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The ParticleWave Duality

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The ParticleWave Duality
CHAPTER 29 | INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM PHYSICS
Discussion
This value for momentum is the same as found before (note that unrounded values are used in all calculations to avoid even small rounding
errors), an expected verification of the relationship p = E/c . This also means the relationship between energy, momentum, and mass given by
E 2 = (pc) 2 + (mc) 2 applies to both matter and photons. Once again, note that p is not zero, even when m is.
Problem-Solving Suggestion
Note that the forms of the constants
and Exercises.
h = 4.14×10 –15 eV ⋅ s and hc = 1240 eV ⋅ nm may be particularly useful for this section’s Problems
29.5 The Particle-Wave Duality
We have long known that EM radiation is a wave, capable of interference and diffraction. We now see that light can be modeled as photons, which
are massless particles. This may seem contradictory, since we ordinarily deal with large objects that never act like both wave and particle. An ocean
wave, for example, looks nothing like a rock. To understand small-scale phenomena, we make analogies with the large-scale phenomena we observe
directly. When we say something behaves like a wave, we mean it shows interference effects analogous to those seen in overlapping water waves.
(See Figure 29.20.) Two examples of waves are sound and EM radiation. When we say something behaves like a particle, we mean that it interacts
as a discrete unit with no interference effects. Examples of particles include electrons, atoms, and photons of EM radiation. How do we talk about a
phenomenon that acts like both a particle and a wave?
Figure 29.20 (a) The interference pattern for light through a double slit is a wave property understood by analogy to water waves. (b) The properties of photons having
quantized energy and momentum and acting as a concentrated unit are understood by analogy to macroscopic particles.
There is no doubt that EM radiation interferes and has the properties of wavelength and frequency. There is also no doubt that it behaves as
particles—photons with discrete energy. We call this twofold nature the particle-wave duality, meaning that EM radiation has both particle and wave
properties. This so-called duality is simply a term for properties of the photon analogous to phenomena we can observe directly, on a macroscopic
scale. If this term seems strange, it is because we do not ordinarily observe details on the quantum level directly, and our observations yield either
particle or wavelike properties, but never both simultaneously.
Since we have a particle-wave duality for photons, and since we have seen connections between photons and matter in that both have momentum, it
is reasonable to ask whether there is a particle-wave duality for matter as well. If the EM radiation we once thought to be a pure wave has particle
properties, is it possible that matter has wave properties? The answer is yes. The consequences are tremendous, as we will begin to see in the next
section.
PhET Explorations: Quantum Wave Interference
When do photons, electrons, and atoms behave like particles and when do they behave like waves? Watch waves spread out and interfere as
they pass through a double slit, then get detected on a screen as tiny dots. Use quantum detectors to explore how measurements change the
waves and the patterns they produce on the screen.
Figure 29.21 Quantum Wave Interference (http://cnx.org/content/m42573/1.3/quantum-wave-interference_en.jar)
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