Questions tagged [wave-particle-duality]

Use this tag for questions relating to the "wave-nature of particles" or the "particle-nature of waves" as they are often discussed in quantum mechanics, where a single object has properties of both classical particles and classical waves.

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Who first brought out the “contradiction” between a photon's pure frequency and its finite duration? [closed]

Einstein has postulated that light quantum, later called "photon" by people, has frequency $\nu=E/h$ if it carries certain energy $E$. This brings out the question as whether the duration of ...
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Why doesn't Gaussian wavepacket broadening in position mean there will be a shortening in momentum?

Many sources that say in free broadening of a Gaussian wavepacket, the momentum uncertainty (I think defined in terms of the range of 'significant' momentum amplitudes) is time invariant even as the ...
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In quantum mechanics, what do we mean when we say an electron “is” a wave? [duplicate]

I'm studying quantum mechanics and chemistry and I've recently been reading about the dual nature of matter. It confuses me when they say that a particle, e.g. electron IS a wave, which I comprehend ...
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How is the dual slit experiment performed?

The most classical quantum theory experiment is the dual slit experiment where photons or electrons can be sent through one or two slits to see the pattern they create on the other side. This ...
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2answers
25 views

Can pure destructive interference be used to separate light waves and collapsed light particles?

In the double slit experiment we see that light waves can interfere with themselves to create interference patterns made of constructive and destructive interference. However, when we observe light ...
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4answers
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Particle as wave, stable?

I've started reading about the wave-particle duality but, after a few steps, reached a dead end: Schrodinger equation solutions for a free particle is a sum of terms of the form: $$\psi(\mathbf{r}, ...
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3answers
59 views

How do wave particles have spin?

I am not a student nor a scientist. If a photon is a wave until it is measured somehow, how can it have a spin? A wave is a wave. Is spin simply a mathematical tag that we give to particles? Or do ...
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1answer
44 views

Elastic scattering violates energy conservation?

In our introductory solid state lectures, the professor described von Laue's$^1$ diffraction conditions making the assumption of elastic scattering, which states that the incoming and the scattered ...
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Does velocity make sense if it is small relative to the de Broglie wavelength?

What does it mean if a particle has, say, de Broglie wavelength of $100m$ and a velocity of $1 m/s$? Is it even possible to have such a setup? I don't see why not, since we can always slow the ...
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1answer
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Is the Number of Photons Inversely Proportional to the Wavelength? [closed]

I was rearranging the equation for the energy of a wave in terms of the number of a photons in the wave, and velocity, and found that: starting with: $$ nhv=E $$ $$ E/nh=v $$ $$ E/nh=fλ $$ $$ E=nhfλ $...
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What is the significance of the de Broglie wavelength? [duplicate]

I have just learnt quantum physics in school and learnt the concept of wave-particle duality. But I still have trouble understanding what the de Broglie wavelength is. What does it mean for a particle ...
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De Broglie wavelength of composite systems

Can the De Broglie wavelength of a composite system (like a molecule) be derived as opposed to being calculated from the composite mass? EDIT: @Dr jh, interesting relation you have derived. However, ...
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Single Planck $h$ constants

Planck developed his black body radiation theory assuming that atoms treated as simple harmonic oscillators can stay in states of very much defined energy. If normal frequency of such oscillator is $\...
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1answer
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A wave or a particle?

Ever since I first read about the quantum eraser experiment, I was wondering: if after the "measurement" the wave function collapses and we can observe a particle - does that particle remain ...
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4answers
66 views

Why should the integral of wavefunction squared be normalized for a Quantum Object?

According to the statistical interpretation of Quantum Physics, a particle does not have a precise position regardless of any measurements. But then, the interpretation imposes another condition on ...
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2answers
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What principle of quantum mechanics tells us that harmonic fluctuations of a field act like localized particles? [duplicate]

"Quasiparticles" are ubiquitous in condensed matter physics, e.g. magnons and phonons, and more generally all particles in quantum field theory are considered the elementary harmonic ...
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Is proton diffraction more difficult to obtain experimentally?

