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Wave and particle.

  1. Feb 26, 2005 #1
    I have a question about these concepts:
    I know that we can see both the wave and particle properties in all paricles and wave. but...
    when we call a "being" , "wave" or "particle".
    where is the distinction???
    thanks in advance.
    Somy :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2005 #2


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    The reality of the quanta is beyond us. We have a mathematical and physical undestanding of how they interact with us, but really all we have about them "at home" is some complex numbers that can be manipulated to give the probability of what they will do next. "Wave" and "particle" are the two physical behaviors that manifest when we observe them.
  4. Feb 27, 2005 #3
    Isnt the "distinction" what it is, in how the quanta is Interacting with us. I also Have a question about this. I just have to think of how to ask it:)P My question being more along the lines of why when they are interacting with us, ..... Hmmm gonna have to think about this one:)P Probly In over my head and shutting up now heheh
  5. Feb 27, 2005 #4
    The particle wave duality means that you can use either the "particle-language" or the "wave-language" when it comes to describing QM-phenomena. However you NEED to realize that this duality does NOT come from QM itself. In QM, you do NOT have this duality. It only exists because we look at the results predicted by QM with our "classical eyes"

    this duality is a way of interpreting stuff like wave functions and interference properties inherent to QM. You can switch from one vision to the other but you cannot use them simultaneously. So there is NO distinction in a particle and a wave in QM!!!

  6. Feb 27, 2005 #5
    Thanks marlon..they way I always look at a particle of energy depends on how Im applying it..I guess that would kinda answer what I was going to ask. so making the "distinction" determines if U have a wave or a particle? ...Hmm been up all night..better get some sleep before I pop a neron or 2 :zzz:
  7. Feb 27, 2005 #6
    Again, you always have the same quantummechanical entity which is described by the corresponding wavefunction. Making the distiction in this case is deciding whether we look through the "particle-like glasses" or the "wave-like glasses", however the thing we are looking at is not at one moment a particle and at another moment a wave. It is a "fixed" QM-object to which we look with our classical eyes, through one of the two possible glasses.

  8. Feb 27, 2005 #7
    Dear selfAdjoint, Marlon,
    thanks a lot. I think I got it!!!
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