Particle or Wave?

The Great Courses
Show More

Related videos

Wave or Particle?
Einstein's resolution of the photoelectric effect problem suggests that light consists of particles (photons). But how can this be reconciled with the understanding of light as an electromagnetic wave?
A New Theory of Matter
Episode 3 of The Nature of Matter
Discover how the idea that light comes in discrete packets called "quanta" led to a startling new theory of matter: quantum mechanics. One prediction is that matter, like light, behaves as both a particle and a wave, a property observed in subatomic particles such as electrons.
Quantum Field Theory
Toss out the textbook image of electrons circling an atom's nucleus. This lecture explores the big twist of quantum field theory: The world isn't really made of particles. They're fascinating and necessary figments of quantum mechanics created by observing the fields that fill every inch of the universe, and grasping…
The Particle Zoo
By 1960 a myriad of seeming elementary particles had been discovered. Survey the standard model that restored order to this subatomic chaos, describing a universe whose fundamental particles include six quarks; the electron and two heavier cousins; elusive neutrinos; and force-carrying particles such as the photon.
Atoms to Particles
Now that you know what particles really are, it's time to walk through the "particle zoo" and explore the roles of photons, gluons, and quarks. Along the way, Professor Carroll looks back on the development of the Standard Model and how our changing understanding of the weak nuclear field suggested…
The Spooky Universe
Did you know that electrons have never actually been observed by scientists to this day? Or that quarks can only be studied in pairs? Or that as you travel faster or find yourself in a higher gravity, time ticks more slowly for you? Delve into these and other mind-warping facts…
Quantum Weirdness and Schrödinger's Cat
Wave-particle duality gives rise to strange phenomena, some of which are explored in Schrodinger's famous "cat in the box" example. Philosophical debate on Schrodinger's cat still rages.
The Higgs Boson and Beyond Course
The discovery of the Higgs boson is a triumph of modern physics. The hunt for the Higgs was the subject of wide media attention due to the cost of the project, the complexity of the experiment, and the importance of its result. And, when it was announced with great fanfare…
Into the Heart of Matter
With this lecture, you turn from relativity to explore the universe at the smallest scales. By the early 1900s, Ernest Rutherford and colleagues showed that atoms consist of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons whirling around it. But Rutherford's model could not explain all the observed phenomena.
The Particle Zoo
Are quarks, the particles that make up protons and neutrons, the truly elementary particles? What are the three fundamental forces that physicists identify as holding particles together? Are they manifestations of a single, universal force?
Particle Accelerators and Detectors
Want to build your own particle accelerator? You'll need a lot of money, a lot of room, and the information that Professor Carroll shares in this lecture. You'll learn that particle accelerators aren't simply "atom smashers." They bring into existence new particles that weren't there before.
Atoms
Drawing on what you now know about quantum mechanics, analyze how atoms work, discovering that the electron is not a point particle but behaves like a probability cloud. Investigate the exclusion principle, and learn how quantum mechanics explains the periodic table of elements and the principle behind lasers.