I’ve recently been reading a lot about quantum mechanics, which for me means googling a lot of scientific vocab words and watching various YouTube videos where things are explained in more simplistic terms than they would be in an academic journal. But there’s one particular aspect about quantum physics that completely fascinates me – basically, that matter does not always exist as a particle – that it can behave as a wave, until it’s observed. Basically, the universe is playing one giant game of freeze dance? Or the universe is just a giant example of what our parents used to tell us about our toys playing whenever we left the room? Well not really, but metaphorically?
Anyway, check out this video from Cosmology Today for a more scientific breakdown.
Particles of light: Light can sometimes behave as a particle. This was initially met with harsh criticism, as it ran contrary to 200 years of experiments showing that light behaved as a wave; much like ripples on the surface of a calm lake. Light behaves similarly in that it bounces off walls and bends around corners, and that the crests and troughs of the wave can add up or cancel out. Added wave crests result in brighter light, while waves that cancel out produce darkness. A light source can be thought of as a ball on a stick being rhythmically dipped in the center of a lake. The color emitted corresponds to the distance between the crests, which is determined by the speed of the ball’s rhythm.
Waves of matter: Matter can also behave as a wave. This ran counter to the roughly 30 years of experiments showing that matter (such as electrons) exists as particles.
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