By Mark P. Silverman
Initially released in 1993, this booklet of essays is a principally nonmathematical account of a few of the unusual behaviour, either classical and quantum, exhibited through relocating debris, fluids and waves. Drawn from the author's researches in quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, electromagnetism and optics, gravity, thermodynamics, and the physics of fluids, the essays describe assorted actual platforms whose behaviour provokes shock and demanding situations the mind's eye. There are unusual strategies for which no visualisable mechanism could be given; techniques that appear to violate basic actual legislation, yet which in truth don't; strategies which are superficially good understood, but develop into subtly devious. The essays handle questions or controversies from whose answer emerge classes of common importance in regards to the secret and fascination of movement. an individual with a simple physics historical past or with an curiosity within the basic questions of physics will locate this booklet of use.
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Additional info for And Yet It Moves: Strange Systems and Subtle Questions in Physics
It is definitely present, although not distinct, after a few thousand (squinting helps). After several tens of thousands of electrons the fringes stand out boldly; except for the wavelength scale they are indistinguishable from the fringes produced by light under comparable experimental conditions. One electron volt, or l e v , is the energy acquired by an electron falling through a potential difference of 1 volt. An energy on the order of lOeV is required to ionise a hydrogen atom; this is roughly the energy scale at which chemical and biological proeesses occur.
How could one be sure that effectively only one electron at a time contributed to the interference pattern? By adjustment of the focal length of one of the lenses, the electron current reaching the detector was set to approximately 1000 electronslsecond. Thus, one electron followed another at time intervals of about a millisecond. Moving at half the speed of light, the electrons were then separated from one another by about 150 000 metres, or a distance on the order of 100 000 times the length of the electron microscope!
Although quantum mechanics is more comprehensive than classical mechanics, there must be some means of relating both the quantum and classical descriptions of a system under conditions where the latter theory is also applicable. This is the correspondence principle, first enunciated and widely used by Niels Bohr in the years before a consistent and complete theory of quantum mechanics was formulated. The principle can be implemented in a variety of ways of which one of the most common is to consider the limiting case of a quantum expression as Planck's constant h approaches zero.