New Mathematical Methods to Bring Classical Physics Closer to Quantum Physics
Changes in mathematical
language used in classical physics to allow randomness and indeterminism will help
bring classical physics closer to
quantum physics, according to a physicist at University of Geneva, Switzerland.
The observations made in the journal Nature Physics pointed out that classical Physics or Newton's physics was deterministic. It was believed that everything about the universe was determined since the Big Bang. The evolution of the world is explained by mathematical equations that describe the world as unfolding from these initial conditions in the most precise way. For this, physicists employ the language of classical mathematics and represent these initial conditions by real numbers. “These numbers are characterised by an infinite number of decimals that follow the dot”, says Nicolas Gisin, professor emeritus at the Department of Applied Physics, UNIGE’s Faculty of Science and the author of the observation. |“This implies that they contain an infinite amount of information.” Such typical real numbers are far more numerous than numbers that have a name, such as Pi, and consist of a series of decimals that are completely random.
To circumvent the impossibility that the finite contains the infinite, the professor has suggested the mathematical language used in classical physics so that it is no longer required to use real numbers. Instead, physicists can use intuitionistic, which doesn't believe in the existence of the infinite. Intuionistic mathematics represents numbers as a random process that takes place over time, one decimal after the other so that at each given moment there is only a finite number of decimals and therefore a finite amount of information. “ This solves the contradiction of classical physics, which uses infinity to explain the finite”, adds Prof Gisin.
In classical maths, a proposition is either true or false according to the law of excluded middle but in intuitionistic maths, there is a third possibility of indeterminate which is much closer to our every day experience than the most absolute determinism advocated by classical physics.
“Some people endeavour to avoid it at all costs by involving other variables based on real numbers. But in my opinion, we shouldn’t try to bring quantum physics closer to classical physics by attempting to eliminate randomness. Quite the opposite: we must bring classical physics closer to quantum physics by finally incorporating indeterminacy”, says the Geneva-based physicist.