Quanta- clear up comparison

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Quanta- clear up comparison

Postby CNourian2H » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:39 pm

During his lecture, Dr. Lavelle used an example of water flowing and its zoomed up version, water molecules, to describe the concept of quanta. I am very confused with this example. Can anyone explain it to me please? How does this relate to quanta?

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Re: Quanta- clear up comparison

Postby 505306205 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:48 pm

The example relates to quanta because in the quantum world, energy is assumed to be in quantized, or discreet amounts rather than being continuous. On the surface, the water from the bucket looks like it is flowing in one continuous motion. However, when you are on the molecular level, water is coming out as individual, or discreet molecules. This example, therefore, demonstrates that at the quantum level, units are discreet not continuous.

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Re: Quanta- clear up comparison

Postby Sydney Pell 2E » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:58 pm

During the lecture, Dr. Lavelle was trying to demonstrate how a stream of water may seem like it is continuous, but if you zoomed in close enough, it is actually made of molecules as the smallest "transferrable" unit. So, the mass of the water poured has to go up by at least one molecule at a time. In this case, the H2O molecule is the discrete amount that can be used to describe a stream of water.

Similarly to how the volume of water can only increase or decrease by one water molecule, electrons may also only go up or down in energy in discrete units, which are called quanta.

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Re: Quanta- clear up comparison

Postby CalvinTNguyen2D » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:13 pm

On the macro scale, or on the scale where we usually view the world, the water flowing out of the bucket looks like it's flowing as a single continuous substance. However, when you zoom into the actual water, you'll see that the water as a whole is actual comprised of individual water molecules. Like electrons, which can be transferred only in single units, the water molecules can be transferred only as single units- you won't see half a water molecule being poured out of the bucket.

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