book is the third stage of our exploration of Quantum Mechanics in the
Everyone’s Guide Series. Here, we explore the heart of Quantum
Mechanics: wavefunctions, the Schrödinger wave equation, superposition,
and the virtual particles that spring forth thanks to the Uncertainty
Principle. We will see how these remarkable concepts apply to
real particles in real high-energy physics experiments.
Readers will benefit from a prior reading of Quantum Mechanics 1:
Particle & Waves and Quantum Mechanics 2: Reality, Uncertainty
& Schrödinger's Cat, although we do review the most important
points in these books to make this book more self-contained.
think of particles as being localized — existing in specific locations
at each instant of time. However, waves are not localized. Waves spread
to fill all available space. How can a particle spread out? Quantum
Mechanics conceives of particles as being wave packets. On the left
side of the graphic above are five waves of different frequencies. On
the right is the sum of these five waves — a wave packet.
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