Quantum physics might sound strange, but it’s not as weird as you think. At the smallest level of atoms and electrons, quantum physics explains how tiny things behave. We use it in many everyday things like solar panels, LED lights, mobile phones, and MRI scanners in hospitals.
In the quantum world, objects can be in two places at once, move through barriers, and have a connection no matter how far apart they are. These properties seem weird compared to what we know about everyday objects like tennis balls. But if you think of atoms and electrons as waves instead of tiny balls, it becomes less surprising.
Let’s explore three key quantum phenomena that water waves can also do, and one thing that makes the quantum world different.
Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle
– Imagine throwing a tennis ball, and you can track its position and velocity. But if the ball is as small as an atom, you can’t track it precisely. This is Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.
– Waves, like water waves, also have limitations. You can’t know their position and wavelength with 100% precision. Waves always cover a range of positions and consist of a range of wavelengths.
Superposition and Entanglement
– Quantum objects can be in two places at once in a superposition of states. Waves can also be in two places simultaneously, like when a wave splits and flows through two channels.
– Entanglement is when two waves are linked, and their properties depend on each other. This is similar to making waves in oil and vinegar, where their wavelengths are connected.
– Quantum objects can pass through barriers with some probability, known as tunneling. This is like throwing an atom at a wall and finding it on the other side.
– Water waves can also tunnel through a barrier in your bathtub. If a wave hits a wall at a glancing angle, it can bounce back or even magically reappear on the other side if the wall is thin enough.