# Thread: Simulating quantum effects with classical mechanics

1. Is it theoretically possible to simulate any quantum effects with classical mechanics, if there are no time and processing power constraints? In quantum mechanics, special mathematics is needed to include effects related to time, superposition etc. But can we still theoretically simulate all of this with perfect accuracy on a classical computer?

The classical computer simulation should have all the effective internal interaction and the results of the simulation should be effectively the same, just the speed of events and the underlying physical form of events would differ.

The classical computer would lack a quantum random number generator but a separate quantum random number generator could be used for that purpose. Although does the source for the random number generation make any difference if we just want to simulate possible events and end results ie. it's enough if the system just recreates everything that effectively has the same kind of chance to produce the same events and end results?

A simulation of a simple quantum effect interaction probably doesn't have any fundamental difference to a complex one, the latter would just require more processing power?

2.

3. Originally Posted by jimhoyle
Is it theoretically possible to simulate any quantum effects with classical mechanics, if there are no time and processing power constraints? In quantum mechanics, special mathematics is needed to include effects related to time, superposition etc. But can we still theoretically simulate all of this with perfect accuracy on a classical computer?

The classical computer simulation should have all the effective internal interaction and the results of the simulation should be effectively the same, just the speed of events and the underlying physical form of events would differ.

The classical computer would lack a quantum random number generator but a separate quantum random number generator could be used for that purpose. Although does the source for the random number generation make any difference if we just want to simulate possible events and end results ie. it's enough if the system just recreates everything that effectively has the same kind of chance to produce the same events and end results?

A simulation of a simple quantum effect interaction probably doesn't have any fundamental difference to a complex one, the latter would just require more processing power?
I'm not sure what you are asking here. On the one hand, I would say that quite plainly if we could simulate quantum effects using only classical mechanics, we would not need Quantum Mechanics! So no, we obviously can't model QM at all accurately without, er, QM.

On the other hand, you seem also to be asking about "classical" vs. "quantum" computing. That is quite different. It is clear that QM can be and is modelled already using the existing mathematics of QM, on conventional computers. I suppose that is what you mean by "classical" computers. However there are, as always, practical limits to the complexity of the systems that can be modelled. I imagine quantum computers would add processing power, enabling more complex modelling to be feasible.

Or am I missing your point?

4. Originally Posted by exchemist
On the other hand, you seem also to be asking about "classical" vs. "quantum" computing. That is quite different. It is clear that QM can be and is modelled already using the existing mathematics of QM, on conventional computers.
Something like this ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_simulator

5. Wow that was a great link. The link doesn't deny that classical computer couldn't simulate quantum phenomena. It would just slow down exponentially. Maybe any larger simulations would therefore require more time than the lifetime of the universe. But it seems that it could still work for simple enough simulations. Or do you disagree?

Another question: if quantum phenomena is NOT required for the operation principle of a brain ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mind and see critisism), do you see any reason why a brain could not be constructed using only primitive mechanical parts. I mean something like combining mechanical binary calculators https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6KjaGpcFKo into a huge (HUGE) structure. And as in my first post, I mean that the time scale is not a problem. The mechanical brain would be very slow, but run the effectively same processes and produce same results. Input/output systems would be emulated mechanically as well. Crucial is that every single process would be functional in the mechanical brain, including whatever conscious processing consists of.

6. Originally Posted by jimhoyle
Wow that was a great link. The link doesn't deny that classical computer couldn't simulate quantum phenomena. It would just slow down exponentially. Maybe any larger simulations would therefore require more time than the lifetime of the universe. But it seems that it could still work for simple enough simulations. Or do you disagree?

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I am not the person to ask. I am just interested in the question and I googled that link.It is not information I am familiar with.

I am sure exchemist will have a better idea and maybe some others.

7. Originally Posted by jimhoyle
Is it theoretically possible to simulate any quantum effects with classical mechanics
I've simulated the quantum Zeno effect using an Excel spreadsheet.

8.

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