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Never ending Universe

Sabtu, 06 September 2008

Wave-Particle Duality

Wave-Particle Duality

Publicized early in the debate about whether light was composed of particles or waves, a wave-particle dual nature soon was found to be characteristic of electrons as well. The evidence for the description of light as waves was well established at the turn of the century when the photoelectric effect introduced firm evidence of a particle nature as well. On the other hand, the particle properties of electrons was well documented when the DeBroglie hypothesis and the subsequent experiments by Davisson and Germer established the wave nature of the electron.

Wave-Particle Duality: Light

Does light consist of particles or waves? When one focuses upon the different types of phenomena observed with light, a strong case can be built for a wave picture:

PhenomenonCan be explained in terms of waves.Can be explained in terms of particles.
Reflectioncan
can
Refractioncan
can
Interferencecannot
Diffractioncan
not
Polarizationcannot
photoelectric effectnot
can
Most commonly observed phenomena with light can be explained by waves. But the photoelectric effect suggested a particle nature for light. Then electrons too were found to exhibit dual natures.


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