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"Light" Topic

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Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2022 6:52 p.m. PST

Just a LOL!
High School class with Physics teacher.
Me. What is light made up of?
T: Waves.
Me: Waves of what?
T: Photons.
Me: So what are photons made up of?
T: Light.
Me: So there HAS to be something there… if it can DO something… heat or bend Gold Leaf?
T: No, just waves.
Me: There must be particles… of what?
T: They're Just waves!

End of 'Einstein' experience. Could not do Maths, anyway!

williamb26 Oct 2022 7:56 a.m. PST

Somewhat incorrect interpretation by the teacher. Light behaves as both a wave and a particle with photons being the name of the particle. Beyond that you are dealing with quantum physics where everything gets really strange. Also depending on the wavelength of light, things do get hot. Like the interior of a closed car left out in the sun. The heat can result in the death of living things left inside the car.


Zephyr126 Oct 2022 2:25 p.m. PST

Me: So there HAS to be something there… if it can DO something… heat or bend Gold Leaf?

Photon torpedoes… ;-)

Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2022 4:29 p.m. PST

But a photon is a wave… of SOMETHING?
That was my point.
To exert a physical effect there has to be something there to exert that effect?
High School Physics in the late 70s. Beyond that… too 'Strange' for me! lol.
Good article… but better minds than mine ain't been able to work things out…. just guessing.

If someone 'finds' whatever… and can find way to manipulate it?

Photon Torpedoes or Phasers… just shoot the things! If they work for you… they do!

Mark Plant29 Oct 2022 4:52 p.m. PST

Light behaves as both a wave and a particle

Everything behaves as both a wave and a particle: light is not special in that regard.

It is just that we tend not to notice unless the particle is small and/or fast. Light being, of course, both, so it's behaviour is more noticeably wave-like.

But we see similar wave quantum effects with other particles, such as electron tunneling.

Light has momentum, and in big enough doses we can see that -- sending satellites out of orbit, for example. Mass is an emergent property anyway, not a fundamental one. We just tend to see it as primary because we are large and move slowly.

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