What is the Wave/Particle Duality? Part 1

What is the Wave/Particle Duality? Part 1

We see particle-like behavior every day: drop
a ball on the ground and it follows a single trajectory, leave your giraffe parked on the
street and when you come back, it’s still there, just one giraffe. And we see wave behavior, too! Toot your horn,
and waves spread out through the air, carrying sound to the ears of anyone around. Or drive
a boat through water, and waves travel outwards along the surface. But when it comes to the physics of the very
small, what we see is a wave-particle duality. Sometimes
very small things (we’re talking electrons & protons here) behave like particles, and
sometimes they behave like waves! Flip-floppers! For example, if you release an electron, it’ll
travel outward as a wave through the room, but when it hits the wall, it’ll only hit
in one place – you started with one electron, after all! So what if sound had a wave-particle duality?
When you shouted, the sound waves would spread outwards in all directions, but only one person
could hear what you said! Or when you drove your boat through the water, the waves would
travel like normal, but only hit the shore in one place! Now that would make for some pretty boring


  • ScienceRedstoneGaming says:

    ☻/ This is Bob. He gives up fighting with
    /▌ his army. He thinks this is just a
    /  stupid idea and knows the comments
    section wouldn't change, even if he keeps
    doing this.

  • ScienceRedstoneGaming says:

    First video to have good audio, lighting and the modern videos' voice!

  • morgengabe1 says:

    Would be nice if you had a second channel in which you gave more of an explanation to the videos you post.
    I never knew the detail about electrons going in 'all directions' and only reaching one place and would like to know more about that. Is there a name for this effect? Do other particles behave in the same way?

  • Bryan de Ridder says:

    This isn't explained at all… really didn't get this.

  • Ben Dover says:

    this stuff trips me out

  • Alitoh says:

    Nice boat.

  • Stanislas B. says:


  • Corey Wood says:

    Is this like why lightning bolts strike so precicely yet so randomly shaped

  • Finnigan Hills says:

    I came back, my giraffe was chewing on a parking ticket. -.-

  • Jimmy Hart says:

    I'm thinking of a snowplow that pushes snow out into a clumping pattern that goes out like a fan; The fan shape represents particles hitting each other and plowing forward from the single particle; The duality is an illusion because our senses cannot see what is really happening; which is that the inmate resistance of the Higgs field produces a frequency wave based on the momentum of a particle; The energy in the particle is this we seen but the other aspect of the particle it is affecting The Higgs Feild only

  • Staci Fish says:

    oooohhhh it all makes sense now!!!!!
    btw i'm 13

  • robin huijbregts says:

    Drive a boat?

  • Another Zephyr says:

    Can you explain why it only hit in one place? I'm an idiot and still don't get it 🙁

  • Martin Clark says:

    My Newt Physics !

  • Distance Shooter says:

    Well if you have already taken a coarse of Quantum Mechanics at Stanford, it will all be Ho! Hum!  But you know with a very small amount of study you can bring yourself to a much higher state of understanding.

  • BjornSvenson says:

    What do they mean about electrons behaving like waves?
    Surely a single electron travels as a particle and affects the surrounding electrons which as a group behave like a wave. How can a single electron spread out?

    This might sound stupid but I haven't studied science since school. I'm just a poor lonely fella trying to understand the world, so be gentle with me :'-(

  • Iamjust Aman says:

     Henry Reich is an arrogant elitist imbecile. MinutePhysics is currently stupefying the internet by oversimplifying the understanding of physics in a rhetorically self-righteous manner.

    Thanks, Henry, for your contributions in stifling human progress through the use of your counter-educational, retrogressive YouTube channel.

  • IoannaaHeartsYou says:

    How do we know it travels as a wave?  Link from speechbubble only lead to minutephysics page on YouTube…

  • Chrissy Philp says:

    I am thinking about this … thanks I love your graphics.

  • Piotr Ryczkowski says:

    The example with particle-like sound and water waves are completely missed. The sound we hear is carried by an enormous number of particles so actually sound has a particle nature. The reason everybody can hear it is that there is so many particles that some will get to everyone. If there would be only one particle in vacuum, it would travel guided by a wave function and could be received only by one person exactly like the electron in the first part of the film.

