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In other words, what's the maximum size of a Quantum denizen upto which it shows Quantum behaviors? How big do I need to create a molecule (or, collection of molecules) so that Feynman's multiple path and multiple history would no longer be applicable to it? In a sense, Feynman's multiple path and multiple history should be applicable to macroscopic system producing Quantum Decoherence, but I am talking about a molecule which could show interference with Multi-slit Diffraction Experiments.

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    $\begingroup$ The boundary between the quantum and the macroscopic world doesn't necessarily stay in the dimension of the objects. Of course, until now one didn't obtain interference with pieces of chalk or pebbles. But interference fringes yes were obtained with molecules of tetra-phenyl-porphyrin, which is a biomolecule, and fluorofullerenes. The experiments were done not with the 2slits, but with gratings (repeated slits). The main idea was, as these molecules are quite massive, to obtain for them very, very small velocities, so as to get a sufficiently big wave-length. $\endgroup$ – Sofia Jan 12 '15 at 2:30
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    $\begingroup$ The boundary between the microscopic world and the macroscopic world is the mesoscopic world of course! $\endgroup$ – David H Jan 12 '15 at 6:23
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe interesting: df.uba.ar/users/giribet/f4/interference.pdf. $\endgroup$ – Martín-Blas Pérez Pinilla Jan 12 '15 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ @sofia That looks like an answer, not a comment. $\endgroup$ – sammy gerbil Apr 7 '18 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ @sammygerbil So what? Anyway, my answer below is more detailed. $\endgroup$ – Sofia Apr 8 '18 at 20:33
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It is very difficult to say where is the boundary in dimension of objects, between the classical and quantum behavior. The surprising fact is that we are not even sure if the boundary stands in the dimensions of the objects. And it is not exactly true that "you can apply Quantum Mechanics to macroscopic systems, but the effects are negligible and thus experimentally undetectable with current technology".

The main problem in obtaining interference with big objects is that their wavelengths are terribly small. If the object is by orders of magnitude bigger than its wavelength we won't see interference.

Until now one didn't obtain interference fringes with objects as big as pieces of chalk or pebbles, but yes we obtained with very big and complicated molecules as tetra-phenyl-porphyrin, which is a biomolecule, and fluorofullerenes. In these experiments the major idea was to get for the molecules, very, very small velocities, s.t. the wavelength be sufficiently big. The experiments were done not with two slits, but with gratings (repeated slits).

Let me add an important fact. The internal state of these molecules is very complicated, s.t. the surprising feature was that it couldn't be guaranteed that molecule after molecule had exactly the same internal states. Despite that, interference was obtained. The figures below will give you some idea on the complication of these molecules.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The issue of the limit between the quantum world and the macroscopic world, is under current intense investigation, see in the arXiv quant-ph the articles and experiment reports of Prof. Marcus Arndt.

fluorofullerenes

porphyrin

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  • $\begingroup$ The main problem in obtaining interference with big objects is that their wavelengths are terribly small. If the object is by orders of magnitude bigger than its wavelength we won't see interference. ~> Maybe, you should elaborate on this. If it's correct, isn't it possible to deduce that size theoretically? $\endgroup$ – Schrödinger's Cat Jan 12 '15 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ @SachinShekhar , Too soon to decide on size. This domain is in research. As I said, the fact that interference was obtained even if the strict identity of the internal structure of the molecules is not guaranteed, is a very surprising fact, very encouraging. There are 3 major factors in these experiments: obtain coherent beams of molecules (or objects that we study), reduce their transversal linear momentum s.t. the wavelength exceed their linear dimension, and build suitable gratings, i.e. with sufficiently small grating constant, and resistant to bombardment by the molecules. $\endgroup$ – Sofia Jan 12 '15 at 12:17
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Theoretically speaking, you can apply Quantum Mechanics to macroscopic systems, but the effects are negligible and thus experimentally undetectable with current technology. General Relativity also applies to small systems, but the results are so close to Newtonian gravitational theory that the discrepancies are experimentally undetectable with current technology. An overlapping zone where both Quantum Mechanics and General Theory of Relativity can be applied because they are significant is in a black hole and during the beginning of the big bang, because the gravitational effects are huge and because the space is small quantum effects become significant.

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  • $\begingroup$ You misinterpreted the question. See the update. $\endgroup$ – Schrödinger's Cat Jan 12 '15 at 2:27

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