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Light waves and particles

  1. Apr 23, 2013 #1

    adjacent

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    Why do light behaves as both waves and particles?Do it behave like both at the same time or one at a time?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2013 #2

    ZapperZ

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    Please read the FAQ Subforum, and in particular, this FAQ entry.

    Zz.
     
  4. Apr 23, 2013 #3
    can we extend this question a little further (yes I did read your link)..

    What are some examples of photons acting like waves? The dbl slit seams like an obvious answer but if we look one particle at a time it never is a wave - it doesn't hit the screen in parts - just quanta. Why don't we say the chance of finding light somewhere is a wave but light is a particle?
     
  5. Apr 23, 2013 #4

    ZapperZ

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    It is neither a wave nor a particle. It can have wave-like and particle-like behavior, but that's all you can say.

    The typical wave-like properties are diffraction, interference, etc... i.e. look at all the properties of things we consider as waves, and light has the same characteristics.

    Zz.
     
  6. Apr 23, 2013 #5

    Drakkith

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    The best way to look at it, that I've ever heard, is that light, and all EM radiation, is not purely a wave or a particle, and it is not both. It is something completely different. It is a quantum object that does NOT behave according to our everyday experiences.
     
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