7th August 2006 – Quantum Mechanics for Dummies

Professor George Lafferty from Manchester University.


Incredibly, for such a complex and weird subject, Professor Lafferty was rated for “Enjoyment” by the audience at 4.8 (where 4.0 is good and 5.0 is excellent) when he introduced us to the basics of QM. He also covered some of the incredibly accurate but weird stuff that it forecasts and which is real.

Was your car in the garage this morning or had it “leaked” through the wall into the garden? Can a particle go from A to B without going over some points on its path? Incredibly the answer is yes. And what about Schrödinger’s cat- both dead and alive?? If a rifle was as accurate as QM you could aim it at an amoeba on the moon and hit it every time. Probability plays a clear role – but how can it be so accurate when we’re not even sure what’s going to happen? Prof Lafferty gave a masterly description of what is the most weird and most proven theory ever. Without it, there would be no computers, transistors, TVs.  But can this be “real“?  It’s not difficult to understand but it is difficult to believe and no-one seems to know why it is like it is; you just have to get used to it.


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