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The Higgs

  1. Jul 27, 2011 #1
    Why must it be a particle? I mean, if sub-atomic particles act as a wave and a particle why can't the higgs? Maybe the only reason we can't detect it is because we're looking for the particle and not the wave? Can someone please elaborate on this.
     
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  3. Jul 27, 2011 #2

    ZapperZ

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    Now c'mon, be honest. Do you really think physicists are THAT dumb? Really?

    Zz.
     
  4. Jul 27, 2011 #3
    Well....who knows. I mean, the gap for the higgs to actually exist is getting smaller and smaller. It begs the question if it really does exist and if it does what are we doing wrong in the detection of it?

    Instead of smashing particles together, maybe split up the waves? All alternatives should be checked, no matter the absurdity, right?
     
  5. Jul 27, 2011 #4

    ZapperZ

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    What is absurd is a suggestion based on ignorance.

    What if I tell you that they are not looking for the Higgs, but rather an "electroweak symmetry breaking"? Would that ring a bell?

    Zz.
     
  6. Jul 27, 2011 #5
    Oh, okay now I learned something! Sorry for being ignorant, I just wanted to obtain some knowledge.
     
  7. Jul 27, 2011 #6

    Drakkith

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    It isn't that you wanted to know something, it was the way you worded your "question" and then your response. If it had been something like "Are we looking for the higgs as a particle or a wave?", then there probably wouldn't been any problem and the wave-particle duality would have been explained to you.
     
  8. Jul 27, 2011 #7
    Alright, I understand where I went wrong. I apologize.

    Can you help me understand wave-particle duality please?
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  9. Jul 28, 2011 #8

    Drakkith

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    Have you read anything up on it? If not, I recommend hitting up wikipedia first. Nearly any book on Quantum Physics should have this critical concept described in it as well. I cannot help you understand the concept as a whole, as the entire thing is very detailed, but I can answer specific questions or generalize some things.
     
  10. Jul 28, 2011 #9
    Yes I have, just a little bit though. So wave-particle duality is basically any particle can behave as a wave or, a particle. Is this with only the really tiny sub-atomic particles or is this also true for relatively larger substances like atoms or molecules?
     
  11. Jul 28, 2011 #10

    Drakkith

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    Everything acts as BOTH a particle AND a wave. Even larger objects like molecules can be shown to interfere in a double slit experiment. Depending on how you observe an object, it can behave as a particle or a wave.
     
  12. Jul 28, 2011 #11
    Oh.. So the act of observing actually makes it a particle or a wave?
    How would one control that? I mean if you observe, how can you produce a particle instead of a wave or vice versa?
     
  13. Jul 28, 2011 #12
    Wave-particle duality is old news. Its all just fields now. I don't understand why everyone sticks to this explanation even though its harder to understand.

    QFT has already resolved the apparent paradox of wave-particle duality. Try this article:

    Teaching Elementary Particle Physics Part I - Art Hobson (TPT)
    http://physics.uark.edu/hobson/pubs/11.01TPT.pdf [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  14. Jul 28, 2011 #13
    Than you saim, I'll read that right now
     
  15. Jul 28, 2011 #14

    Drakkith

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    I don't know enough to say that the particle-wave duality is old news or anything, but I do know that it was explained to me that way when I first started reading up on it. Probably because we learn from the easy stuff to the advanced stuff, which tends to be the top-down approach. Start things off in the scale of things we can see and touch with everyday, and then move down from there into the QM scale.
     
  16. Jul 28, 2011 #15

    ZapperZ

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    Not only that, we also had addressed this in the FAQ section of the General Physics forum. I truly wish we could make people read those FIRST before they make their first posts on here.

    Zz.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  17. Jul 28, 2011 #16

    Drakkith

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    I saw the FAQ about light, but does that apply to everything or just light itself? I've never seen any serious discussion or explanations of normal matter not being a particle. But I am definitely not as knowledgeable as I wish I was in this area.
     
  18. Jul 28, 2011 #17
    I think it's high time to acknowledge that wave-particle duality is more confusing to newcomers than explicative. Particles are always particles! But, according to Quantum Mechanics, they obey an equation of motion that is similar to wave equations from Classical Physics.

    The (probability) waves are called De Broglie waves for historic reasons, but De Broglie never actually comprehended the essence of his 'matter wave' hypothesis. It was Max Born who gave the correct probabilistic interpretation of the wave function.

    In the limit when the De Broglie wavelength is much smaller than the linear dimensions over which the potential energy changes considerably, we can apply the geometric optics (technically called eikonal) approximation and obtain the laws of Classical mechanics for the motion of a particle.

    Furthermore, even particles do not exist! They are simple excitations of a matter field that carry energy and momentum in space as a propagating particle does.
     
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