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Topic: Wave-Particle Duality  (Read 32477 times)

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Offline mrdeadman

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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2006, 01:47:17 PM »
some radiation is particles and it will still travel some distance in water.
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Offline rctrackstar2007

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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2006, 01:48:56 PM »
but to what distance could a particle travel into a thick medium such as water?

surely a particle like that would come to a stop before the ocean actually becomes black at a depth
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Offline xiankai

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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2006, 07:49:29 AM »
from what i think, light will get "absorbed" into the water molecules, because light is like energy quanta, so the electrons in the water molecules will be excited to higher states.
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Offline Dan

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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2006, 08:30:43 PM »
doesn't the theory of quantum mechanics say that everything is both a particle and a wave or am i just misinterpreting the definition

Well, it sounds good to me.

Wave particle duality suggests that the fundamental concepts of classical mechanics are false, in particular that waves and particles are not distinct entities - you simply have two ways of describing the same thing.
The problem is that everyone is brought up on classical physics, and so it is a difficult concept to get to grips with.
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Offline tamim83

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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2006, 07:45:09 PM »
Yeah, quantum theory is a very strange one. I read this very good book that talks about photons being at two places at one time and the fact that everything is a probability wave, until we turn around and observe it.  Strange, but there is enough proof for it. When you first encounter it you are so frustrated by it because it makes no freakin' sense to you, you are only used to the classical physical world.  I guess it becomes more understandable over time, once you get over the WTF moment  ;)

So light is both a wave and a particle, but we can only observe wave and particle properties of light separately.  That is, if we are looking to observe a wave prperty of light, that is what we will observe. 

Offline constant thinker

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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2006, 09:15:13 PM »
I'm still in the WTF!? moment. I'll read more on it when I have a more advanced knowledge of math, mainly calculus. Some of the equations I've seen have gone clear over my head.

When I first stumble upon quantum mechanics, I was only 11, so it made no sense at all.
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Offline Dan

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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2006, 07:11:52 AM »
I'm still in the WTF!? moment.

My "WTF? moment" lasted 2 years! For the first two years I treated quantum as a calculus exercise, with only a vuage idea about the physical consequences of the calculations. It's only in the last year or so that I have been able to understand (to a point) what it all means.

Someone wise once said that it is impossible to fully understand quantum mechanics, or something to that effect, but I can't remember who it was...

Actually I would compare understanding quantum with flying from one of the Hitchhikers guide books. You briefly fall through the world of quantum mechanics, but in order to stay suspended in it you have to you have to suddenly be distracted by something, and forget to come crashing down to hard ground of classical physics. No easy task.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2006, 07:19:31 AM by Dan »
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Offline xiankai

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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2006, 09:09:38 AM »
Quote
Someone wise once said that it is impossible to fully understand quantum mechanics, or something to that effect, but I can't remember who it was...

i have also seen that, but i cant exactly remember, though it was somewhat more of "no one can claim to understand all of quantum mechanics" :P
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Offline tamim83

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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #38 on: May 24, 2006, 09:12:02 AM »
Yeah, I still don't fully understand, I might never fully get it.  I am in limbo between WTF and "I am just going to accept it".  In my first semester of Pchem I went through the calculus and answered questions on the tests (more like spit it back to the professor  ;)), but did not really try to get an understanding of what it meant physically.  That happened much later, when I began to read on my own. 

Offline tennis freak

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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2006, 04:40:34 PM »
yeah well your better off than i am :P. all i understand is the wikipedia version of quantum mechanics ::)
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Offline constant thinker

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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2006, 05:49:40 PM »
I haven't taken the time to read all of the wiki stuff. I would have to question a lot of it though. If people in general have a hard enough time understanding it, then there must be a lot of myths out there about it or debunked theories that people follow which are prooven wrong. I have trouble trying to tell what has been scientifically prooven and what is still speculation.

Maybe someone will right a book entitled, "Quantum Mechanics for Dummies" that comes with a free "Calculus for Dummies" and also includes a synopsis of what has been scientifically prooven and what is only mere speculation, including the data, graphs, and equations.
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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2006, 06:12:54 PM »
Polish professor of QC, W?odzimierz Ko?os, wrote a book "Elements of Quantum Chemistry explained in the non-mathematical way". I doubt it was translated to English, but AFAIR it was written in such a way that HS students should be able to understand.
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Offline xiankai

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Re: Wave-Particle Duality
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2006, 07:19:39 AM »
2 books i would highly reccomend (after reading them)

they are geared towards the general public IMO

is "Hydrogen : The Essential Element" by John S. Rigden

and "QED : The strange theory of light and matter" by Richard P. Feynman
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