Posted: Dec 18, 2016 3:34 pm
by DavidMcC
PensivePenny wrote:I know this question is a little off topic, but can someone direct a quantum mechanics illiterati to something that can explain waves in a vacuum, specifically with regard to the double slit experiment? What medium is the wave being created in, if there is a single particle? Medium is how I see waves, though I can comprehend forces like magnetism, gravity etc causing waves too. What is the wave in the double slit experiment comprised of?

A link or search term would be appreciated.

EM waves can exist with or without material filling the locations where the waves are. Ie, even if it is a vacuum. Indeed, some media (such as electrical conductors) prevent waves, by reflecting them back at the conducting surface.
Try a search on "electromagnetic wave propagation" (I haven't, but it should work!).
EDIT: the wave in the double slit experiment is basically the same as in any other set-up involving EM waves. The exact spatial dependence of the wave depends, of course, on the details of the setup (including the source of the EM waves as well as what objects they encounter).