I'm just a hobbyist in things quantum and in the course of my reading, I have found it a bit confusing figuring out which parts of quantum theory deal with finite numbers of discreet values and which parts require continuums.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

For example: Last night I was reading up on qbits and in the course of the definition the author mentioned the phase, polarization and frequency of wave functions. Which of these three wave properties are continuous and which are discreet?

Or put another way, are phase and polarization restricted to a finite number of quantized values? Or can a wave adopt any possible phase between 0 and 90 degrees? Even ones that requlre irrational numbers?

Similarly, can the polarization of a electromagnetic wave be any possible angle or can they only be polarized at angles whose sides are the integer solutions of a^2 + b^2 = c^2?

Lastly, if an electron in an atom falls from a higher energy state to a lower one, emitting a wave packet of red light, is the shape of that wave sinusoidal? Or more of a sawtooth or square wave due to quantization?

Any explanations greatly appreciated. (and please be kind as I have no training in quantum physics. I have a decent handle on trig and algebra but no experience with calculus)

Thanks

Ken

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# Continuous and discreet parts of an electromagnetic wave

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