Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 1 decade ago

Is it true that subatomic particles are not things, they are merely tendencies?

3 Answers

  • DanE
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A subatomic particle is an elementary or composite particle smaller than an atom. Particle physics and nuclear physics are concerned with the study of these particles, their interactions, and non-atomic matter composed from them.

    Subatomic particles include the atomic constituents electrons, protons, and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are composite particles, consisting of quarks. A proton contains two up quarks and one down quark, while a neutron consists of one up quark and two down quarks; the quarks are held together in the nucleus by gluons. There are six different types of quark in all ('up', 'down', 'bottom', 'top', 'strange', and 'charmed'), as well as other particles including photons and neutrinos which are produced copiously in the sun. Most of the particles that have been discovered are not encountered under normal earth conditions but are found in cosmic rays and are produced by scattering processes in particle accelerators. There are dozens of subatomic particles.

    Particles can act as wave packets.

    In physics, a wave packet is an envelope or packet containing an arbitrary number of wave forms. In quantum mechanics the wave packet is ascribed a special significance: it is interpreted to be a "probability wave" describing the probability that a particle or particles in a particular state will have a given position and momentum.

    By applying the Schrödinger equation in quantum mechanics it is possible to deduce the time evolution of a system, similar to the process of the Hamiltonian formalism in classical mechanics. The wave packet is a mathematical solution to the Schrödinger equation. The square of the area under the wave packet solution is interpreted to be the probability density of finding the particle in a region.

    In the coordinate representation of the wave (such as the Cartesian coordinate system) the position of the wave is given by the position of the packet. Moreover, the narrower the wave packet, and therefore the better defined the position of the wave packet, the larger the uncertainty in the momentum of the wave. This trade-off is known as the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Uh, no dude. Subatomic particles are actually observable and identifyable "things". By "tendencies" I assume that you are referring to the fact that they do not have classical mass, but rather "spins". You will begin really learning the details of quarks and whatnot in grad-level quantum physics.

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  • 1 decade ago

    What do you mean by "tendencies"?

    They are things, very observable things (not by light, of course). When your TV glows, its because of electrons that strike the phosphoric layer behind the glass that causes it to glow. Electrons are sub-atomic particles.

    Hope that made sense.

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