Philosophical Society of Washington

Waves and Particles in Light

Luis A. Orozco
Department of Physics, University of Maryland

2187th Meeting Abstract
Friday, February 11, 2005 at 8:15 PM


The nature of light is a topic that has animated discussions in physics since the time of Isaac Newton. The argument of wave versus particle is resolved in quantum electrodynamics by a formalism that combines both of these aspects. The formalism is fundamentally statistical, and as with quantum phenomena in general, it is through the statistical uncertainty—fluctuations—that the wave and particle natures of light sit self-consistently side by side. Recent experiments show this with renewed clarity paving the way to new questions about the possibilities of manipulating light.

Luis A. Orozco

About the Author:

Luis A. Orozco is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland. His interests are in Quantum Optics, Laser Spectroscopy, and tests of discrete symmetries in atoms. Previously, he had taught physics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He had also been a Research Visitor at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical and mechanical engineering from ITESO in Guadalajara, Mexico and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas. He did postdoctoral work in physics at Harvard. He is a member of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America.

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