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Why an important matter in physics could possibly be statistical mechanics



Statistical mechanics helps relate the quantum world to things that appear strong and never ruled by the whims of statement, however there are nonetheless inquiries to be answered, says Chanda Prescod-Weinstein


| Columnist

1 February 2023

Daria Kulkova/Alamy

I RECENTLY walked by a physics division workplace that had a sticker on it saying one thing like “Heisenberg may or may not have been here”. That is partially a nod to the quantum cat, which, whereas it’s inside a field with no observer, could also be useless or alive. We aren’t positive till we take a look at it.

This feline thought experiment is meant to assist us visualise a deep conceptual problem in quantum mechanics: the truth that the act of observing appears to find out what state matter is in. That is because of the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics …

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