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Ch38 - Chapter 38 Photons and Matter Waves The sub-atomic...

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1 Chapter 38 The sub-atomic world behaves very differently from the world of our ordinary experiences. Quantum physics deals with this strange world and has successfully answered many questions in the sub-atomic world, such as: Why do stars shine? Why do elements order into a periodic table? How do we manipulate charges in semiconductors and metals to make transistors and other microelectronic devices? Why does copper conduct electricity but glass does not? In this chapter we explore the strange reality of quantum mechanics. Although many topics in quantum mechanics conflict with our common sense world view, the theory provides a well-tested framework to describe the sub- atomic world. Photons and Matter Waves 38-
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2 Quantum physics: •Study of the microscopic world • Many physical quantities found only in certain minimum (elementary) amounts, or integer multiples of those elementary amounts •These quantities are "quantized" •Elementary amount associated with this a quantity is called a "quantum" (quanta plural) Analogy example: 1 cent or $0.01 is the quantum of U.S. currency Electromagnetic radiation (light) is also quantized, with quanta called photons. This means that light is divided into integer number of elementary packets (photons). The Photon, the Quantum of Light 38-
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