A Conversation for Wave-Particle Duality

de Broglie and his balls

Post 1

Project Manager Extraordinaire

The squiggly theorem was that an electron can pass through two narrow slits in a plane and interfere with itself, making a pretty pattern on the far side. The balls theorem would require the electron to bounce when it hit the plane. Since the physicists could clearly see the interference pattern, they could not argue. (Remember children this was before the TV censor or the 9 o'clock watershed were either invented, and please do not try this at home without an adult to help.)

A more recent theorem depends on the electron existing in chunks of fixed (quantum) size and continually arguing with iteself and the surrounding world (its context) which way it is moving. As it approaches objects the conversation goes: "Shall I carry on as though nothing was there?" "Shall I recognise this solid wall as a constraint on my freedom?" "Might." ".Might not" etc. And sometimes it has enough energy to wiffle through stuff. Other times it just cannot be bothered.

Of course having 3 threorem to explain an electron is a mite confusing for the physicists so they are currently trying to explain it away as a cluster of even more fundermental particles - each with its own special theorem.


de Broglie and his balls

Post 2

Jan^

Anthropmorphism of electrons really does not help when trying to explain wave-particle duality, cute though it may be. C.P. Snow was right, there are two cultures. Science and Arts may try to mix, but the outcome is inevitably catastrophic. *holds head in hands and moans quietly*
I could try to explain it, but, quite honestly, I don't have the strength. Go read a physics text book.
Over to you, the next contestant.


de Broglie and his balls

Post 3

Dudemeister

Electrons are people too!

Maybe a bit negative sometimes, but they don't sit on the fence like those neutron types who don't have the balls to stand up for anything and waft around in their own little wavy way.


de Broglie and his balls

Post 4

Jan^

Again, cute. You'll be complaining next that neutrinos are very insensitive as they never stop to say hello. It makes a fun forum, but does not add to the collective sum of human knowledge. C.P. Snow is now revolving very, very fast.


de Broglie and his balls

Post 5

Dudemeister

Like an "orbiting" electron (or electron that is probably around this space here sometimes or goes to this other space) in something hot?


de Broglie and his balls

Post 6

Jan^

No, more like a neutron star with an attitude problem.


de Broglie and his balls

Post 7

Researcher 91686

Apparently not only electrons but also photons have this nasty
wave-particle duality. What is the story, really ? In my ignorance
I must confess that it does not seem entirely plausible that they
are particles now, waves later, then particles again, etc. Are they
"in fact" some 3rd entity that resembles a wave under certain conditions and a particle at other times ? Is there a consensus that
the wave-particle duality is a temporary cover-up ?


de Broglie and his balls

Post 8

The Jester (P. S. of Village Idiots, Muse of Comedians, Keeper of Jokes, Chef and Seraph of Bad Jokes) LUG @ A458228

Two atoms are walking down the street. One turns to the other and says, "I think I'm an ion."
The other one replies, "Are you sure?"
"I'm positive."


de Broglie and his balls

Post 9

Jan^

Things work differently at quantum levels. It is not a cover-up. I refer you to my previous answer (buy a text book).


de Broglie and his balls

Post 10

Si

I'm amazed the Snooker players didn't catch on sooner. I've certainly witnessed a great deal of interference on snooker/pool tables, particularly around the pockets.


de Broglie and his balls

Post 11

Researcher 91686

Lame!!!! You mean you can't explain it to a layperson in
under 10 sentences ? Pretty grim.


de Broglie and his balls

Post 12

Jan^

I know, total wimp out, but I am too tired to explain quantum physics in more than one forum at a time. So if I get a sudden spurt of enthusiasm I'll have a go, but don't hold your breath. LOL smiley - smiley


de Broglie and his balls

Post 13

That Wicked Person

Warning:this entry may offend humanists(and anyone who has actually studied physics instead of just thinking about it).
The universe is really big, and each part of it is extremely complex. The amount of differences between individual people, cells, molecules and the like(no two anythings are EXACTLY alike, nor act in exactly the same way every time). Therefore, no one human mind can completely and fully explain or understand everything which is true about any one thing, let alone everything that exists. Being naturally creative, inventive beings, Man makes up Thought Models to help him understand as much as he thinks he needs to about things. Thought Models(like religions) are less importantly true than useful and good in their influence. They are an attempt to generalize, a thing people do so they can do away with all of the individual facts they don't feel are useful or relevant to think about at the time. Was Darwin "wrong" about many things? Was Newton? Was Freud? Was the bible? Is there an absolute standard for what is "wrong" as opposed to "This seems to work pretty well, so I'll go along with it"?


de Broglie and his balls

Post 14

Dudemeister

I just think .. therefore I think I am.


de Broglie and his balls

Post 15

That Wicked Person

I have little option or opinion in the matter of if I exist or how.


de Broglie and his balls

Post 16

Dudemeister

I can understand the envelope of your thought model. I hope it fits fine. smiley - bigeyes


de Broglie and his balls

Post 17

That Wicked Person

Fits great, cost a fair bit. My only worry is where to get another one when this one eventually wears out.


de Broglie and his balls

Post 18

Jan^

Your thoughts are almost as good as Sir Isaac Newton's just before he died :
'I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.'

Be that a warning to us all. smiley - fish


de Broglie and his balls

Post 19

Dudemeister

That is a concise and in my opinion perfect description of what being a scientist is (at heart). What would a similar description of an engineer be? Maybe E. Laithewaite has an old quote, or some other suitably brilliant dude.


de Broglie and his balls

Post 20

Jan^

I don't know, but perhaps something like this:

'I was walking along a seashore and found a beautiful shell, but I saw that it could be so much more than a shell. The initial work was done, but there was so much else to be discovered and used. I discovered it, others used it, and so the world was a better place.'

and I hope, in humility,

'I couldn't have begun to do my work without the being that understood the shell, so to it also must go the credit.'

So science discovers, engineering uncovers.

A nice thought. smiley - smiley


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