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Wavelength of a photon

  1. Apr 15, 2013 #1
    I understand that electromagnetic radiation is a photon. But one thing that is continuing to bug me is the question how does a photon, which is defined as a particle not a wave, have a wavelength? Do photons travel as packets in some sort of a compression type wave similar to sound?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2013 #2

    tom.stoer

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    According to modern quantum field theory the photon is neither a particle nor a wave.

    But there a situations (experiments) where we observe photons with a behavior as if they were particles. And there are (other) situations were we observe photons with a behavior as if they were waves.

    Both behaviors are mutually exclusive, so the common term wave-particle-duality and the explanation that they are both is missleading. They a neither.
     
  4. Apr 15, 2013 #3
    I think I've heard of this. Is this classification of an object displaying qualities of both a particle and a wave (such as a photon) a 'quantum'? Like a bundle of energy.
     
  5. Apr 15, 2013 #4

    tom.stoer

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    Yes, it's 'quantum'. But be carefulk: wave-like and particle-like are mutually exclusive and cannot be observed at the same time.
     
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