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PhiNotPi's avatar

Can the universe function without quantum mechanics?

Asked by PhiNotPi (12647points) October 17th, 2010

Is it possible that our universe could function with only classical laws? Would atoms still exist? Or would the would universe lose structure and callapse? Could any universe exist with classical laws? I know that there is not really a correct answer, but what are your opinions.

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15 Answers

janbb's avatar

It seems to me that the universe exists with what it exists with and we either discover its rules or we don’t. Or maybe I’m not understanding the question fully, which is entirely possible.

the100thmonkey's avatar


Quantum mechanics is a description.

One might ask whether English could function without grammar.

Cruiser's avatar

In reality it’s Quantum Mechanics that can’t function without the universe.

josie's avatar

The universe simply is. Everything else is what we discover about it. And it will continue whatever we discover.

CaptainHarley's avatar

The universe and quantum mechanics are inseperable parts of the whole. It makes no sense to ask if the universe could exist without it. They are each other.

Paradox's avatar

All quantum physics is based on the study of subatomic particles that make up atoms such as electrons, quarks and such. These subatomic particles are really energy however and not actual physical matter. The short answer to your question here is no. Without quantum physics nothing would even exist in our Universe today.

wundayatta's avatar

Science fiction covers this issue fairly often. The point is that there could have been different values for the constants we find in our universe. Our kind of life couldn’t exist under other alternative values. One story I read posited that there could be a multi-verse in which every possible set of values for these constants exists in at least one universe.

If this multi verse exists, it’s not clear if we will ever find out that our universe has company. If the rules were different in our universe, it’s also not clear how that difference would change the way life looks.

Jeruba's avatar

The universe is the universe and is not dependent on what we learn about it.

Quantum mechanics and all other theories and disciplines are human constructs. They influence our own understanding and nothing else. The universe seems to have survived very nicely before there were any human constructs and through millennia of right and wrong ones. It is likely to continue doing so.

Human constructs are still evolving, but they won’t change the universe.

ETpro's avatar

No. Newtonian physics would mean that electrons actually would have to be tiny orbiting particles instead of a mix of particle and wave. As such, they would slowly lose their momentum and thus orbital paths would decay and they would collide with the protons in the nucleus of the atom. Stars wouldn’t be able to maintain nuclear reactions to resist the gravitational pull of their mass, and they would collapse into black holes. No Universe as we know it could possibly exist without quantum mechanics.

AstroChuck's avatar

Only if you don’t observe it.

YARNLADY's avatar

Of course it could. The English language would simply have to come up with some other word to describe it. I suggest aggregate basic building blocks.

kess's avatar

The universe exist by one classical Law, it is called the law of Life.

One will either discover it and Live it or else die the death.

This is how the universe perpetuates and sustains it own existence,
by showing the law of Life to all.
Those who are of life will see it and cling to it.

The other will serve Life in their own way, but particularly as death.

For since the beginning death has been the good and faithful servant of Life.

dabbler's avatar

Without quantum mechanics, who fixes your quantum when it breaks down? Are you just going to toss it in the landfill and get a new one every time?

ETpro's avatar

Automobiles actually run better without quantum mechanics. Universes—not so much. Nothing we understand today as Newtonian and relativistic mechanics would even exist without the underpinning of quantum mechanics.

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