the rules of its application are unquestioned
and the accuracy and precision of its predictions are unsurpassed
in the entire history of science.
Throw a ball against a wall and it will be diffracted.
What it won’t be is a wave because of the way it acted.
I love quantum physics.
It is very exciting to think about the subatomic realm and to try to figure it out. Reading quantum physics encourages me imagine physics the very edge of our knowledge. And beyond.
I have wrestled quite a bit with wave-particle duality. I have never been comfortable with it. It seems a cop-out, a work-around, and compromise, a cheat to say that what we still think of as material objects sometimes act like particles and sometimes act like waves.
Since what we commonly think of as material is actually malleable energy, it makes more sense to me to consider that objects don’t switch back and forth between particle-form and wave-form, or necessarily “collapse” from wave to particle form, but are always both at the same time.
Even to call actual or potential energy a “wave form” may be inaccurate, but it is the language science has latched onto.
Quanta, like photons and electrons and quarks, are Einstein’s “energy packets”. That there are different “types” of quanta may be an illusion.
Gravity is a basic property of energy/matter, however, and doesn’t need to be force-fed into a grand unification theory.
I admit that I am still confused by the double-slit experiment.
I wonder, still, perhaps, if it isn’t the two slits that cause the interference pattern, not the fact that points of energy such as photons have a “wave” component.
I think of a water wave. When water is pushed through a single slit, it spreads out in a curved wave pattern. The water is not the wave – a wave pattern is being imposed upon the water molecules.
When water is pushed through double slits, the water molecules coming through each slit spread out in a curved wave pattern. The two waves interfere with each other, and a classic interference pattern is formed. But the water is still not a wave. Wave patterns are being imposed upon water. The interference patterns that result, as well, are imposed, or illusory as reality, not properties of water.
In other words, large numbers of individual water molecules can be arranged into wave patterns by being pushed and pulled into wave patterns. But that doesn’t make individual water molecules, or water as a substance, a wave.
Water molecules do not have wave-particle “duality”, then. Wave patterns may be imposed upon water molecules or photons, for the matter of that – that is all.
Waves are not things, and things can’t “be” waves. A wave is a pattern.
Let’s try this with another pattern system, say, the pattern formed by a local gravitational group, like any star and its captured planetoids. Our solar system, for instance, has a sun and eight larger planets in a fairly stable gravitational system.
Now, planets can be pushed into orbits around stars by gravity, but that doesn’t make a planet “an orbit”. An orbit is a pattern imposed upon moving bodies in a gravitational system.
As well, photons bend around massive bodies such as stars due to gravitational pushing, not due to “being waves”.
My hypothesis: Photons have energy. Since photons have energy, they have mass. Mass is “bent” by gravity.
Anyway, that is what makes sense to me. But I am an ignoramous.
Far be it from me to argue with physicists inventing mysterious dualities that even they don’t understand and haven’t figured out in almost one hundred years of arguing.
In a way, wave-particle duality is correct. Just substitute “energy” for “wave” and you’ve got it.
But that is because energy is nothing but movement.
The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments (book)
Jim Baggott. Oxford University Press, 2011.
See more books on Quantum Physics at my Amazon Store.
Are you certain, Mr. Heisenberg?
New measurements deepen understanding of quantum uncertainty
PhysOrg, January 17, 2012
Interference pattern built up photon by photon (YouTube Video)
Wave/Particle Duality Visualised (YouTube Video)
An interesting way of looking at it, but ultimately wrong, as well. And that’s not a Higgs boson.
Wave-Particle Duality (a cartoon)
I agree with the misogynistic particle, without the sexism.
MIT: Laser Diffraction and Interference.
Disentangling the wave-particle duality in the double-slit experiment
“Photons act like they go through two paths, even when we know which they took.”
Matthew Francis, Arstechnica, May 21 2012
No, they don’t.
The Higgs “Boson”
July 7, 2012
© 1980-2012 Cathi Carol. All rights reserved.
Last Updated: July 20, 2012
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