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# Particles - waves

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posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 02:13 AM
I was thinking about this whole wave particle duality thing. Haven't you ever thought that there is something wrong with wave particle duality. We can all imagine an object as a particle, we can imagine waves. But it is difficult to form a mental image of a object that is both a wave and particle.
Take the theory of Matter waves for example. If matter is indeed also a wave, it means we should be able to defract it ! Surely how can you diffract something like a block of wood or any other piece of matter.
Perhaps wave particle duality is telling us that objects are neither waves or particles but some thing else.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 02:42 AM
Am I far off by saying waves of H2O are similiar?

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 05:29 AM
Wave particle duality sounds strange and is indeed hard to grasp, but it is a well tested theory. If it were not for wave-particle duality, we wouldn't have STMs. Also, you can see it on the macro-scale with that bridge that got rocked around like it was a flag (the bridge that was designed by the guy from WPI). Just goes to show we also have a wavelength, and actually the military is studying weaponry for this against humans.

And then of course there's famous experiments that won Nobel prizes, such as the photoelectric effect

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 09:09 AM
by reference to the super-string theory, you can try to imagine this:
- think about a little segment(a little immaterial wave) |------------| if you bend it enough, you can make a "vibrating" circle. For this, you need 2 dimensions
- now think about a little surface, still vibrating... if you bend it, you can make a sphere (again vibrating). For this, you need 3 dimensions
- finally you can extend this though to a volume (to imagine it vibrating, think about the sound propagating in the air, or the light since we speak about immaterial object). If you can "bend" it, you can obtain a plain ball or a particule. For this you just need 4 dimensions (I'm not speaking about time-dimension, of course).

it's maybe not the "reality"... but I hope it helps your immagination

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 09:27 AM

Originally posted by siddharthsma
But it is difficult to form a mental image of a object that is both a wave and particle.

It may be difficult for a person to play piano, until they spend enough time practicing.

There are plenty of things in science that are difficult to visualize, but such is the nature of the beast.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 04:09 PM
Maybe EVERYTHING is just waves of energy. No such ting as a 'particle' its just an illusion, but is kind of handy for us to think of. Electons ("particles") can be refracted - such as in a CRT monitor. I think it was deborglie (french scientist?) who worked on this one. Well anyway maybe everything is waves.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 04:13 PM
Compared to how things work on a quantum level wave/particle duality seems like a cake walk IMO. At quantum levels logic seems to fly right out the window.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 04:22 PM

Originally posted by Shakeyjc
Maybe EVERYTHING is just waves of energy. No such ting as a 'particle' its just an illusion, but is kind of handy for us to think of...

Well anyway maybe everything is waves.

But this fails to explain the photoelectric effect, among many many other known phenomena.

Harte

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 05:54 PM

Compared to how things work on a quantum level wave/particle duality seems like a cake walk IMO. At quantum levels logic seems to fly right out the window.

I would've agreed before I took a course in quantum mechanics. I think the physical interpretation may be a bit weird, but once you see the mathematical backing to it all, at least to me, it all made perfect sense.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 06:31 PM

Originally posted by T_Jesus
I would've agreed before I took a course in quantum mechanics. I think the physical interpretation may be a bit weird, but once you see the mathematical backing to it all, at least to me, it all made perfect sense.

Really math was never my strong point so that could be my problem. But when I hear that objects on the quantum level can exist in two places or states at the same time, or even arrive some place before it even left
I find that hard to understand

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 06:40 PM

Originally posted by siddharthsma
Haven't you ever thought that there is something wrong with wave particle duality?

It's a little problematic, sure. I mean, a wave has to consist of something that's waving, right? What's just a wave all by itself? A vibration in nothing. It's a little hard to conceptualize.

It does seem to work well with the experimental data, though. So what can you do? Maybe there's another way of looking at it. Something a bit more multi-dimensional. But it's just as hard to conceptualize matter in more than 3 dimensions.

I guess that's just the point at which my little monkey brain gives up. After that point, it all becomes mathematics, which is a pretty poor representation of what happens in "reality," whatever that is.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 07:53 PM

Originally posted by T_Jesus
I would've agreed before I took a course in quantum mechanics. I think the physical interpretation may be a bit weird, but once you see the mathematical backing to it all, at least to me, it all made perfect sense.

Really math was never my strong point so that could be my problem. But when I hear that objects on the quantum level can exist in two places or states at the same time, or even arrive some place before it even left
I find that hard to understand

Or how about an electron tunneling through classically impossible potential barriers? Hard to imagine, but once you see and derive equations and realize that it follows Ohm's Law and such, it makes sense how it could (and does) happen...

I think what many people need to realize is that it's all based on mathematical interpretation. That's why people never come up with just an idea - even Einstein came up with relativity through Maxwell's equations, and it was so easy to see too once you made a mathematical interpretation and simple postulates.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 07:56 PM
curse my sub-par math skills
Its really so fascinating IMHO. Through the Looking Glass type stuff

posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 03:11 AM
From Hyperphysics:

The wavelength of a 0.15kg baseball moving at 40m/s is 1.1x10^-34m. By comparison, atomic diameters are on the order of 10^-10m. On a practical level, this makes observation impossible.

The reason people (including physicists) have had trouble with understanding wave-particle duality is because almost everything in the universe usually exhibits characteristics predominantly of either a wave or a particle. Experiments with objects in the 'in-between' region, like electrons, have supported the wave-particle duality theory, however. Electrons are in the right range that we can experimentally observe both their particle characteristics, like by shooting them out of a cathode ray tube, as well as their wave characteristics, by diffracting them through a diffraction grating.

posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 05:16 AM
The problem with the Quantum world is that it just cannot be pictured physically. Atleast with our current knowledge. The development of Quantum mechanics has been about discarding classical ideas. Is the concept of waves or particles not a classical idea ? Maybe it is time we discard such ideas of waves and paricles.

Any one heard of wavicles ?

posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 11:21 AM
I audited the first half of a class last term related to quantum mechanics, specifically how it is applied to engineering devices. One of the things the prof repeated almost every lecture was that very idea, that quantum phenomena cannot be visualized, because we aren't capable of visualizing it. You can, he said, if you get good enough, become able to visualize the mathematics behind it, like understand how a differential equation works or something like that, but that's about as far as it can go, and even that is difficult.

Quantum mechanics doesn't actually discard classical ideas, as I understand it. QM has to be able to explain everything that happens in the macroscopic world, as well as things that happen in the quantum regime. For example, the famous schrodinger equation, because it applies to waves, and waves are particles (and vice versa) then the schrodinger equation should be able to be applied to larger objects as well as quantum sized things. If one hypothetically were to obtain a solution to schrodinger's equation for an object, and the predicted result disagreed with macroscopic observations, then that would mean the equation was wrong.

Wavicles are the name for the objects in the particle wave theory; it's just a word that means a thing that is a partICLE and a WAVe at the same time. (I assume siddhartsma knew that, as his question appears to be rhetorical, but others might not)

posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 11:42 AM
wave - persistant propagating evidence of an original particle...
particle - the time based origin single point of a propagating wave...

both wave and particle...
although this duality is easier to see with light, since it basically establishes the measurement of time.

Wait... what did i just say?
i either just channeled Carl Sagan, or had a small TSA...
haven't had coffee yet, so sorry to interupt...

facinating stuff really...

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