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Proceedings Paper

Why does the wave particle dualism appear to become evident particularly at optical wavelengths
Author(s): Karl Otto Greulich
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Paper Abstract

At radio wavelength "photons" are not really needed. The description of this part of the electromagentic spectrum as waves is completeley satisfying. In turn, in the range of cosmic radiation, the description of photons as "particles" is sufficient. However, this may not be intrinsic basic physics but caused by the choice of detectors. Radio detectors are solid metal rods - antennae. The energy density and the wavelength of a radio photon are much smaller than that of the antenna. In the range of cosmic radiation, the detectors are essentially single atoms. The energy density of such a photon is much higher, the wavelength much smaller. The primary process of photon detection at optical wavelengths detectors usually occcurs at a single atom, a limited group of atoms or a band in a solid state detector. There, the energy density is comparable to the energy density of the detected photon. Depending on the detailed conditions, a wave or a beam of particles is perceived.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 2011
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8121, The Nature of Light: What are Photons? IV, 812116 (28 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.892276
Show Author Affiliations
Karl Otto Greulich, Fritz Lipmann Institute (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8121:
The Nature of Light: What are Photons? IV
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Andrei Yu. Khrennikov; Al F. Kracklauer, Editor(s)

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