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I Are elementary particles subject to inertia?

  1. Apr 25, 2017 #1
    Do elementary particles have inertial mass in the same way composite objects have? If yes, does it have an impact on the motion or on the forces that act on them?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yes and yes. Do you have any reason to think otherwise?
  4. Apr 25, 2017 #3
    Thank you. Actually, I am interested about knowing the precise effect of inertia on (individual) particles. For example the role of inertia on an electron when it is made to accelerate or decelerate. I also want to know if that requires a force proportional to the mass of that particle as for composite objects. I want to know the exact way in which inertia (and also gravity) works at the subatomic level. Is there any difference in the "laws of motion" or interaction with forces in the subatomic world compared to the world of composite (visible) objects?
  5. Apr 25, 2017 #4


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    Newton's laws apply to all objects, it does not matter if they are composite or not.
  6. Apr 25, 2017 #5
    How do Newton´s laws map to the properties of wave functions?

    For example, inertia is the law that, in absence of forces acting on a body, a body will be stationary or else move in a straight line at a constant speed.
    What does this mean in terms of a wave function in absence of any potential? Plane wave? Are non-plane-wave functions subject to inertia?
  7. Apr 25, 2017 #6


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    For one, there is the Ehrenfest theorem.
  8. Apr 27, 2017 #7


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    The wave function is not the electron. It is a probability wave.

    One very easy way to go about this, is the bending of electrons by a magnetic field (see for example Thompson's experiment)... There you can actually see the electrons :biggrin: (boom!)
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