If electrons and photons, and possibly more particles, exhibit dual character, why don't physicists create a new classification for them? Why describe them as both waves and particles. Why not rather create a new classification, which accurately describes their behavior?


2 Answers 2


The fact is its not "electron proton and more particles" its basically all particles and the fact that they show properties of wave as well that is why for fundamental understanding we describe all of them as a dual of wave and particles

I think your problem seems to be with the words 'particles' and 'waves' and you want a new word. But the fact is more than words these describe certain properties which all of us are familiar of.


Quantum-mechanics predicts particle-like together with the wave-like behavior of quanta very well, there is no need for another theory.

Furthermore there can not be defined a new "class" of particles since there is no clear border between particles which show only classical "particle-behavior" (see for example double slit experiemnt with fullerenes)

And if you like a name for this particles: Call them quanta :-)

  • $\begingroup$ I see, so the fact that there isn't a clear distinction is what prevents them from defining a separate class for them? Well of course I can call them whatever I like, however, it would be good to have a official name for them. Anyways, thank you. $\endgroup$ Jun 30, 2014 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Gummybears Call them particles if you like. Particle physicists would certainly agree. 'Particle' doesn't equal 'well localised'. $\endgroup$
    – Nephente
    Jun 30, 2014 at 7:13
  • $\begingroup$ @nephente I see. Very strange concept. Are they working on a new theory which can help explain this concept and actually explain why it happens? $\endgroup$ Jun 30, 2014 at 7:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Gummybears It's only strange, because we're used to objects being well localised, but nature seems to fundamentaly disagree. The theoretical framework dealing with elementary particles is an extension of usual quantum mechanics called Quantum Field Theory. It allows to deal with multiple particles and their interactions in a natural way. Objects like electrons or photons are perceived as excitations of a field - for photons this would be the electro-magnetic field. $\endgroup$
    – Nephente
    Jun 30, 2014 at 7:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Gummybears QFT not only is the modern basis for the description of particle physics like the Standard Model, but is also hugely successful in the treatment of condensed matter systems. $\endgroup$
    – Nephente
    Jun 30, 2014 at 7:38

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