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Virtual particlea and waves

  1. Nov 14, 2014 #1
    If there is such a thing as a virtual particle, is there also such a thing as a virtual wave? what would that actually mean?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2014 #2


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    More knowledgeable people than me would say 2 things:
    *Wave-particle duality is a leftover from the early days of Quantum Mechanics. This concept is obsolete today.
    * Virtual particles are internal lines of Feynman diagrams (which are pictorial representations of possible interaction scenarios in QFT and handy calculational tools in perturbation theory).
  4. Nov 17, 2014 #3
    So let me get this straight. particle wave duality is a left over from early qf because the physisist then were stuck in a paradime over particles and waves, as a result of observing material particles and mechanical waves in real world Newtonian physics. so in conclusion. a Tron ( say an electron.) sometimes be haves like a particle and sometimes like a wave. infact a Tron is neither (it is actually beyond our experience at our scale of existence where most things observed with the naked eye obey Newton.). there for waves are not the only thing that can create an interference pattern. The particle-wave nature of Trons is just one of the qualities that they have along with a raft of other quantum values like spin and charge ect.
  5. Nov 18, 2014 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Its left over from ideas that were about prior to Dirac publishing his transformation theory in December 1926:

    Specifically it was part of the 1924 thesis of De-Broglie that led to Schroedinger's equation and wave mechanics. But there was this thing called matrix mechanics that didn't have it and it was just as successful. Dirac showed they were two aspects of a more general theory based on observables and a quantum state with the wave-particle idea nowhere in sight.

    That theory is basically what goes under the name of QM today. There is no wave-particle duality - simply this thing called a quantum state.

    Why it still hangs around is because of the semi historical approach most texts take.

    The correct analysis of the double slit experiment has nothing to do with waves:

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
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