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Understanding quantum mechanics [quiz]

Mechanics is that part of physics concerned with stuff that moves, from cannonballs to tennis balls, cars, rockets, and planets. Quantum mechanics is that part of physics which describes the motions of objects at molecular, atomic, and sub-atomic levels, such as photons and electrons.

Although quantum mechanics is an extraordinarily successful scientific theory, on which much of today’s tech-obsessed lifestyles depend, it is also completely mad. The theory quite obviously works, but it appears to leave us chasing ghosts and phantoms, particles that are waves and waves that are particles, cats that are at once both alive and dead, lots of seemingly spooky goings-on, and a desperate desire to lie down quietly in a darkened room.

The madness is nothing new. Those who nursed quantum mechanics through its difficult birth and early childhood knew full well what they were getting themselves into, and endlessly debated its interpretation and meaning. Although the science has moved on, and we now know much more than we did a century ago, many of these debates remain unresolved. As the charismatic American physicist Richard Feynman once claimed, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.”

Some knowledge of its history helps to understand why Feynman felt justified in making this claim. So, how well do you know your quantum history? Take this quiz find out.

Featured Image Credit: Shanadat Rahman via Unsplash

Recent Comments

  1. Alexander DeSantiago

    Your “quiz” never shows, your tiny description does, but no quiz. Its been like from the first.

  2. Sadam Hussain

    I wan to learn quantum mechanics

  3. Grayce

    There is no actual quiz on this page. Lots of white space. Was this a joke?

  4. Alexis Chacon

    Beautiful description, but I would be surprizing with the claim of understanding Quantum Mechanics….

  5. Annonymous

    I feel proud that I scored 6/20 as a 1st year Uni student.

  6. MKSidhu

    yoo im in grade 9 and i got 4 of those questions right. lmao is that good for a grade 9 person. Quantum Mechanics is honestly so fascinating to learn about!

  7. El gato de Erwin

    Nice quizz, a few criticism:

    1) Many of the question are about the “history of QM” not about QM per se.

    2) Some of the questions are ambiguous, too vaguely expressed.

    3) Too heavily orientated about the “philosophical” side. Almost nothing about a “practical” , shut-up-and-calculate POV

  8. Xinhang Shen

    The claim of the charismatic American physicist Richard Feynman: “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics” means that quantum mechanics is totally wrong. Its fatal error is the interpretation of the wave in the particle wave duality as the wave of probability while probability is not a physical substance but a mathematical concept which can’t vibrate to form waves, just like saying the wave of number, the wave of sum, the wave of derivative, etc, without any meaning.

    The culprit of this fatal error is special relativity which denies the existence of aether which makes physicists think vacuum is a completely empty space. With the existence of aether, we can see that the wave in the particle-wave duality is the wave of aether which is a fluid medium filling up the entire visible space of the universe and delivering all electromagnetic phenomena including light because every particle is bathed in aether and its motion always generates the wave of aether.

    Now, special relativity has been disproved both theoretically and experimentally (see https://www.researchgate.net/publication/297527784_Challenge_to_the_Special_Theory_of_Relativity ).

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