Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Probability Waves

  1. Nov 10, 2004 #1
    I've heard of probability waves, and I'm aware what they mean. However, I don't exactly understand them, to say. Are they actual properties that particles have, or are they man made possibilities, to account for measurements?

    I hope I phrased it correctly.
    Oh, and while I'm at it... Since energy moves at incriments of plank's constant, and relativity links matter to energy, would that also mean there's a discreet amount that matter can move in?

    Ty :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2004 #2
    Probablity waves or simply probablity associated with a particle is a "actual" property of the particle.
    Every particle or system can be visualized as a "wave" when you take the square of the amplitude of the wave you will get the actual "position " of the system. For a "localized" system like things that you see daily, this wave has a very large amplitude at the location.
  4. Nov 17, 2004 #3
    In the Copenhagen Intepretation the wavefunction is merely a mathematical 'tool' which has no reality (here quantum 'entities' are neither waves nor particles).The same is valid for Bohm's Interpretation (a variant of de Broglie's pilot-wave proposal which sees quantum entities as real particles associated with a nonlocal real wave) or the Many Worlds Interpretation (some say that in Bohm's interpretation the wavefunction is considered as real,but I disagree with this view,there are no real 'mixtures of states' here,the vector of state is not complete,there are unknown hidden variables).

    Still there are other interpretations,derived from copenhagenism,which see the wavefunction itself as something real,a real wave,streched in space,which literally 'collapse' (physically) when a measurement is made [the universe itself undergoes a sudden change].As a conclusion the interpretation of the wavefunction is interpretation dependent,unfortunately there are more interpretations of QM consistent with all facts.The interpretation which has the greatest coherence with other,very successful,theories (not disproved yet),such as General Relativity,is the Copenhagen Interpretation because in this view there is no 'nonlocality',the strange,anyway,correlations found by Aspect's type of experiments should be labeled 'noclassical'.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2004
  5. Dec 16, 2004 #4
    Louis Cypher

    :confused: Does that mean it has it's own maths I.e probability maths or pmath?
  6. Dec 16, 2004 #5
    Well, it is just because you misunderstand what does "reality" mean. In we don't know what is "real". If so, there was no need for developing the science!!! We make new theories when our imagination about the world fails. We try to show the world in a manner that agree with our observations from the nature. (We assume that there are some properties of the world that we can measure them. Maybe it is wrong!!!). If this agreement occures, we say yah! a new theory!!! And our theory exists until we see a fact that our theory can not explain it...
    Quantum theory developed after the failure of the the classic theory anticipation. They tries to base the physics in a way that it could explain the new observations. Who knows!!! Maybe we were very lucky that someone checked the probability density interpretation.
    And who knows!!! Maybe we were unlucky that we couldn't find a better interpretation to connect the existing theories...
    So everything is just our interpretation. We are not in a right place to discuss about the reality. Maybe just God knows what is "real"!!!
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Probability Waves
  1. Probability Waves (Replies: 3)

  2. Probablity wave (Replies: 1)

  3. Probability waves (Replies: 8)