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Quantum Particles In Motion Can Still Travel Backwards ( 59

Quantum particles have a unique ability to travel in the opposite direction from their momentum. Or, as slew (Slashdot reader #2,918) puts it, "When pushed, quantum particles can fight back." slew writes: Who knew quantum particles were passive aggressive? It's subtle, but researchers "have shown that 'backflow' can always occur, even if a force is acting on the quantum particle while it travels. The backflow effect is the result of wave-particle duality and the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics..."

Dr Daniela Cadamuro, Researcher at the Technical University of Munich, said "The backflow effect in quantum mechanics has been known for quite a while, but it has always been discussed in regards to 'free' quantum particles, i.e., no external forces are acting on the particle."

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Quantum Particles In Motion Can Still Travel Backwards

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  • Zitterbewegung (Score:4, Informative)

    by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Sunday July 23, 2017 @11:01AM (#54862045) Journal
    It's been known for quite a while longer than the article suggests for relativistic particles. Zitterbewegung [] (which is German for trembling motion) was first suggested in 1930 by Schrodinger.
    • Why is this on slashdot? how did it pass the firehose?

      • Well, maybe it's a side effect. You know, to an observer, traveling backwards in space may appear to be traveling forward in space as they travel backward in time. So the more you push against these articles, the more will appear. Moral of the story? Don't feed the time trolls :-)

        Now where's my Tardis?

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Sunday July 23, 2017 @01:18PM (#54862555)

    When pushed, quantum particles can fight back.

    I teach my quantum particles to use their words ...

  • by Anonymous Coward


  • If you can have reverse flow with forward momentum seems like a way to explain the impossibility of a force being produced without a change in momentum. If you think about it other conservation laws are not violated in an EM drive. Energy is converted from electromagnetic to kinetic energy. When an electron in an atom absorbs a photon its speed and direction is changed however the electron must interact with something else like its atom to keep momentum constant. However if you allow reverse flow when every
  • It fascinates me, "quantum weirdness." I think it comes from quantum particles oscillating between a thin space and a thick space form. Thin space being space as we think of it, and thick space being what we call particles. When the thin-space collapses back to particle density it can do so at any point in the thin-space form probabilistically. Does the wave express this oscillation between densities? If the thin space collapses back to particle form on the other side of a barrier we would have "quantum tun

  • I'm not disputing the science of this, but articles like this one are really just pushing the cult of the "Quantum Mystery". QM is difficult to understand intuitively, not because it is a deep mystery, but because it involves a lot of very hard mathematics - functional analysis, Hilbert- and Banach spaces, Lie theory and so on, not to mention measure theory and Lebesgue integrals; and that is before you even attempt to involve relativity in any form. Unfortunately this has led to the rise of a sort of Quant

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