I was studying the phenomena of particle diffraction and saw that any particle can be associated to a de Broglie wavelength, given by $$λ=\dfrac{h}{p}$$ Experimentally, we commonly talk about the ...
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Can a Molecular Beam in Molecular Beam Epitaxy be manipulated by Magnetic Lenses?

This might be somewhat of a dumb question but I'm doing research on direct write MBE and so far I can only find two papers on the topic one that uses liquid metal ion sources for patterning and ...
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What is the smallest DeBroglie wavelenth possible?

An electron has a larger DeBroglie wavelength than a proton. An atom has an even smaller one. Is there a limit to how small this wavelength can get? If so, at what particle size is that wavelenth ...
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2answers
87 views

Does a quantum wave stretch out forever?

In learning about the duality of quantum particles, I wonder if a quantum wave stretches out into the distance, essentially forever? And if so, when a particle is observed, is it possible (but highly ...
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1answer
118 views

Davisson and Germer experiment

I was reading about the experiment that confirms the wave particle duality as we see a sudden rise in galvanometer which was explained as a phenomenon of constructive interference. Is it possible that ...
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How is the equation for de Broglie wavelength actually derived?

I have seen the equation for de Broglie wavelength derived through equating Einstein's $E=mc^{2}$, and Planck's $E=hf$, using a substitution from $c=f\lambda$ to make things in terms of wavelength. ...
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7answers
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How do electrons divide?

Electrons show a banded distribution at the end of a double-slit experiment set-up. This banded pattern shows that wave interference prevents many electrons from reaching areas where probability is ...
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5answers
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How do subatomic particles have mass, velocity, spin etc if they are waves? [duplicate]

I don't think I understand the concept of sub-atomic particles very well. How can an electron or any sub-atomic particle have mass and spin if they are waves?
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'Why' is the Schrödinger equation non-relativistic?

The transition amplitude for a particle currently in one spacetime point to appear up in another point doesn't respect causality which becomes one of the main reasons to abandon non-relativistic ...
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How will detectors effect the inteference pattern in a double-slit experiment?

We know that if you put a detector at the slits in the double-slit experiment, no matter before slits or behind slits, it'll destroys the interference pattern and resulting chunk pattern (particles ...
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Many Worlds: What happens to the mass?

This question answers the conservation of energy in many worlds by stating that the overall energy of the system is still conserved by adding up the overall probabilities of and energies of the ...
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1answer
75 views

Why do we replace $c$ (speed of light) with $v$ in de Broglie's equation? [duplicate]

Deriving de Broglie's equation (as per my text and teacher) involves equating $E = mc^2$ with $E = h\nu$, where $\nu$ is the frequency. It goes like : $$mc^2 = h\nu$$ $$mc^2 = \frac{hc}{\lambda}$$ $$...
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1answer
80 views

Trying to prove Heisenberg's uncertainty wrong [duplicate]

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle states that we cannot determine the position and momentum of a particle at a time. I think I have an idea to prove it wrong ( although I believe I must be wrong here)...
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2answers
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How current is produced in photoelectric cell?

In photoelectric cells, a current is detected when photoelectrons reach the electrode on the opposite side of the tube after being emitted. But shouldn't current be detected when photoelectrons leave ...
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2answers
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On particle diffraction and its relation to the statistical interpretation of the wave function

Particles can be diffracted due to their quantum nature and that is understood by their wave-like behavior. Clearly seen in e.g. plane wave solutions of the Schrodinger equation or a superposition of ...
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Quantum Theory: Wave-Particle Duality

About the wave-particle duality theory, is it possible that the waves we see were created by the particle when moving throughout the quantum field? For example, a boat (the particle in this case) ...
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1answer
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Two slits experiment with glitchy detector

In the double slit experiment, when we place a detector on one of the slits, the electrons will start to act like particles. When we unplug the detector they return to acting like waves. What if our ...
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4answers
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If light is considered a wave, then what exactly is a photon? [duplicate]

So according to google: a photon is a particle that transmits light. Ok, but light is considered a wave, not a stream of particles(I'm pretty sure that this is what Young's double slit ...
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1answer
40 views

Is the incident photon in a mirror, the same one that reflects? [duplicate]

I am considering the photon as a particle. The incident energy may be equal to the reflected energy, but I would like to know if there is any theory or way of demonstrating that the incident photon ...
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2answers
61 views

Why does the De Broglie Wavelength influence the scale in which a nuclear reaction occurs?

