1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Similarity and difference between light and sound?

  1. Aug 13, 2013 #1
    They talk about light's unique dual nature, that it can be both a wave and a particle (photon).

    One illustration for that is the following experiment, a single photon can go through one hole, and leave a particle like mark, or it can go through two holes, and leave interference marks.

    However there was an interesting experiment with sound, they cleaned a chimney with ultrasonic waves, and it left particle like marks, as small bubbles formed, and they teared into the soot.

    Isnt it possible the describe light as a pure wave, and photon is a smallest portion of this wave that we can measure, or emit?

    I also found interesting, that there is a concept : sonic black hole.

    "They are called sonic, or acoustic, black holes because these trapped phonons are analogous to light in astrophysical (gravitational) black holes. Physicists are interested in them because they have many properties similar to astrophysical black holes and, in particular, are predicted to emit a phononic version of Hawking radiation."
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2013 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Where have you seen someone saying that light's dual particle/wave nature is unique? It's not.
  4. Aug 13, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    One photon can only cause one mark (interacting with just one sensor / silver halide crystal / etc.), whether there are two holes, one hole or many holes. A lot of photons will (statistically) cause a diffraction pattern whether there are two holes, one hole or many holes. The diffraction pattern for one hole has a main peak and several detectable smaller peaks - the spacing depends on the radius of the hole. The spacing of fringes for two holes depend on the hole spacing - But the single hole diffraction pattern also affects the brightness of the two hole fringes.

    Is that not due to antinodes in a standing wave pattern? Do you have a reference as it sounds interesting.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook