Quantum Phenomena in Ordinary Activities & Objects
(Forbes) Quantum phenomena can be found find in surprisingly ordinary activities. Author Chad Orzel describes three quantum phenomena and their manifestation in our daily life.
Quantum Tunneling: One of the most surprising predictions of quantum physics is the phenomenon known as “tunneling,” in which quantum particles have some probability of turning up in places that, classically speaking, they just don’t have enough energy to reach. This has a surprisingly direct application to an everyday technology, though, in the form of a smoke detector.
Photons: The particle nature of light– which was conclusively shown to have wave nature in the early 1800s– was one of the most controversial features of quantum physics once it was introduced by Max Planck and Albert Einstein. Taking and sending pictures today is a quantum process that relies on the particle nature of light, because modern telecommunications networks rely on light pulses sent through optical fibers.
The Uncertainty Principle: The continued existence of solid objects is ultimately due to the Pauli exclusion principles, the weird phenomenon associated with spin that prevents multiple electrons from occupying the same state. This prevents solid objects from imploding to infinitesimal points with infinite negative potential energy.