"So, how does quantum mechanics relate to us, then?"
The Question everyone asks. The science is all very well, interesting and everything, but where does it go? Into more Large Hadron Colliders? Into 'defence'? Who are the ones who need to know on a subject inviting a huge audience, defended by mathematicians, opening doors to a realm of reality we know virtually nothing about?
Let's check out the reality we do know something about. Messy and turbulent, a sea of relationships sailing in and out of time zones and occasionally getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle. That place songwriters wax lyrical over where there's no space and time while scientists struggle with words that seem over-empathic for quantum bits.
The messy sea of relationships battles moment by moment with itself, see-sawing between what one sees versus the other, one's impact on the other's roll, standing waves of stand-off with nothing in between. Love Is, that horrendous struggle to stay on top, of what? Ourselves? Someone else? Someone's parent? Someone's child? We don't want to lose control, but we lose control without a moment's hesitation, to have to regain it again, within or without, or both at the same time - baulking the Uncertainty Principle. Meanwhile, it seems that telepathy isn't a wild and crazy assertion after all, but a proven phenomenon, and can happen to you:
These waves we ride, this Entropy, the decay of a system that should stay as it is, right and true, are all we know. We surf a sea of uncertainty continuously, declaring wit to be compassion, strength to be fulfilment of a wealth that has everyone by the balls because it can. Because once upon a time there were shekels of silver and bullocks to sacrifice to a god that didn't care, really, what they did, so they went on doing it, spoiling each other's tents. Every time they repented on killing their neighbours, they went back to bullocks and shekels and earned themselves the freedom to go do it all over again.
We haven't learned much, since this is still happening. We keep talking about 'a god within us' and 'god particles' and trying to keep gods out of the conversation if we're being physicists wanting a sensible conversation. Keeping a belief system out of an equation is a non-starter. Look at the equations and the descriptions surrounding them. The mathematician believes that provided he keeps adding another symbol to a previous set of symbols, he is going to come up with an answer. He is writing Code for himself in an effort to decipher the world that exists around his desk, in his brain, his eyes, his hands. His thoughts. His particle version of humanity.
Wave-particle duality ensures that the version of he, me, you, them out there that existed just now are now a wave form, and will be until the next moment arrives and is gone, advanced and retarded ad infinitum. Uncertainty ensures the next moment won't be like any that have gone before, nor can be exactly as imagined. Imagination brings things into being, makes castles in skies into realities that look very different, makes love a place of safety for a moment, before fear crashes in to sever the connection.
What is imagined has already happened.
Nothing the same way twice.
Entanglement ensures the connections won't be severed in any way other than ordained by the pattern. The order of things. The symmetry. The paradox. For if vision is his only validation, most of our lives are not real. That's probably the only line we need to know, right now.
Uncertainty - In Principle
For a hundred years, Uncertainty has been a cornerstone of quantum mechanics, preventing the measurement of two factors at once. Werner Heisenberg, who first proposed the Principle, needed to explain that the position and momentum of a quantum object (such as an electron) could not be determined simultaneously. If you are measuring one, you cannot concurrently measure the other.
Now, Uncertainty has had an extension built, and the doors are open for further interpretation. Truly, after so many decades of fierce opposition to any extrapolation of the U.P., scientists have come round to the idea that the matter of inescapable fuzziness in the quantum world may well hold keys to other mysteries in Nature. Should you look up 'Expanded Uncertainty' on your search engine, you'll find a lot of maths and very little else, so rather than send you to links that are full of numbers, I'd like to invite you to join an expedition into unchartered territory.
We know that Nature doesn't like straight lines, or symmetry, or identical versions of things. Nature likes uniqueness, asymmetry, and fractal patterns. All natural objects, including snowflakes and sand grains, are unique. That's not to say that randomly across the desert there wouldn't be one or two granules that match, but if you were to look closely at their atomic structure, you would most likely find a difference in there somewhere.
This video explores the ramifications of the Uncertainty Principle and its extensions, wherein your own world may benefit from the opportunities it represents.
Kathy is the author of Quantumology. She met up with quantum mechanics in 1997, pledging allegiance to its sources thereafter. These are her personal thoughts and testimonies.