Spooky World of QM

J. J. Thomson won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery that electrons are particles. Yet his son George won the Nobel Prize in 1937 for showing that electrons are waves. Who was right? The answer is both of them. This so-called wave-particle duality is a cornerstone of quantum physics. It applies to light as well as electrons. Sometimes it pays to think about light as an electromagnetic wave, but at other times it’s more useful to picture it in the form of particles called photons.

A telescope can focus light waves from distant stars, and also acts as a giant light bucket for collecting photons. It also means that light can exert pressure as photons slam into an object. This is something we already use to propel spacecraft with solar sails, and it may be possible to exploit it in order to maneuver a dangerous asteroid off a collision course with Earth, according to Rusty Schweickart, chairman of the B612 Foundation. Source. Space.com

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