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Length: 46 pages41 minutes

This book is the third stage of our exploration of Quantum Mechanics in the Everyone’s Guide Series. Here, we explore the heart of Quantum Mechanics: wavefunctions, the Schrödinger wave equation, superposition, and the virtual particles that spring forth thanks to the Uncertainty Principle. We will see how these remarkable concepts apply to real particles in real high-energy physics experiments.

Readers will benefit from a prior reading of Quantum Mechanics 1: Particle & Waves and Quantum Mechanics 2: Reality, Uncertainty & Schrödinger's Cat, although we do review the most important points in these books to make this book more self-contained.

Publisher: Robert PiccioniReleased: Nov 28, 2013ISBN: 9781310336614Format: book

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To make this book more self-contained, this chapter will review the most important points described in detail in prior eBooks on Quantum Mechanics in the *Everyone’s Guide Series*.

PARTICLE-WAVE DUALITY

We discussed the revolutionary idea that became the foundation of Quantum mechanics: particle-wave duality, a concept that flew in the face of everything physicists thought they knew about nature. Albert Einstein initiated this concept by proclaiming that light was both a particle and a wave. Luis de Broglie extended the concept by proposing that particles had wavelengths. We now understand that everything is ** both a **particle and a wave.

Particleand

wavedescribe characteristics that are possessed to varying degrees by everything in nature.

WAVES

Let’s review basic wave terminology. As illustrated below, waves are characterized by amplitude and wavelength. Amplitude *A *is how high the wave goes up above and goes down below its average height. Wavelength w is the distance between crests, which is also the distance between troughs.

Waves are motion. They smoothly move through space and change with time. A wave that oscillates through 9 full cycles per second has a frequency *f *of 9 Hz. The product of wavelength and frequency equals the wave’s velocity *v: wf=v. *Other key relationships are *E=hf *(for photons) and *w=h/p *(for any entity), where *E *is energy, *h *is Planck’s constant, and *p *is

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