# Fusing Particles and Wave function

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So if I have a proton and an electron, and they fuse to form a neutron, what happens to the prior wave functions? Is there some conservation of wave function law? Is there a mathematical process that shows how the wave function of two opposite charged particles change into one new wave function?

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Wave functions are descriptions, not real things. The only "conservation law" I can think of is that when you multiply a wave function by its complex conjugate and integrate over all space, you get an answer of "1"

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Wave functions are descriptions, not real things.

So your telling me the double slit experiment was magic? Cause otherwise the double slit experiment proves wave functions are real things which are a part of elementary particles. How else could single electrons at a time form an interference pattern?

Edited by steevey
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So your telling me the double slit experiment was magic? Cause otherwise the double slit experiment proves wave functions are real things which are a part of elementary particles. How else could single electrons at a time form an interference pattern?

An electron is a wave, which is why it shows interference. A wave and a wave function are not the same thing.

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An electron is a wave, which is why it shows interference. A wave and a wave function are not the same thing.

But a wave function is the reason why an electron is a wave, because once you observe the electron, the electron no longer acts like a wave.

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But a wave function is the reason why an electron is a wave, because once you observe the electron, the electron no longer acts like a wave.

You are confusing the deBroglie wavelength with the wave function. They aren't the same thing.

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You are confusing the deBroglie wavelength with the wave function. They aren't the same thing.

Deboglie is just the statement that an electron is a wave and some relationships between energy and an electron's position. I'm looking for the reason for it being a wave and having all these weird probability factors as well as a mathematical way to describe the combining of the wave functions of two non-identical particles.

Wave functions are descriptions, not real things. The only "conservation law" I can think of is that when you multiply a wave function by its complex conjugate and integrate over all space, you get an answer of "1"

That sounds like normalization, which isn't what I'm looking for.

Edited by steevey
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That sounds like normalization, which isn't what I'm looking for.

It is a little more than than. We require that the evolution of a quantum system be unitary, that is we want probability to be conserved.

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So if I have a proton and an electron, and they fuse to form a neutron, what happens to the prior wave functions? Is there some conservation of wave function law? Is there a mathematical process that shows how the wave function of two opposite charged particles change into one new wave function?

The prior wave functions fade out, the new one grows up. The easies way to see it is to consider the occupation numbers of different states. Occupation numbers change at a given total energy, momentum, angular momentum and maybe some other conserved quantities. Kind of balance equations.

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The prior wave functions fade out, the new one grows up. The easies way to see it is to consider the occupation numbers of different states. Occupation numbers change at a given total energy, momentum, angular momentum and maybe some other conserved quantities. Kind of balance equations.

Well what happens to all the quarks? Cause if I remember correctly, quarks make up both protons AND electrons, which I think there's 3 of in each, but I don't remember how many of in a neutron. If a neutron has a different amount of quarks which is less than 6, wouldn't that prove it's a new mathematical wave function entirely? But then, what happened to the other 3 quarks that were in the proton and electron that formed it? Why wouldn't they get entangled as well?

Edited by steevey
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We do not have many wave functions but one sole (total) that represents the occupation numbers of different states (particles). Particles are just excited states of this wave function. If there is no particle, the wave function is in it ground state.

On the other hand, the amplitudes of populations may be considered as "wave functions" of particular particles. It is these amplitudes that grow up and fade out in reactions. These amplitudes are responsible for probabilities of reactions. If a particular amplitude is equal to zero, it does not mean the total wave function is zero.

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There are no quarks comprising an electron; it's a fundamental particle.

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There are no quarks comprising an electron; it's a fundamental particle.

Well they are both fermions, but something has to make up an electron, and something has to be happening at least mathematically to the wave function if you combine them. Otherwise, how could you have a new wave function?

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Well they are both fermions, but something has to make up an electron...

To date there is no evidence that an electron has any internal structure. That is not to say that it is impossible, but right now there is little reason to introduce internal structure in the theories.

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