In human wisdom
Can be reasoned
By quantifying rational practicality?
Throughout the 20th century scientists and mathematicians have had to accept that some things will always remain beyond the grasp of reason. In the 1930s Kurt Gödel famously showed that even in the rational universe of mathematics, for every paradox that deep thinking slaps down, new ones pop up. Economists and political theorists found similar limitations to rational rules for organizing society, and historians of science punctured the belief that scientific disputes are resolved purely by facts. The ultimate limits on reason come from quantum physics, which says that some things just happen and you can never know why.
Yet events have taken a strange turn in the past decade. The very theory of quantum physics that seemed to box in human knowledge also proves to liberate us. It expands our knowledge not just of the physical world but also of ourselves. By enriching the rules of rational thought, it gets us out of dead ends where reason leads us. Taken in the broader framework quantum physics provides, human behavior may not be as irrational as the evening news makes it seem.
In quantum mechanics
Reflects a choice in antics
Of a photons directionality
[via Scientific American] Quantum objects are notoriously shifty. Take the photon, for example. The quantum of light can act as a particle one moment, following a well-defined path like a tiny projectile, and a wave the next, overlapping with its ilk to produce interference patterns, much like a ripple on the water.
Wave–particle duality is a key feature of quantum mechanics, one not easily understood in the intuitive terms of everyday experience. But the dual nature of quantum entities gets stranger still. New experiments demonstrate that photons not only switch from wave to particle and back again but can actually harbor both wave and particle tendencies at the same time. In fact, a photon can run through a complex optical apparatus and disappear for good into a detector without having decided on an identity—assuming a wave or particle nature only after it has been destroyed.
Physicists have shown in recent years that a photon “chooses” whether to act as a wave or a particle only when forced. If, for instance, a photon is steered by a beam splitter (a kind of fork in the optical road) onto one of two paths, each leading to a photon detector, the photon will appear at one or the other detector with equal probability. In other words, the photon simply chooses one of the routes and follows it to the end, like a marble rolling through a tube. But if the split paths recombine before the detectors, allowing the contents of the two channels to interfere like waves flowing around a pillar to meet on the other side, the photon demonstrates wavelike interference effects, having essentially traversed both paths at once. In other words, measure a photon like a particle, and it behaves like a particle. Measure a photon like a wave, and it acts like one.
Is this too a reflect
Of human wisdom?
Oh, I would say
It would definitely have to be.