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 In 2002, this programme was superseded by the Innovational Research Incentive Scheme, in which Veni Vidi and Vici grants are awarded to outstanding researchers.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: Single photon decision-maker solves multi-armed bandit problem

Related Stories

One step closer to a new kind of computer

September 16, 2015

An international group of physicists, including Aleksandr Golubov, head of the MIPT Laboratory of Topological Quantum Phenomena in Superconductor Systems, recently presented results of experiments testing a new phenomenon ...

Quantum computing will bring immense processing possibilities

September 2, 2015

The one thing everyone knows about quantum mechanics is its legendary weirdness, in which the basic tenets of the world it describes seem alien to the world we live in. Superposition, where things can be in two states simultaneously, ...

Seeing quantum motion

August 28, 2015

Consider the pendulum of a grandfather clock. If you forget to wind it, you will eventually find the pendulum at rest, unmoving. However, this simple observation is only valid at the level of classical physics—the laws ...

Recommended for you

Chimpanzees shed light on origins of human walking

October 6, 2015

A research team led by Stony Brook University investigating human and chimpanzee locomotion have uncovered unexpected similarities in the way the two species use their upper body during two-legged walking. The results, reported ...

The hand and foot of Homo naledi

October 6, 2015

The second set of papers related to the remarkable discovery of Homo naledi, a new species of human relative, have been published in scientific journal, Nature Communications, on Tuesday, 6 October 2015.

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

Who you gonna trust? How power affects our faith in others

October 6, 2015

One of the ongoing themes of the current presidential campaign is that Americans are becoming increasingly distrustful of those who walk the corridors of power – Exhibit A being the Republican presidential primary, in which ...


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.