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Tunneling in a non-subatomic particles

  1. Jan 16, 2013 #1
    Hi,
    We now electrons do tunnel and for example FE happens because of this.
    However, is it true to scale up this effect for non-subatomic particles? For example, is it OK to say, if you are behind a wall and hit yourself to the wall, there is a chance that you might Tunnel and see yourself on the other side of the wall?
    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2013 #2

    CompuChip

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    As with most things in QM, statistically that probability is non-zero. If you look at the macroscopic wave function of yourself and the wall, you can in theory calculate it - though in practice you would have trouble finding a computer that can even solve that for a fraction of the particles. And the number you will find is so small that even if all the world population having lived up until now had tried that once per second throughout the life time of the universe, the chances of actually finding someone on the other side would still be zero for all practical purposes. If you are into those kinds of experiments, try the monkeys-with-typewriters experiment, it will be a piece of cake compared to this one :)
     
  4. Jan 16, 2013 #3
    I like the prior answer, but I do always wonder if such quantum theory has ANY application to such large objects.

    In other words, classically, you are about as likely to move thru a wall as a ball is to run uphill by borrowing energy from the particles in the hill. It just isn't going to happen.
     
  5. Jan 17, 2013 #4

    CompuChip

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    As I said, this is all theoretical: of course QM does apply to macroscopic scales, but (usually!) it is infeasible to use it and unnecessary because we have a perfectly usable limit, i.e. classical theory.

    Note that of course in some circumstances, classical theory breaks down even on macroscopic scales. Superconductivity is one example.
     
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