Quantum physics. Fisica Cuantica

'Quantum physics is considered by many to be the single most important advance in our understanding of the universe. This video introduces you to quantum physics via the double-slit experiment and the concept of wave-particle duality.'

La física Quantica es considerada por muchos como el avance más importante de nuestra comprensión del universo. Este vídeo presenta a la física quantica vía double-slit experimento y el concepto de wave-particle duality.


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A mystery exists! Galaxies do not seem to have enough mass for stars to orbit at their observed speeds. Galaxies should be flying apart, but they don't. Why not? Explore the surreal world of dark matter - one of the universe's greatest mysteries.

Shedding Light on Dark Matter

Over the last few decades, physicists have discovered that around ninety percent of every galaxy in the universe is made of an unseen substance called dark matter. Damian Pope, PIs Senior Manager of Scientific Outreach, comments, Its currently one of the hottest topics in physics. The module provides teachers with tools to show how dark matter was discovered, to explain why it remains a mystery, and to share the passion of scientists who are trying to discover what its made of.
In astronomy and cosmology, dark matter is a form of matter that is undetectable by its emitted electromagnetic radiation, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter and background radiation. According to present observations of structures larger than galaxies, as well as Big Bang cosmology, dark matter accounts for the vast majority of the mass in the observable universe.

Dark matter was postulated by Fritz Zwicky in 1934, to account for evidence of "missing mass" in the orbital velocities of galaxies in clusters. Subsequent to then, other observations have indicated the presence of dark matter in the universe, including the rotational speeds of galaxies, gravitational lensing of background objects by galaxy clusters such as the Bullet Cluster, and the temperature distribution of hot gas in galaxies and clusters of galaxies.

Dark matter plays a central role in state-of-the-art modeling of structure formation and galaxy evolution, and has measurable effects on the anisotropies observed in the cosmic microwave background. All these lines of evidence suggest that galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and the universe as a whole contain far more matter than that which interacts with electromagnetic radiation: the remainder is frequently called the "dark matter component," even though there is a small amount of baryonic dark matter. The largest part of dark matter, which does not interact with electromagnetic radiation, is not only "dark" but also, by definition, utterly transparent.

The vast majority of the dark matter in the universe is believed to be nonbaryonic, which means that it contains no atoms and that it does not interact with ordinary matter via electromagnetic forces. The nonbaryonic dark matter includes neutrinos, and possibly hypothetical entities such as axions, or supersymmetric particles. Unlike baryonic dark matter, nonbaryonic dark matter does not contribute to the formation of the elements in the early universe ("big bang nucleosynthesis") and so its presence is revealed only via its gravitational attraction. In addition, if the particles of which it is composed are supersymmetric, they can undergo annihilation interactions with themselves resulting in observable by-products such as photons and neutrinos ("indirect detection").

Nonbaryonic dark matter is classified in terms of the mass of the particle(s) that is assumed to make it up, and/or the typical velocity dispersion of those particles (since more massive particles move more slowly). There are three prominent hypotheses on nonbaryonic dark matter, called Hot Dark Matter (HDM), Warm Dark Matter (WDM), and Cold Dark Matter (CDM); some combination of these is also possible. The most widely discussed models for nonbaryonic dark matter are based on the Cold Dark Matter hypothesis, and the corresponding particle is most commonly assumed to be a neutralino. Hot dark matter might consist of (massive) neutrinos. Cold dark matter would lead to a "bottom-up" formation of structure in the universe while hot dark matter would result in a "top-down" formation scenario.

As important as dark matter is believed to be in the universe, direct evidence of its existence and a concrete understanding of its nature have remained elusive. Though the theory of dark matter remains the most widely accepted theory to explain the anomalies in observed galactic rotation, some alternative theories such as modified Newtonian dynamics and tensor-vector-scalar gravity have been proposed. None of these alternatives, however, has garnered equally widespread support in the scientific community.

This presentation is available to educators on DVD and comes complete with specially-crafted teacher notes.



