Why simultaneous detection of wave and particle nature is not possible

In summary, the traditional understanding is that there is no experiment that can simultaneously detect the wave and particle nature of light. However, in certain experiments with electron beams passing through two slits in a magnetic field, we can observe both the interference and bending of the beam, suggesting the simultaneous presence of both wave and particle behaviors. This concept dates back to the 1900s with the semiclassical model of light, but a more comprehensive understanding comes from quantum electrodynamics. To observe the bending of the electron beam, an electron detector such as a screen can be used to measure the deviation from the original position.
  • #1
Ablaze_
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We have been taught that the there is no experiment designed to detect wave and particle nature of light simultaneously. Also, that light propagates by the virtue of its wave nature and interacts by the virtue of its particle nature.

let us take an electron beam passing through two slits while similarly being in a constant magnetic field. Now, we will see interference as well as bending of electron beam due to magnetic field. Aren't we getting wave and particle nature simultaneously?

(Also note that the phase velocity of waves is different than that of the particle, so we may also get different magnetic force on particles even though we consider that F=qv*B can be applied for a wave.)
 
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  • #2
Ablaze_ said:
We have been taught that the there is no experiment designed to detect wave and particle nature of light simultaneously. Also, that light propagates by the virtue of its wave nature and interacts by the virtue of its particle nature.

Where have "we" been "taught" these things? Can you give a reference?

Ablaze_ said:
let us take an electron beam

Do you want to talk about light or electrons?
 
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  • #3
PeterDonis said:
Where have "we" been "taught" these things? Can you give a reference?
Isnt this the semiclassical model for light to which Max Planck and Einstein had arrived after explaining black body radiation spectrum (by Planck) and photoelectric effect(by Einstein). Of course this is old stuff you might say, 1900s. Since the 1960s we have a complete quantum field theory of light called quantum electrodynamics of which I (and probably the OP too) have no idea.
Could you enlighten us perhaps and give us a brief description of what QED says about light when it travels and when it interacts?
 
  • #4
PeterDonis said:
Where have "we" been "taught" these things? Can you give a reference?
Do you want to talk about light or electrons?
I assumed that the nature of matter waves is similar to the light wave. If it isn't i request you to point the respective behaviors in both the cases
 
  • #5
Ablaze_ said:
I assumed that the nature of matter waves is similar to the light wave.

In some respects they are. But I asked where "we" were "taught" the specific things you said:

Ablaze_ said:
We have been taught that the there is no experiment designed to detect wave and particle nature of light simultaneously. Also, that light propagates by the virtue of its wave nature and interacts by the virtue of its particle nature.

Where are you getting this from? Do you have a reference?
 
  • #6
Delta2 said:
Isnt this the semiclassical model for light to which Max Planck and Einstein had arrived after explaining black body radiation spectrum (by Planck) and photoelectric effect(by Einstein).

What the OP wrote does not match any specific model I'm aware of. That's why I'm asking where he got it from. I suspect it's from pop science sources, not an actual textbook or peer-reviewed paper.

Delta2 said:
Could you enlighten us perhaps and give us a brief description of what QED says about light when it travels and when it interacts?

Even a "brief" description at this level of generality is too much for a single PF thread. We would need to focus on a single specific experimental scenario.
 
  • #7
Ablaze_ said:
Now, we will see interference as well as bending of electron beam due to magnetic field.

How are you measuring the bending of the electron beam?
 
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  • #8
PeterDonis said:
How are you measuring the bending of the electron beam?
By some electron detector , say, a screen made from them, which detect the electron arrives there after how much deviation from their original position
 
  • #9
Ablaze_ said:
By some electron detector , say, a screen made from them, which detect the electron arrives there after how much deviation from their original position

What do you think you will observe at this detector given the experimental setup you describe?
 

Related to Why simultaneous detection of wave and particle nature is not possible

1. Why can't we observe both wave and particle behavior at the same time?

This is because the behavior of matter and energy at the quantum level is governed by the principles of wave-particle duality, which states that particles can exhibit both wave-like and particle-like properties. However, the act of observing or measuring these properties changes the behavior of the particle, making it impossible to observe both simultaneously.

2. How does the observer affect the behavior of particles?

The act of observing or measuring a particle's properties requires interaction with the particle, which in turn affects its behavior. This is known as the observer effect, and it is a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics.

3. Can't we just use more advanced technology to observe both wave and particle behavior at the same time?

No, even with advanced technology, it is still impossible to observe both wave and particle behavior simultaneously. This is because the uncertainty principle, another fundamental principle in quantum mechanics, states that there is a limit to how precisely we can know certain properties of a particle at the same time.

4. Are there any exceptions to this principle?

While the principle of wave-particle duality applies to all matter and energy at the quantum level, there are some particles, such as photons, that can exhibit both wave and particle behavior at the same time. However, this is only possible in specific experimental setups and does not contradict the principle itself.

5. Why is it important to understand this principle?

Understanding the principle of wave-particle duality is crucial to understanding the behavior of matter and energy at the quantum level. It has significant implications in fields such as quantum mechanics, particle physics, and even everyday technology, such as the development of quantum computers. It also challenges our understanding of the fundamental nature of reality and the role of observation in shaping it.

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