Thus the unfacts, did we possess them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude


What is an electron? […]

Danish physicist Niels Bohr’s answer, in 1927, epitomized his beloved concept of complementarity: in some circumstances electrons are best described as particles, with definite positions; in others as waves, with definite momenta. Either description is valid and useful, yet according to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle they are mutually exclusive, as positions and momenta cannot be known accurately at the same time. Each depiction captures an aspect of the electron’s nature, but neither exhausts it.

Modern quantum theory reinforces Bohr’s conclusion that what you see depends on how you choose to look. […]

Theoretical calculations have become intricate, now including fluctuations in fluctuations in fluctuations. […]

Attempts to pin down an electron’s position more accurately than this require, according to the uncertainty principle, injecting so much energy into the electron that additional electrons and anti-electrons get produced, confusing the issue.

{ Frank Wilczek | PDF }

related { First particle containing four quarks is confirmed }

fiberglass and pigment { Anish Kapoor, Void, 1989 }