Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Wavelength and Light Properties
Name:  Thomas B.
Status:  student
Age:  20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


Question:
My question is this: The electromagnetic spectrum contains, among other things, visable light...An object of zero rest mass in wave/particle duality theory. If it is a measure of wavelength, does it contain electrons also wave/particles?


Replies:
Hmmm. I don't quite understand your question here. Are you asking if electrons have a wave nature? If so, the answer is yes.

And second if energy is fast mass (E=mc2) couldn't we place massed objects on that spectrum? Where each object has a distinct wavelength. (neutrons, protrons, or at least, strong and weak forces...)

Not really. Just because something has a wavelength doesn't mean it is light. The wavelength of a wave/particle is a function of its kinetic energy, by Planck's relation E = hv, (v is the Greek letter nu, the frequency), E is the kinetic energy, and h is Planck's constant, one of the fundamental constants of physics. So indeed each object has a wavelength, but it isn't constant.

Wouldn't it be fun to think everything may be made of light? (or light and everything are the same ) Could Einstein be right, with his Ether medium of light waves? could't everything be the jiggle and "dance" of this juice?

My knowledge of physics is insufficient to answer these questions definitively.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Director
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory