Quantum Uncertainty and the Limit of Knowledge
Quantum mechanics has always fascinated me. It is the field of science in which science loses all intuitiveness–particles have probabilistic, not definite properties. This submicroscopic level is so beyond the grasp of our minds that even expert physicists have only a superficial understanding of its inner workings.
I recently read this article about Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle: http://news.yahoo.com/wacky-physics-uncertainty-uncertainty-principle-160401302.html In overly simplistic terms, the uncertainty principle states that the measurement of one attribute of a quantum particle (such as position) will decrease the accuracy of the measurement of another (such as momentum). Our observation affects what we observe.
The uncertainty principle is sometimes generalized to state there is a limit to how well we are capable of understanding the universe, that there is a limit to human knowledge. It is often the belief (or at least hope) of scientists that full understanding is possible and even inevitable with time, but could there really be a dead end in scientific progress? Will physics become a Sisyphean task? Will we ever give up, disappointed or stop, content in the knowledge we have gained?