General Relativity and Quantum MechanicsNovember 18th, 2019 by timgrindall
I’ve recently been reading a book titled “Relativity – The Special and General Theory” which is the book Albert Einstein wrote on his two theories of relativity. So far I’ve covered the General Theory of Relativity and am just about to move on to the Special Theory of Relativity. In reading this book, it got me thinking about an old thought of mine which is about the problem of reconciling Special Relativity (or maybe it was General Relativity) and Quantum Mechanics.
You see, Classical motions of bodies (i.e. planets, humans, cars, balls, cats, you get the picture) can be described in a classical sense because the relativistic principles effect is so small that it literally can’t be measured (except when it comes to atoms and electrons and such things). So there is no problem describing relativistic systems in classical ways.
In a similar way, the theory of quantum mechanics describes things in a way that allows for interesting things to happen at very small scales but at larger scales the quantum effects can not be measured at all. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think I got this right. So both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics have the same problem that made them so hard to discover in the first place and not very intuitive.
I’m not sure what my point is except that these theories of physics describe things that are not intuitive to the human brain or easy to find out but ultimately rule our universe. So even though sometimes things look bleak for physics or it looks like we haven’t made in breakthroughs in the realm of physics (i.e. a working theory of Quantum Gravity or Grand Unified Theory), eventually, if we stick to it, and keep exploring new ideas, we will find the answers.
So I don’t know if this helps you, but I find physics fascinating and would love to learn more (though not necessarily go through college for that) and find this very encouraging. If you found this interesting please let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to talk about it! (I think my comments section is working now).
On a side note, I find Einstein makes a great author and would have probably made a great physics professor as well (He was appointed a professor of theoretical physics in Germany for a few years, a position made just for him). His manner is non-condescending and human and relatively easy to understand. Although I didn’t totally understand the equations for the Lorentz Transformation perhaps I will at some point in the future.
I look forward to reading the rest of this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in physics and mathematics!
By the way, I know I said I would write a summary of the last book I read, “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World” which I just finished, but I will get to that soon so stay tuned.