← Quantization of Light and Energy

Wave-Particle Duality

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Conflicting Experiments

Some experiments (interference, diffraction) seem to suggest that light behaves as a wave, but others (photoelectric effect, thermal radiation, Compton effect) suggest light comes in discrete quanta: photons.

The wave and particle properties of light are one; it is not possible to separate the light into particles and waves.

Wave-Particle Duality

Light does not "come" in waves nor particles. Simply, it interacts with matter in ways that resemble both waves and particles in different situations.

The same wave-particle duality is seen in other objects (like electrons), which were previously believed to be only particles.