7. Particles, Waves, and     Paradoxes   Previous PageNext Page
    Particles of Light

"Wave" and "particle" are labels for things that exhibit certain behavioral patterns at the macroscopic size level.

Things that we call "waves" do not show particle behavior in our familiar world, and things that we call "particles" do not act in a wavelike manner.

This is only a matter of scale.

At the level of atomic dimensions, we cannot say, "This is a wave and that is a particle." The same "thing" can show both behaviors under appropriate conditions, and this is what light does.

Someone has coined the term "wavicle" for these ambiguous things, but the "particles" of light ordinarily are called either photons or light quanta.

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