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Author Topic: What is happening to an electron in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?  (Read 8957 times)

Offline alexvpickering

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My question is to do with our explanation for the apparent truth of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Does it result because the photons used to measure the electron alter its trajectory?  If this is the explanation, why can't we account for the altered trajectory? We can presumably measure the energy of the incoming and outgoing radiation (E=hv) and so should be able to determine the energy added to the electron.

I suspect it's some silly quantum mechanical explanation that I'll never be satisfied with but I have heard educated people give the above explanation. Thank you,

Alex
« Last Edit: 28/09/2010 09:38:04 by chris »


 

Offline lightarrow

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No, that is not the real problem, just a way to compute the results. The problem is that a microscopic system (as an electron) *cannot* have an exact position (unless its momentum is infinitely undetermined) or *cannot* have an exact momentum (unless its position is infinitely undetermined), that you youse photons or other means  to measure those parametres. That said, my personal opinion on this is that properties as position or momentum are not necessarily meaningful properties for such systems, and they arose only in the macroscopic case. To use a metaphor: think of a face reproduced with your colour monitor; it's the sum of many coloured pixels, each of which represents the "face" of no one... Substitute the word "face" with the word "position" (or "momentum") and you undestand what is my idea.
« Last Edit: 25/09/2010 12:31:02 by lightarrow »
 

Offline granpa

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My question is to do with our explanation for the apparent truth of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Does it result because the photons used to measure the electron alter its trajectory?  If this is the explanation, why can't we account for the altered trajectory? We can presumably measure the energy of the incoming and outgoing radiation (E=hv) and so should be able to determine the energy added to the electron.

I suspect it's some silly quantum mechanical explanation that I'll never be satisfied with but I have heard educated people give the above explanation. Thank you,

Alex

No.
Its not just a measurement thing.
The electron really is 'spread out' over a large area.
Electrons in the inner shells are 'spread out' over smaller areas.
Electrons in the outer shells are 'spread out' over larger areas.
 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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What do you mean, specifically, by small and large areas?  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
 

Offline CPT ArkAngel

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A wave model for the electron is more appropriate to understand it.

http://library.thinkquest.org/19662/low/eng/electron-wave.html

« Last Edit: 06/10/2010 14:25:43 by CPT ArkAngel »
 

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Offline test0024565

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My question is to do with our explanation for the apparent truth of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?
 

Offline Ron Hughes

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Amazing, not a single human being on the face of this planet has a clue about the structure of an electron nor what makes up the electron and yet we have all these explanations.
 

Offline lightarrow

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You don't need to know its structure to know that it behaves in that way...
 

Offline Ron Hughes

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My point lightarrow is that the structure, geometry or what it's made of might possibly have something to do with the properties we observe. If we just call it a point particle and never try to understand these things then we're like a blind man looking for an apple in a forest of pine trees. Heisenberg relegated the electron to it's present status because QM was so successful treating it as a point particle. The hint that there might be a tetraneutron or dineutron makes it even more important that we try to put together a theoretical image of the electron.
 

Offline JP

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The uncertainty principle is a bit of a red herring here.  Heisenberg didn't introduce the uncertainty principle in order to explain the point-nature of electrons.  Regardless of the electron having structure or not, it should still satisfy the uncertainty principle. 
 

Offline lightarrow

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Furthermore, John Bell's theorem and Alain Aspect's experiment showed (or at least most physicists seem to agree on this) that "hidden variables interpretation" cannot hold. Translated: some properties of particles, and electrons too, *cannot* be ascribed to an internal structure...
 

Offline imatfaal

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Lightarrow - yeah that's the point.  Bell's inequality and experimental data with electron spin or photon polarisation goes a long way to showing that there is no nice classical unknown theorem underlying quantum mechanics
 

Offline Ron Hughes

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I did not say that all properties should be ascribed to the internal structure of the particle only that there is a possibility that some may. QM makes quantized predictions about the status of particles in the atom because that status can only change in quantized amounts. Those predictions are never given as a specific event only as a maybe. An unbound electron or proton does not follow those rules. As far as mass they can have any value with respect to an observer. The equation E = MC^2 says that energy can be converted into matter why would we not assume then that the electromagnetic wave is the base constituent of matter?
 

Offline lightarrow

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Ok, I see now what you intended. About the fact em radiation could be the constituent of matter, how do you reconcile this with the existence of photons? If an electron is made of photons, what photons are made of?
 

Offline Ron Hughes

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A valid excellent question. I don't know, we can only surmise. A guess would be that the photon (with the right energy) is a time dependent distortion of space that somehow gets looped into an electron. Then the next valid question would be what is space? I suspect that is tied up with the electric field that propagates through out the Universe from all charged particles.
 

Offline lightarrow

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Then the next valid question would be what is space? I suspect that is tied up with the electric field that propagates through out the Universe from all charged particles.
But charges are coupled to give neutral matter, so the space should be cancealed.
 

Offline Ron Hughes

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Suppose there was no space, time or matter and you create an electron. The field of the electron would start expanding at C creating space and time. The expanding field of all electrons and protons in the Universe is spacetime. If we move an atom it's electrons and protons fields start expanding from a new position in spacetime so new spacetime is always being created by the motion of matter in the Universe.
 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Ron:  How do you know that?  I am somewhat doubtful about what you have said!  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
 

Offline JP

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Ron, you've been asked before privately not to evangelize non-mainstream theories outside of the new theories section.  In addition, you've also been asked not to post links to off-site forums or websites about said theories.  I've therefore deleted your links.  Consider this a public warning not to do so again.  If you want to continue your discussion, please do so in New theories.

Thank you,
The moderators
 

Offline lightarrow

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Suppose there was no space, time or matter and you create an electron.
Where do you create it and when? If you cannot answer these question, how do you know it was created?  ;)

Quote
The field of the electron
And what is a "field" in the absence of space?   :)

Quote
would start expanding
"Expanding" where, in the absence of space?   :)
 

Offline Ron Hughes

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If I have to answer those questions for you the discussion can't go any further.
 

Offline Ron Hughes

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Joe, Is this a new theory, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larmor_formula  or the work of JJ Thompson or the text book of EM Purcell? If it is I won't do it again and offer my apology to the members.
 

Offline CPT ArkAngel

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A quantum of light (a photon), may possess an infinitesimal energy and always travel at C in vacuum.

Matter can be convert into light and light into Matter.

Light is a very simple electromagnetic wave. It seems evident that light is the basic building block of everything. For those who would say that the electromagnetic force is not fundamental, i would reply that how can it be if a photon may have an infinitesimal energy?

I know it sounds to easy to be true and it turns everything upside down but it is logical and beautiful...
 

Offline CPT ArkAngel

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If a photon wave enter a highly curved spacetime region, it could catch its tail: the wave could close on itself. It would stop moving at the speed of light according to outside observers and it would appear to them as a particle... You just need curving spacetime and light... Every type of particles and forces could be a question of density and relativistic movement (including spinning)... The same way the magnetic field is a relativistic effect of the electric field, the weak and nuclear force could be a relativistic effect of the electromagnetic field.

Maybe the key is: it is simply the curving of spacetime that creates everything and photons are quanta of information...
« Last Edit: 06/10/2010 18:16:20 by CPT ArkAngel »
 

Offline Ron Hughes

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