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An ignorant question about quantum reality

  1. Mar 10, 2004 #1
    an electron exists firstly as a wave or cloud of probable location and, in fact, this structure or wave exhibits real physicality, that is we can actually observe these waves interacting as waves (interference). but we can also observe an electron as a discrete thing, that is, we can observe it acting as a particle and banging into other particles, etc.

    so, ignoring for a moment the specific experimental aspects of transition of wave/particle duality, is it not a case of visualizing this wave of probable location limited by uncertainty as a kind of ripple of energy that has the energy potential to coalesce into a physical body? that is, the physical reality of an electron is coalesced around a quantum of radiation or of something that has energy (not necessarily or exclusively a function of it being observed)? and when this energy wave is run into a wall inside a particle accelerator we are simply forcing it to assume a concrete physical form sort of like smashing a gallon of milk against a wall at unbelievable speeds and coming out with a stick of butter? (not a very good analogy - but it's difficult to come up with a good analogy as this coalescence seems to be in violation of the laws of thermodynamics!)
  2. jcsd
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