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View from electron

  1. Oct 24, 2005 #1
    If you could see from the prespective of an individual electron, what would you see (disregarding the fact that it impossible) ? I did not say from the prespective of a human since it is impossible.
    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2005 #2
    From the perspective of a single electron you may be in the electron cloud area moving chaotically around the bunched atomic particles (protons and neutrons) at unknown instantaneous speeds and directions (remember the uncertainty principal). I am being imaginative as this is a rather odd but facinating question, but I think this is pretty viable. :)

    Here's an interesting point about perspectives which you may have heard:
    "Nuclei are many thousands of times smaller than the atom itself. For example, if an atom was the size of a football stadium, the nucleus would be comparable to a pea."
     
  4. Oct 24, 2005 #3
    Well at least I now that my question is not stupid. I wanted to see what others thought of this question. Personally I think that since the electron is traveling at light speed, since no time passes wouldn't from its perspective, it be everywhere it can be and could be at the same time. I feel that this is fundamnetal since it tells a lot about the way the electron behaves. Isn't it in Quantum theory that there is really no motion in the electron but a frequency of possible locations?
    -Scott
     
  5. Oct 25, 2005 #4

    ZapperZ

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    I'm going to intervene here because there's a potential of a wrong application of special relativity.

    Note that the PROPER TIME doesn't change! If I'm moving close to the speed of light, I see NOTHING different with my time. I only see something different on the clocks of OTHER frames, not mine! So your statement that since electron travels "at light speed", no time passes for it is wrong. It's proper time is still unchanged.

    Furthermore, it is really strange ask this question when in many cases, the electron's proper location is undefined until a measurement. If you are an s-orbital electron, where are you in the atom?

    Lastly, in many instances, free electrons are, for all practical purposes, are classical free particles. Electrons in particle accelerators are classical particles, because they have very little overlap with other electrons, and the boundary conditions are a gazillion times larger than their sizes.

    So which electron are you sitting on?

    Zz.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2005 #5
    I understand that the postion of an electron is constantly uncertain. I was trying to see what people thought of the actual state of the electron, even though this can be never be determined to the accuratness of a degree. Really this reflects their view on whether or not the particle is a wave or particle. I might as well come out and say it, do objects that travel towards the speed of light take on wave characteritics or is this only a charateristic of the unobservable atomic world?
    -Scott
     
  7. Oct 25, 2005 #6

    ZapperZ

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    Not in the particle accelerator that I work with... and they are practically moving at c after they go above 1 MeV in energy.

    Zz.
     
  8. Oct 25, 2005 #7
    You deal with electrons within a vacum, right (this is a stupid question but I just am not sure) ?
    -Scott
     
  9. Oct 25, 2005 #8

    ZapperZ

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    Electrons do not travel very far in air and they don't maintain very high quality with the constant scattering. The accelerator beamline is under ultrahigh vacuum (i.e. better than 10^-9 Torr).

    Zz.
     
  10. Oct 25, 2005 #9
    Are conditions provided in Young's double slit experiment are similar to what you work with in a particle acculerator.?
    -Scott
     
  11. Oct 26, 2005 #10
    ahh, you work a Fermilab Zapperz? neato! that would be fun
     
  12. Oct 26, 2005 #11

    ZapperZ

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    No, I don't. I said I work with a particle accelerator, not a particle collider. Fermilab doesn't have a monopoly on all the particle accelerator in the Chicagoland area.

    Zz.
     
  13. Oct 26, 2005 #12

    ZapperZ

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    Come again?

    Zz.
     
  14. Oct 26, 2005 #13
    Might as well go back to the beginning and clarify a point. How do electrons you excellerate behave? Do they act like waves or do they just go in a strait line?
    -Scott
     
  15. Oct 26, 2005 #14

    ZapperZ

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    They behave like classical particles. I think I've mentioned this before. "Straight lines" really don't apply here since you have space charge effects, emittance, solenoid fields, and steering fields.

    Zz.
     
  16. Oct 27, 2005 #15
    So I take it that you believe that the electron is a point particle clothed by the Hisenberg uncertainity priciple and not so much a wave.
    -Scott
     
  17. Oct 27, 2005 #16

    ZapperZ

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    Eh? This is getting awfully strange.

    Zz.
     
  18. Oct 27, 2005 #17
    I should really just forget all the stuff I thought I knew and start out with the basics. What does particle accelerating show us? I mean particle colliders find smaller constituent particles but what can a particle accelerator demonstrate?
    -Scott
     
  19. Oct 27, 2005 #18

    ZapperZ

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    The use of particle accelerators:

    1. For high energy physics experiments. They provide the high energy particles that are then used in the collider.

    2. In a synchrotron radiation center. Electrons are accelerated to practically c and then shoot into a synchrotron storage center where it "coasts" around and around in circles giving up synchrotron radiation and other light to be used to study everything from protein to DNA to mummies to properties of materials.

    3. In your doctor's office to generate very precise x-ray beams for imaging and diagnostics.

    4. etc.

    This means that particle accelerator does NOT automatically implies particle collider (my pet peeve).

    I don't know why this has morphed into what an accelerator can reveal.

    Zz.
     
  20. Oct 27, 2005 #19
    Its more so a irrelevant tangent I went off on. Really I am just curious about the current state of the contraversy with wave-particle duality. What is the current view of all of this? Have people simply just used either theory when it applies or is there still an arguement?
    -Scott
     
  21. Oct 29, 2005 #20

    lightgrav

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    Electrons in a conductor travel as waves.
    Electrons in a vacuum travel as waves.

    This goes for ZapperZ's electrons, too.

    The big difference is that Electron waves in a conductor
    cautiously "feel" their way among the Electric Potential Wells
    of the substrate atoms, tilted as they are in the weak E-field.
    They get to cooperate with (or confront) the other electrons
    that they overlap, as their encircling magnetic fields guide
    them into - %!$&!# tripped me, that well, tumbling now, back,
    here's a B loop, next well, another, neighbor spare some L?,
    well to well on and on downwind easier ...

    they don't even notice the speed of light, so extended.

    ZapperZ's got this poor little lonely wave so scared
    its spin aligns inside the B-guide loop.
    I've tickled nuclei with these myself,
    but I could treat the Electron as a wave the whole time.

    Some say that an Electron interacts as a particle,
    (when not travelling as a wave)
    but it interferes with itself even as it resonates off a nucleus.
    I can't imagine a scenario so extreme that it is particle-like
    (and I think I have a pretty good imagination).

    Small wave, compared to the beam-pipe, but still a wave.
     
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