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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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PST2A06:

What Is a Quantum?
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 6:00 PM -6:45 PM
  Author: Art Hobson, University of Arkansas
479-575-5918, ahobson@uark.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Electrons, photons, etc., are field quanta, yet we continue to teach students that they are particles, thus making quantum physics into a topic that's not only difficult but, much worse, logically inconsistent. An elementary field quantum is a discrete, spatially extended, highly unified, bundle of field energy. Quantum field theorists understand that "particles" are quanta of various fields. The Schroedinger equation describes nonrelativistic material field quanta. But this understanding has not seeped through to most teachers and so students are stuck with all sorts of wave-particle paradoxes. How can particles exhibit all these extended, non-local effects? Not only these paradoxes, but such vacuum phenomena as the Lamb shift and Casimir effect, testify to the primacy of a field picture. This poster presents a simple method of teaching these fundamentals, along with supporting statements by Maxwell, Einstein, Weinberg, and Robert Mills.
  Footnotes: None
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