Sunday, December 2, 2007

1.4 Quantum Wave Mechanics: The Schrodinger Wave Equations / Standing Wave Interactions (1928)

1.4 Quantum Wave Mechanics: The Schrodinger Wave Equations / Standing Wave Interactions (1928)
Quantum theory was thus essentially founded on the experimental observations of frequency and wavelength for both light and matter. These empirical facts are obviously consistent with the Spherical Standing Wave structure of matter.
1. Planck's discovery that energy is related to frequency in the equation E=hf 2. The Equivalence of Energy, Frequency and Mass E=hf=mc2, which deduces the Compton Wavelength Y=h/mc 3. The de Broglie wavelength y=h/mv
It was Erwin Schrodinger who discovered that when frequency f and de Broglie wavelength y were substituted into general wave equations it becomes possible to express energy E and momentum mv (from the above equations) as wave functions - thus a confined particle (e.g. an electron in an atom/molecule) with known energy and momentum functions could be described with a certain wave function.
From this it was further found that only certain frequency wave functions, like frequencies on musical strings, were allowed to exist. These allowed functions and their frequencies depended on the confining structure (atom or molecule) that the electron was bound to (analogous to how strings are bound to a violin, and only then can they resonate at certain frequencies).
Significantly, these allowed frequencies corresponded to the observed discrete frequencies of light emitted and absorbed by electrons bound in atoms/molecules. This further confirmed the standing wave properties of matter, and thus that only certain standing wave frequencies could exist which corresponded to certain energy states. The agreement of observed frequencies and Schrodinger's Wave Equations further established the fundamental importance of Quantum Theory and thus the Wave properties of both light and matter. As Albert Einstein explains;
How can one assign a discrete succession of energy values E to a system specified in the sense of classical mechanics (the energy function is a given function of the co-ordinates x and the corresponding momenta mv)? Planck's constant h relates the frequency f =E/h to the energy values E. It is therefore sufficient to assign to the system a succession of discrete frequency f values. This reminds us of the fact that in acoustics a series of discrete frequency values is coordinated to a linear partial differential equation (for given boundary conditions) namely the sinusoidal periodic solutions. In corresponding manner, Schrodinger set himself the task of coordinating a partial differential equation for a scalar wave function to the given energy function E (x, mv), where the position x and time t are independent variables. (Albert Einstein, 1936)
And here we have a final piece of the puzzle in a sense, for it was Schrodinger who discovered that the standing waves are scalar waves rather than vector electromagnetic waves. This is a most important difference. Electromagnetic waves are vector waves - at each point in Space the wave equations yield a vector quantity which describes both a direction and an amplitude (size of force) of the wave, and this relates to the original construction of the e-m field by Faraday which described both a force and a direction of how this force acted on other matter.
Spherical Wave Motions of Space are Scalar waves - at each point in Space the wave equations yield a single quantity which simply describes the wave amplitude (there is no directional component). For example, sound waves are scalar waves where the wave amplitude describes the Motion (or compression) of the wave medium (air). Likewise Space is a nearly rigid Wave-Medium which propagates Wave-Motions.
With de Broglie's introduction of the concept of standing waves to explain the discrete energy states of atoms and molecules, and the introduction of scalar waves by Schrodinger, they had intuitively grasped important truths of nature as Albert Einstein confirms;
Experiments on interference made with particle rays have given brilliant proof that the wave character of the phenomena of motion as assumed by the theory does, really, correspond to the facts. The de Broglie-Schrodinger method, which has in a certain sense the character of a field theory, does indeed deduce the existence of only discrete states, in surprising agreement with empirical facts. It does so on the basis of differential equations applying a kind of resonance argument. (Albert Einstein, 1927)
So let us now explain in more detail this phenomena of Light energy being emitted and absorbed in discrete amounts (photons) due to Resonant Standing Wave interactions. Firstly, we must understand Principle Two and realise that the velocity of wave Motions in Space is not constant, and in fact depends upon both the Wave-Amplitude and the Wave-Density (square of Wave-Amplitude). These are simply the properties of Space as a Wave-medium.

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