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Wave and Particle Mass Energy Forms

  1. Oct 11, 2012 #1

    Physicist50

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    I was wondering that since most forms of energy can either be in wave or particle form, (example; photons and electromagnetic wave) and also since mass is also a form of energy, could mass energy also be in wave form, and if so, what would its characteristics be?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2012 #2
    To some extent you have answered your own question since you have observed that EM radiation has a wave form.

    Waves transport energy.
    Different types of waves use different physical variables to effect this

    For example EM uses electric fields,
    Sound wave use pressure
    Water waves use momentum

    All of which can do mechanical work

    So you can input energy in one place, use the wave variable to transport it somwhere else and then use it to do work to recover that energy.
     
  4. Oct 11, 2012 #3

    mfb

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    Quantum field theory treats particles as waves, and their mass influences the "frequency" (this is not a classical frequency, but it looks similar in equations).
     
  5. Oct 11, 2012 #4

    Drakkith

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    "Mass energy" is already in wave form as the mass of particles, which have wavelike properties.
     
  6. Oct 11, 2012 #5

    Physicist50

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    Good Point, thanks Drakkith.
     
  7. Oct 12, 2012 #6

    Drakkith

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    Understand that energy is not a "thing". It is a measure of what something "can do", meaning that energy is a measure of how much work something can do on something else. If a particle hits another one we can measure the starting and ending velocities of both particles, and knowing their mass, we know how much work was done by the first particle on the second. But what if we can't simply do an experiment like this and want to know how much work we can do IF we want to, or IF another event happens? For example we may need to know how fast a heating device will raise the temperature of a room before we build either one. That's where energy comes into play. We can say, based on our measurements of things like mass, velocity, etc, that A can do X amount of work to B, and assign a number to how much energy it possesses.

    Since energy isn't a tangible object, we cannot give it wavelike properties. Keep in mind that this description may break down at quantum levels. I don't know enough to say for certain it would still apply there. (Although I think it does)
     
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