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Thread: Ep. 83: Wave Particle Duality

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    Ep. 83: Wave Particle Duality

    Have you ever heard that photons behave like both a particle and a wave and wondered what that meant? It's true. Sometimes light acts like a wave, and other times it behaves like a little particle. It's both. This week we discuss the experiments that demonstrate this, explain how scientists figured it all out in the first place. What does wave/particle duality have to do with astronomy? Well, everything, since light is the only way astronomers can see out into the Universe.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    i would like to the the video pamela talks about.
    the one with the wire grid.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    With the talk of "interfering with our selves", for a moment I wondered if this podcast needed a guidance rating

    On another matter, I heard one idea that Young's Slit experiment proved the existence of parallel universes

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    loved this episode very cool


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    How is the emission of single photons confirmed in this experiment?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    I think my mind is permanently bent.

    'Course, that occurred a couple of decades ago when I first heard about it in college.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Smile Astronomy and economics ;-)

    Hello, Frasier et al ...

    I've only been listening to AstronomyCast for a couple of months now, but it's already something I really enojoy; I look very forward to seeing a new AstronomyCast episode in iTunes every week :-)

    As an aside, I can completely attest to the fascination with economics. I'm a software engineer, and financial stuff usually bores me. However, I recently read "The Naked Economist" by Charles Wheeler, and _wow_, all of a sudden economics (esp. macroeconomics) became really interesting, and I realized that it applies to far more than just finance stuff. I then read "The Lexus and the Olive Tree", "The Undercover Economist", "The Economic Naturalist", "Multi-Track Diplomacy", and a dozen other econ books. Am I an economist -- not at all, and I still love doing software ... but economics definitely is an interesting science (and not "dismal" at all I find).

    Anyway -- I really like your show, so please keep doing it :-)



    Falling You - exploring the beauty of voice and sound

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    find the videos

    Where could we find the videos Pamela refered to in the episode on photon duality? Especially, the vidoes with the double slit and wire mesh and lens. That sounds spooky!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Hello - long time listener, first time poster etc etc -

    Another "where can we find the video of the dual slit experiment and the wires that Pamela mentioned" from me. I've hunted on youtube, but his name wasn't terribly clear on the podcast - Ashar, maybe? - whatever, it wasn't enough for me to track it down off my own back

    Any links would be gratefully received.

    Keep up the good work - loving the podcast.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    The following responds to the entries that asked questions that I can answer:

    Sticks: I heard one idea that Young's Slit experiment proved the existence of parallel universes.
    Young's slit experiment had nothing to do with parallel universes.

    Mootzy: How is the emission of single photons confirmed in this experiment?
    The interference pattern observed is fully accounted for by assuming that a plane wave corresponding to the a single photon fell perpendicularly onto the plane of the slit, thereby generating a pair of synchronized cylindrical waves at the slits, those waves then traveling to the screen and interfering with each other constructively and destructively at the predicted locations.

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