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Merging models

  1. Jan 6, 2007 #1
    Hey guys,

    Been a while since i posted here or did any physics/maths (on holidays from uni atm, between 1st and 2nd year of physics major) but i have a quick question, which might infact be flawed in itself but we shall see.

    People think of light as a never ending wave, which we were shown by Einstine is false as light moves and exists in discrete packets, photons. I can accept that, and we must if particle physics is to work. However what i have trouble with is translating what is not just a convienience but an actual quantatative measure, ie frequency/wavelength, into the realm of the photon as a particle. At first i thought perhaps you could do a sort of 'reverse debroglie wavelength' but that would be false as that, as far as i know, is linked to the probability of finding a particle and is not an actual inherint property of it.

    Hope this made sense!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2007 #2
    Nothing in life is "never ending" :wink:

    Why is there a flaw ? The discrete energy packets we call photons are defined in an energy base, not a spatial coordinate base (like an Euclidean frame of reference for example) in which the "never ending wave" is expressed. How can you compare such two equivalent concepts that are defined with respect to different bases ?

  4. Jan 6, 2007 #3
    I know nothing in life is never ending, which is why afterwards i said it was false.

    What do you mean by defined in an energy base? Are you saying its some non-spacial property?

  5. Jan 7, 2007 #4
    But the reason you quoted for that to be false is incorrect. You said that the never ending wave is false because : "light moves and exists in discrete packets, photons". This is incorrect because you cannot compare these two concepts for the reasons i explained in my first post.

    Photons are chunks of energy or discrete values of energy. If you would plot these values in a graph, the photons would be points on that graph. So, when the base is "discrete energy values", the photons are just point particles.

    That is exactly what i am saying.

  6. Jan 7, 2007 #5
    Right, so that would explain why a photon is a point particle with no area/volume? (i mean aside from this being obvious due to the fact its light)

  7. Jan 7, 2007 #6
    I wouldn't say that because of the nature of light, it is obvious that photons are a point particle. Tell me, how can you deduce this from only looking at light ?

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  8. Jan 7, 2007 #7
    The photoelectric effect i guess (not sure i understand the question however)

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