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  • Explain the concept of particle-wave duality, and its scope.

Particle-wave duality —the fact that all particles have wave properties—is one of the cornerstones of quantum mechanics. We first came across it in the treatment of photons, those particles of EM radiation that exhibit both particle and wave properties, but not at the same time. Later it was noted that particles of matter have wave properties as well. The dual properties of particles and waves are found for all particles, whether massless like photons, or having a mass like electrons. (See [link] .)

Part a shows a moving electron represented as a small spherical ball enclosing a wave. An arrow shows the direction of the moving electron. The speed of electron is v. Part b shows a moving photon as a small ellipse enclosing a wave. An arrow shows the direction of the moving photon. The speed of photon is c.
On a quantum-mechanical scale (i.e., very small), particles with and without mass have wave properties. For example, both electrons and photons have wavelengths but also behave as particles.

There are many submicroscopic particles in nature. Most have mass and are expected to act as particles, or the smallest units of matter. All these masses have wave properties, with wavelengths given by the de Broglie relationship λ = h / p size 12{λ = h/p} {} . So, too, do combinations of these particles, such as nuclei, atoms, and molecules. As a combination of masses becomes large, particularly if it is large enough to be called macroscopic, its wave nature becomes difficult to observe. This is consistent with our common experience with matter.

Some particles in nature are massless. We have only treated the photon so far, but all massless entities travel at the speed of light, have a wavelength, and exhibit particle and wave behaviors. They have momentum given by a rearrangement of the de Broglie relationship, p = h / λ size 12{p = h/λ} {} . In large combinations of these massless particles (such large combinations are common only for photons or EM waves), there is mostly wave behavior upon detection, and the particle nature becomes difficult to observe. This is also consistent with experience. (See [link] .)

A massive rock is shown on the left. A massless wave is shown on the right. The propagation of the wave is shown in three dimensional planes, with the variation of two components, E and B. E is a sine wave in one plane with small arrows showing the direction of vibrations. B is a sine wave in a plane perpendicular to the E wave. The B wave has arrows to show the vibrations of particles in the B plane. The waves are shown intersecting each other at the junction of the planes because E and B are perpendicular to each other. The direction of propagation of the wave is shown perpendicular to both E and B waves.
On a classical scale (macroscopic), particles with mass behave as particles and not as waves. Particles without mass act as waves and not as particles.

The particle-wave duality is a universal attribute. It is another connection between matter and energy. Not only has modern physics been able to describe nature for high speeds and small sizes, it has also discovered new connections and symmetries. There is greater unity and symmetry in nature than was known in the classical era—but they were dreamt of. A beautiful poem written by the English poet William Blake some two centuries ago contains the following four lines:

To see the World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour

Integrated concepts

The problem set for this section involves concepts from this chapter and several others. Physics is most interesting when applied to general situations involving more than a narrow set of physical principles. For example, photons have momentum, hence the relevance of Linear Momentum and Collisions . The following topics are involved in some or all of the problems in this section:

