Anyone have any ideas as to what the quantum wave is in itself. It obviously isn't the particle, though it is somehow associated with it, but it is something since it creates the wave pattern seen in the double split experiment.
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The quantum wave.
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Originally posted by JimL View PostAnyone have any ideas as to what the quantum wave is in itself. It obviously isn't the particle, though it is somehow associated with it, but it is something since it creates the wave pattern seen in the double split experiment."[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View PostThis depends largely upon one's preferred interpretation of QM, but in general, I think it's safe to say that the wave function describes the probability amplitude of a quantum state, which can then provide information about properties of that quantum system, such as spin, momentum, position, etc.
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Originally posted by JimL View PostBut the wave passes through the 2 slits and causes an interference pattern on the detector screen, so no matter the interpretation the wave must have a physical nature to it, No?"[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)
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Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View PostThe wave describes the behavior of the quantum, but it is unclear what exactly this means for its physical description. Feynman argued that the quantum actually occupies all possible paths which it can occupy, and that the wave function describes the sum over all these paths. Everett's Many Worlds argues that there is a distinct universe for each possible position that a quantum can take, and that these worlds interact with one another to produce the wavelike behavior. The standard Copenhagen interpretation says that the quantum does not have a welldefined position, at all, but instead has a probabilistic position until it is discretized by observation.
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Originally posted by JimL View PostYes, but all of these descriptions, including the double slit experiment itself, particularly the double slit experiment, define the wave as a thing that physically exists prior to observation of the associated particle. The wave interferes with, and causes the associated particle to hit the screen where it does."[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)
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Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View PostI'm not sure what you're getting at those were all physical descriptions of the wave function.
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Originally posted by JimL View PostWhat I am trying to get at, whether it makes sense or not, is what exactly is the wave? What is it made of? It is somehow associated with the particle, but it isn't the particle.Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:
go with the flow the river knows . . .
Frank
I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.
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Originally posted by JimL View PostWhat I am trying to get at, whether it makes sense or not, is what exactly is the wave? What is it made of? It is somehow associated with the particle, but it isn't the particle.
So, on Feynman's description, the wave is "made of" the quantum existing in many possible paths at a single time. On Many Worlds, the wave is "made of" the quantum's total existence over all possible worlds. On Copenhagen, the wave is "made of" the quantum spread out across spacetime.
Originally posted by shunyadragon View PostIn the science of the Quantum world science is more descriptive of the properties of things, and not necessarily what 'things are made of,' or 'exactly what things are.' The simplist answer is 'energy.'"[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)
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Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View PostActually, it is the quantum. It's not like a quantum is a particle which is somehow being affected by some separate entity which is a wave. The wavefunction is a description of the quantum, itself.
So, on Feynman's description, the wave is "made of" the quantum existing in many possible paths at a single time. On Many Worlds, the wave is "made of" the quantum's total existence over all possible worlds. On Copenhagen, the wave is "made of" the quantum spread out across spacetime.
That's not quite right. The wave function isn't really "made of" energy. But you are correct to say that the wavefunction describes the properties of the quantum.
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Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View PostThat's not quite right. The wave function isn't really "made of" energy. But you are correct to say that the wavefunction describes the properties of the quantum.Last edited by shunyadragon; 02142015, 08:29 AM.Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:
go with the flow the river knows . . .
Frank
I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.
Comment

Originally posted by JimL View PostYou seem to be both equating the wave with the quantum, and distinguishing between the wave and the quantum, as if the one both describes the other and is one with the other, but that doesn't explain what either of them are. What is it that goes through the double slit and interferes with itself to create the wave pattern of the particles on the detector screen?"[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)
Comment

Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View PostThe quantum is the entity which passes through the double slits. The wave function is a descriptor of that quantum. Asking "what is the wave made of?" is a bit like looking at a fast car and asking, "what is 80mph made of?"
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Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View PostThe quantum is the entity which passes through the double slits. The wave function is a descriptor of that quantum. Asking "what is the wave made of?" is a bit like looking at a fast car and asking, "what is 80mph made of?"Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:
go with the flow the river knows . . .
Frank
I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.
Comment

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