Quantum Entanglement - The Weirdness Of Quantum Mechanics

Quantum entanglement, also called the quantum non-local connection, is a property of a quantum mechanical state of a system of two or more objects in which the quantum states of the constituting objects are linked together so that one object can no longer be adequately described without full mention of its counterpart—even if the individual objects are spatially separated in a spacelike manner.

The property of entanglement was understood in the early days of quantum theory, although not by that name. Quantum entanglement is at the heart of the EPR paradox developed by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen in 1935. This interconnection leads to non-classical correlations between observable physical properties of remote systems, often referred to as nonlocal correlations.

Quantum mechanics holds that observables, for example spin, are indeterminate until some physical intervention is made to measure an observable of the object in question. In the singlet state of two spin, it is equally likely that any given particle will be observed to be spin-up or spin-down.

Measuring any number of particles will result in an unpredictable series of measurements that will tend to a 50% probability of the spin being up or down. However, the results are quite different if this experiment is done with entangled particles. For example, when two members of an entangled pair are measured, their spin measurement results will be correlated.

Two (out of infinitely many) possibilities are that the spins will be found to always have opposite spins (in the spin-anti-correlated case), or that they will always have the same spin (in the spin-correlated case). Measuring one member of the pair therefore tells you what spin the other member would have if it were also measured. The distance between the two particles is irrelevant.

The Cassiopeia Project is an effort to make high quality science videos available to everyone. If you can visualize it, then understanding is not far behind.


The Dark Side of the Cosmos

Much of the picture of cosmic evolution, called standard cosmology, is well grounded in fundamental physics, but makes up only part of the story. Standard cosmology involves detailed models, whose predictions agree with, and explain, much of what astronomers see. However, there are a growing number of observations that are deeply puzzling.

For example, a number of independent astronomical observations have provided strong evidence for the existence of vast quantities of matter that do not emit or reflect electromagnetic radiation of any type (visible light, microwaves, gamma rays, etc), and thus cannot be seen. It is called dark matter. How do we know it's there? Even though we cannot see it, it exerts very clear gravitational influences on the matter and radiation we can see.

For example, Albert Einstein's theory of space, time, and gravity, called general relativity, tells us that any gravitating mass (the Sun, a galaxy, a cluster of galaxies, etc.) warps the spacetime around it in such as way that a light ray passing nearby is deflected. Gravity bends light. Astronomers find that the amount of bending around, say, a typical cluster of galaxies, is far greater than can be accounted for by the visible mass in the cluster. There appears to be a great deal of invisible mass. Current data suggests that there is more than five times as much dark matter as ordinary matter (atoms) in the universe. What is dark matter made of, and can it be detected in laboratories here on Earth? An intense, worldwide effort is currently underway to try to answer these questions.

Another profound puzzle stems from astronomical observations indicating that the cosmic expansion of space is happening at an accelerating pace. But in a universe with only matter (dark or otherwise), gravitational attraction would slow down the expansion, just like a ball, thrown upwards, slows down due to Earth's gravitational pull. The acceleration can be explained by the assumption that the universe is filled with an unusual form of energy called dark energy that makes up 70% of the universe's total energy. But what, exactly, is this dark energy, and how does it fit in with the rest of physics? To date, no one knows the answer



The Standard Model of Particle Physics

El modelo estándar de la física de partículas es una teoría que describe las relaciones entre las interacciones fundamentales conocidas entre partículas elementales que componen toda la materia. Es una teoría cuántica de campos desarrollada entre 1970 y 1973 que es consistente con la mecánica cuántica y la relatividad especial. Hasta la fecha, casi todas las pruebas experimentales de las tres fuerzas descritas por el modelo estándar están de acuerdo con sus predicciones. Sin embargo, el modelo estándar no alcanza a ser una teoría completa de las interacciones fundamentales debido a que no incluye la gravedad, la cuarta interacción fundamental conocida, y debido también al número elevado de parámetros numéricos (tales como masas y constantes que se juntan) que se deben poner a mano en la teoría (en vez de derivarse a partir de primeros principios).

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