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Quantum mechanics tells us that any quantum particle behaves as particle or waves in different situations. Assume that the electron is behaving like wave in some situation, how can I visualise this situation. Whether the electron is continuously vibrating about its position or not? In internet I read that a single electron in hydrogen atom mostly behaves as wave . In that it is compared to the stranding waves on the guitar string I just want to know what it is doing when it is behaving as wave and as particle Please clarify this,otherwise I simply waste my time by keep on searching in Google ..... Please...

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  • $\begingroup$ "What it is doing" is evolving according to the Schrodinger equation. $\endgroup$ – WillO Oct 5 '15 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry sir, I'm just a college student. I know nothing about this Schrödinger equation. But wave means what? Is it lyk the standing wave of that string I mentioned? $\endgroup$ – Ajay vishwanath Oct 5 '15 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ Read the double-slit experiment for the electron in Feynman's Lectures in Physics at feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_37.html#Ch37-S1..... (experiment with bullets and waves) if you have not already. $\endgroup$ – SchrodingersCat Oct 5 '15 at 18:49
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It is a bit like the standing wave, but the "particle" (electron, in your example) would correspond to an excitation of the string, not the string itself. The string itself would represent the "wave function" of the electron.

But it's a string with a very strange property: it is either vibrating with a particular amplitude, or it is not vibrating at all. Vibrating means that the electron exists, not vibrating means it does not exist. This strange property is how the Pauli exclusion principle would work in your model: only one excitation allowed <=> only one electron per quantum state.

Believe me, it takes a while to get used to thinking about things this way. There really is no adequate analog or metaphor in our everyday experience that can be used to develop the visualization that you seek. In particular: don't think about a vibrating particle. That picture is far enough removed from real electron behavior that it is fruitless.

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  • $\begingroup$ Today I watched the video about Schrödinger cat. that means we can't really tell whether there is an electron or not in a particular place in an atom until we observe it at that place. From this what I understood is that 1).an electron can be anywhere in that atom. 2).it's not at all revolving 3).wave function is just a mathematical concept from which we can predict the position of electron 4). So finally wave nature means it can be in place around the atom. Are all these conclusions correct? $\endgroup$ – Ajay vishwanath Oct 6 '15 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that's pretty much it. $\endgroup$ – garyp Oct 6 '15 at 21:05

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