Wave Particle Duality Wave Particle Duality Waveâ€“particle duality postulates that all particles exhibit both wave and particle properties. A central concept of quantum mechanics, this duality addresses the inability of classical concepts like "particle" and "wave" to fully describe the behavior of quantum-scale objects. Standard interpretations of quantum mechanics explain this paradox as a fundamental property of the Universe, while alternative interpretations explain the duality as an emergent, second-order consequence of various limitations of the observer. This treatment focuses on explaining the behavior from the perspective of the widely used Copenhagen interpretation, in which waveâ€“particle duality is one aspect of the concept of complementarity, that a phenomenon can be viewed in one way or in another, but not both simultaneously. Wave Particle Duality of Matter The wave particle duality of light was a big mystery for scientist. The light produce energy which traverses through space just like as the ripples spreading across the surface of a still pond after being disturbed by a dropped rock, it proves the wave like nature of light.
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While light can be considered as a steady stream of particles just like tiny droplets of water sprayed from a garden hose nozzle. There are various experiments which can be proves the wave nature of light. At the same time some experiments favors the particle nature. Wave Particle Duality of Light The refraction of light based on the concept of the wave nature and proves that the velocity of light in any substance is inversely proportion to its refractive index. When a beam of light passes through from one medium to another one which having different refractive indices, the beam changes its direction and the phenomenon is termed as refraction. The reflection of light far more favor the particle nature of light, in which particles get bounces away after striking on a smooth in opposite direction. Since the light particles are very tiny and in a huge number present in a propagating light beam, hence after impacting the mirror, the particles bounce from different points and the light beam is reversed upon reflection to produce a reversed image. No doubt the reflection of light proves the wave as well as particle nature of light, at the same time the particle nature also proves the scattering the light from the rough surface. Another experiment which proves the duality of light is diffraction pattern of light. When a light beam crossed through a narrow slit , it spreads and becomes wider. De Broglie Wavelength Equation The dual nature of light get certified by French scientist Louis-Victor de Broglie who proposed that all matter and radiation have properties which are resemble to both a particle and a wave. De Broglie used the Max Planck's lead for the wave nature of light and related it to the Einsteinâ€™s famous formula relating mass and energy to include Planck's constant.
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E = mc2 = hĎ… Where E = Energy of a particle, m = mass of particle c = Speed of light h = Planck's constant Ď… = Frequency of light The relation between the frequency of a wave to the energy and mass of a particle, became fundamental in the development of a new field that used to explain both the wave-like and particle-like nature of light. Hence, De Broglie equation proves that at times light behaves as a particle, and at other times as a wave. This duality of light can be used to describe almost all of the known properties of light like reflection, interference, refraction , photoelectric effect and diffraction.
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Published on Sep 10, 2012