# wave-particle a cycle?

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Photons, electrons, and I think many other "things" in quantum mechanics are said to be both particles and waves. I'm wonering, does this happen as a regular "timed" cycle or is this cycle of transformation irregular and unpredictable? And does anybody know why this happens or what event/s might cause this phenominom.

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Are you asking is the photon a particle for x amount of time and then it turns into a wave for y amount of time?

From the way I understand wave-particle duality is that particles and waves are two forms of the same thing. They are both waves and particles at the same time, however if you try to measure a certain property, you treat the photon as a particle or wave depending on what makes the most sence (i.e. if your passing an electron through a magnetic field to see how it is deflected, you treat it as a particle and not a wave).

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It's not a cycle. An electron will act like a wave basically whenever it can; if there is some situation where wave behavior is possible, like diffraction or interference, you will get that wave behavior.

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In quantum mechanics a "particle" is described by a wave and the dynamics is controlled by a differential equation, the Schrödinger equation. As such the so called wave-function and the differential equation allow the "particle" to exhibit wave properties like diffraction and interference.

The particle aspects of the "particle" are due to the effect of measurement on the wave-function. For example, measuring the position with give a "localised answer" (remember the uncertainty principle) though the wave-function itself could be smeared out much wider than this.

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Photons, electrons, and I think many other "things" in quantum mechanics are said to be both particles and waves. I'm wonering, does this happen as a regular "timed" cycle or is this cycle of transformation irregular and unpredictable? And does anybody know why this happens or what event/s might cause this phenominom.

I think all known particles have a wave function, but it's not a "cycle", it's just a constant property that describes that elementary particles are wave of existence which carry the information of a single point in space. This property of wave-particle duality is constant and extends indefinitely through space, however, when a particle is observed, the wave function temporarily collapses, and the thing that was once a wave now acts only as a single point for as long as it's measured, and this is where improbability comes in more. On top of not really being able to figure where the information in a wave is that well, there's also no current way to figure out exactly what position a particle assumes once its been observed, however, the particles do have places where they are most likely to be found and less likely to be found for a given amount of quantum mechanical properties, such as the energy of the particle (or "n"). For a particle in the lowest energy state, the most probable place for it to occur is roughly a sphere in the first orbital around the nucleus with a radius equal to .529*10^-10 meters, so from a single perspective, it would be a hydrogen atom with a more planetary orbital. For other energy levels, the highest probable places occupy different regions of space. If a bound electron gained energy to go to the next energy level, the highest probable place for it to show up would take either a double sphere (one sphere inside the other) or a dumbbell with the greatest radius at where the second energy level would be around the nucleus. It's also important to note that as a wave, an electron looks like its popping in and out of existence spending most of its time at the most probable place when it's observed. And once again, scientists haven't found a way to determine where the electron will "pop up" next.

Edited by steevey
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All quantum particles have particle and wave property.

So we can descrived their behavior by using particle movement equations and wave movement equations.

To solve all these equations is very complex, and useless, because it spends too much time even at the super computers for a simple problem.

So we can solve this problem by using one kind of equations, i.e., particle related equations or wave equations.

In general, particle behavior on the atom is expressed as wave equations.

And, photoelectric behavior is expressed as particle equations.

Edited by alpha2cen
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Well, I understand that if you want to engineer something you would use math for a particle, or wave accordingly. I find it very interesting that these things are more likely to be a particle in the first orbit near the nucleous. I'm sure these things could be calculated either way at any given moment but,

How do we know it's not a very quick cycle?

I imagine a band, and the proton is the drummer, (because I read they cannot coexist in the same nucleuos in the same state) and the better all the other quantum particles keep time, that is switching from particle to wave, the more stable an atom would be. Thus building more stable materials like stainless steel and gold that do not decay like other materials. And most importantly, I'm trying to reverse engineer the universe like every other curious soul does.

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Well, I understand that if you want to engineer something you would use math for a particle, or wave accordingly. I find it very interesting that these things are more likely to be a particle in the first orbit near the nucleous. I'm sure these things could be calculated either way at any given moment but,

How do we know it's not a very quick cycle?

I imagine a band, and the proton is the drummer, (because I read they cannot coexist in the same nucleuos in the same state) and the better all the other quantum particles keep time, that is switching from particle to wave, the more stable an atom would be. Thus building more stable materials like stainless steel and gold that do not decay like other materials. And most importantly, I'm trying to reverse engineer the universe like every other curious soul does.

The reason steel is stronger is because the 2% carbon offsets the atoms so that the molecular structure is less in a straight line and so then takes more force to change its physical structure. If you have iron, its molecular structure is more of a straight line, so its easier to bend.

