# How does wave particle duality work?

Jan 14, 2016

It is the phenomenon that light has a dual nature and can be considered as both a wave and a particle.

#### Explanation:

Some phenomena can only be explained if we consider light to travel as a wave, for example reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference (superposition), polarization, etc.

Some phenomena can only be explained if we consider light to travel as a particle, for example the photo-electric effect, the Compton effect, particle diffraction patterns, pair production, quantam physics principles, etc.

It may from this be concluded that all waves have a particle nature and assosciated momentum, and all particles have a corresponding wave nature and assosciated wavelength.

A photon of light (particle) for example has quantized energy $E = h f$, where $f$ is the frequency of the corresponding wave. The assosciated wavelength is then $\lambda = \frac{h}{p}$.