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Homework: Waves vs. Particles

Watch the video below and answer the questions below that:

Watch the video on YouTube found at this link: Then answer the following questions using complete sentences. Draw pictures, too, if that would help.

  1. What is the difference between a particle and a wave?
  2. What happens if two waves meet so that their crests overlap?
  3. What happens if two waves meet so that their troughs overlap?
  4. What happens if two waves meet so that the crests of one wave overlaps the troughs of the other?
  5. Taking the last three questions together, what is the idea of wave super-position?
  6. How do the results of a double-slit experiment differ when carried out with particles vs. when carried out with waves? Why?
  7. When the double-slit experiment is done with electrons fired one at a time something strange happens. Describe this weird result.
  8. With ordinary objects at everyday scales we assume that even when we’re not looking at them they keep doing whatever they were doing when we were looking at them. What does quantum mechanics say about electrons when we’re not looking at them?
  9. Ever since Isaac Newton’s work in physics we have believed that chance had no role to play in the actual behavior of matter. If we had to use probability and statistics it was only because we didn’t know the set-up of the situation or because there are too many particles to keep track of them all. By contrast, quantum mechanics uses a wave function to describe the behavior of electrons (and other quantum objects like atomic nuclei and photons). What does the wave function tell you about an electron?
  10. According to quantum mechanics it is not possible to know the exact position of an electron and its velocity at the same time. What can we know about electrons?
This homework assignment belongs with the Electron Configuration Activity.
Last updated: Mar 28, 2019       Home