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Homework Help: How Is This Quantum Analogy Incorrect?

  1. Aug 3, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    "Sometimes the idea of the quantum is compared to the units we use for money. A dollar can be divided into smaller units, where the cent is the smallest possible unit. How is this analogy incorrect?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    My thought is that quantum cannot be described without whole numbers, unlike a cent which is a fraction.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2015 #2


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    Gold Member

    I think you have the right idea but the wrong conclusion. One, after all, IS an integer and you seem to be implying that it is not. The point is that if you take a quantum object such as an electron or a photon and say it is equivalent to a dollar, there ARE no 1 cent things inside it. So really, a correct analogy would be more like the quantum object being compared to the penny.
  4. Aug 3, 2015 #3
    Excellent! That helped it to all click, thank you. :)
  5. Aug 4, 2015 #4


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    Homework Helper

    In the quantum world we need to think of objects being both waves and particles simultaneously.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
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