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Talking about conventional physics, a wave is the movement of energy through a massive group of particles, be it through either longitudinal, or transverse type waves. A particle is the medium that all waves move through.

When we get to light however, there is a different story entirely, and only quantum physics can really answer that. A light ray is made up of photons (hence why a "wave" of any kind must be travelling through, or with, some kind of particle. Without a particle, there is no wave.

Quantum theory states that everything is particles and waves, which resolves to everything is particles, which then resolves to everything is fields (fields being a type of wave, I suppose)

So, for all but the purpose for quantum physics, a wave is the movement of energy through a medium (eg, liquid, gas or air) and a particle is simply a piece of matter, an atom, a molecule... anything you can see really.

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โˆ™ 2010-11-23 04:21:30
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Wave particle duality is almost ignored in everyday life mainly because the reactions involved especially with light is so miniscule that it only occurs in special situations and is hardly noticeable


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