Pure mathematics behind the mechanics

Feb 07, 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 In 2002, this programme was superseded by the Innovational Research Incentive Scheme, in which Veni Vidi and Vici grants are awarded to outstanding researchers.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: The maths of congestion—springs, strings and traffic jams

Related Stories

Architects to hatch Ecocapsule as low-energy house

1 hour ago

Where people call home depends on varied factors, from poverty level to personal philosophy to vanity to community pressure. Ecocapsule appears to be the result of special factors, a team of architects applying ...

California farmers agree to drastically cut water use

4 hours ago

California farmers who hold some of the state's strongest water rights avoided the threat of deep mandatory cuts when the state accepted their proposal to voluntarily reduce consumption by 25 percent amid ...

Apple may deliver ways to rev up the iPad, report says

5 hours ago

MacRumors last month said that the latest numbers from market research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker revealed Apple stayed on as the largest vendor in a declining tablet market. The iPad ...

Recommended for you

Top UK scientists warn against EU exit

May 22, 2015

A group of leading British scientists including Nobel-winning geneticist Paul Nurse warned leaving the European Union could threaten research funding, in a letter published in The Times newspaper on Friday.

How we discovered the three revolutions of American pop

May 22, 2015

Dr Matthias Mauch discusses his recent scientific analysis of the "fossil record" of the Billboard charts prompted widespread attention, particularly the findings about the three musical "revolutions" that shaped the musical la ...

User comments : 0

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.