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Q & A: quantum-classical crossover

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Most recent answer: 06/12/2010
Q:
According to Wikipedia on the Double-Slit experiment : "Recent studies have revealed that interference is not restricted solely to elementary particles such as protons, neutrons, and electrons. Specifically, it has been shown that large molecular structures like fullerene (C60) also produce interference patterns." If that's true, can a molecule composed only of carbon atoms (for example) as large as a house would still make an interference pattern when shot at two slits? When does matter start behave as solid particles rather than waves of probability? In the end, aren't we just all waves of probability in essence but we are 'solid matter' because we interact with other particles all the time just like electrons act as solid particle when observed??? Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment
- Anonymous
A:
You're asking a key question. As we get to bigger particles, does it just get harder and harder to see quantum interference effects? That's what our current quantum mechanical theory and current experiments indicate. Or is there some new sort of effect that starts to become important, outside the quantum framework? That's possible, and might help resolve questions about the origins of quantum probabilities, but it's very much a long-shot.


Right now, the best extrapolation from what's known  is that we are all quantum waves. However, despite what you read quantum waves are not "of probability". They're of some more abstract quantity,  not a positive number but rather a complex number or complex vector.

BTW, electrons never really act like classical particles,just more or less localized quantum states. I guess the same holds for all of us.

Mike W.



(published on 06/12/2010)

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