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The early perception of light ?

  1. Feb 9, 2006 #1
    here's one for the physics buffs...

    at the first stage of the perception of light, a photon(s) bleaches/is absorbed by rhodopsin in the retina, breaks apart and an intercellular cascade occurs. a photon is an individual particle, right? so when we perceive light, can we only perceive it as a particle and not as a wave, despite the fact that it exists as both?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2006 #2


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    Not in quantum mechanics it doesn't. When you invoke light as "photons", then all the QM description applies, and QM doesn't change gears to describe ALL phenomena associated with light.

    You may want to read the FAQ first.

  4. Feb 9, 2006 #3


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    You may also want to re-read our PF guildelines, especially the one on MULTIPLE POSTS!

  5. Feb 9, 2006 #4
    it's my first day
    es mi dío primero
    quack quack quack

    but as per your reply, i'm a biochem major and what you said makes absolutely no sense to me. i'll read the FAQs though...
  6. Feb 9, 2006 #5
    awesome... third question in,
    but i'm still somewhat confused...

    Unlike classical physics, quantum mechanics does not need to switch gears to describe the wave-like and particle-like observations. This is all accomplished by one consistent theory.

    keeping in mind, my extent of knowledge of quantum mechanics extends no further than the book "entanglement" by amir aczel, can someone make me look stupid...?
  7. Feb 9, 2006 #6


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  8. Feb 10, 2006 #7


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    A friendly tip: your posting is confusing because there's nothing to indicate that ZapperZ wrote the second paragraph and that you're quoting him. Instead of using the "Quick Reply" box at the bottom of the thread, click the QUOTE button at the end of the particular posting that you want to reply to. This gives you a text-edit box with the previous message already pasted into it, and enclosed in QUOTE tags.

    When you do this, please edit the quoted material so that you actually quote only the part that you are directly responding to! There's no need to quote the entire posting because it's right up there above yours for everybody to read anyway. :smile:

    (I deliberately quoted all of your posting because I'm commenting on its entire structure.)

    Note that you can insert your own QUOTE tags if you want to quote different parts of the other posting, with your comments in between.
    Or if you want to quote from something else.
  9. Feb 10, 2006 #8
    ok, so what i got from that, and please correct me if i'm wrong. light travels as a wave until it serendipitously reaches it's ultimate destination (for reasons not well understood), at which point, it is now a photon particle? while the wave exists, we do not perceive them in our everyday lives because Plank's constant states that the wavelength of an object is inverse to it's size. when we look at our desk, or read a book, the waves of these objects are way to small to see, despite the fact that they are present while light is traveling towards our eyes...? on the right track?
  10. Feb 11, 2006 #9
    yes? no? anyone?
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