History of the Universe

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Quantum Mechanics

The science of how nature behaves on a very small scale is called quantum mechanics.

It began with the observation that when electrons are contained within atoms, their energy levels are limited to certain discrete values. Hence the name quantum derived from the Latin word "quantus" meaning "how much".

Elsewhere we describe how electrons behave like clouds, and this is one example of quantum mechanics. The study of this branch of physics seems counter intuitive, and is therefore difficult to understand. For example a particle can be in more than one place at the same time. Also it is impossible to measure simultaneously both the momentum and position of a particle.

The laws of quantum mechanics are incompatible with the laws of relativity.

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