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Particle Nature of Light versus Compton Scattering Effect

  1. Aug 5, 2004 #1
    The Compton scattering effect (1923) seems to be the main evidence that light has a particle-like behavior. What are the other effects that indicate that light has a particle-like behavior?

    If there are no other effects that indicate that light has a particle-like behavior, and if we find an alternate explanation for the observed Compton scattering effect, then we would have eliminated the wave-particle duality of light.

    Andrew Gray has commented that the Compton scattering effect can be explained as a (relativistic) Doppler effect on a wave.

    If Compton scattering can be explained this way, and there is no other evidence for the particle nature, then we can focus on the wave nature of light, and eliminate the dichotomy.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2004 #2
    Yes there is, what about the Photoelecric effect. This is another particle nature of light, since light at a high enough energy can displace an electron out of its orbit. In order to do this, you need a particle.
  4. Aug 5, 2004 #3
    I don't see how that is so. Adding most any kind of energy to mass will displace electrons. Isee no need to assume that the energy comes in the form of particles.

  5. Aug 5, 2004 #4
    The blackbody spectrum is another thing that cannot be explained by treating light as a classical EM wave. As for the photoelectric effect, the problem there is that light of a certain frequency or higher is needed to displace the electron - cranking up the beam intensity will not do it. All of these experiments provide support for the formula E=hf which is the basis of the particle aspect of light.
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