|Werner Heisenberg, Louis-Victor de Broglie, Erwin Schrödinger quantum mechanics|
- Thomas Young showed light behaves like waves;
- Planck and Einstein showed it was made of particles.
- Quantum theorist Werner Heisenberg decided
- a mathematical solution based on matricies
- could serve instead of a physical description.
- Louis de Broglie insisted on a physical description—
- each particle of matter should physically also be a wave.
- No one has proven de Broglie’s hypothesis,
- but it inspired Ewin Schrödinger, whose wave function,
- describing a physical system evolving with time,
- shows what de Broglie’s idea looks like mathematically,
- plus Schrödinger’s equation can be transformed
- into Heisenberg’s matrix mechanics, and various solutions
- describe physical systems at any scale—molecular,
- atomic, and subatomic systems, even the universe itself.
- Electrons, like photons,
- show an interference pattern
- after flying through two parallel slits.
- De Broglie thought that an electron
- has an internal clock that keeps it in synch
- with its propagation wave
- like other physical particles,
- showing more harmonic synchronization
- than our coarse senses can distinguish.
- To say an electron is a wave
- is not to say it’s a particle that waves.
- When it’s a wave it’s not a particle,
- and when it’s a particle it’s not a wave;
- what we know as particle or wave
- is not the same as the electron itself.
- Even a simple zen kōan
- can stymie our expectations;
- we might never have evolved
- to understand anything’s true nature.