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Particle / Wave Duality

  1. Dec 3, 2005 #1
    Oh, no. Another thread on Particle/Wave Duality?

    Forgive me for starting yet another thread on this topic, but I was just wondering if anyone had a different take on explaining this strange behavior. While I understand that light can behave in both modes, isn't it the observational evidences that lead us to think this way? For example, depending on the experiment being conducted and the way the measurement is made, light (photon) can manifest itself as either a particle or wave.

    Similarly, isn't it true that all elementary particles display wave-like characteristics (i.e. electrons)? While the Graviton has not be confirmed as of yet (true?), I assume that it too will exhibit similar behavior.

    Assuming what I've wrote so far is more or less true, then here's my real question. Can the particle/wave duality behavior be a by-product of the Space-Time fabric that is yet to be precisely defined? In other words, can the fundamental make-up of Space-Time include this particle/wave behavior such that anything contained in it (which is everything) must exhibit this behavior depending on how they are measured (especially at minute levels like the quantum levels)? If we were to assume (with plenty of imagination) that Space-Time itself can be quantized and that it exhibits isotropic expansion (field-like or endless multiplying of Space-Time unit itself), then we have a Space-Time fabric that can support particle behavior (when energy is confined in this Space-Time unit -- or mass) as well as wave-behavior (when energy is released and allowed to expand along with the Space-Time fabric). Also, something relevant to QM -- probability -- can be said to be inherent feature of such Space-Time when considering the infinite interactions possible among the inflating Space-Time units.

    In case what's been suggested so far makes even a bit of sense, definition of Mass, Gravity and Speed of Light may even enter the picture. Go with me on this...

    Mass: Since Mass is supposed to be simply another manifestation of Energy, why not think of it as Confined Energy taking up the Space-Time quantum unit (thus becoming a particle). Add to this definition, one more quality -- the very confinement of Energy in this fashion inhibits inflation/expansion mentioned above. This translates into behavior similar to Gravity.

    Gravity: As conjectured above (and I know all this is merely conjecture, so take it for what it's worth -- mind exercise), the very resistance to Space-Time quantum expansion/inflation should result in a rarified region that could be construed as being Gravity. Add to the behavior of Space-Time expansion/inflation one more conjecture -- speed of expansion/inflation equals "c". With the isotropic expansion/inflation of Space-Time at rate of "c", this "rarified" region's curvature of Space-Time should be "felt" by other Masses at the speed of "c" and the result should only be attractive "force." So, in this definition, a "Graviton" doesn't really exist but can be said as being the "missing" unit of Space-Time quantum expansion/inflation.

    Light: Light is a form of Energy in its purest form. As per Einstein, Energy and Matter (Mass) are interchageable. If the above definition of Mass is correct, then Unconfined (released) Energy should be allowed to expand along with the Space-Time expansion/inflation. And if this expansion is at a rate of "c", then the speed of light is really the speed of Space-Time expansion. The beauty of this is that "c" is truly constant and involves "no" acceleration since the Isotropic Expansion/Inflation of Space-Time fabric is also constant (since the Big Bang, I suppose). Some might see this concept of Space-Time quantum as the return of "ether" concept and reject the idea immediately, but should that be the case?

    Any thoughts on this crazy concept? Again, if what I wrote is dead wrong and crazy, I would appreciate it if people consider it an exercise in thought-experiment. Perhaps some responses correcting where I went wrong might be nice too. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2005 #2
    I think that waves are pretty much real. I haven't totally reconcilled the indeterministic occurances of particle like interactions between different waves, but I think that is all they are.

    I have recently gained some "realness" behind the wave nature of matter. If you pick a reference frame that happens to have a stationary "particle", there is asociated a field to the particle changing in phase, which in QM has an imaginary and real part. In any other reference frame this alternating field will apear wave-like. This is a direct result of simultinaity in special relativity. If in the rest frame, the field's phase is simultanious everywhere; any other frame will experience a different phase at different space coordinates - aka waves. You have a base frequency in the rest frame, and the apparent frequency always equal to f = f_0*gamma (gamma = 1/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)). If you notice, hf is simply the total energy from special relativity if the relativistic mass m = hf/c^2 (h = planks constant).
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2005
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