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Quantum on macroscopic scale

  1. May 23, 2007 #1
    Hi to all, I have a quantum question to post here.

    In the discussion on atomic theory, we know that electrons in different orbital levels have different quantum energy, say n=1 and n=2 have different energy levels. When one electron 'jumps' to another energy level, say from n=2 to n=1, the demotion will release a photon with energy equal to the energy level difference.

    On a macroscopic level, if I take a lift from level 2 to level 1, do I release a photon of similar energy as well? Consider that a macroscopic body is also argued to be made up of billions of microscopic bodies. Similarly, if I take a lift from level 1 to level 2, do I absorb a photon which will increase my energy level relative to a fixed point, say the Earth's surface?

    Pleae advise. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2007 #2
    From 2 to 1, the lift tries to recuperate your potential energy as much as possible. Much is lost in heat (friction losses) some is recuperated either in kinetic energy (in another lift or in a free wheel) or in electricity.

    Since you are not a charged particles (you are not en electron) you cannot emit any electromagnetic wave just by moving. But since you are a massive body, gravity can produce work from your weight, and work is also needed to displace you.
  4. May 23, 2007 #3

    Meir Achuz

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    The quantum numbers with a macroscopic system are so huge (~10^20) that the steps seem continuous, just as water seems continuous.
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