Difference between duality and superposition in physics

This is a follow-up on an earlier posting titled “Meaning of Duality in Physics.” I request that you read that article first. The reason is that the the meaning of “duality” in physics is very different from the common meaning of “duality” used in spiritual philosophy.

There are multiple descriptions of physical reality. These descriptions are not necessarily equivalent but if they are then we call those “dual theories.”

physics duality: seemingly different but equivalent views of physical reality from different vantage points.

The “quantum superposition” is a physics concept too. Some students think that “quantum superposition” is somewhat similar to “physics duality.” I wanted to  correct this misconception. On the contrary, these concepts are fundamentally different.

quantum superposition: a quantum system exists in multiple states simultaneously but no vantage point is specified. This is the key difference between the “physics duality” and the “quantum superposition.” The quantum superposition is a very special view of the physical reality because it has no vantage point. You might say that all possible vantage points are included in a quantum superposition.

Please see this article for an explanation of the quantum superposition.


About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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