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Homework Help: Dual nature of light

  1. Aug 28, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Light propagates as waves, but exchanges energy as particles
    2. Relevant equations

    I dont understand the second part, i.e., light exchanges energy as particle. I need the help of members in this regard

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2011 #2
    light and every other elementary particle act as particle and as a wave it depends on how u look them.
  4. Aug 31, 2011 #3
    I dont understand sir
  5. Sep 1, 2011 #4
    It's very strange; I'd recommend looking up on YouTube or something similar the double slit experiment (both Young's and the one with buckyballs).

    In a very non-intuitive way, particles, or even you and I, act as waves. Depending on the circumstances, we exhibit wave or particle like properties.

    Don't worry though, you and I have an extremely tiny wavelength. :P
  6. Sep 1, 2011 #5


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    Homework Helper

    It could just be that light is neither a particle nor a wave but something mysterious, HOWEVER, in certain circumstances - like the Young's slit experiment, we can use wave properties to accurately predict/explain what is happening.
    In other cases, like the photo electric effect, we can only accurately predict/explain what is happening if we use a particle model.
    In other cases - like light bouncing off a mirror - either model will do, though you might be more satisfied with one compared to the other.
    Two beams of light passing straight through each other [at right angles] is more satisfyingly explained with the wave model.
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