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

Light is known to have a wave-particle duality

  1. Jul 23, 2009 #1
    light is known to have a wave-particle duality
    which of the 2 explain lights behavior best and which one is widely accepted?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2009 #2
    Re: Light

    There are aspects in which both cause different effects. Do to its ability to travel through a vaccuum it has particle like properties, however in such applications such as Yeungs double slit experiment it acts as a wave
     
  4. Jul 23, 2009 #3
    Re: Light

    yes but which one is accepted?
     
  5. Jul 23, 2009 #4

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Re: Light

    That's not a valid question. Light has properties like a wave, and properties like a particle. Asking which one it is is like asking whether a bat is really a mouse or really a bird.
     
  6. Jul 23, 2009 #5
    Re: Light

    When talking about wave-particle duality, it means that it has been accepted that it acts both like a wave and a particle. If this were not so it would leave very big holes as to why many of lights characteristcs occur.
     
  7. Jul 23, 2009 #6
    Re: Light

    We now know that ALL particles have wave like character (electrons, protons, a baseball, etc.) it just happens to be more distinguished/obvious with light. In quantum mechanics all particles are treated as a probabiliity wave function which propogates through space (as oppose to some little point particle futzing around). So I guess you could say that the resolution to wave-particle duality is that we never knew what particles were really like to begin with, now we realize they all have wave-like characteristics.
     
  8. Jul 30, 2009 #7
    Re: Light

    thanx......
     
  9. Jul 30, 2009 #8

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Light

    Well said.
     
  10. Jul 30, 2009 #9

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Re: Light


    Thanks. I'm bucking for Physics Guru for next year. :biggrin:
     
  11. Jul 30, 2009 #10

    negitron

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: Light

    The fact of the matter is, we really don't know exactly what these things are. They act like particles at times, and like waves at others. In all likelihood, this means that they aren't either one, just something which acts like one or the other.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Light is known to have a wave-particle duality
  1. Wave-particle duality (Replies: 21)

Loading...