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Homework Help: Photon - Is it really a wave?

  1. May 11, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The Energy of a photon = Planck's Constant * frequency
    Is a photon a burst of waves for a specified distance or time?

    I wish I could draw my concept but a light wave with intermittent sinusoidal "wavelets" followed by no ups and downs
    ..............................................photon 1 ................................photon 2...............
    ------------------------------\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/-------------------\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/------>

    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution: see (1) above
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2010 #2

    Char. Limit

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    Gold Member

    A photon isn't quite a wave, but it also isn't quite a particle. It's difficult to explain... but it's not a light wave exactly.
     
  4. May 11, 2010 #3
    That answer of the simultaneous wave-particle duality I've seen before.

    My question is whether the wave format is correctly depicted below. Are the little sinusoidal wavelets of definite frequency for a definite length in space or time followed by "blank" periods as shown? Is that what is meant by a "packet of energy?"

    I wish I could draw my concept but a light wave with intermittent sinusoidal "wavelets" followed by no ups and downs
    ...........................................phot on 1 ................................photon 2...............
    -------------------------------\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/-------------------\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/------>
     
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