Pure mathematics behind the mechanics

February 7, 2008

Dutch researcher Peter Hochs has discovered that the same effects can be observed in quantum and classical mechanics, if quantisation is used.

Whereas classical mechanics describes how balls fall, pendulums swing and the Earth revolves around the Sun, quantum mechanics describes extremely small things such as atoms and does not in the slightest bit resemble its classical cousin.

At least not on the face of it. Quantisation is a technique that allows the relationship between classical mechanics and quantum mechanics to be studied: if we know how it works in classical terms then can we say something about how it works in quantum mechanics?

Hochs' research focused on the role played by symmetry in classical and quantum mechanics: this symmetry allows the matter to be simplified, so-called reduction. Hochs has demonstrated that in certain cases quantisation commutes with reduction. This means that the simplification you can perform if symmetry is present has the same effect in both quantum and classical mechanics.

Hoch's research was part of one of the last Pioneer projects of NWO Division for Physical Sciences. In 2002, this programme was superseded by the Innovational Research Incentive Scheme, in which Veni Vidi and Vici grants are awarded to outstanding researchers.

Source: NWO

Explore further: Oxygen atoms create detailed architectures in uranium dioxide, altering our understanding of corrosion

Related Stories

Macroscopic quantum phenomena discovered in ice

July 21, 2015

(Phys.org)—Scientists have discovered an anomaly in the properties of ice at very cold temperatures near 20 K, which they believe can be explained by the quantum tunneling of multiple protons simultaneously. The finding ...

Density-near-zero acoustical metamaterial made in China

July 14, 2015

When a sound wave hits an obstacle and is scattered, the signal may be lost or degraded. But what if you could guide the signal around that obstacle, as if the interfering barrier didn't even exist? Recently, researchers ...

Recommended for you

French teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth (Update)

July 28, 2015

A 16-year-old French volunteer archaeologist has found an adult tooth dating back around 560,000 years in southwestern France, in what researchers hailed as a "major discovery" Tuesday.

Oldest known Koran text fragments discovered

July 23, 2015

Two pages of text written on parchment that are believed to be sections of the Koran (Chapters 18 and 20) have been discovered by a PhD student in a British university library and are believed to be the oldest ever found. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.