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Electron is it a particle or wave ?

  1. Apr 1, 2013 #1
    Hi everyone !!

    I have this a question about electron, is it a particle or is it a wave, or maybe both sometimes particles and sometimes wave or both in the same time ??
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2013 #2
    It is a particle with wave nature
  4. Apr 1, 2013 #3
    Or we can say that it is just an excitation of electron field.
  5. Apr 1, 2013 #4
    Well, first electron was thought to be only a particle. Further experiments, showed that it does have a wave nature. Read about deBroglie's wavelength for detailed information.
  6. Apr 1, 2013 #5
    This is the question that troubled me a lot.. If electron is a wave, then what is "waving"?
  7. Apr 1, 2013 #6
    So electron is a particle with wave nature
    mmm interesting !!
    Thanks guys !!
  8. Apr 1, 2013 #7
    The usual interpretation is that it is a "wave of probabilities" The amplitude of the wave is related to the probability of finding the electron there. So really nothing is waving, it's just a way of describing the particle.
  9. Apr 1, 2013 #8
    So it not waving... So in order to describe its properties,it is given wave probabilities right?
  10. Apr 1, 2013 #9
  11. Apr 2, 2013 #10


    Staff: Mentor

    Its neither - its quantum stuff. Sometimes it behaves like a particle and sometimes like a wave but in reality its neither. I know Feynman says its a particle because you only ever get single clicks in a photon detector for instance - it's never detected as anything other than something 'discreet'. But understand its not a particle in the classical sense - it is something different - a quantum particle.

  12. Apr 2, 2013 #11
    So the behavior of an electron still a mystery !!
  13. Apr 2, 2013 #12
    Its a Wavicle! No, wait...its a "Par-tave." Say that with a snobby accent like Thurston Howell. "Look, Marge, there goes one of those 'par-taves' again, ringing my detector. They are soooooo annoying."
  14. Apr 2, 2013 #13
    Wow Mister Dirac is here, what an honor.
    Thanks for passing ;)
  15. Apr 2, 2013 #14


    Staff: Mentor

    No - we know how it behaves - its quantum stuff - its just not particle or wave - or visualisable in terms of everyday pictures - but that doesn't mean we don't 'understand' it.

  16. Apr 2, 2013 #15
    ok !!
    so quantum stuff
    Thanks bhobba
  17. Apr 3, 2013 #16
    "..is it a particle or is it a wave.."


    but there is a LOT more to just what a particle may be:

    beyond quantum theory:

    String theory suggests that it may be the configuration of higher dimensional spaces that influences string [particle] properties....their vibration patterns and energies for example ....so when spacetime jiggles around or morphs from one region to another it seems plausible that our perception of particles might also change...because they change.

    This provides an insight into how the expansion of distance in our universe creates particles.

    Carlo Rovelli says it this way:
    Other cases where geometric circumstances create real (not virtual) particles are Hawking radiation at Black hole horizons and Unruh radiation caused by acceleration of observer. So it seems that expansion of geometry itself can produce matter.

    Within quantum theory:

    "There is not a definite line differentiating virtual particles from real particles — the equations of physics just describe particles (which includes both equally). The amplitude that a virtual particle exists interferes with the amplitude for its non-existence; whereas for a real particle the cases of existence and non-existence cease to be coherent with each other and do not interfere any more. In the quantum field theory view, "real particles" are viewed as being detectable excitations of underlying quantum fields.."
  18. Apr 3, 2013 #17
    What a lovely replay Naty1
    I really like it
  19. Apr 3, 2013 #18
    there are "particlaves". everything propagates like a wave and interact changing its energy and momentum
  20. Apr 4, 2013 #19
    Thank you for your answer Bacalhau :smile:
  21. Apr 4, 2013 #20
    Wave or particle?

    I was just wondering is an electron a wave or particle or even a particle with wave nature?
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