with Einstein’s relativity to describe gravity. It is a decades-old struggle for which scientists have not been able to find a single, common answer. They experimented with string theory, but to this day no one, not even the great Stephen Hawking, has been able to find it “theory of everything” able to describe natural phenomena with one equation.

What does the theory of relativity predict?

A scene from the movie “Interstellar”. credit: Warner Bros.

To understand this conflict, we must go back for a moment to 1915, when Albert Einstein published his theory of general relativity. It is one of the most successful theories in the history of science, so much so that its predictions are still confirmed today. Of the discoveries related to black holes, al Equivalence principle Demonstrated in space by the MICROSCOPE satellite, how the light emitted by the star S2, in orbit around the black hole at the center of the galaxy, shows gravitational redshift Just as general relativity predicted. These are just a few examples of the validity of Einstein’s formula.

despite this, Theory of relativity It could not be the definitive description of the attraction. deal with to classical field theory, which depicts space and time as continuous, that is, infinitely divisible, and the events that occur in them as deterministic, that is, dependent on each other on the basis of precise and quantifiable cause-and-effect relationships. in general relativity mass and energy e place and time associated with numerical relationships. It accurately describes the distribution and motion of mass energy, as well as the curvature of space-time anywhere and at any time.

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Well, but what does quantum mechanics have to do with all this? The problem is that Einstein’s predictions work Just for the big worldany systems big.

Quantum mechanics explained

when you venture in the microscopic worldobservable phenomena are governed by laws formulated by another description of reality, at least as effective as general relativity: Quantum physics. in World how manySpace and time are not continuous as they are in general relativity, however discreet. There are limits to their divisibility, below which are space and time loss of meaning. They are the length (1.6 x 10 m) and the Planck time (5.4 x 10 s).

not enough. The basis of quantum physics is uncertainty principlewhich argues that it is impossible to know with absolute accuracy both values ​​of conjugate quantities, such as momentum and the site for a specific particle. It is a principle that comes from The wave nature of quantities: not only photons, but also particles such as protons, electrons, and neutrons are described in quantum physics by the wave functions they have probability distribution. this means in the subatomic world There is always a certain amount of uncertainty that we cannot eliminate.

In short, the intrinsic indeterminacy of quantities “takes away” the classical and orderly beauty of the described world from general relativity. The latter is used to describe, for example, phenomena from the gravitational lens Born by clusters of galaxies. Quantum physics is used when studying a phenomenon tangle between arbitrarily distant particles.