1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Different views

  1. Aug 18, 2005 #1
    why is electromagnetic radiation considered as wave motion according to the classical theory and as a stream of particles according to the quantum theory?
    these two views are so different, so which one is right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Both are actually. It appears, simply put, that it sometimes 'behaves' as a particles and sometimes as waves.
    Take light for example, we know it consists of photons but Young's (interference) experiment clearly showed that it has a wave-nature as well.
  4. Aug 18, 2005 #3
    A good way to understand this is probably to read up about the wave/partical duality. This should be applicable for all text books.

    Like TD said, radiation, behaves like waves and particles. Its a parradox that is very important in modern physics. Its not much help but its something tht needs to read about. I hope I have pointed you in the right direction.

  5. Aug 18, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    There is no difference and it is not a matter of one being right. At that size, there is no clear distinction between "particles" and "waves"- even electrons can be thought of as either particles or waves depending on which is better for the particular problem.
  6. Aug 18, 2005 #5
    hmm... i see~
    thanks! :)
  7. Aug 18, 2005 #6
    very good! i get some new ideas
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook