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B Cosmic waves?

  1. Aug 12, 2017 #1


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    I was just reading the article about “cosmic rain” here and they talk about these very high energy particles striking a detector. But as I understand things, these have to be waves, not particles, put up a double slit and these things will go through both as waves (and since they do not know they will encounter a slit they must be waves.) So what happens to all their energy? They hit a detector as a wave, canceling themselves or, and this is my question, just what is happening here to these high energy things?
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  3. Aug 12, 2017 #2


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    Read some more. things don't 'go through both'.
    some of it is deposited along the way when they go through matter. Or they are being stopped, like photons in NaI.
  4. Aug 12, 2017 #3


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    You can't make a double-slit experiment with high-energetic cosmic rays. As all particles, they follow quantum mechanics, but their de-Broglie wavelength is so incredibly tiny that you cannot observe interference effects with them.
    For all practical purposes you can ignore quantum mechanics and they look like classic particles.

    Independent of cosmic rays: Energy is conserved in the double-slit experiment (it is conserved everywhere). Send a particle with energy X in and you'll get energy X out. Where exactly you detect the particle depends on the interference pattern.
  5. Aug 12, 2017 #4


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    I am not sure if it is appropriate to post a thank you. I did learn from your answers.
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