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Is the EM wave theory of light incorrect?

  1. Oct 30, 2014 #1
    What experiments disprove the idea that light is waves of electromagnetic field?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2014 #2

    Nugatory

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    Staff: Mentor

    None, because light is in fact electromagnetic waves. All this stuff about photons and "wave-particle duality" and the like comes from a more detailed theory about how light interacts with matter.

    You might also want to read Asimov's classic essay about why we need to be very careful about tossing around the word "incorrect":
    http://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm
     
  4. Oct 30, 2014 #3
    I suspected as much. Photon theory is just an extension of EM wave theory right? They are definitely not two competing theories?
     
  5. Oct 30, 2014 #4

    Nugatory

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    Staff: Mentor

    What you are calling "photon theory" is better known as quantum electrodynamics or QED (and I'm pretty sure that I've recommended Feynmann's "QED: The strange theory of light and matter" to you before). QED is not an extension of the classical wave theory of light (which comes from Maxwell's laws of electricity and magnetism); it's a different theory that reduces to the wave theory whenever the quantum effects are negligible.

    But they are not "competing" theories; it's just that QED has a broader range of applicability.
     
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