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Thread: Atoms

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Grey has added to what I said in post 20. It will be clear that those finite non zero probabilities are not testable in human timescales. So do these rare events ever happen or is there another principle limiting the tunneling?
    It's absolutely true that there's no way to really test this. It's a pretty extended extrapolation from the things we are able to test.

    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    If you interpret belief as an information manifestation, our model does not allow that information to coordinate quantum events. Or to put it another way we cannot by belief alter those probabilities in order to walk through walls.
    This is also true. As far as we can tell, quantum tunneling (and quantum behavior in general) is fundamentally random. There's no way to predict or alter whether a specific particle will tunnel through a barrier; we can only describe that behavior statistically. And there's certainly no evidence that belief or thought can affect those probabilities in any way.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  2. #32
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    we could add that while the probability of many atoms passing through barriers is very low, the number of accidental experiments in everyday life is very large. While examples of tunneling abound in electronics, we do not find objects starting to embed into tables. there are billions of objects touching others without blending and where things do stick there are adequate reasons without tunneling having happened.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    we could add that while the probability of many atoms passing through barriers is very low, the number of accidental experiments in everyday life is very large. While examples of tunneling abound in electronics, we do not find objects starting to embed into tables. there are billions of objects touching others without blending and where things do stick there are adequate reasons without tunneling having happened.
    I think we're bad at comprehending probabilities when they are very low. When I say that it's many orders of magnitude higher than the lifetime of the universe, I really mean that. If you work out the probability for macroscopic objects tunneling through walls, the chance really is so phenomenally tiny that you shouldn't expect it to ever be observed, even if the conditions are exactly right and the experiment is performed trillions of times every second for trillions of times the age of the universe.

    Mostly, I just wanted to address the question that often seems to be asked: if electrons can spontaneously tunnel through impenetrable barriers, why can't people teleport through walls the same way? And the answer is that, technically, they can, but it would have to happen randomly, and the chance of it happening is so tiny that we shouldn't expect to ever see it happen.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

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