Questions & Answers

Is earth is an inertial frame?
Sahim Reply
The abacus (plural abaci or abacuses), also called a counting frame, is a calculating tool that was in use in Europe, China and Russia, centuries before the adoption of the written Hindu–Arabic numeral system
Sahim
thanks
Irungu
Most welcome
Sahim
Hey.. I've a question.
Sahim Reply
?
Shii
Is earth inertia frame?
Sahim
only the center
Shii
What is an abucus?
Irungu
what would be the correct interrogation "what is time?" or "how much has your watch ticked?"
prakash Reply
a load of 20N on a wire of cross sectional area 8×10^-7m produces an extension of 10.4m. calculate the young modules of the material of the wire is of length 5m
Ebenezer Reply
Young's modulus = stress/strain strain = extension/length (x/l) stress = force/area (F/A) stress/strain is F l/A x
El
so solve it
Ebenezer
please
Ebenezer
two bodies x and y start from rest and move with uniform acceleration of a and 4a respectively. if the bodies cover the same distance in terms of tx and ty what is the ratio of tx to ty
Oluwatola Reply
what is cesium atoms?
prakash Reply
The atoms which form the element Cesium are known as Cesium atoms.
Naman
A material that combines with and removes trace gases from vacuum tubes.
Shankar
what is difference between entropy and heat capacity
Varun
Heat capacity can be defined as the amount of thermal energy required to warm the sample by 1°C. entropy is the disorder of the system. heat capacity is high when the disorder is high.
Chathu
I want learn physics
Vinodhini Reply
sir how to understanding clearly
Vinodhini
try to imagine everything you study in 3d
revolutionary
pls give me one title
Vinodhini
displacement acceleration how understand
Vinodhini
vernier caliper usage practically
Vinodhini
karthik sir is there
Vinodhini
what are the solution to all the exercise..?
What is realm
Vinodhini Reply
The quantum realm, also called the quantum scale, is a term of art inphysics referring to scales where quantum mechanical effects become important when studied as an isolated system. Typically, this means distances of 100 nanometers (10−9meters) or less or at very low temperature.
revolutionary
How to understand physics
Vinodhini Reply
i like physics very much
Vinodhini
i want know physics practically where used in daily life
Vinodhini
I want to teach physics very interesting to studentd
Vinodhini
hy
Aderibigbe
sir
Vinodhini
how can you build interest in physics
Prince
by reading it
Austin
understanding difficult
Vinodhini
vinodhini mam, physics is used in our day to day life in all events..... everything happening around us can be explained in the base of physics..... saying simple stories happening in our daily life and relating it to physics and questioning students about how or why its happening like that can make
revolutionary
your class more interesting
revolutionary
anything send about physics daily life
Vinodhini
How to understand easily
Vinodhini
check out "LMES" youtube channel
revolutionary
even when you see this message in your phone...it works accord to a physics principle. you touch screen works based on physics, your internet works based on physics, etc....... check out google and search for it
revolutionary
hi vinodhini
Karthi
hi
Dada
yea
Solomon
Hi guys
poojaa
hello
Abednego
what is mean by Newtonian principle of Relativity? definition and explanation with example
revolutionary Reply
what is art physics
Akinbulejo Reply
I've been trying to download a good and comprehensive textbook for physics, pls can somebody help me out?
Olanrewaju
try COLLEGE PHYSICS!! I think it will give you an edge.
Lawal
c=1/c1+c2/1+c3 what is the answer
Akinbulejo Reply
got on answers bro
smith
This may seem like a really stupid question, but is mechanical energy the same as potential energy? If not, what is the difference?
Nikki Reply
what is c=1\c1,c=2\c2,c=3\c3
Akinbulejo
mechanical energy is of two types 1: kinetic energy 2: potential energy,so, potential energy is actually the type of mechanical energy ,the mechanical due to position is designated as potential energy
Iram
Thank you!!!!!
Nikki
Can someone possibly walk me through this problem? " A worker drives a 0.500 kg spike into a rail tie with a 2.50 kg sledgehammer. The hammer hits the spike with a speed of 65.0 m/s. If one-third Of the hammer's kinetic energy is converted to the internal energy of rhe hammer and spike.
Nikki
how much does the total internal energy increase
Nikki
you know the mass and the velocity of the hammer. therefore using the equation (mv^2)/2 you can find the kinetic energy. then take one third of this value and that will be your change in internal energy. here, the important thing is that spike is stationary so it does not contribute to initial Energ
Chathu
Thabk you! :)
Nikki
what is the formula for finding the to total capacitance in series arrangement
Austin Reply
Don't know
Ugwu
C = 1/C1+1/C2+1/C3
Nangbun
c=1/c1+1/c2+1/c3
Akinbulejo
what is heat capacity?
smith Reply
Amount of heat that increases the temperature of 1 kg of matter by 1 degree(either celsius or kalvin)
Mateo
it is the ratio between the amount of heat added to an object and the temperature change
Giovanni
what is the different between specific heat capacity and latent heat capacity?
smith

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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