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We state that electrons are subatomic particles with no known subcomponents.

We discover that these electrons behave as waves.

We also discover that sometimes, these electrons behave as point-particles.

We conclude that they're the both at the same time.

This, to me, sounds nonsensical. If this happened in math, and one discovered that 1 = 2, one would not go around saying that we have one-two duality, would we? No, we would question the axioms that we used to perform our calculations. If one-two duality is an outcome of those axioms, we should not accept one-two duality, rather we should reject the axioms!

Yet, in physics, this does not seem to be the case. Why? Why is wave-particle duality accepted, rather than the axioms rejected?

And what are the axioms in this case? Well, it's the first line in this question. We assumed electrons have no known subcomponents. Well, clearly our experimens show we're wrong. They do have subcomponents, and when the wave-like behavior of electrons occurs, it occurs precisely because of interactions between those subcomponents that we are not familiar with and therefore cannot understand.

So what am I missing? It seems like physicists have accepted this bizarre notion of wave-particle duality that even Einstein thought was an embarrassment of physics, rather than consider that some premises may be wrong and it is those wrong premises that lead to the wave-particle duality.

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    $\begingroup$ Where are experiments in your line of thinking? Moreover, but perhaps it is just semantic, I cannot judge this aspect, perhaps the idea is not that of a duality 1 = 2, but none of them..This said, perhaps we would arrive at even better formulation free of any contradiction. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista May 14 at 11:37
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    $\begingroup$ "seems like physicists have accepted this bizarre notion of wave-particle duality that even Einstein thought was an embarrassment of physics" What are you referring to here? I think you are greatly misunderstanding this here. One of Einsteins greatest achievements was explaining the photoelectric effect, which relies on quantum mechanics. $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist May 14 at 11:58
  • $\begingroup$ physics.stackexchange.com/q/635452/179151 $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist May 14 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ Luckily not all physicists agree with this duality. there are versions of QM that treat the wave as something material too. which means that there is no contradiction between point particles and waves (which are composed of hidden particles, the hidden variables, too, though not the same obviously as the normal point particles; this of course introduces a new duality but this duality is related to the same structures., i.e., materials). $\endgroup$ – Deschele Schilder May 14 at 12:35
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I suppose OP doesn't understand what meant by Wave-Particle duality. The wave-particle duality is not a contradiction with theory, it's a state of delusion of the Human Mind. It's a situation when one is forced to choose one of nature (particle or wave) but not able to do so. Because in microscopic situations, it's possible for a particle to have both natures, it even depends on How you probe the object? It's not a failure of the electron that it's not able to choose one nature nor of our probing, it's a failure of our language, We shouldn't use terms that describe the mutually exclusive set to describe the objects in microscopic word.

A better description or a better language happens to be in terms of mathematics that we use to explain objects and this state of delusion goes away.


PS electron is an elementary particle and can not be divided into subparticles.

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Maybe, just maybe, we don't have a good word for it and we should call it a "warticle" or a "pave"? Why would you expect that a phenomenon at such a small scale can be described by words we use for the macroscopic world? Sometimes it behaves like how we know a wave behaves, sometimes it behaves like how we know a particle behaves. There is nothing more to it. Learn to live with it!

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for "warticle" and "pave" ;) $\endgroup$ – Jonas May 14 at 12:42

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