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Confirming Einstein's theory of light


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user posted image rWork completed by physics professors at Rowan University shows that light is made of particles and waves, a finding that refutes a common belief held for about 80 years. Shahriar S. Afshar, the visiting professor who is currently at Boston's Institute for Radiation-Induced Mass Studies (IRIMS), led a team, including Rowan physics professors Drs.

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linked-imageWork completed by physics professors at Rowan University shows that light is made of particles and waves, a finding that refutes a common belief held for about 80 years. Shahriar S. Afshar, the visiting professor who is currently at Boston's Institute for Radiation-Induced Mass Studies (IRIMS), led a team, including Rowan physics professors Drs. Eduardo Flores and Ernst Knoesel and student Keith McDonald, that proved Afshar’s original claims, which were based on a series of experiments he had conducted several years ago. An article on the work titled "Paradox in Wave-Particle Duality" recently published in Foundations of Physics, a prestigious, refereed academic journal, supports Albert Einstein’s long-debated belief that quantum physics is incomplete. For eight decades the scientific community generally had supported Niels Bohr’s ideas commonly known as the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. In 1927, in his “Principle of Complementarity,” he asserted that in any experiment light shows only one aspect at a time, either it behaves as a wave or as a particle. Einstein was deeply troubled by that principle, since he could not accept that any external measurement would prevent light to reveal its full dual nature, according to Afshar.

The fundamental problem, however, seemed to be that one has to destroy the photon in order to measure either aspects of it. Then, once destroyed, there is no light left to measure the other aspect. “About 150 years ago, light was thought to behave solely as a wave similar to sound and water waves. In 1905, Einstein observed that light might also act as being made out of small particles. Since then physicists found it difficult understanding the full nature of light since in some situations it acts like a particle and in others like a wave,” Flores said. “This dual nature of light led to the insight that all fundamental physical objects include a wave and a particle aspect, even electrons, protons and students.”

linked-image View: Full Article | Source: Physorg

I have always thought when I heard about the dual nature of light in physics class, "hey, why not a wave of particles, but have never understood why that would be wrong (is it?) and why no one else would have thought of that. It is such a fundamental thought, I am sure that I am missing something, as I am sure that must have occurred to someone else. So now, I have to ask, is light a wave of particles???? Why not????

Is this article suggesting that it is??????????????????

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In my opinion, the article is poorly written because it doesn't make clear what it is trying to say.

But the bottom line is stil this: An individual photon has a DUAL NATURE. It is both a wave and a particle at the same time.

This has proven by the famous double-slit experiment in which single photon were fired at a screen with two slits cut into it -- and then the photons were observed where they struck a screen behind the two slits.

To make a long story short: Sometimes the pattern clearly indicated that photons were waves because they formed an interference pattern on the screen. At other times, the photons behaved like particles, land directly behind the on the screen, the same way as if you would shoot bullets randomly through two holes.

One has to remember: The way thinks work in the quantum world are totally weird and different from the way we think about out reality in the macro world. In the quantum world, something can be two different things at the same time -- this bothered Einstein a lot -- and it still bothers a lot of people, makign some still suspect there is something worng or incomplete with quantum thoeries.

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I thought it was already accepted that light has dual nature behaviors. This fact is still being debated?

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In my opinion, the article is poorly written because it doesn't make clear what it is trying to say.

But the bottom line is stil this: An individual photon has a DUAL NATURE. It is both a wave and a particle at the same time.

This has proven by the famous double-slit experiment in which single photon were fired at a screen with two slits cut into it -- and then the photons were observed where they struck a screen behind the two slits.

To make a long story short: Sometimes the pattern clearly indicated that photons were waves because they formed an interference pattern on the screen. At other times, the photons behaved like particles, land directly behind the on the screen, the same way as if you would shoot bullets randomly through two holes.

One has to remember: The way thinks work in the quantum world are totally weird and different from the way we think about out reality in the macro world. In the quantum world, something can be two different things at the same time -- this bothered Einstein a lot -- and it still bothers a lot of people, makign some still suspect there is something worng or incomplete with quantum thoeries.

