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A free electron in a total vacuum

  1. May 29, 2012 #1
    If you were to release a free electron in a total vacuum what would its behavior be?

    Say you released it from the center of a sphere with a surface capable of detecting the electron when it comes in contact. Wouldn't you be able to calculate the speed and direction of the electron by the time it took to get from the center to where ever it connected?

    Or does it just wiggle around randomly through space?

    Does the uncertainty principle apply only to electrons in orbit?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 29, 2012 #2


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    No, but it does apply to your initial conditions. You cannot place the electron in the exact center of the sphere, exactly at rest.
  4. May 29, 2012 #3
    Exactly like Bill said, the electron could never truly be placed within the centre of the sphere at rest.

    On the behavior that the electron would be inhibiting, this is indeed a tricky question. Though if you were to put an electron inside of a total vacuum the electron would interact with the photons from the electromagnetic waves that exist within the vacuum.
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