And the reason we know its not a cycle is because in experiments where particles are not determined, the indirect result is a pattern that could only be caused by continuous or constant waves.

Also, switching from a particle to a wave doesn't effect the stability of an atom, it just effects how we view the matter we perceive around us. Plutonium is going to decay whether its been measured or not. Not only that, but while we are observing something, its still a wave, however we only see one property or position of the wave which is why electrons seem like there popping up at random locations when we observe them at an atomic level.

Edited by steevey
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Perhaps this is beyond the reasoning capacity of my current imagination. I've seen the double slit experiment cartoon by Dr. Quantum on you tube, and I can grasp the concept and difference between a particle and a wave. I always figured that our means of viewing the electrons passing through the slits, was causing them to "particleize" so to speak. I don't think I'm alone in the persumption.

So, with this presumption in mind, and the contemplation at hand, I'd have to say that perhaps these changes do not occur as a cycle but rather as a result of outside forces acting upon the quantum material at hand. Or perhaps random transition and outside forces working in comination, or They are both, wave and particle, all at the time and action determines results?

Hmmmm, Looks like I'll have to some research to gain a proper undersanding.

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Perhaps this is beyond the reasoning capacity of my current imagination. I've seen the double slit experiment cartoon by Dr. Quantum on you tube, and I can grasp the concept and difference between a particle and a wave. I always figured that our means of viewing the electrons passing through the slits, was causing them to "particleize" so to speak. I don't think I'm alone in the persumption.

So, with this presumption in mind, and the contemplation at hand, I'd have to say that perhaps these changes do not occur as a cycle but rather as a result of outside forces acting upon the quantum material at hand. Or perhaps random transition and outside forces working in comination, or They are both, wave and particle, all at the time and action determines results?

Hmmmm, Looks like I'll have to some research to gain a proper undersanding.

Whats going on its its still a wave, however your only just seeing a single set of properties (along with a single position) of it. That Dr. Quantum thing makes it seem as though its a particle first, and a wave second, and that usually confuses people. Just imagine the electron is a wave on water, and you just pick a single part of the wave to focus on. No one really knows why this occurs, but for some reason, photons hitting the electron and then hitting a rock doesn't cause its wave to collapse, it only happens with things that can "measure" the electron based on the photon.

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I think all known particles have a wave function, but it's not a "cycle", it's just a constant property that describes that elementary particles are wave of existence which carry the information of a single point in space. This property of wave-particle duality is constant and extends indefinitely through space, however, when a particle is observed, the wave function temporarily collapses, and the thing that was once a wave now acts only as a single point for as long as it's measured, and this is where improbability comes in more. On top of not really being able to figure where the information in a wave is that well, there's also no current way to figure out exactly what position a particle assumes once its been observed, however, the particles do have places where they are most likely to be found and less likely to be found for a given amount of quantum mechanical properties, such as the energy of the particle (or "n"). For a particle in the lowest energy state, the most probable place for it to occur is roughly a sphere in the first orbital around the nucleus with a radius equal to .529*10^-10 meters, so from a single perspective, it would be a hydrogen atom with a more planetary orbital. For other energy levels, the highest probable places occupy different regions of space. If a bound electron gained energy to go to the next energy level, the highest probable place for it to show up would take either a double sphere (one sphere inside the other) or a dumbbell with the greatest radius at where the second energy level would be around the nucleus. It's also important to note that as a wave, an electron looks like its popping in and out of existence spending most of its time at the most probable place when it's observed. And once again, scientists haven't found a way to determine where the electron will "pop up" next.

Nice post. This sums up most clearly and summarily the mosaic of empirical observations and predictive theorizing I've read about electron behavior. It's like watching an acrobat performing under a strobe light, imo. Very confusing but impressive that people have described the possible empirical observations so precisely.

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Nice post. This sums up most clearly and summarily the mosaic of empirical observations and predictive theorizing I've read about electron behavior. It's like watching an acrobat performing under a strobe light, imo. Very confusing but impressive that people have described the possible empirical observations so precisely.

Well, it has taken me over a few months to accurately describe a lot of the properties of quantum mechanics. But I still have more to go.

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I've been processing, and I'm wondering, could one describe the phenominom to someting similar to dashes on the highway. That is that: the dashed center line would be similar to the particles and the wave similar to the blur at higher rates of speed?

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I've been processing, and I'm wondering, could one describe the phenominom to someting similar to dashes on the highway. That is that: the dashed center line would be similar to the particles and the wave similar to the blur at higher rates of speed?