In my opinion, the problem with physics is that they can't explain a darn thing simply (not that anything in phsyics is simple apparently). What do they mean when they say that it has characteristics of a wave? When I think of waves, of course I think of the ocean, which is comprised of molecules of water moving up and down do to the force of winds (generally). Or if a pebble is thrown in a still pond, the waves of energy will be apparent in the disruption of water from the point of impact, spread out along the plane of the water surface. These are all examples of paritcles moving as waves, so why not light (photons) moving in a "wave like" motion (up and down)? Would that not give you the same results as seen in the famous and classic experiment to which you refer?? And above the surface of the water, where the medium is air, you have sound waves with frequencies and amplitude. So why not particles of light (photons) also moving up and down (amplitude) in a wave like motion? Perhaps space itself is a medium, and not the nothingness that we invision.

Edited by Bearly
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In my opinion, the problem with physics is that they can't explain a darn thing simply (not that anything in phsyics is simple apparently). What do they mean when they say that it has characteristics of a wave? When I think of waves, of course I think of the ocean, which is comprised of molecules of water moving up and down do to the force of winds (generally). Or if a pebble is thrown in a still pond, the waves of energy will be apparent in the disruption of water from the point of impact, spread out along the plane of the water surface. These are all examples of paritcles moving as waves, so why not light (photons) moving in a "wave like" motion (up and down)? Would that not give you the same results as seen in the famous and classic experiment to which you refer?? And above the surface of the water, where the medium is air, you have sound waves with frequencies and amplitude. So why not particles of light (photons) also moving up and down (amplitude) in a wave like motion? Perhaps space itself is a medium, and not the nothingness that we invision.

Here's the thing, Bearly: Light cannot be said to be a bunch of individual photons all acting together as a wave, as I think you're suggesting. (Let me know if I read you right).

And here's why: In the double-slit experiment I talked about above, here is what they do. They shoot just one photon -- only one -- at the two slits.

What happens? The pattern that is produced on the screen behind the two slits is STILL AN INTERFERENCE PATTERN!!! The only explanation for this is that this ONE PHOTON becomes a wave AND INTERFERS WITH ITSELF TO CREATE THE PATTERN!!

Sorry fo the all caps, but this is very exciting to me! But, anyway, the fact that just one photon can create a pattern that could only be created by a wave is dead-solid proof that a photon can act both like an individual particle and a wave!!!

It's amazing! I love physics!!

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Thanks for the replies IronGhost and St. Q. The video was a really good explanation of what the experiment was about. I wish my physics teacher in college had explained it as well, I finally understand what it was about.

I will have to ponder this experiment for a while. If there is no error in the methods in this experiment, what's going on is very very strange, and now I understand why everyone is so puzzled. I would like to learn more about the quantum physics world, but it needs to be explained to me simply and as well as the video. Very often, the explanations are not very good, complete, basic enough (it was not my field of study) or in enough detail for me to understand what they are trying to convey.

I wish people could explain shroeders cat to me also. People talk about, but I have yet to hear a full and concise explanation as to what they are talking about. I think once again they are talking about the observer influencing the experiment. Weird if true.

What the video didn't go into detail about though was how were they observing it when it collapsed back into behaving like a particle. When they were "observing" it with their eyes, it acted like a wave (given of course that the eye can't see individual electrons), but when it was observed by the machine, the wave 'collapse'. What machine were they using to observe the electron I wonder?? Could it some how have affected the experiment??

Probably not, but then how does the particle 'know' when it is 'observed' by a human eye vrs when it is 'observed' by whatever machine they used?

Edited by Bearly
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Good questions! I assume that the machine is a measuring device for detecting particles, and I have heard that the proximity of this machine has nothing to do with the outcome. IMO, the machine itself may have an effect on how the wave is interpreted. Once it has been interpreted as a particle, it changes its behavior to match the expected results of a particle. If the measuring device could only detect waves, then maybe the outcome would have been reversed. This dual behavior is the paradox.

Our tools are extensions of our mind and body. We use them for detecting and measuring matter. For detecting and measuring waves, we often use instruments that convert their presence and activity as if they were matter so that we can better interpret the data. I believe that the paradox lies within us. We are matter-based entities. Personally, I don't think that matter exists. I believe that this mind-altering transition was theoretically expressed in Genesis -- the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Long live the Matrix!

