Monday, 22 July 2013

When the atoms become quantum

Millennia atoms are represented phantoms whose existence is only hinted at but they stubbornly remained invisible. It was believed that the remains indivisible, and are so called, according to the Greek 'indivisible'. In the early 20th century, physicists knew that atoms carry a charged parts. Model which is usually resorted consisted of positively charged ball 'pudding' with the negatively charged "plums", Electron. Picture is broken Ernest Rutherford in 1911. when he asserted that the positive 'pudding' all compacted into dense core, or nucleus, and that the 'plum' electrons around the bay.
Rutherford's atom is even more puzzled scientists, since it went against all the laws of physics. The opposite charges are inexorably attracted to electrons and by law should end up in a spiral of positively charged nucleus in less than a millisecond, (and if not, their mutual negative charge would throw them out of orbit). But atoms are somehow successful housing the negative and positive charges.
This paradox is resolved Niels Bohr exactly a hundred years ago when he successfully merged with the new standard physics quantum theory from which further developed the model of atomic structure.
And more. Together the theory with experiment, understand the basics of how atoms and molecules are connected into. He explained that until then mysteriously repeat the properties of chemical elements that are visible on the periodic table. Most importantly, it revealed the fundamental role of quantum physics in the reality that surrounds us.
Although the technical details of Bohr's model turned out wrong, his approach is a significant observation of the atom, and it is to liberate the conclusions of which leads us to common sense and ignore the strange rules of quantum theory. Boron is unlike his contemporaries realized that the acceptance of quantum physics, the key to hidden secrets of nature. While other quantum confusion to despair, Pine headed path that led him to 'forest', and when the path forked into two paths going to both but remaining a traveler. He insisted that knowledge of reality means accepting the truth and mutually incompatible.
In the decades after his description of the atom, Bohr was a guide and interpreter among physicists who threw themselves to research the strange new world of the quantum. As noted J.R.Openhajmer in the development of modern quantum physics, "Niels Bohr's deeply creative, keen and critical spirit has led, limited, deepened and finally turned things around."

