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Explanation of wave-particle picture, light

  1. Jul 12, 2015 #1
    Sincé I am not a physicist, but study a lot of quantum physics of my own, I hope you excuse my incomplete knowledge.

    I have been thinking about the following: If a picture of a simultaneous wave-particle was taken, doesn´t that
    contradict the fact that waves actually don´t exist, they are just mathematical probabilities that become information when measured, and therefore particles?
    So how can you have mathematical probabilities in a picture with its complementary particle.
    Or did they take the picture of the mathematical probabilities in the process of becoming particle?

    http://www.iflscience.com/physics/researchers-image-wave-particle-duality-light-first-time-everResearchers [Broken]

    Image Wave-Particle Duality Light For The First Time Ever
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2015 #2


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    Gold Member

    Your link leads to a statement "can't be found".

    There IS no "wave particle duality". There are quantum objects which are not waves OR particles. They are quantum objects. If you measure their wave properties, you see wave properties, but they are not classical waves. If you measure their particle properties, you see particle properties, but they are not classical particles.
  4. Jul 12, 2015 #3
    What you say is very interesting Phinds, but could you expand a Little more?
    So the picture is not about waves and particles but about wave properties and particle properties at the same time?
    Does this also mean that the concept of real wave and real particle belong to Newtonian physics?
  5. Jul 12, 2015 #4


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    Gold Member

    Uh, which part of
    was not clear? I was responding to the concept of "wave particle duality" which has been dead in serious physics for about 90 years.

    The concepts of waves belongs to both classical physics and quantum mechanics, but it is not the same concept, just the same word and the problem is that "wave particle duality" is trying to apply the classical concepts to quantum objects.
  6. Jul 12, 2015 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Neither. That iflscience.com article is complete garbage, misstating what the researchers did and the significance of their work. And how do I know this even though the URL you posted leads to "page not found" error? First, I recognize the article name in the URL, and you'll find some discussion of it in other threads here. Second, I have your summary of what the article said.

    Stuff like this is why PhysicsForums has the rule about acceptable sources; iflscience is not one of them.

    Phinds has given a pretty decent informal summary of what "wave-particle duality" does not mean and there's no point in further discussing the iflscience article, so this thread is closed.
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