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Determining whether or not there are wavelike properties

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:46 am
by Danielle Fabian 1H
I was reviewing the worked examples on page 12 in the 2015 version of the course reader and was a little confused. How small does the solution have to be in order to determine that it is too small to be detected?

Re: Determining whether or not there are wavelike properties

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:06 pm
by Samantha Miceli 3J
From my understanding, the smallest amount the solution can be is _x10^-15 in order to be detected. A number smaller than this, such as x10^-38 in the example on page 12 is too small to be detected, but larger numbers such as x10^-10 in the second example are large enough to be detected. Generally, particles in the atomic scale are detected, whereas objects like a car or a baseball are too large to have measurable wavelike properties.

Re: Determining whether or not there are wavelike properties

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:54 pm
by Gurkamal Dhaliwal 3A
I disagree that the smallest detectable wavelength is x 10^-15. According to the notes on the page before that worked example (page 11 in the 2015 course reader), the wavelength of an electron in an atom is x 10^-12. Since electrons do create diffraction patterns, I believe that this is the smallest detectable wavelength. However, it seems, generally, that particles on the atomic scale are the ones that tend to be detected since they have a much smaller mass and a higher velocity than those of a larger scale like a car.