Chapter 3 Discussion Questions

The following questions are addressed in this chapter. They are better discussed in a group to allow a variety of opinions to emerge. The relevant section link is given after each question:

1. What is the mystery of light? (QR3.1.1)

2. According to current physics, is light made of waves, particles, or both? (QR3.1.2)

3. In Young’s experiment, does a photon go through both slits or just one? Give reasons. (QR3.1.3)

4. Bohr’s Copenhagen view lets the quantum world exist for calculations but nothing else. What is the problem with this? (QR3.1.4)

5. Can counterfactual events that didn’t happen define physical outcomes? Give reasons (QR3.1.5)

6. What proves for sure that light is a wave? (QR3.2.1)

7. What does it mean to say that we are three-dimensional “Flatlanders”? (QR3.2.2)

8. Can light waves vibrate in a physical direction? If not, in what direction then? (QR3.2.2)

9. Why hasn’t light slowed down, even after traveling for billions of years in space? (QR3.2.3)

10. If light is a wave that travels in empty space, what mediates it? (QR3.2.3)

11. Why can nothing ever travel faster than light? (QR3.2.4)

12. What does every photon in the electromagnetic spectrum have in common? (QR3.3.1)

13. What is energy in processing terms? (QR3.3.2)

14. Why does all energy come in Planck units? (QR3.3.3)

15. If a quantum wave is a processing wave, how does it spread? (QR3.4.2)

16. Why is it wrong to say that a photon “has” a quantum wave? (QR3.4.3)

17. Will hidden variables ever explain why photons hit a screen at random points? (QR3.5.1)

18. Is a photon a wave, a particle, or both? If both, how can that be? (QR3.5.2)

19.How can a quantum wave collapse instantly to a point, regardless of its spatial extent? (QR3.5.2)

20. Why does a photon wave always deliver all its energy instantly at a point? (QR3.5.2)

21. How can a photon go through both Young’s slits but still hit the screen at a point? (QR3.5.3)

22. Why does a photon’s probability of existence depend on its quantum wave power at that point? (QR3.5.3)

23. What causes quantum randomness? (QR3.5.3)

24. Why can’t physics explain how light always finds the shortest path? (QR3.6.2)

25. How does a photon always find the shortest path to any destination? (QR3.6.3)

26. Why is a photon’s spin on any axis always the same? (QR3.7.1)

27. Why does a filter that blocks horizontally polarized light not block vertically polarized light? (QR3.7.2)

28. How can a photon of polarized light pass entirely though a filter nearly that blocks most of it? (QR3.7.3)

29. How can physically incompatible quantum states occur at the same time, i.e. superpose? (QR3.8.1)

30. Can Schrödinger’s cat be both alive and dead? Explain. (QR3.8.2)

31. According to quantum theory, observation creates physical reality, so is life just a dream? (QR3.8.2)

32. Does the delayed choice two-slit experiment prove that time can flow backwards? (QR3.8.3)

33. How can a photon choose the physical path it took to reach a detector after it arrives? (QR3.8.3)

34. How can a photon of light detect an object on a path it didn’t travel? Is this physically possible? (QR3.8.4)

35. How do entangled photons instantly affect each other faster than the speed of light? (QR3.8.5)

36. Is the physical world distinguishable from a hologram? Why does quantum realism require it to be so? (QR3.8.6)

37. If there no evidence for the multiverse, why do so many physicists accept it? (QR3.9.1)

38. What is the long-sought boundary between the quantum world and the physical world? (QR3.9.2)

39. What is the quantum paradox? How has physics handled it? (QR3.9.3)

40. How does quantum realism resolve the quantum paradox? (QR3.9.4)

41. If quantum entities exist mostly in an unmeasured state, what makes this state “unreal”? (QR3.9.5)

42. Does quantum theory describe unreality or reality? Give reasons. (QR3.9.6)