By Mark P. Silverman
Initially released in 1993, this booklet of essays is a principally nonmathematical account of a few of the unusual behaviour, either classical and quantum, exhibited through relocating debris, fluids and waves. Drawn from the author's researches in quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, electromagnetism and optics, gravity, thermodynamics, and the physics of fluids, the essays describe assorted actual platforms whose behaviour provokes shock and demanding situations the mind's eye. There are unusual tactics for which no visualisable mechanism might be given; approaches that appear to violate basic actual legislation, yet which actually don't; techniques which are superficially good understood, but change into subtly devious. The essays handle questions or controversies from whose answer emerge classes of common value concerning the secret and fascination of movement. somebody with a easy physics heritage or with an curiosity within the primary questions of physics will locate this booklet of use.
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Extra info for And Yet It Moves: Strange Systems and Subtle Questions in Physics
It is definitely present, although not distinct, after a few thousand (squinting helps). After several tens of thousands of electrons the fringes stand out boldly; except for the wavelength scale they are indistinguishable from the fringes produced by light under comparable experimental conditions. One electron volt, or l e v , is the energy acquired by an electron falling through a potential difference of 1 volt. An energy on the order of lOeV is required to ionise a hydrogen atom; this is roughly the energy scale at which chemical and biological proeesses occur.
Scepticism in science, if not also in the arena of everyday life, is a healthy attribute to the extent that it reflects an openminded willingness to be convinced by new facts. That is how science advances. What, finally, can one say about the interpretation of the AB effect regarding the fundamentality of electromagnetic fields o r potentials? In quantum theory the electromagnetic potentials are no longer merely secondary fields that facilitate computation; they are needed at the outset in order that the theory be invariant under gauge transformations.
By contrast, the exposure time of the Hitachi experiment was about one hour. The inadequacy of any explanation of interference phenomena based on the mutual interaction of electrons (or, as the case may be, photons) was noted by P. A. M. Dirac in his Principles of Quantum Mechanics, the Bible of quantum mechanics for several generations of physicists7. According to Dirac (page 9): On the assumption that the intensity of a beam is connected with the probable number of photons in it, we should have half the total number of photons going into each component.