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Two Crucial Experiments on the Nature of Light: Beyond the Bounds of Wave-Particle Duality

C.C. Emedolu
C. Ihejirika
B.S. Nnamdi


The wave-particle duality of light has been hanging over the clouds of science as an insuperable mystery. Debates have gone on for centuries as to which of the two aspects of light best represents the natural property of light. On the one hand, the particle theory of light camp made its own submissions a long time ago with many experimental demonstrations to confirm its position. On the other hand, the wave theory of light camp did organize or face some experiments to corroborate its own position. But then, a middle ground interpretation was shoveled-in by Niels Bohr during the second decade of the 20th Century. For him, the two aspects of light are complementary and Louis de Broglie popularized it, despite the halting beginnings of the complementarity Thesis. A double-slit experiment was, however, organized to show that light has these dual aspects. The central thesis of this paper is that though light exhibits these dual aspects, it is fundamentally a wave. The paper adopts the historiographical approach in navigating this lingering issue of the nature of light in the history of science.


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eISSN: 2227-5452
print ISSN: 2225-8590