The father of the atom
Pine role in uncovering the secrets of the atom began in 1913. when a series of three technical article outlines a new atomic science.
Bor "is the first paved a solid and lasting path to understanding atomic structure and its dynamics," wrote physicist Abraham Pais in pine biography, Niels Bohr's Times (1991), and "in this sense can be considered the father of the atom."
Like all fathers, Pine is proud child of his but he was blind not to see its flaws. From the start he realized that his model is too simple to encompass the complexity of reality. But he was convinced that the atom can only be explained by quantum physics. "And that of course is the key to success Bohr," says science historian J. Heilbron (John Heilbron), University of California, Berkeley.
That it must resort to quantum theory, Bohr realized he was preparing his doctoral dissertation in 1911. He found that the electrons that carry current behave differently from those that are related to atoms, and quite unusual compared to the mechanical laws of classical physics.
"I realized that there was no way that would be using classical physics explain the behavior of electrons in metals," says physicist Alfred Goldhaber with Stony Brook Univesity, New York.
Various solutions have hinted that the problem could be explained by applying the Max Planck's quantum idea introduced in 1900. Based on experiments with thermal radiation, Planck concluded that the energy from the hot object emits only in indivisible packets, quanta, like individual grains of sand. A few years later, Einstein claimed that all radiation, including light, not only broadcast but also conveys the 'packets' (later called photons), although it was known that the light travels as a wave.
In the first decade of the 20th century, only a few serious scientists accept Planck's idea, and fewer still believed Einstein. But Pine is. While others condemned quantum contradictions, he did investigated. Due to the circumstances in which he grew up and was brought up, ready to go out to meet the challenges.
He was born in Copenhagen in 1885. academically educated in the family, a rich intellectual environment. From an early age prusustvovao the evening discussions between his father, physiologists, and family friends, some of whom were physicists, philosophers and philologists. Boron is absorbed multicultural ideas inherited in Danish history and geography at the crossroads between Germany and England. As children, he and his brother Harald, his father read aloud Goethe, Shakespeare, Dickens. Nils has consumed the Danish authors such as Kieregaard, Hans Christian Andersen, read the unfinished novel by Poul Martin Moller (Kierkegaard mentor) Adventures of a Danish Student. Wrinkles are deep discussion seemed full of dilemmas and contradictions, and they learned the language and logic that he would return to life.
From early education to college years at the University of Copenhagen with his brilliance attracted the attention of teachers and peers. "Family and friends, as well as teachers, recognized as a rare spirit that wore down, saw him as a thinker who goes in depth and width, and they went out to meet him in all ways to develop their skills," said Heilbron.
In science education, Bohr was equally accepted the German preference for theory and mathematics and the UK, which is more concerned with experiments. Although prone to theoretical work, for post-doctoral studies chose Cavendish Laboratory in Kembriđžu, soft British experimental physics at the time.
He enjoyed the magic Kembriđža, in the laboratory and in the village. He played football, and promoted knowledge of English reading The Pickwick Papers, with a little red dictionary that bought, but he liked hearing the J.J.Tomsonom. Thompson headed the laboratory, a distinguished scientist who discovered the electron, but Pine is located omissions in his work on metal electrons. Thomson is almost indifferent crossing pine remarks. Late in 1911. Pine luck Rutherford, who had passed news conference in Brussels on the subject of quantum. Shortly after that conversation Bor goes to the University of Manchester and joined the Rutherford team.
And in Manchester Boron is initially off of electrons, including beta particles detected by Rutherford. But she realizes that her secret hiding radioactivity in the core. Thus, his quest for truth turns to the atom.
Early in 1912. Pine works feverishly and with success. "I already went to work, examining every aspect of the atom, the mister to find everything possible," said Goldhaber. In June Bor brother writes: "It seems to me that I found a little bit about the structure of atoms." Modestly speaking, because it turned out that he had discovered that quantum physics 'hold' atom.
Bor was the first to try to apply quantum physics to atoms. But it is first pointed out that it can 'work'. He said that the correct theory of stable atoms must have the dimension of length that corresponded to the size of atoms, such as fork length uslovljavlja size of a bicycle wheel. The number of reasonable length for atomic fork was accessible only using the key number in the quantum theory, which is Planck's constant, combined with an electric charge and mass of the electron and the nucleus.
Understanding how quantum physics explains the behavior of atoms did not go straight. For his model of the atom Bohr applied the classical mathematical approach and then added to quantum physics in four specific ways. The two are directly related to Planck's theory of radiation, including the technical aspects of the energy of the electron. The other two were inspired by the processes hidden in the mysterious machinations of Bohr's enigmatic mind.
The first is often hailed as a crucial ingredient in the Bohr model of the atom, the electrons can occupy only certain orbits around the nucleus. In any such permitted orbit electron has angular momentum is equal to the product of Planck's constant divided by 2 pi. With such a limit Bohr could not explain why the hydrogen atom emits light only in certain very specific colors, or frequencies. The emitted light corresponded to the electron to 'jump' from one allowed orbit to another.
Of the many confusing aspects of the Bohr atom, this was the strongest. According to standard physics of the light should depend on how long you should make the electron orbiting the nucleus, what is its orbital frequency. But if the electrons emit light as they cycle, Pine noted, the atoms would radiate light all the time, and that is not happening. Hence Pine concluded that electrons occupy non-radiating orbits, and the atom is in a state of 'sleep', divides the frequency of light frequency of the orbit.
"This is out of the ground under the feet of many physicists, who assumed that this phenomenon within the atomic processes could be directly linked to developments in the micro-world," said Heilborn meeting of the American Physical Society in April.
The second congress smart remark offered an idea of ​​how to bridge the gap between quantum and classical physics. Electron far from the nucleus, Bohr said, would the frequency of light emitted close to the classical prediction. Since distant orbits close together, the orbital frequencies are nearly equal. So you jump from one to the other emits nearly the same orbital frequency of frequencies. It is otherwise stated what we know about the great facilities, quantum effects would be too small for us to notice - a key part of the final understanding of quantum reality.
The composition of atoms

