Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is water a particle or a wave?

  1. Apr 10, 2010 #1
    Is water a particle or a wave?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    H2O is in fact a molecule (read: particle).
  4. Apr 11, 2010 #3
    Water can act as a medium for transmitting waves (for example throwing a rock in the water produces waves), but it isn't a wave itself. In fact all matter can act as a medium for transmitting waves(sound can travel through air and even solids and liquids).
  5. Apr 11, 2010 #4
    does this not depend on which scale of reference you're referring to? At our human level water is a wave (or at least behaves as one) at the atomic level water is a particle (h20) and at the super subatomic level water once again can be said to be a wave because the super strings or energy oscillations that theoretically make up the atoms of that molecule are waving energy oscillations.
  6. Apr 11, 2010 #5
    Anything below the molecular level is irrelevant to the question, because then you are no longer dealing with water itself, but its constituents.
  7. Apr 11, 2010 #6
    yes but in regards to the thread starter's original question, the fact that he asked about particles/waves seems to imply that he MAY be interested in knowing what "water" is at its molecular level and below since it's pretty common knowledge that a molecule is not a 'wave' in and of itself but could perhaps be comprised of waves of oscillating energies at the far smaller level.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook