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Wave vs. Particle

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:13 pm
by Chantel_2I
In class, we've been discussing how photons and electrons often follow a wavelike model, but objects also act as particles. What is the balance between acting as a wave and acting as a particle? Can light, for example, act according to both models? In other words, how can we say that light sometimes acts as a wave but sometimes acts like particles?

Re: Wave vs. Particle

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:20 pm
by Ryan Juncker 3D
I believe the way it was explained was that the original model of light was the wave model in which light always acted like a wave - bigger wave equals higher intensity. However, the results of the photoelectric experiment gave way to the photon model where light is seen more by the individual photon which acts more like particles.

Re: Wave vs. Particle

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:34 pm
by Ashley R 1A
Because we have evidence that electromagnetic radiation acts as both a wave (with diffraction/diffraction patterns) and as a particle (photoelectric effect and bohr frequency condition), scientists have accepted the "wave-particle" duality of electromagnetic radiation. This is where the Heisenberg uncertainty principle comes in, because we can't exactly guess the position or trajectory of a subatomic particle at a given point in time because of their unpredictability. hope this helps :)

Re: Wave vs. Particle

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:35 pm
by Ruby Richter 2L
It was also explained in class that waves, in general, show diffraction patterns and that when the electrons in the experiment passed through a crystal, they also showed diffraction. Since diffraction patterns result from interacting waves, it was concluded that electrons must also have wavelike properties. Basically, all matter has wavelike properties but it's only noticed for moving objects with an extremely small mass, like electrons.

Re: Wave vs. Particle

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:40 pm
by Harry Zhang 1B
The reason why we say light has both wave and particle properties is because it's experimentally proven. The diffraction patterns that shows up when certain wavelength of light passes through a crystal confirms its wave-like property. When conducting the photoelectric experiment, we notice that if the energy of each photon does not reach the threshold energy(the smallest amount of energy needed to eject electron from a metal surface), increasing intensity would not eject any electrons, which confirms that lights have particle-like property.