Mostly no, it's not anything like an electron moving around the nucleus. Its that the electron itself surrounds the nucleus and occupies an entire region of volume.

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Mostly no, it's not anything like an electron moving around the nucleus. Its that the electron itself surrounds the nucleus and occupies an entire region of volume.

I wasn't talking about the electron and the nucleous. I'm trying to understand how can a wave and a particle be both things at the same time. This seems to be the general consenses according to the feed back I'm getting.

I guess a particle is no more than the part of a quantum wave that we examine. If so then could one say that waves are a string of particles? Or is that a particle is more of a cross section of a wave.

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I wasn't talking about the electron and the nucleous. I'm trying to understand how can a wave and a particle be both things at the same time. This seems to be the general consenses according to the feed back I'm getting.

I guess a particle is no more than the part of a quantum wave that we examine. If so then could one say that waves are a string of particles? Or is that a particle is more of a cross section of a wave.

A particle is essentially a wave with determined properties and positions. What happens is when we observe an electron in a wave stat is for some reason the properties become determined (which determines the position), and that appears to be a particle. When you have just the wave state, the properties such as angular momentum aren't determined so the electron can occupy multiple places. It's sort of weird that way, but if things aren't determined, multiple possibilities exist simultaneously.

I can make a lose analogy to flipping a coin. You toss a coin in the air and whatever face becomes facing the ground after the coin's landed can't be the surface facing up. But, when the coin is in the air, you don't know what face is facing the ground. The face thats facing the ground is changing constantly, so the outcome is not yet determined, or you don't know what it is. And, in this motion either of both sides of the coin are at some point in time facing the ground.

This sorta does make it seem like a cycle, but its not. The actual wave of a particle isn't the exact same thing as a coin flip.

Edited by steevey
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I wasn't talking about the electron and the nucleous. I'm trying to understand how can a wave and a particle be both things at the same time. This seems to be the general consenses according to the feed back I'm getting.

I guess a particle is no more than the part of a quantum wave that we examine. If so then could one say that waves are a string of particles? Or is that a particle is more of a cross section of a wave.

I believe it is Max Planck that is credited with discovering that electromagnetic radiation is only emitted and/or absorbed in discrete amounts, otherwise called "packets" or "quanta." This is, to my knowledge, the reason that light and other EM radiation are described as particles/photons. However, there's a lot about the behavior of light to be understood in terms of wave-properties. Since light travels at fixed speed C, the only way for more energy to be transmitted per unit light is for the frequency to increase, which is the same thing as the wavelength shortening. You would think the amplitude could grow to deliver more energy with the same wavelength, but I can't remember reading anything about that aspect of light waves. In any case, the amount of energy delivered in any emission of EM radiation is supposedly not variable but fixed such that it isn't possible to transmit a partial quantum/packet of EM energy.

This logic of discreet amounts of energy translates into electron behavior, with electrons being limited to certain levels/states that they "jump" between. They can't simply keep losing energy until they fall into the nucleus. They get "stuck" at a certain level until they either absorb or emit energy and change levels as a result. This is my understanding, but I am no expert - just trying to learn and make sense of it all like you.

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You can transmit more energy at a given frequency by transmitting more photons. That's the quantum view of an increase in amplitude of the intensity. The increase is in units of $\hbar\omega$

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You can transmit more energy at a given frequency by transmitting more photons. That's the quantum view of an increase in amplitude of the intensity. The increase is in units of $\hbar\omega$

So, if we have an energy source emitting a beam of light of low intensity and then amp it up after a few seconds. Would there be less particles (Photons) in the front of the light beam than there are in the back of the light beam. If so than could one say that the light wave is made up of a chain of particles (photons) ?

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So, if we have an energy source emitting a beam of light of low intensity and then amp it up after a few seconds. Would there be less particles (Photons) in the front of the light beam than there are in the back of the light beam. If so than could one say that the light wave is made up of a chain of particles (photons) ?

I'd use stream, since chain might imply that they are somehow connected.

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I'd use stream, since chain might imply that they are somehow connected.

Thank you.

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A "safe zone" in the radiation belts surrounding Earth moves higher in altitude and latitude during peaks in solar activity, according to new research by a NASA-led team. The safe zone offers reduced radiation intensities to any potential spacecraft that must fly in the radiation belt region.

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A "safe zone" in the radiation belts surrounding Earth moves higher in altitude and latitude during peaks in solar activity, according to new research by a NASA-led team. The safe zone offers reduced radiation intensities to any potential spacecraft that must fly in the radiation belt region.

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