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Atoms, quanta, and qubits: Atomism in quantum mechanics and information
  • Vasil Penchev
Vasil Penchev
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

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The original conception of atomism suggests “atoms”, which cannot be divided more into composing parts. However, the name “atom” in physics is reserved for entities, which can be divided into electrons, protons, neutrons and other “elementary particles”, some of which are in turn compounded by other, “more elementary” ones. Instead of this, quantum mechanics is grounded on the actually indivisible quanta of action limited by the fundamental Planck constant. It resolves the problem of how both discrete and continuous (even smooth) to be described uniformly and invariantly in thus. Quantum mechanics can be interpreted in terms of quantum information. Qubit is the indivisible unit (“atom”) of quantum information. The imagery of atomism in modern physics moves from atoms of matter (or energy) via “atoms” (quanta) of action to “atoms” (qubits) of quantum information. This is a conceptual shift in the cognition of reality to terms of information, choice, and time