Sorry, I got weirded out on this. Scientists tell us that the video is a poor example of explaining quantum mechanics. They tell us that there is much more to read and learn before we can fully understand the subject. Although the video may suggest to some that particles don't exist, scientists will never admit to that.

For more info, see: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum...showtopic=90086

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linked-imageWork completed by physics professors at Rowan University shows that light is made of particles and waves, a finding that refutes a common belief held for about 80 years. Shahriar S. Afshar, the visiting professor who is currently at Boston's Institute for Radiation-Induced Mass Studies (IRIMS), led a team, including Rowan physics professors Drs. Eduardo Flores and Ernst Knoesel and student Keith McDonald, that proved Afshar’s original claims, which were based on a series of experiments he had conducted several years ago. An article on the work titled "Paradox in Wave-Particle Duality" recently published in Foundations of Physics, a prestigious, refereed academic journal, supports Albert Einstein’s long-debated belief that quantum physics is incomplete. For eight decades the scientific community generally had supported Niels Bohr’s ideas commonly known as the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. In 1927, in his “Principle of Complementarity,†he asserted that in any experiment light shows only one aspect at a time, either it behaves as a wave or as a particle. Einstein was deeply troubled by that principle, since he could not accept that any external measurement would prevent light to reveal its full dual nature, according to Afshar.

The fundamental problem, however, seemed to be that one has to destroy the photon in order to measure either aspects of it. Then, once destroyed, there is no light left to measure the other aspect. “About 150 years ago, light was thought to behave solely as a wave similar to sound and water waves. In 1905, Einstein observed that light might also act as being made out of small particles. Since then physicists found it difficult understanding the full nature of light since in some situations it acts like a particle and in others like a wave,†Flores said. “This dual nature of light led to the insight that all fundamental physical objects include a wave and a particle aspect, even electrons, protons and students.â€

linked-image View: Full Article | Source: Physorg

Anything that is made of particles shares a property with matter. Can you break off a piece of light and that piece remain light?

I understand the quantum aspect of light and the content of the atom. The speed at which the exchange occurs within the atom is absolutely mind boggling. We all know, well most of us know, of the makeup of an atom, i.e. the proton, the electron, the neutron, and the nucleus. We have that elementary idea and it does go deeper. With light, as with all elements that emit a charge, there is one characteristic that allows it to do so. In my mind, it is not the speed of the revolutions of the electron around the nucleus, that gives the element inertia, but the atom is much more complex. What makes a leaf green, the flower of the same yellow, and the berry red? Each part of the plant is made of the same thing, what is it? Is it the bees desire that causes pollen to be yellow and the birds desire to see the berry that makes the berry red? No, the bees are waves of command in particle form; the birds are, also. It is the marker in the DNA responding to the particular force or life-charge to 'turn on the gluon' between the proton and neutron. That gives everything color. Go further into the atom and find the quark. Steven Hawking said quark was supposed to be quart but somebody said to the inventor of this thing when he asked for a drink, I think his name was Mark, 'One quark for Muster Mark.'

Everything is already here in a matrix, lines of force. There is no color to this force, it is only force. It can be called spiritual force. You have an unseen kingdom of everything already in place. You can give this kingdom the elements it need to become evident and watch as the gluons and the quarks of the atom respond to charge of the atmosphere and become the shades of life or you can fill your world with material that accepts no charge from the atmosphere and exist that way. But not for long.

Edited by greggK
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I've been pondering this experiment a bit, and here are some of my thoughts on the matter (no pun intended). I really only know what was explained to me in the video, and I must assume that this experiment has been repeated and discussed and examined intensively. I don't know of any follow up experiments, but here are my thoughts and questions based on the little that I know.

1. Electrons and light are not the same thing, so I don't see how this has anything to do with light.

2. Apparently, the patterns of the electrons are showing up on a film or whatever object it is that they are using to see the pattern. This is important to what my thoughts that follow.

