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Does a puzzling quantum scenario violate the conservation of energy?


Quantum mechanics is weird but this weird?

The quantum physicists Sandu Popescu, Yakir Aharonov and Daniel Rohrlich have been troubled by the same scenario for three decades.

It started when they wrote about a surprising wave phenomenon called superoscillation in 1990. “We were never able to really tell what exactly was bothering us,” said Popescu, a professor at the University of Bristol. “Since then, every year we come back and we see it from a different angle.”

Finally, in December 2020, the trio published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explaining what the problem is: In quantum systems, superoscillation appears to violate the law of conservation of energy. This law, which states that the energy of an isolated system never changes, is more than a bedrock physical principle. It’s now understood to be an expression of the fundamental symmetries of the universe — a “very important part of the edifice of physics,” said Chiara Marletto, a physicist at the University of Oxford.

Physicists are divided as to whether the new paradox exposes a genuine violation of the conservation of energy. Their attitudes toward the problem depend in part on whether individual experimental outcomes in quantum mechanics should be considered seriously, no matter how improbable they may be. The hope is that by putting in the effort to resolve the puzzle, researchers will be able to clarify some of the most subtle and strange aspects of quantum theory.

Katie McCormick, “Puzzling Quantum Scenario Appears Not to Conserve Energy” at Quanta (May 16, 2022)

If the scenario really violates the Law of Conservation of Energy, all bets are likely off about evolution issues of any type. Most likely, though, there is another explanation.


The paper is open access.

You may also wish to read: Expert claims: Standard Model of physics is broken Hinting that new particles or even forces of nature may influence the process.

i’m the idiot of the village here , i only have a 12th grade
Hans Rosling showed that the more one was educated, the more likely one was wrong. Comment is right on. jerry
Hello , i'm the idiot of the village here , i only have a 12th grade . If this interpretation of quantum phenomena violates the Law of Conservation of Energy , in what ways all bets are likely off about evolution issues of any type . The issue about life is information , not extra energy , there are no chemical/physical process that can generate genetic information it seems . Claude Pariseau

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