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Q & A: intuition on quantum and relativity

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Most recent answer: 01/09/2011
Q:
Why did Einstein fuss about unintuitiveness of quantum physics but not about the speed of the same photon being constant as observed by two observes with different speeds? To me the photon's constant speed is just as absurd.
- Mehran (age 60)
Miami
A:
Intuitions are hard to understand, and not the same for everybody, so I can't really answer your question.

I will say that whatever our initial reactions, most people who study relativity end up finding it intuitively acceptable. In part that's because we can draw mental analogies to various ordinary issues in perspective and geometry. Quantum mechanics remains bizarre to almost everyone who studies it. Unlike relativity, it tends to seem stranger and stranger the more you think about it. At any rate, Einstein's intuitive belief that quantum mechanics was incomplete has not fared well in modern tests.

Mike W.

(published on 01/09/2011)

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