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SiriMurthy
2002-Jul-19, 05:05 PM
I was reading some introductory topics in Quantum Physics and I admit, it was very interesting (may be bizarre and fantastic?). Though dealt at subatomic level, I wonder, using Quantum Physics, we can prove that (intelligent) life exists on Moon, or on Mars, or even prove that psychic powers are real!!

What do you think?

Paul Unwin
2002-Jul-19, 05:25 PM
In the sense that more and more modern electronics exploit aspects of quantum mechanics, it's quite likely that any probe that proves the existance of life on Mars or elsewhere will depend on quantum mechanics.

I don't think psychic powers are even theoretically possible.

Quantum mechanics is really only bizarre if you try to explain it in classical terms. The math is really pretty straightforward, albeit tricky at times.

Wiley
2002-Jul-19, 09:00 PM
In general applying QM to macroscopic objects is difficult and possibly pointless. Macroscopic problems can not be solved analytically and must be done with computers. These problems get large quickly and our computers are just not powerful enough for direct methods and one must rely on stochastic methods. Also QM must reduce to classical mechanics in the macroscopic region, if not, QM is wrong. If this is the case, why not just use classical mechanics for macroscopic problems?

So returning to your question: Can QM be used to prove life exists on Mars? QM can't prove life exists on Earth. QM does not provide any definitions for life, so how can it prove life, any life, exists? This is well outside the range of QM's validity.




<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Wiley on 2002-07-19 17:00 ]</font>

GregL
2002-Jul-23, 06:00 PM
' I was reading some introductory topics in Quantum Physics and I admit, it was very interesting (may be bizarre and fantastic?).'

Yes. Even the experts have apparently remarked on how strange it is. But that doesn't mean quantum mechanics opens the door to overblown 'science fantasy' or mysticism.


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Though dealt at subatomic level, I wonder, using Quantum Physics, we can prove that (intelligent) life exists on Moon, or on Mars,
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I hate to rain on your parade, but there is no good evidence for either. The Moon is a geologically dead world with no water; carbon based life of any kind (except perhaps very hardy bacteria imported from Earth) is impossible. Mars is too dry and dessicated, and lacks a protective ozone layer amoung other things. Life of any kind there is likely to be restricted to extremophile bacteria.


'or even prove that psychic powers are real!!'

Some people have attempted to explain paranormal powers using quantum theory, as well as conciousness; but before absorbing these claims you should do a bit of 'critical thinking.' Skeptics like James Randi have shown a lot of those claiming to be psychics (like Uri Gellar) are in fact nothing more than clever magicians, whilst Martin Gardener and others have looked carefully at the 'evidence' for paranormal phenomena and found it full of sloppy research and personal bias. On top of that there are good explanations for how conciousness and the mind may work that don't resort on exotica from quantum theory (i.e. Daniel C. Dennett's 'Conciousness Explained' is a good place to start), much as I admire the theory and its power.

Sarcastronaught
2002-Jul-24, 09:44 AM
I wonder, using Quantum Physics, we can prove that (intelligent) life exists on Moon, or on Mars,

Use QP to prove that life exists on Mars? Yeah, why not. They've tried everything else and failed. Therefore, by deduction, QP must be the only way of proving that there is life on Mars. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif
Elementary, my dear Watson.

kucharek
2002-Jul-24, 10:40 AM
Well, quantum physics allows nearly anything, but most of it has a very, very, very, very, very, very low probability. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Sarcastronaught
2002-Jul-25, 04:12 AM
"Nothing's impossible, only statistically improbable," as Sean Connery once said.