Do protons also exist as proton waves similar to the electron waves ?

  1. Do protons also exist as "proton waves" similar to the "electron waves"?

    Akira Tonomura has written a book called "The Quantum World Unveiled by Electron Waves" published in 1998 by World Scientific. In his book, he explains that in 1955 G. Moellenstedt and H. Dueker of Tuebingen University in Germany were the first to make an "electron interferometer" which is based on the "electron biprism" they made.

    If electrons can be made to behave as waves, can protons be made to behave as waves, "proton waves"?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Hurkyl

    Hurkyl 16,089
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    Yes. Protons are much heavier, however, so their wave-like behavior is much less than the electron.
     
  4. well, everything has a wavelength associated with it, its just that as things get bigger and bigger, their wavelengths get smaller and smaller and pretty soon it just doesnt make noticeable difference
     
  5. Tom Mattson

    Tom Mattson 5,538
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    Ah, but it's not just a function of mass. Remember that the deBroglie wavelength is λ=h/p. A proton can easily be made to have a smaller momentum than an electron, in which case its wavelike characteristics would be more apparent than those of the lighter electron.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2004
  6. Hurkyl

    Hurkyl 16,089
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    Ah whoops! Oh, that is interesting; is it correct to say that the faster a particle moves, the more it acts like a classical particle? Or just less like a wave?
     
  7. Tom Mattson

    Tom Mattson 5,538
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    As long as you aren't using that criterion to compare two different particle species, then I suppose that would be a fair characterization. A fast moving electron has a smaller wavelength than a slow moving electron, and as the wavelength goes to zero, the more "classical" a particle tends to act. So for instance in a single slit diffraction experiment, the fast moving electrons would have a diffraction pattern that is more strongly peaked in the middle, which is what you would expect classically.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2004
  8. I read electrons are really two particles combining and spliting again reapeatly. It is just particle and anti particle wave. Is this the same wave that you are talking about for the proton.

    -friend of tom
     
  9. Yes, proton waves too exist. but in an atom you won't find it as the do not move like electrons do in an atom. But if a proton is accelerated it will behave as a wave but its wavelenght will be many times smaller than that for an electron.
     
  10. Tom Mattson

    Tom Mattson 5,538
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    You're right, nuclear protons don't move like electrons. They move much faster! The tighter confines of the nuclear radius are such that the momentum of the proton lies in a wider band than the momentum of the electrons. As a result of this wavelike behavior, there is are quantized energy levels for the nucleons, just as for the electrons.
     
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