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Do the quantum effects we observe in visible light occur in all wave

  1. Feb 18, 2014 #1
    Hello everyone, I'd like to start off by expressing my appreciation for the existence of this forum to begin with. I majored in Sociology, yet classical and quantum physics has grasped my attention to a whole new level. Basically, I have a very elementary understanding in the subject, which is why I'm asking this question.

    So when physicists talk about the implications of the wave/particle duality observed in light, given the double slit experiment (which is primarily based off of visible light); and given the fact that light is electromagnetic radiation across a wide spectrum of frequencies and wavelengths, I was wondering if physicists have already conducted the same experiment, but only using higher or lower frequencies of visible light? Or is this quantum phenomena of the electron ONLY observable in visible light?
    Thanks for your time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

  4. Feb 18, 2014 #3
    Man thanks for the links, I will look more into this.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  5. Feb 18, 2014 #4
    Wait, so after reading the post of the first link, is light actually a wave or a particle? Or it is possible for light to be both, given certain conditions?
  6. Feb 18, 2014 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Its neither particle or wave - its quantum stuff. Sometimes it behaves LIKE a wave, and sometimes LIKE a particle, and believe it or not sometimes like both a particle and wave, but actually most of the time neither because quantum theory is silent about what quantum stuff is doing when not observed.

    What's quantum stuff? Check out the following:

  7. Feb 18, 2014 #6
    Hmm, I have to think about this more. However, that's extremely interesting and perhaps, that's the quandary that physicists are in at the moment I suppose? Nevertheless, I'll look at the link and learn more; while at the same time posing more questions if that's okay? Thanks for the response Bill.
  8. Feb 18, 2014 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    Fire away.

    But the quandary has been around for a while.

    Around about the turn of the last century Plank, in order to explain some puzzling aspects of Black-body radiation, said light had a discreet aspect. Einstein took it a step further and assumed it to be particles to explain the photoelectric effect. Then De-Broglie said if light can be particles maybe matter can be like waves - so we had the idea of matter waves. It was a mess. But quickly the scene changed - we had Schrodinger's wave equation, Heisenberg's matrix mechanics and Diracs Q numbers which were a bit more general than the others two. Then in 1927 all was finally resolved when Dirac came up with his transformation theory which is basically quantum mechanics we know it today - and described in the link I gave.

    It's basically a probability model - which is a rather funny view of the world at the fundamental level - but that's what experiments lead us to.

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