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Macroscopic Quantization

  1. Oct 28, 2009 #1
    I'm learning about Schrodinger's equation in my general chem class right now, so obviously I'm doing a little background reading on quantum theory. The following is an excerpt from a supplement on basic (very basic) quantum theory:

    The answer is that quantization is only noticeable when studying really
    small (microscopic) things, like an atom or an electron; it is hidden (although not absent) in large (macroscopic) things, like a baseball or a person.

    I'm curious as to what types of quantization occur in the macroscopic world. I'm guessing it's not going to be something obvious, like motion. Does anyone have any insight as to what exactly is meant by quantization in the macroscopic world, or could you provide a reasonably nontechnical example? Thanks in advance for all responses.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2009 #2
    Well technically speaking energy is always quantized.

    The problem is is that energy is typically proportional to Planck's constant which is incredibly small, so as the energy increases to a higher level the increase is very small. This is why we can very easily approximate macroscopic systems with a continuous energy spectrum.
  4. Oct 29, 2009 #3
    First of all, the microscopic quantization provides stability of atoms and thus macroscopic bodies.

    There are few phenomena, like superconductivity with quantizes velocity, super-fluidity, etc. that are due to quantized energies of macroscopic variables. Normally they are low-temperature phenomena.

    However there are classically "quantized" systems, like stairs, anchored, trigged things, etc.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
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