How big are particles in quantum mechanics?

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Johann Mahne

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How big are particles in quantum mechanics?
« on: 08/09/2011 08:30:05 »
Johann Mahne  asked the Naked Scientists:
   Hi Chris,

At what particle size can we safely move away from quantum mechanics into the real world?

I like to know where my particles are...
Are molecules and atomic nuclei safe?


What do you think?
« Last Edit: 08/09/2011 08:30:05 by _system »


Offline yor_on

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How big are particles in quantum mechanics?
« Reply #1 on: 11/09/2011 23:47:22 »
heh :)

A very nice question Johann, although slightly pointedly made. That's a real enigma to me too. Can we define some scale at where what we see macroscopically take precedence? We are mere a dream inside a dream as the poet says.
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Offline Soul Surfer

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How big are particles in quantum mechanics?
« Reply #2 on: 12/09/2011 17:25:07 »
This depends greatly on the sensing processes that are being used.  If one uses electromagnetic radiation to detect things the limit is greater than the size of atoms, because the ultra violet radiation that is needed to push things further disturbs the fine detail too much.   Electron microscopes can get you further but the best and gentlest probes are the single atom tips of atomic force microscopes that can probe the shape of, look at and move around single atoms.  however the thermal agitation of the material can then be seen and everything needs to be cooled down a lot.
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