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Homework Help: Particle nature of light

  1. Apr 4, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Which of the following phenmena can be explained on the basis of the particle nature of light
    a. hydrogen spectrum b. spectrum by a prism.
    c. photoelectric effect d. x- rays

    2. The attempt at a solution

    i know that that the photoelectric effect is a proof that light exists as photons and x- rays too are a proof of the same.
    But when a looked at the answer, even the hydrogen spectrum was included along with the above mentioned two.

    How can the hydrogen spectrum be explained on the the basis of the particle theory of light?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2010 #2
    The question is a little bit ill posed. I tell you which phenomena do not *need* the particle nature of light: (a), (b) and (d). They all can be explained, in principle, knowing nothing of photons [(c) simply cannot]. But, of course, they all benefit from a more thorough explanation when you know about photons!!!
  4. Apr 12, 2010 #3
    Yes it is really a poor question, but to get at the original question, the hydrogen spectrum can be explained by the Bohr model which is essentially a planetary model with quantized orbits, so if you accept quantization by itself the particle picture is fine. However I must admit that the quantization in the Bohr model is explained by DeBroglie by using the wave nature, i.e. you can only fit a certain number of wavelengths in your orbit in simple terms. Really a poor question if you ask me!
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