Wave-particle duality for cars!

Now! Wave-particle duality for cars!

Well done to the team at Loyola University for spotting the potential for a macroscopic example of wave-particle duality! (Read more…)

Car garage!

More seriously, one of the all time mysteries is why quantum mechanics does not scale up to this level. QM seems to accurately describe the doings of the atomic world of particles. Yet  it does not seem to scale up to macroscopic objects. For example, the biggest objects that have been shown to pass through the double-slit experiment are molecules (see below). Nothing like a car.

Quantum mechanics itself can’t explain why it doesn’t scale up to macroscopic objects. But with the cordus conjecture we think we can.

The answer, we propose, has to do with two factors. The first is the scale over which coherence can be sustained. Very roughly, coherence refers to all the particles moving as one. QM assumes that coherence applies without limit, to the large assemblies of atoms that make up macroscopic bodies like cars, cats, and the objects that we can see with our senses. Clearly that is not the case, because cars don’t go through both exits at once, nor are cats simultaneously alive and dead (Schrodinger’s cat). Cordus explains why coherence does not apply to these objects. It has to do with the inability of  every atom in the object to move as one. In turn that inability arises because of the mixture of atoms/molecules, the internal flows of material (especially important for living creatures), and the warm temperature of these objects. So these objects are not in internal coherence.  Therefore they are not in geometric superposition. Which means they cannot be in two places at once. Therefore the car cannot go through both exits at once.

The second factor is that even if a macroscopic object can be placed in coherence (which we predict is likely but only for small cold inanimate objects), then the required width of the slits is predicted to be as wide as the object, so the two slits will merge into a simple gap, and the resulting positional uncertainty of the object once through the gap (i.e.  fringes) will be small.

You can read more about this interesting topic below, including some recent examples of large molecules going through the double-slit deice, and our own more detailed explanations of Quantum mechanics’ scaling problem.

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