Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This super science-y image of the first photo of light 'as both a particle and wave' reminds us of rave flyers

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 11:39 AM

In today's SISOFBDRU (stuff I shared on Facebook but don't really understand) news, we have the very first photograph of "light as both a particle and wave," pictured above. And woah, how PLUR (look it up if you don't know) is that? All it needs is some smiley faces in the background.

In this article which seems credible to me from Phys.org, we learn that: Light behaves both as a particle and as a wave. Since the days of Einstein, scientists have been trying to directly observe both of these aspects of light at the same time. Now, scientists at EPFL have succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of this dual behavior. Quantum mechanics tells us that light can behave simultaneously as a particle or a wave. However, there has never been an experiment able to capture both natures of light at the same time; the closest we have come is seeing either wave or particle, but always at different times. Taking a radically different experimental approach, EPFL scientists have now been able to take the first ever snapshot of light behaving both as a wave and as a particle. 

The article goes on, but it's like it's not even written in English! The whole thing reminds me of the misspent youth that I never spent as a nascent raver, but I totally should have because the drugs were better. Though the entire thing should have been voice-overed by the great British music writer Simon Reynolds, this BBC documentary about the breakthrough of rave culture into the mainstream of music and culture there in the late 1980s is totally worth a watch.

And in case you think maybe a teenager with MSPaint came up with that image, it was actually captured using that fancy bit of kit above, OK?

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