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Q & A: pseudoparticles

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Most recent answer: 12/05/2009
Q:
Do pseudoparticles like the concept of the instanton have an associated wavefunction? Please help me out with this one, it's driving me nuts!
- Devon (age 23)
Lansing
A:
Yes, they do. Many of the particles dealt with in condensed matter are "pseudoparticles" in the sense of being collective phenomena exhibited by the fields representing the more fundamental electrons. We still use wave-functions for these.

In fact, since we don't really know the deepest nature of the fields underlying observed phenomena, it's quite likely that all the particles with which we are familiar  (and which we represent by wavefunctions) are collective effects in some deeper more fundamental fields.

We don't even know for sure if there is a deepest level. Could be pseudoparticles all the way down.

Mike W.

(published on 12/05/2009)

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