In high energy accelerator collisions, why does the De Broglie wavelength of the incident particle affect the type of interaction it has with the target nucleus? E.g. In 280 MeV proton, "direct ...
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2answers
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Looking for a very cheap heuristic demonstration (in a few lines) of Heisenberg inequality

While I perfectly know the true demonstration of Heisenberg uncertainty principle (from the full QM machinery), I'm looking for a very cheap heuristic way of getting $$\Delta x \, \Delta p \ge h, \tag{...
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1answer
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Is there any upper limit for de broglie wavelength due to zero point energy?

We know that the lower the momentum a particle has the higher will be its de Broglie wavelength, so is there any upper limit to the de Broglie wavelength of electron or any other particle due to the ...
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1answer
53 views

${}$What is an electron? [duplicate]

I have been taught that an electron has a wave-particle duality nature and an electron behaves as a wave when traveling. I do also know that a wave is some kind of vibration, either it be a vibration ...
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4answers
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Waching particles go through the double slit?

Sorry in case this is a duplicate, I haven't studied physics or maths, and I can't find answers anywhere. The double-slit experiments are frequently explained online like the one here: https://www....
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In Scully Duhl quantum eraser experiment, how is it ensured that only one atom is excited?

The Scully Duhl quantum eraser experiment uses lasers to excite one of the two atoms (which each releases two photons in opposite directions) where each atom acts as a proxy for a slit in the ...
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1answer
31 views

What is the meaning when the expected value is equal to zero for a free particle?

Let there be a free particle with mass $m$. At time $t=0$ it can be described as following wave packet: $$ \psi(x) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2a}} \Theta(a-|x|) $$ where $\Theta$ is the Heaviside step ...
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2answers
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What is the wave function of a quantum particle? [closed]

What is the exact meaning of the wave function of a particle?
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1answer
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Does the double slit interference pattern depend upon probability?

If the interference pattern depends upon the probability of the particles travelling through the slit then the intensity at any point on the graph must not be zero. But graphs show that the intensity ...
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Considered as a wave, shouldn’t a photon’s energy decrease with distance from its point of emission?

I'm referring to this https://physics.stackexchange.com/q/543059 question and its most voted answer. If we view the photon as an electromagnetic wave, the field strength should diminish with distance,...
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1answer
44 views

Is the wavelength of matter proportional to momentum or uncertainty thereof?

I am confused about de Broglie waves and their relationship with the uncertainty principle. Both have similar formula and seem to be the same thing with a slight conceptual difference. De Broglie ...
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is there a minimum speed for particles for the double slit experiment?

I am working on some calculations and seems there must be a cutoff speed for each slit distance for the interference pattern. In other words, for a slit distance of “d” , by reducing the anode voltage ...
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1answer
37 views

De broglie frequency [closed]

The de broglie wavelength of matter particle is very low. Does that mean matter is associated with waves of high frequency? If so why can't we detect them?
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4answers
4k views

Why do photons follow specific path after reflection from a mirror surface if they can be emitted in any direction by electrons of mirror surface? [duplicate]

The electron absorbs the energy of photon(with specific frequency)and re-emits the photon.The photon can be emitted in any direction. So why do they get re-emitted in a specific direction after ...
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39 views

Which formulae should I use when calculating the frequency of an electron given its speed? [duplicate]

If I know the speed of an electron, how should I go about calculating its frequency? For example, if the electron was travelling at $v$ $ms^{-1}$ there are two options I could take. Calculate the ...

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