Deciphering the Enigma of Wave-Particle Duality

Mani L. Bhaumik


A satisfactory explanation of the confounding wave-particle duality of matter is presented in terms of the reality of the wave nature of a particle. In this view, a quantum particle is an objectively real wave packet consisting of irregular disturbances of underlying quantum fields. It travels holistically as a unit and thereby acts as a particle. Only the totality of the entire wave packet at any instance embodies all the conserved quantities, for example the energy-momentum, rest mass, and charge of the particle, and as such must be acquired all at once during detection. On this basis, many of the bizarre behaviors observed in the quantum domain, such as wave function collapse, the limitation of prediction to only a probability rather than an actuality, the apparent simultaneous existence of a particle in more than one place, and the inherent uncertainty can be reasonably comprehended. The necessity of acquiring the wave function in its entirety for detection, as evinced by the appearance of collapse of the wave function, supports the paradigm of reality of the wave function described here.

Quanta 2016; 5: 93–100.

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