# How Is This Quantum Analogy Incorrect?

• Logan Johnston
In summary: This concept is often compared to the units we use for money, where a dollar can be divided into smaller units. However, this analogy is not entirely accurate as quantum objects cannot be divided into smaller units, unlike a dollar which can be divided into cents. A more accurate analogy would be comparing a quantum object to a penny, as both are indivisible units.
Logan Johnston

## Homework Statement

"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?

E=nhf

## The Attempt at a Solution

My thought is that quantum cannot be described without whole numbers, unlike a cent which is a fraction.

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.

Logan Johnston
phinds said:
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.

Excellent! That helped it to all click, thank you. :)

In the quantum world we need to think of objects being both waves and particles simultaneously.

Last edited:

## 1. What is a quantum analogy?

A quantum analogy is a comparison or metaphor used to explain complex concepts in quantum mechanics by relating them to more familiar or tangible ideas.

## 2. Why is it important to understand the limitations of a quantum analogy?

It is important to understand the limitations of a quantum analogy because while they can help us grasp difficult concepts, they are not always accurate representations of the actual phenomenon. This can lead to misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions.

## 3. How can a quantum analogy be incorrect?

A quantum analogy can be incorrect in several ways. It may oversimplify the concept, omit important details, or make false assumptions. Additionally, as our understanding of quantum mechanics evolves, previously used analogies may become outdated or inaccurate.

## 4. What are some common misconceptions about quantum analogies?

One common misconception is that the analogy is a perfect representation of the phenomenon. Another is that the analogy provides a complete understanding of the concept, when in reality it may only be presenting one aspect of it.

## 5. How can scientists ensure the accuracy of a quantum analogy?

To ensure the accuracy of a quantum analogy, scientists must carefully choose and evaluate the analogy they are using. They should also clearly communicate the limitations of the analogy to avoid misconceptions and promote a deeper understanding of the concept.

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