3. Back to a point in my earlier post and based on what was shown in the video. Question: Before they shot the electrons one at a time, when they shot a whole stream of electrons together, was that stream of electrons visible to the naked eye? A very important question. If so, then when man is observing the electrons, then they act like a wave and when they are shot one by one and only the machine can observe the electrons, they are acting as particles. If this statement is correct, what pattern is created when neither man or machine is in the room observing the particles???????????? Wave pattern or particle pattern.

4. What other types of machines can 'observe' an electron. Have other types of observation been used and if so is the result the same (a particle pattern)?

5. If humans have not been able to see the electrons before during this experiment, what would happen patternwise if he could see the flow of electrons somehow with the naked eye? Maybe by sending a stream of electrons through a gas that would fluoresce would make them "visible" to the naked eye?

6. Do electrons go in a straight line when they are emitted by this device? Perhaps they curve, that is why some don't make it through the slits and perhaps this curving of the path of the eletron is creating this pattern. Perhaps the machine is straighting out this curved path of the electron (just a thought).

7. How do they shoot only one electron at a time and what is the intreval between these single shots of electrons? Are they sure that only one electron is being admitted at a time and that only electrons are being admitted and no other particles or sub-particles.

Those are my thoughts and questions. Any comments or answers to my questions?

Edited by Bearly
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My views are that since is still in its child hood. We are like Monkey trying to understand what a simple lighter is. There is still so much we do not know. Just a few years back we could not travel the speed of sound. At that time there was all sorts of theory’s about what would happen if you did or even if it was possible. Someone even said that if we travel the speed of sound you will become sound. Now we have jets ripping thru the skies 2 the speed of sound with no problems.

Someday mankind will break the speed of light and instead of a sonic boom we will get a flash of light and they will be gone. What we know about light and how it works will have to change big time before this ever happens. At this time and date we lack the know how or even the tools to understand what is going on and can only think about what is happing and pretend that we know.

Mark my words as time goes on we will discover more and more stranger things. Like now we understand that protons and neutrons are made of quarts and I feel they will find that quarts are made of even smaller stuff. If you think this light thing is strange study quarts there a blast and make light seem simple.

That is why I like this site. You ask the average person on the street about this very subject and they will think you are talking about some new bar and wonder if it is good place to get drunk. Here at least people have minds and are not afraid to use them.

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1. Electrons and light are not the same thing, so I don't see how this has anything to do with light.
Ah... but it does. It doesn't matter what quantum projectiles are used -- atoms, electrons, protons, or photons -- the results are always the same. That's why it's so much easier for scientists to say that photons can sometimes be particles than to say electrons have always been waves.

3. Before they shot the electrons one at a time, when they shot a whole stream of electrons together, was that stream of electrons visible to the naked eye?
No.

what pattern is created when neither man or machine is in the room observing the particles? Wave pattern or particle pattern.
Wave pattern.

4. What other types of machines can 'observe' an electron. Have other types of observation been used and if so is the result the same (a particle pattern)?
I don't know of any, other than an electron microscope.

5. If humans have not been able to see the electrons before during this experiment, what would happen patternwise if he could see the flow of electrons somehow with the naked eye?
Hypothetically speaking, humans would see electrons as particles and a non-interference pattern would result, because the human eye, just like the electron microscope, would never see two particles passing through the two slits at the same time.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Einstein invented atomic emission and absorption coefficients using Planck's E = hv equation,

equating Energy with frequency, giving frequency the dominant effect. So its a wave.

The photon exhibits directional momentum in nuclear physics

and thats when it may be considered a particle, a purely non wave behavior.

Still a wave packet may also be considered for the photon.

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But the bottom line is stil this: An individual photon has a DUAL NATURE. It is both a wave and a particle at the same time.

That last sentence is the sticking point here (and the one that Afshar is attempting to take on). Wave-particle duality tells us that a photon can act as either a wave or particle depending on the circumstances but the complementarity principle tells us that it only acts like one at a time. Afshar claims to have shown that this isn't so.

I wish people could explain shroeders cat to me also. People talk about, but I have yet to hear a full and concise explanation as to what they are talking about. I think once again they are talking about the observer influencing the experiment. Weird if true.

There's some discussion in this thread that you might find helpful.

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