Vedral, Vlatko Department of Atomic and Laser Physics, Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:March 2019
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- Fundamental tenets of quantum mechanics
- Uncertainty principle
- Wave-particle duality
- Disagreement with classical physics
- Nonrelativistic and relativistic quantum mechanics
- Incompatibility with general relativity
- Applications of quantum mechanics
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The highly successful theory describing the behavior of subatomic particles and atoms. Developed to explain experiments in the second half of the nineteenth century and firmly established by the early twentieth, quantum mechanics precisely describes nature on its smallest scales and energy levels (Fig. 1). Through quantum field theory, quantum mechanics explains the interactions of matter and energy according to three of nature’s four fundamental forces: electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force, with the exception of gravity. The standard model of particle physics, a framework for these three natural forces and their particle carriers, has accordingly been constructed using the equations and insights of quantum mechanics. See also: Atom; Atomic nucleus; Atomic physics; Electromagnetism; Energy; Gravity; Matter (physics); Physics; Quantum (physics); Quantum chromodynamics; Quantum electrodynamics; Quantum field theory; Quantum theory of matter; Standard model; Strong nuclear interactions; Weak nuclear interactions
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