Light's Behavior

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Light's Behavior

Postby emaad_3H » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:21 pm

What does it mean when we say that light acts as a wave and as a particle?

Kim Chen
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Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Light's Behavior

Postby Kim Chen » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:28 pm

I believe in lecture, we learned that light generally shows diffraction patterns, which is something that particles will not do. However, light also behaves like a particle because a unit of light is a photon, and high-energy photons will act like particles. This was explained through the photoelectric effect -- experimentally, UV light hit a metal surface and emit electrons (which have particle properties).

Althea Zhao 1B
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Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:24 am

Re: Light's Behavior

Postby Althea Zhao 1B » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:15 am

I found Dr. Lavelle's watering can analogy helpful for understanding this concept. In large quantities, water moves as a wave (continuously). However, we can also think of water jumping out of the (now shrunken to microscopic proportions) mouth of the water can in single molecules, or particles.

Maya Gollamudi 1G
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Light's Behavior

Postby Maya Gollamudi 1G » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:02 am

At the larger scale, light appears to be continuous like a wave, but when light is observed as the microscopic scale, it is actually made up of a stream of discrete photons. Certain behaviors of light are characteristic of waves (diffraction patterns) and other behaviors are characteristic of particles (the photoelectric effect).

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