WHAT IS MATTER?
WHAT ARE INTERACTIONS?
Where the existence of a minimal change is deduced,
implying that motion is fuzzy,
that matter is not permanent,
that boxes are never tight,
that matter is composed of elementary units
and that light and interactions are streams of particles,
thus explaining why antimatter exists,
why the floor does not fall but keeps on carrying us,
why particles are unlike condoms,
why empty space pulls mirrors together
and why the stars shine.
QUANTA OF LIGHT AND MATTER
16. An appetizer – quantum theory for poets and lawyers
Natura [in operationibus suis] non facit saltus.∗
Escalating Motion Mountain up to this point, we have completed three main legs. We first
ncountered Galileo’s mechanics, the description of motion for kids, then Einstein’s
relativity, the description of motion for science fiction enthusiasts, and finally Maxwell’s
electrodynamics, the description of motion valuable to craftsmen and businessmen.
Figure of orchidea to be inserted
Figure 225 An example of a quantum system
These three classical descriptions of mo-
tion are impressive, beautiful and useful.
However, they also have a small problem:
they are wrong. The reason is simple: none
of them describes life. When we observe
a flower, we enjoy its bright colours, its
wild smell, its soft and delicate shape or
the fine details of its symmetry. None of the
three classical descriptions can explain any
of these properties nor the working of our
senses. Classical physics can partly describe
them, but it cannot explain their origins. For
an explanation, we need quantum theory. In
fact we will discover that every type of pleas-
ure in life is an example of quantum motion.
Just try; take any example of a pleasant situ-
ation, such as a beautiful evening sky, a waterfall, a caress or a happy child. Classical physics
is not able to explain it.
In the beginning of physics this limitation was not seen as a shortcoming: in those times