December 20, 2007 12:55 PM Subscribe
quantum physics. what am I not getting?
posted by nihlton to Science & Nature (48 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
my understanding of quantum physics is that on the really small scale, our traditional laws of physics aren't so cut and dry so we had to develop probability models for how stuff will behave in order to make testable predictions. is that even approaching accurate?
if its not pretend my question is a request for a layman's explanation for quantum physics. If its close enough, read on for my actual question...
isn't that kind of lazy science?
I mean, my understanding is that in traditional physics, nothing is random. coin tosses, dice rolls, all of it can be predicted if you've got enough data. seems counterintuitive that this would change just because you're getting really small.
appearances aside - it seems to me sort of defeatist to say "stuff happens that we don't expect. there is no way we can know how or why, so lets just gather enough data to be able to say how its probably going to happen next time" Like if we never understood how gangrene happened, but instead of searching for the cause, we developed a probabilistic model for how and when it would strike. quantum pathology? that would never fly.
are we even still looking for the forces or effects that cause discrepancies at the quantum scale?
I don't know, maybe this question is silly and I don't understand the science well enough, but it seems like just declaring something unknowable and moving on isn't very scientific at all.