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Viruses and Quantum Mechanical Spreading

  1. Jun 27, 2008 #1
    I was just wondering if viruses experenced quantum mechanical spreading... if we represent a virus by a wave packet, we have that (assuming that the density of a virus is, say, 300 kg/m^3)...

    [tex]a = 10 nm, m = \pi * a^3 * 300 = 9.43 \cdot 10^{-22} kg[/tex]

    Now, after a period of time, [tex]\tau[/tex] where

    [tex]\tau = 2ma^2/ \hbar[/tex]

    , a wave packet experiences significant quantum mechanical spreading. But here, [tex]\tau = 0.001787 s[/tex]! What exactly does this mean? Does this mean we have major difficulties locating viruses at a particular time and place (we can see them through electron microscopes...)? What exactly does quantum mechanical spreading refer to?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2008 #2


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    where does the equation
    [tex]\tau = 2ma^2/ \hbar[/tex]
    come from?
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