MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Light is a particle ?

Area: Physics
Posted By: Malcolm Tobias, Graduate Student, Physics
Date: Wed Jan 8 08:35:11 1997
Message ID: 851430074.Ph

  Although the duality of light (that light behaves both like a wave and
like a particle) seems to be logically inconsistent, you must remember
that it is an experimentally established fact.  Again and again in
labs all over the world it has been established that if you devise a
test to determine whether light behaves as a wave, it is found that it
behaves as a wave.  If you test whether it behaves as a particle, it
is found to behave like a particle.  Thought experiments are never
enough, the only test for any hypothesis is experiment.  To truly
formulate your hypothesis that light is a particle, you'll also need
to invent a new theory of electromagnetism since the old theory is
entirely consistent with our current theory of light.  

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