Historical Discovery: Researchers Have Successfully Captured Wave-Particle Duality Of Light
Everyone with the basic or advanced knowledge of Physics knows that light is a wave due to its bending and squeezing or propagating characteristics. Having said that, it is also known that light has the ability to behave as a particle as well. However, occurrence of both the behaviors simultaneously has always been deemed impossible. As we have seen many long held beliefs being crushed down by the rapid progress in the field of technology, researchers have now proven this notion wrong by imaging the Wave-Particle duality for the first time.
This amazing discovery which is being considered as a big leap forward in understanding the fundamental nature of light, is published in Nature Communications. The team of researchers which completed this project with massive success have, indeed, laid foundation for the advancement of quantum computing along with many other technologies.
For the purpose of observing the light’s wave-particle duality, the researcher performed a complex experiment. They blasted a metal wire with UV light to create a standing wave of light. Then they changed the energy in the wave by disturbing individual photons with firing of electrons. The speed of the photons changed with the changed of energy, and the scientists were able to see this interaction with the help of a high-powered microscope.
For greater understanding, note that the wave is actually wave because it has a series of particles which are not necessarily alike. As the researchers had produced a standing wave and had disturbed the photons which could now be seen as individuals too — so the researchers had seen the light in both behaviors.
“This experiment demonstrates that, for the first time ever, we can film quantum mechanics – and its paradoxical nature – directly,” senior author Fabrizio Carbone from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland said in a press release. “Being able to image and control quantum phenomena at the nanometer scale like this opens up a new route towards quantum computing.”
As I said we must thank science and technology for helping humankind in coming up with refined/new set of theological, cultural and historical beliefs along with challenging the scientific concepts. To illustrate: the recent discovery has challenged the experiments of over a hundred years in which scientists always concluded that both states, of particle and wave, couldn’t be seen at the same time.