Saturday, 5 April 2008

Toying with the idea of wave packet

I read in John Gribbin's, "Q is for Quantum. Particle physics from A to Z", entry for wave packet

"The essential requirement to make a wave packet that is located in a small space is to use many waves of different wavelengths, chosen so that they interfere with one another in such a way that they cancel out everywhere outside the wave packet, and reinforce one another inside the wave packet."

As the author explains, the wave packet is a train of waves that is confined within a small region of space, and is an idea that Werner Heisenberg came up with in 1927, in order to reconcile the idea that a quantum entity such as an electron can behave either as a wave or as a particle (wave-particle duality). Heisenberg linked this with the idea of quantum uncertainty.

Therefore by adding many waves with different wavelengths together, you can make a localized wave packet as small as you like.

It is intriguing, contemplating the idea that waves which their origin potentially far away from the localized region where they meet and interfere with other waves in a way, that they are canceled out everywhere outside the localized region giving birth to a dynamic entity, creating existence.

Does that mean that their independent journey stopped in their tracks, halted. Waves locked within the localized region, doomed to travel together, and act as a unit, an undivided whole, waves severed from their origins?

Or the waves are constantly in touch, always respond to their originating sources, dynamically rearranging their state, never idle? A state, its quantum state of variables determined by its interactions with other like-minded or different quantum entities or even observation? Observation by an inquiring mind?

Quantum states, the attractors built out of the dynamic engagement of the interfering waves? Chaotically driven utterly dynamic motion infused in phase space, broadly determined by the parametres of spin charge, its place in an including structure, wholly occupied, explored? And in the given moment of interaction or observation the allure of the stable attractor irresistible, becomes the focus point to effect the transaction?

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