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Q & A: Is there a medium for electron waves?

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Most recent answer: 09/07/2011
Q:
elecrron has matter waves and these waves reqire a nedium to travel. but medium is made by atoms and so there is no medium in atom so how does electron move? please answer quickly..
- porus (age 16)
A:
One of the great discoveries at the heart of modern relativity is that there's no medium for electromagnetic waves. They're just one of the basic ingredients of the world, at least at the level of our current understanding. The same is true for the waves representing any other elementary excitation- electrons, neutrinos, quarks, etc. Maybe someday we'll have some sort of new picture of the fabric of spacetime, and see all these thing as excitations in that medium. For now, they're just stand-alone ingredients. They certainly are not excitations in some sort of clunky medium made up of atoms. If there is a medium, it would have no structure at any distance scale close to that of even a nucleus, much less an atom.

In other words, electrons are not waves in some standard matter. Rather, standard matter is put together from electron waves and other similar ingredients.

Mike W.

(published on 09/07/2011)

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