Coming attractions – Quantum stuff for dummies

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Well it had to come didn’t it?

I’ve had a whinge over the mis-use of the word ‘quantum’ so many times now, that I feel obliged to say a few words about it myself. I’ve prepared a primer on quantum stuff in the ‘for dummies’ tradition – written for dummies, by a dummy, some might say.

Quantum physics is a wonderful human achievement, but because of its complexity and difficult interpretation, the concept is open to abuse, both intentional and unintentional – it sounds ‘sciencey’, and who’s going to challenge you?

Those who choose to misuse it intentionally are generally those who have some belief that has no basis, and so appropriate the quantum’s explanatory power – the classic example is homeopathy, but it has been used for countless other forms of magical thinking, and often by unscrupulous con-men.

In fact, to demonstrate how easy it is to do this, I wrote my own tongue-in-cheek piece called  Quantum Religion and R-Theory.

So, this is my attempt to demystify it a bit, and at the very least, enable you to better assess the piles of quantum-crap generated by the new-age mystics, homeopaths, and other charlatans.

Let’s see how we go.

I’ve broken the article up into several small parts, which I’ll publish weekly, and I’ll link them together for ease of navigation. At the moment the structure is as follows, but may change from time to time:

  1. The Basics
  2. Interpretation
  3. Applications
  4. Origins of the Universe

I’ve also tried to keep it as non-technical as possible and to describe things in simple terms. As much as I would like to display my staggeringly good grasp of this subject, I’ve resisted the urge.

As always, if you have any feedback on the above, please don’t hesitate to send it in.

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4 thoughts on “Coming attractions – Quantum stuff for dummies

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