Understanding the Movement of Light: Wave Theory vs. Particle Theory

  • Thread starter Prannoy Mehta
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Light Wave
In summary, there are two main theories about light - the wave theory and the photon theory. The question arises about whether photons physically move as a wave or if they travel in straight lines but have the ability to bend. While the wave theory suggests that light moves in a wave-like manner, the particle theory states that light is made of photons which exhibit both particle and wave behaviors. Despite the differences in these theories, there is no conflict between them. The way light moves through a fiber-optic also suggests its wave nature, causing difficulties for technicians working with it.
  • #1
Prannoy Mehta
94
2
Light has two theories, wave theory and the photon theory.

My one main doubt is that, do photons physically move as a wave. Or do photons travel in straight lines but just have the ability to bend here and there; even in the wave theory, does light move physically in a wave-like manner, or is it just the existence of oscillating electric field and magnetic field which change in a wave-like manner at a place telling us that it is the wave theory.

Could anyone explain how light moves according to the wave theory and the particle theory of light in brief.
 
Science news on Phys.org
  • #2
No, light only has one theory: light is made of photons. Photons share some behaviors with (classical) particles and some with waves, but there is no either/or conflict.
 
  • #3
I did not refer to a conflict rather my main doubt was whether the photon theory says that light moves as a wave.
 
  • #4
Like physically move as moves. Or is it just referring to the electric and magnetic fields inside.
 
  • #5
Prannoy Mehta said:
waves *
 
  • #7
I'm not a professional physicist but I know that the way light moves through a fiber-optic is pretty hairy. Light phases in and out. This might have something to do with the wave nature of light. I know it gives fiber-optic technicians a hard time.
 

Related to Understanding the Movement of Light: Wave Theory vs. Particle Theory

1. How does light move as a wave?

Light moves as a wave through oscillating electric and magnetic fields that are perpendicular to the direction of motion. This is known as an electromagnetic wave.

2. Does light always behave as a wave?

Yes, light always behaves as a wave, even though it can also exhibit particle-like behavior in certain situations.

3. What is the wavelength of light?

The wavelength of light refers to the distance between two consecutive peaks or troughs in the wave. It is typically measured in nanometers (nm) or meters (m).

4. Can light travel through a vacuum?

Yes, light can travel through a vacuum because it does not require a medium to propagate. This is why we can see the light from distant stars and galaxies.

5. How does light's wave behavior explain phenomena like refraction and diffraction?

Light's wave behavior can explain phenomena like refraction and diffraction because when light encounters a different medium, its wavelength changes and it can bend or spread out accordingly.

Similar threads

Replies
34
Views
2K
Replies
18
Views
2K
Replies
41
Views
3K
  • Optics
Replies
4
Views
2K
Replies
6
Views
13K
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
10
Views
505
Replies
2
Views
11K
Replies
4
Views
2K
Back
Top