Is light a particle or a wave? It’s both, physics teachers tell kids these days, but now there’s the principle of quantum entanglement to consider. Below the fold, check out the latest news from scientists on the matter. Not only, they say, does light act as particles and waves, but a photon does it simultaneously. A recent experiment published in the latest edition of the journal Science bears this out.
For more reading, there’s a great piece on Space.Com that talks about a new experiment, printed in the November 2012 issue of Science. It shows that photons are particles and waves all at the same time. It all boils down to quantum non-locality.
Artist rendering by Nicolas Brunner and Jamie Simmonds via: Space.com
Here’s an excerpt from a Space.Com piece that sheds more, well, light on the findings.
Now, for the first time, researchers have devised a new type of measurement apparatus that can detect both particle and wave-like behavior at the same time. The device relies on a strange quantum effect called quantum nonlocality, a counter-intuitive notion that boils down to the idea that the same particle can exist in two locations at once.
“The measurement apparatus detected strong nonlocality, which certified that the photon behaved simultaneously as a wave and a particle in our experiment,” physicist Alberto Peruzzo of England’s University of Bristol said in a statement. “This represents a strong refutation of models in which the photon is either a wave or a particle.”
Peruzzo is lead author of a paper describing the experiment published in the Nov. 2 issue of the journal Science.