probability waves

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probability waves

Post by schrodinger on Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:24 am

if matter waves are only probability waves, then does that mean particles don't have wave like properties themselves? If that is so then how does an electron 'go through both slits' at the same time in a double slit experiment?

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Re: probability waves

Post by knight47 on Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:18 am

the electron dont go through both slits at the same time as per my understanding not a single electron shows wave nature a bunch of electrons show wave like nature. like the  spin theory given by bohr as you calculate spin of one electron the other gets altered ,similiarly as we put a detector at one of the slit ,its nature is altered.All i can say individual electrons dont have wave nature

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Re: probability waves

Post by bsms2016 on Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:08 pm

Actually matter waves are the ones whose DeBroglie wavelength we find out. But probability waves are formed by multiple electrons like @knight47 said. Are they both different? I think they are, but I'm not sure.

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Re: probability waves

Post by The Confused Guy (O.o)? on Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:11 pm

isnt it tat probability wave exist for any particle, but is observable only when u hav many
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Re: probability waves

Post by Sreejith A Nair on Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:24 am

Matter waves are probability waves. In which a measure (amplitude) of probability(|amplitude|^2) of finding a given particle varies with position and time. Also the de Broglis equation is independent of whether there is a group of electrons or a single electron. So wave nature is shown by even a single electron.

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Re: probability waves

Post by agreengirraffe on Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:21 am

(not my original idea,from some source)electrons behave weirdly. they have probability of existing at some point. that means they have a probability of existing. which means the can or cannot exist. they may exist at some point, and not the other. they may reappear some time other at some other place. their existence is wavy. DSE can be explained if an e can exist at 2 places at the same time. but massive things are large so individual particles of it don't change their position so much that the whole body seems to displaced. so they don't exhibit wavy nature.

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Re: probability waves

Post by Sabiya on Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:43 am

The wave that you are talking about is called the Schrödinger wave or wavefunction, which is described by the Schrödinger wave equation. At our level it is also called the De Broglie wave. It is a wave like no other, because it is mathematically complex and not real. This is why no one has been able to interpret it yet. But it is believed that this wave describes the particle. As bsms2016 pointed out, it is the wavelength of this wave that we find through the De Broglie relation. This wave is also called a probability wave because the |amplitude|^2 of this wave at a given point gives the probability density of finding our particle at that point. To come to your question, I think that objects in this universe have both particle and wave like properties. Which one of these dominates depends on the external condition. So in the single electron interference experiment, the electron is emitted as a particle and detected at the screen as a particle but in between, as there is no interaction with matter, it is free to completely become a wave in the form of its wavefunction and interferes with itself by going through both the slits. If you don't understand this, don't worry. Because as the great physicist Richard Feynman has said," Nobody understands quantum mechanics."
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Re: probability waves

Post by Sreejith A Nair on Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:02 pm

It's not like the electron becomes a wave, the probability of finding the electron becomes a wave. That is if the the electron is at first at a point it changes it's position and instentaniusly shows up at some other position in an unpredictable way. And all we can find is the probability of electrons being at a given point at a given time. This in turn changes as a wave function.

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Re: probability waves

Post by schrodinger on Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:12 pm

I sincerely believe that an electron doesn't actually jump from one place to another randomly but that there is something missing in our explanation, or specifically the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.

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Re: probability waves

Post by Sabiya on Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:10 am

Actually, Sreejith A Nair, all the information about the electron after it is emitted is encoded in it's wavefunction, and this wave travels forward, passing through both the slits and interfering with itself. Then at one of the places where it's amplitude is large (on the screen) the electron is detected. Hence it is quite reasonable to say that the electron is present completely in it's wavefunction between the emission and detection points. But as schrodinger pointed out, the Copenhagen interpretation seems to be missing something, which is why there is a probability<1 of finding the electron at any particular point on the screen. There could be some hidden variables that we are not aware of, which decide the path of the electron (hence keeping it a particle all along and never a wave) and give us the exact place on the screen where it will hit, and not a probability.
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Re: probability waves

Post by Sreejith A Nair on Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:55 am

It's not like I am happy with the idea of electrons disappearing and reappearing at some other position. Like in some fairy tales. And challenging our logics. I also want a much clear picture of the same.

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Re: probability waves

Post by The Confused Guy (O.o)? on Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:09 am

@sreejith i would like to think tat the electron exists in another dimension which we cannot see (maybe tats y the i is for) during the other times. and for someone who can see that dimension the electron may act perfectly normal.
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Re: probability waves

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