Category: Quantum Physics

Flick a switch on a dark winter day and your office is flooded with bright light, one of many everyday miracles to which we are all usually oblivious. A physicist would probably describe what is happening in terms of the particle nature of light. An atom or molecule in the fluorescent tube that is in an excited state spontaneously decays to a lower energy state, releasing a particle called a photon. When the photon enters your eye, something similar happens but in reverse. The photon is absorbed by a molecule in the retina and its energy kicks that molecule into an excited state. Light is both a particle and a wave, and this duality is fundamental to the physics that rule the Lilliputian world of atoms and molecules. Yet it would seem that in this case the wave nature of light can be safely ignored. Researcher might now give you an argument about that.

Source: How light is detected affects the atom that emits it: An experiment suggests it might be possible to control atoms entangled with the light they emit by manipulating detection — ScienceDaily

Posted: May 13, 2016 in Quantum Physics