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Professor Pan Jianwei Compares Quantum Mechanics to Monkey King

Pub Date:17-06-01 14:44 Source:www.china.org.cn

The essence of quantum mechanics can be compared to the replications of the Monkey King whose body can be multiplied after blowing one of the hairs plucked from his body, said Pan Jianwei, the leading physicist for the invention of the world's first quantum computer which outpaces conventional computers.

Pan Jianwei, the leading physicist for the invention of the world's first quantum computer which outpaces conventional computers. [File photo]

Pan, also an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, made his remarks while addressing the School of Physics of Zhejiang University at the university's 120th anniversary ceremony on May 22.

Although, to the eyes of many, the science of quantum sounds remote and obscure, Pan's analogy of the Monkey King has personified the complicated theory.

Like the Monkey King who can multiply himself simultaneously, a quantum can exit at the same time in different spaces in the quantum world.

A quantum can transmit object information through the invisible channel of the quantum to far-flung areas within a short time frame just as the Monkey King travels more than halfway around the world in one somersault.

The operation in physics is called quantum superposition and quantum entanglement, said Pan.

The quantum entanglement can be described as the "Schrodinger's cat," which stayed in a box containing a little bit of radiation from which the cat would either die or survive. It had a 50 percent possibility of each in the ensuing one hour. As long as the box is closed, people cannot know exactly whether it died or not. However, in the world of quantum, its life or death condition can be overlapped, the physicist explained.

To confirm whether the cat has lost its life, people need to open the box - the moment being called an observation or measurement, he added.

"Quantum mechanics is based on personal behaviors, values and criteria, with which they can influence the world," Pan continued.

According to the physicist, Isaac Newton's gravitational mechanics determined by the initial conditions of the particles and the system with which they are interacted, is the theory of motion that can be calculated by the equation of f=ma (force equals to the multiplication of mass and acceleration).

"It separates individual fate from the power of personal endeavor," Pan said.

To further elaborate the theory, Pan made a metaphor between quantum physics and rolling dice. If a man plays the dice in Hangzhou, his friend in Hefei, capital of Anhui Province, may know the exact number by looking at the dice in his own hands.

"The entanglement resembles the interaction among people. As a man in Hangzhou feels happy or sad, his friend in Hefei will soon become sanguine or depressed," said the scientist.

The science of quantum physics has undergone a huge transformation when it is applied to semiconductors, atomic energy, nuclear magnetic resonance, laser and Global Positioning System (GPS).

The quantum information technology guaranteed by consolidating security measures and strong arithmetic capacities is already a favorite among global scientists.

China has already established a wide spectrum quantum optical fiber line to facilitate the communication between Beijing and Shanghai with the utilities both for citizens and military troops as a result of its high credibility and resilience for extension.

On August 16, 2016, China launched the first Quantum Satellite -- Mozi, experimenting on long-distance connections between the earth and space. The quantum technology is expected to improve the accuracy and precision in the application of submersible positioning, medical detection and gravitational wave tests.


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