To explain the mischief of classical physics to quantum theory Bohr explanations offered so that all could not fit in a professional work. Therefore, published a series of three papers under one title, "The composition of atoms and molecules," in the Philosophical Magazine. In the first part, which was published in July in 1913., With spectrum of colors emitted by hydrogen, was described by quantum rules for the electron orbits and quantum jumps of hydrogen atoms. The second part describes the arrangement of electrons in circles around a core of more complex atoms, which is the first step towards the explanation of the periodic table of elements. The third describes how atoms form molecules with shared electrons.
The reactions of the pine theory were mixed. While some found the idea brilliant, others was incomprehensible. Einstein was intrigued, but not convinced. But when an experiment confirmed congress predictions that certain colors in the spectrum of light that was thought to have actually come from hydrogen helium, Einstein is no longer doubted. When they show up for the experiment, said "This is a major step forward, Pine theory must be true."
But Bohr knew that his theory only glimmer of insight into reality, and to have shortcomings. Is successful, he believed, largely thanks to the simplicity of hydrogen. Over the next decade, attempts to also apply to more complex elements did not give results. Finally in 1925. Werner Heisenberg, a young German physicist who studied at the Bohr Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen, created a new mathematical approach that gave the right answers. Heisenberg's work marked the birth of modern quantum mechanics.
Around the same time, experiments to determine the particles sometimes behave like waves, and vice versa. Erwin Schrodinger's wave constructed version of quantum theory, which soon proved to be equivalent Hajzenbergovoj particulate version. Heisenberg in 1927. discovered the famous uncertainty principle: it is impossible to accurately measure a few svojstvava simultaneously, such as particle position and its momentum.
Once again the Pine explain the paradox. At a lecture in 1927. proposed the principle of complementarity. The light can be a particle or a wave depending on which experiment you choose. You can determine the position of an electron, or its momentum, but to design an experiment. You can not do both at the same time.
Pine komplenemtarnost provided the basis the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. In popular discussions this approach is put to the fore the role of observers in exposing reality, the point in bickering many physicists today. But Bohr was not talked about it in this way, says the philosopher of science Don Howard of the University of Notre Dame. Heisenberg was one that he focused on the role of observer.
Pine vision was much more subtle. He insisted that the properties of quantum systems do not have the exact meaning before they are measured. But the measure required a measuring instrument that communicates with a quantum system. Once the communication is established, an instrument for measuring a quantum system and a history become 'connected' in modern terminology. So how is it even possible to talk about the properties of a quantum system?
"This place gets Bor crucial idea in their thinking," Howard said at a meeting of physicists. If you define an experiment you want to perform, you can use the result to describe the property of a quantum system as it has the correct value, even if there is no exact value measurements. Of course, you could not talk about all the properties of the system at once, you have to choose what to measure.
"For Bor, two properties such as position and angular momentum are necessary for the complete value of the system and its behavior," said Howard. "But of them can only speak one at a time, not both at the same time, because we have to have exactly defined properties of the system only in the context in which this property can be quantified." And the context of measuring the position and angular momentum are physically incompatible . "It was a very good reason why we could not simultaneously be talking about well-defined values ​​for the position and well-defined values ​​of angular momentum," said Howard.
Multiple truths

Bohr's unique approach comes from the contradictions of his view of the world and the truth of his early youth. In fact, his research in quantum science have opened the way to a much broader view of the reality that surrounds us.
"The greatest satisfaction that earned him a research in the field of quantum physics in the wider field of philosophy was the discovery that more true ... come in complementary pairs," said Heilbron.
They recently published letters pine fiancee, Margaret Norlund, who wrote in the time of the survey atomovog model. They Bor lists various kinds of truths, those sermons, the great literary works, scientific truth, for we see that all are different but they are important. "This is something I am very touched, I can almost call it their religion - the truth is all of value."
Heilbron to see the parallels with the four methods that introduce the quantum atom - a lot of it is true, not all consistent.
"Although they differ in physical content, sometimes in conflict with math, but Bohr believed that all he needs," said Heilbron. "These four formulations Boru not only serve to define the borders of their speculations. He believed that each contains an element of truth, and therefore has an obligation to take everything into consideration, ie accept even if they are contradictory. The principle of inclusion at all costs, he became almost a religious rule. "
Standard Pine religion is not sympathetic. His mother was Jewish, which is not a practicing religious customs, Lutheran atheist father. As a guy, Niels attempted to accept the religion but soon found that she could not pass the test of logic and science. When this is the one occasion showed his father, this just laughed. This episode is described fiancee, "My courage is roaring at me, out of control, out of control, I finally know that now and I think I can."
Heilbron see in the beginning of Bohr's remarkable intellectual path.
"The encouraging smile man she admired most in the world made me feel that it belongs to the few who think freely, regardless of the standard beliefs that govern their class or culture, time or place," notes Heilbron.
Encouraged, not only thought, but he did it in a way others could think of. For him, the classical physics of uđžbenicima "far from the truth as microworld and conventional religious beliefs of the real importance of life," said Heilbron.
Bohr accepted the weirdness of the quantum world is not a heresy that should be avoided, but as a key solution to the problem. Calmness with which he approached the contradictions enabled him to formulate explanations of quantum paradoxes that have withstood the test of experiment, though many after his death in 1962. year.
Towards the end of life Boron is respected as the greatest nuclear physicist in the world. I still think that's another great physicist of all time, second only to Einstein. The legend of it was developed the 1920s and 1930s, as young scientists of all nations came to study at his institute in Copenhagen. Right there in the mid-1930s, formulated the first clear picture of the physics inside the atomic nucleus. Soon after, in collaboration with the American physicist Đžon A. Wheeler, Bohr came up with a theoretical explanation of the process of nuclear fission. Bohr atom was then finally fully constructed.
Wheeler once said that he wanted to study in Copenhagen because Bohr saw further into the future than others. How is that going for me Boru has puzzled others in much the same way that atoms are baffled physicists before Bora. Its penetration into the quantum reality it is mysterious as the strange mixture of quantum and classical physics in the hydrogen spectrum.
Perhaps, says Heilbron, his personal letters recently made public, offer new material for speculation about the Bohr genius and intellectual creativity in general.
And he adds: "His genius may not be repeated. Because, as Einstein once said, it's amazing what the mind is the Bohr did show up. "

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