Quantum Physicists - Journey From Magick to Engineering

While the phenomena and qualities of the micro universe appeared to physicists at first to be magical, they learnt to calculate more and more correctly over time and eventually tame this magical world, despite the fact that they did not fully comprehend it. 

Their intellectual journey led scientists to a theory called quantum theory, which described observable occurrences in the micro universe using wholly new rules and ideas. 

With this theoretical foundation, physicists were no longer magicians, but scientists—and eventually engineers—as the new theory allowed for the development of numerous remarkable and occasionally terrible technology. 

When scientists applied their quantum physical theories to the atomic nucleus, the first of these phenomena emerged. They found there was a huge amount of latent energy within it. 

Physicists had to deal with the breakdown of their own established methods of thinking during the years when the world around them was tossed into disarray by two world wars and entire cities were bombed by the warring parties. 

And from this strange new hypothesis sprang a device capable of destroying entire cities in one fell sweep. Even while scientists debated the bizarre and occasionally horrific qualities of the micro universe away from the public view, quantum physics made its first debut on the global stage, and with a very real and loud explosion. 

The atomic bomb was the first technical application of quantum physics, and it was the most terrifying weapon ever used by the military. How did such a horrific weapon come to be? 

The atomic nucleus has been recognized to be made up of fundamental particles with a positive electric charge since Rutherford's discovery in 1912. (protons). Like-charged particles repel each other, as we learned in school. 

So, how can atomic nuclei stay stable? The atomic nucleus's numerous protons should fly apart! 

Another force has to work attractively and strongly enough to balance the electric force at relatively short distances inside the atomic nucleus. Physicists, on the other hand, had no notion what that force could be.

Then there was still another quantum riddle to solve! 

Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner, two German physicists, conducted experiments with uranium nuclei in 1938 to learn more about the mysterious force in the atomic nucleus. 

Depending on the isotope, the uranium nucleus has 92 protons and 143 or 146 neutrons. 

Uranium nuclei were blasted with delayed neutrons, resulting in the formation of two extremely distinct elements: barium and krypton. Radiochemical methods were used to quickly identify barium atoms, which have an atomic number of 56 and are less than half the mass of uranium nuclei. 

How did that happen? 

Using theoretical quantum physical calculations, Meitner concluded that the neutron bombardment had split the uranium nuclei into pieces, and the fragments absorbed a large amount of energy, far more than any other previously known atomic process. 

But whence did this vitality originate? 

Another conundrum. The two nuclei that resulted from the fission (together with three neutrons) weighed somewhat less than the initial uranium nucleus plus the neutron that caused the fission, according to Meitner. 

What had happened to the bulk that had vanished? 

The famous formula E = mc2, developed more than 30 years ago, came into play at this point: the difference in total mass before and after the fission matched perfectly to the energy that the pieces had received. 

This was the first known procedure in which Einstein's equation for the equivalence of energy and mass was plainly shown. At the same time, it became evident that these atoms had tremendous energy! Given the continuing conflict, the existence of so much energy in such a short region rapidly piqued the military's interest. 

The American administration assembled a team of senior scientists and technologists in complete secrecy (not even the Vice President was briefed). The Manhattan Endeavor's purpose was to build an atomic weapon, which was the most complicated and demanding engineering project ever performed at the time. The scientists had a good time. 

The first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945, at a test facility in the New Mexico desert.

Its power outstripped even the most optimistic physicists' predictions. They were alarmed, though, as the massive nuclear mushroom cloud came on the horizon. 

As subsequently stated by Robert Oppenheimer, the Manhattan project's director, he invoked a passage from Indian mythology's "Bhagavad Gita": 

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." 

Kenneth Bainbridge, one of his colleagues and the test director, put it even more bluntly: 

"Now we are all sons of bitches." 

Their dissatisfaction was quite deserved. Only three weeks later, the second atomic mushroom appeared, this time over Japan's sky, followed by the third only two days later. 

From the scientific discovery of nuclear fission to the atomic mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, just seven years had gone. 

With the invention of the atomic weapon, quantum physics lost its purity from the beginning.

 Physicists had to comprehend that their quest for knowledge had the potential to destroy not only the dominant worldview, but the whole planet.

You may also want to read more about Quantum Computing here.

What Is Artificial General Intelligence?

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is defined as the software representation of generalized human cognitive capacities that enables the ...