Quantum mechanics (QM) is a set of principles describing physical reality at the atomic level of matter (molecules and atoms) and the subatomic (electrons, protons, and even smaller particles). These descriptions include the simultaneous wave-like and particle-like behavior of both matter[1] and radiation[2] ("wave–particle duality"). In the quantum mechanics of a subatomic particle, one can never specify its state, such as its simultaneous location and velocity, with complete certainty (this is called the Heisenberg uncertainty principle — see its formula in the box to the right).

Even so, classical physics often can be a good approximation to results otherwise obtained by quantum physics, typically in circumstances with large numbers of particles (some questions remain open, however, in the field of quantum chaos).

The particle/wave experiment where the observer affects the outcome, done in cartoon form for knuckle heads.

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