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Light as both wave and particle

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

Author: Kevin Bu

Editors: Katelyn Ma and Liane Xu

Artists: Athena Mo

The ancient Greeks were the first to think scientifically about what light is and how vision works. Some Greek philosophers, including Plato and Pythagoras, believed that light originated in our eyes and that vision happened when little, invisible probes were sent to gather information about far-away objects. The Arab scientist, Alhazen, on the other hand, proposed that your eyes simply collect the light that falls into them. Alhazen’s theory explained why dark exists, which couldn’t work based on the Greeks’ theory. The idea is that very few objects actually emit their light. The special, light-emitting objects are known as sources of light. However, what exactly is emitted from the sun, and how do we see it? Is it a particle or a wave?