1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electron behaving as a wave

  1. Oct 10, 2012 #1
    When we talk about electrons behaving as waves in motion, is it that the path of the motion of the electron is in a wave-like shape?
    Can one electron behave as a wave which has a width? If it does, then how is it possible?
    Wouldn't the wave having a width(3-dimensional width) imply that the electron needs to be at two places at the same time?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    No, when we say electrons behaves as waves, we do not mean that they travel in zig-zag. They behave like waves because they exhibit wave-like behavior such as interference and diffraction.
  4. Oct 10, 2012 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The wave doesn't move back and forth in a transverse direction. The wavelength has to do with the period in the longitudinal direction of the electron motion. The wave model of the electron has a complex phase which rotates around in angle (not a spatial angle, just a mathematical one). The phase is not observable and we only infer it through the appearance of interference patterns.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook