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If an electron is a continuous wave then…

  1. Jun 24, 2008 #1
    I understand and agree that an electron is only a name for a continuous wave that has collapsed because of an observation or other perturbation. Where observations may be made with electric fields, magnetic fields, or both which cause the collapse the continuous wave.

    But what I don’t understand is when two high energy electron waves collide and produce energy and other subatomic particles. Specifically:
    1. What is the mechanics of two high energy waves colliding to produce energy?
    2. What is the mechanics of two high energy waves degenerating to produce other subatomic particles which themselves are continuous waves?
    3. How is there a conservation of energy/mass when you’re dealing with waves?
    4. How do you get mass/momentum out of a continuous wave?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2008 #2
    You need to worry about this conception. An electron is neither a wave nor a particle. It is a quantum of the electron field. As such, it manifest itself sometimes as what we understand as a particle, sometimes as we we understand is a wave. The mathematical rules are crystal clear, the philosophy of what the object is is a matter of epistemology.

    When two electrons collide in an accelerator, viewing them in terms of waves is technically possible but rather involved. You can describe them as wave packets in momentum space with a finite momentum spread, and a decent location according to Heisenberg. But the phenomenon is in that case best understood in terms of what we call particles.
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