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Object Jumping from Quantum Vibrations Statistical Mechanics

  1. Mar 24, 2012 #1
    According to quantum mechanics, every particle has an uncertainty of position and momentum. Particles have quantum vibrations. So is it possible for all the atoms in an object to vibrate at the same time in the same direction making the object as a whole move? If so, what kind of energy would the object have and how could i find the probability?
     
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  3. Mar 25, 2012 #2

    Jano L.

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    It should be possible, but it is very unlikely. In thermodynamics equilibrium, one expects uniform distribution of phases of vibrations. This can change when some external electromagnetic wave propagates in the medium. If the medium absorbs, the phases will get synchronized and the oscillations will have some average lag behind the wave.
     
  4. Mar 26, 2012 #3
    So an external EM field can cause the vibrations to be in the same direction? How can I calculate the multiplicity of the arrangement of particles with vibrations?
     
  5. Mar 26, 2012 #4

    Jano L.

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    Can you elaborate on your question? I do not understand it. What is multiplicity of arrangements?

    Do you think of classical or quantum oscillator?
     
  6. Mar 26, 2012 #5
    How many degrees of freedom can the quantum oscillator vibrate in?
     
  7. Mar 26, 2012 #6

    Jano L.

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    This is hard to answer. Depends on how you understand wave function.

    Metal atoms in crystallic lattice vibrate in three directions, so in classical theory, you can say they have three degrees of freedom that determine their position in coordinate system and three degrees of freedom that determine their velocity with respect to the same system.

    In quantum theory, such oscillator is described by the wave function, which is a function of the three coordinates.

    If you view the wave function as description of quantum state, then the wave function itself is equivalent to infinity of degrees of freedom. If you view the wave function simply as an auxiliary mathematical function but the state is always determined by the three coordinates, then you still have only 6 degrees of freedom determining the state.
     
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