Clash of Though Between the Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

In the field of physics, there is always a clash of though between relativity and quantum mechanics. Some scientists believed that there is a direct relationship between both theories which both of it will work together. However, others concluded that both laws are totally different because it was used to describe or calculate different things. Quantum is used to describe the matter which is very small such as an atom etc whereas relativity is used to describe the gigantic object in our universe like the expanding space, or even the powerful force – gravity, and many others. In research nowadays, both relativity and quantum mechanics show a great difference between them one of the both theories is built on the same calculating base. However, the outcome is totally unlike. The aim of 21st-century physic’s goal was to achieve a new theory or law which was combined by both quantum mechanics and relativity.

Quantum theory was best to describe when a uranium atom decays, or when individual particles of light hit a solar cell. Quantum mechanics was founded by few scientists. However, Werner Heisenberg, a 1900s German physicist was the most important pioneer of quantum mechanics who turned of the century in the laws of black body radiation. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 for the creation of quantum mechanics. Right before Werner published his study, Max Planck played an important role in quantum mechanics. He found out that any energy-radiating atomic system can theoretically be divided into a few discrete 'energy elements' ε (epsilon) such that each of these energy elements is proportional to the frequency ν with which each of them individually radiates energy, as defined by the following formula: ε =hv where h is a numerical value called Planck's constant. Therefore, the photoelectric effect by electromagnetic radiation can be divided into a finite number of 'energy quanta' that are localized points in space which causes the emission of electrons from a metal plate caused by light quanta (photons) with energy greater than the work function of the metal. Physicists routinely measure the quantum phenomenon of entanglement by sending entangled pairs of photons from one location to another. In these experiments, the sender and receiver must both measure the polarisation of the photons, whether vertical or horizontal, for example. But that can only happen if both parties know which direction is up.

General relativity is the single most influential theory in modern physics as it was a beautifully accounting for gravity and all the things it dominates: orbiting planets, colliding galaxies, the dynamics of the expanding universe. In 1905, Albert came out with the first idea of Relativity. Einstein proposed that objects such as the sun and the earth chance this geometry when there’s present of matter and energy. Newton’s first law stated that an object will remain at rest or in a uniform straight direction when there’s no external force were given. Albert Einstein determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers and that the speed of light in a vacuum was independent of the motion of all observers. This was the theory of special relativity. It introduced a new framework for all of physics and proposed new concepts of space and time. The motion of bodies whose relative velocities approach the speed of light c, or whose kinetic energies are comparable with the product of their masses m and the square of the velocity of light, or mc2. Minkowski discovered the four-dimensional space-time world which is an invariant under the Lorentz transformation. Instead of the ordinary time t, the imaginary quantity u=ict is introduced, the behavior of the space and time coordinate is formally completed in the Lorentz group. X2+y2+z2-c2t2. Therefore, space and rime shouldn’t be separated but to consider the four-dimensional space-time manifold. Relativity can be separated into two part which is general relativity and special relativity. The most important existence of special relativity had enabled us to have better studies and understanding the distant star. Both theories were built upon the equivalence principle. The equivalence principle, which states that gravity pulling in one direction is equivalent to acceleration in another. Therefore, an accelerating elevator provides a feeling of increased gravity while rising and decreased gravity while descending. If gravity is equivalent to acceleration, then it means gravity (like motion) affects measurements of time and space.

The main difference between quantum mechanics and relativity are mostly divided into 3 parts. In the view of quantum, the electron doesn’t move around in a straight line/ route or orbit around the nucleus as it bounces from place to place which is known as in the pattern of waves. However, relativity represents that electron orbits around the nucleus as there is a force acting toward the center of the atom which will hold the electron around them. Quantum theory and laws of relativity had 4 types of force which cannot be aligned such as Gravitational force, Electromagnet force, Strong nuclear force, and Weak nuclear force. Relativity often caused the twisted of time when traveling at the speed of light, the formation of wormholes and black holes. All the example above was done by the change of gravity.

Apart from the theoretical part, the background of both laws is different because the physical calculations of both were using the similar law of maths. Both theories can be calculated in the form of Matrix, (AB)t g(AB). From the calculation, quantum shows that an atom cannot be split or separated because it’s unit us the smallest. In contrast, atom can be split in a continuous manner which formed unlimited atom. Therefore, relativity showed that there’s only one possible outcome which determines the answer is correct for most of the time. Whereas, the outcomes from quantum cannot be confirmed as there’s too many possible outcomes. From the calculation above, it is clearly stated relativity is more commonly used in our daily life because all we need is an accurate answer. But, we can’t abandon quantum mechanics because some question doesn’t have the exact correct or wrong answer.

From the view of dimension, quantum is usually defined as three-dimensional while according to Kaluza's theory attempts to connect the ten gravitational potentials gik of Einstein and the four electromagnetic potentials φi with the coefficients γik of a line element of a Riemannian space, which besides the four usual dimensions also contains a fifth dimension which was known as time. Relativity also works perfectly well as a low-energy effective quantum field theory. One of the examples is sound waves which also known as phonons. The phonons field at wavelengths is shorter than the inter-atomic distances and it only used low energies. These particles cannot propagate far, and so the exchange of high mass particles occurs over a very short distance. The high mass particles can also generate loop effects, including divergences, in the couplings of light fields.

In conclusion, The General Theory of Relativity remains the single strongest theory in modern physics, and one of the few that almost everyone, from all walks of life. However, Quantum physics was not wrong, Einstein thought, it was simply incomplete. The way forward for physics now rests with attempts to combine the theory of relativity (the theory of the very large, which describes one of the fundamental forces of nature, gravity) with quantum theory (the theory of the very small, which describes the other three fundamental forces, electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, and strong nucleus force. Physicists have found promising candidates for a theory of quantum gravity, from loop quantum gravity with its discrete space-time structure to string theory. so far none of these candidates give a complete answer to the question of quantum gravity. The question of how a union of general relativity and quantum theory should look like – a theory of quantum gravity – has not yet found a complete and convincing answer. And if this question remains unanswered, so do several the most fundamental questions physics can ask: What happens inside a black hole? What happened at the very beginning of the universe as we know it? 


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29 April 2022
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