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Quantization of movement

  1. Dec 3, 2006 #1
    I have been reading some on QM and its quantization of energy and angular momentum (is this the same as spin?). But something I do not understand is the actual process of quantizational movement (which is tied to the quantization of energy).

    I can't understand how a subatomic particle, the electron for instance, can 'jump' different levels of energy. When this deals with a change of movement, does this imply that, when electrons take quantum leaps, they 'teleport' to their orbital? If energy quantization is true, then movement and momentum quantization would have to be true?

    As a though expirament, let's say there are two, independant boxes A and B. Hypothetically, there is a ball in box A, which is higher than box B. Let's say the ball wishes to move from A to B. But since these boxes (more like 'areas' in this expirament) are indepedant, separated, and in different places, then would the ball's movement literally be something like a teleportation from A to B? If so, can this process at all be described? If not, why?

    And...does this strange phenomenon have anything to do with quantum teleportation? Any answers are well appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2006 #2
    Doesn't the quantization of energy imply movement is quantized?
     
  4. Dec 6, 2006 #3

    HallsofIvy

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    It certainly is possible for elementary particles, at least, to "teleport", as you put it.

    It's is a fairly common exercise to show that, if a particle is in an "finite potential well (potential energy is 0 over an interval, a finite constant, but higher than the particle's total energy, outside the interval), then the wave function is non-zero even a small distance into the non-zero potential where it classically couldn't be. If we have a potential function that is 0 on some interval, non-zero for a small interval, then 0 again, it is quite possible for the particle's wave function to "get through" the non-zero potential and have quite a high value in the other zero potential interval. That is, it is quite possible for a particle to have equal probability of being in either of two intervals, separated by a region in which the particle could never be! This is referred to as "quantum tunneling" and is essential in, for example, transistors.
     
  5. Dec 6, 2006 #4
    So, is it possible to account for how a particle teleports from point A to point B? Is it a definite process where it 'breaks up' into smaller sects and then recombines in another spot? This is science-fictionish, but I can only wonder what happens so a particle can "teleport," especially if its an elementary particle.
     
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