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B Wave particle duality - my visual/mental image

  1. Mar 11, 2017 #1
    I'm trying to get my head around some ideas in Quantum Mechanics, but I'm trying to find a visual/mental image of the ideas, so that I may, in some cases, understand a little better, if that's even possible.

    I have a mental image of wave/particle duality and I'd like to know if it's a valid image.

    The idea is based upon a bedsheet. If you take one end of the bedsheet and move it up and down, you can send a "wave" thru the sheet. Now, there's an infinite number of sheets, stacked on top of each other, but still moves like a single sheet....you can send a wave thru the sheets and the wave propagates thru the sheets in the same manner as in the single sheet. That's the "photon" field. The "tops" of each wave appear to us as "particles"....that's the part of the wave that we can "see"....that's the part of the field that's visible to us. The wave's propagation thru the sheet's is the propagation of photons from it's source. And also why they appear wavelike.

    Does that make sense? Is it a valid or correct or "a simplified representation of" or just a dumb idea?

    Gravity would be something in the sheets which tugs on the sheets, tugs the sheets towards its center. That would affect waves propagating thru the sheets.

    (I lurk on this board and read. I ask this question because I trust I'll get a good answer. I am truly in awe at the knowledge of the people who post here. Thank you!)

    - Steve
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Wave-particle duality is not part of the modern (that is, past 75 years or so) formulation of quantum mechanics, so if you're trying to get your head around some ideas in quantum mechanics, you can safely ignore everything you've heard about it.

    If you are serious about understanding this stuff, try Giancarlo Girardi's book "Sneaking a look at God's cards".

    (And please be mindful of the Physics Forums rule about posting personal theories and speculation).
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