Join Date: 2014-05-06 16:14:49 (4 years ago)
Poll votes: 1
Wii number: 6034-7550-8033-4157
Comment posted by Einstein at 2014-05-10 15:32:52 (4 years ago)
Particle-wave duality, simply put, states that fundamentally, everything is both a particle and a wave. There have been numerous experiments conducted, and physicists have concluded that matter cannot be one or the other; certain experiments suggested the existence of particles, others waves. We had no choice but to say that matter existed as both. As you (hopefully) know, waves have a property known as wavelength. If matter is both a particle and a wave, then it inherits properties of both, hence the fact that classical objects possess wavelengths. The wavelength of such an object is determined by the formula: Lambda = h/p, where h is Planck's constant, lambda is wavelength, and p is momentum. Momentum is the denominator, so massive objects have smaller wavelengths, because P = mv, where m is mass and v is velocity. This formula is known as the deBroglie wave formula, and is universally applicable to any object, big or small, or even a single particle. For waves to diffract around objects, their wavelength needs to be proportional to (or at least comparable to) the length of the object to diffract around. Since subatomic particles have such minute momentum (due to small mass), they tend to have wavelengths more comparable to everyday objects, but still not nearly there, since Planck's constant is equal to 6.626 * 10^-34, which, for those of you who don't know scientific notation, is a very small number.
You need to be logged in to post a comment.