  • Debra Lynn Paxton says:

    LOL..love the giraffe comment… 😀

  • Atommodel - J.Thoduka says:

    My thought is that diffraction of light (or particles) is the result of the combination of refraction and interference.

  • Jamie Mock says:

    Slow down for stoned people, please.

  • Abdullah Afridi says:

    My giraffe ran away. :'(

  • jpchen0321 says:

    What if, the electron moving through space is the same as a bullet going through water. Waves are created around the bullet, while the bullet only hits one spot.

  • Steven Flanagan says:

    Are the last 8 seconds a deliberate silent pause following your terrible pun?

  • Nican ~ Xochicualli says:

    But those waves are just composed of those very small things. And the particles are 1 part of what can be larger waves. So it is not too weird, because the sound wave is composed of many many small things that all act like wave/particles. If you didn't focus on just one small thing it all acts the same and is the same. Drop many many balls and it will act like a wave.

  • Tony Butcavage says:

    If…if…if…if…pigs had wings they could fracking fly.

  • Lord Inquisitor says:

    Weeeeeeeell, one giraffe only if you tie it.

  • Ivan Hristov says:

    0:35 this is not true at all. Look at the double slit experiment.

  • 1wsx10 says:

    sub orbital trajectories are NOT parabolas, if all the earth's mass was at its center, so the ball wouldn't hit, its trajectory would be an oval, hence, sub orbital trajectories are parts of an oval. very different from a parabola

  • Leyla Ismayil says:

    Old, but good

  • Patterns After Patterns says:

    Life is in absolute control, and everything is balanced. Free will is an illusion.
    Before arguing this, see: "The Present" at TruthContest•Com

  • نجاح ماجود says:

    Thank you for this distinctive sections

  • Jones Njoroge says:

    That did make any sense. Electrons don't just float around; they would bond to a molecule with a week outer electron layer that wants an extra electron.

    I don't get it…

  • Devinder Singh says:

    Hey ! Can u explain or create a video on laser. I want to know more about them.

  • Zxenmusic says:

    Hi, I'm from the future. It turns out that subatomic particles are contained within an external bubble of thicker spacetime fabric, which is temporarily borrowed from any area surrounding it within the continuum. This fabric bubble prevents particles from disintegrating in slight friction. Fabric bubble surface tension is more repulsive with certain particles, so will allow some particle types to travel directly through dense matter (consisting of particles with their own bubbles of spacetime fabric). Bubbles are often much larger than the particles they contain, and will pass through other bubbles of spacetime fabric without colliding. Upon impact with particles (matter) that are dense or fast moving enough to disperse the bubble (or more importantly the density of the spacetime fabric surrounding it), the bubble will break and the particle will be free to integrate with or bounce off the impact material. Bubbles can be much larger than the particles they hold.

  • Maciej Ma says:


  • Anas Sy says:

    fantastic show  finalu i understand two slight experient

  • Keith Lovelock says:

    Listen up…there is NO wave/particle duality problem,when then the missing component of light is correctly added to the Z axis.Find out why this misinterpretation & that of the photo electric effect,created the monster that is relativity & quantum that has lead physics off on the wrong tangent for a century! check out "Missing Secrects of Magnetism" by the brilliang Ken L Wheeler.(yeah,it's a free download & there is not one physicist on the planet who can challenge this,or has the guts to put his hand up to agree!)

  • i eat says:

    physics is usefull after all.. i mean now i can draw better with crayons.. thbkxz physics.

  • Mother Fucker says:


  • 忍者Darkside says:


  • starview1 says:

    Particles can be in two places at the same time. In its totality, therefore, nature is dual. None of its components can only be considered as a particle or as a wave. To understand this fact, Niels Bohr introduced in 1923 the Complementarity Principle: simply put, every component in nature has a particle, as well as a wavelike character, and it depends only on the observer which character he sees at any given time. What if? When we sleep a part of us goes somewhere else or to multiple places,which in part produces some of our rather odd dreams,the mind wandering the existence when its free to do so when we sleep,rather than just playing back a contrivance of previously experienced events. Just wondering for now,just a thought,all be it a bit of an odd thought.Taking a trip but never leaving the farm (so to speak). Thinking of you. Well time now for KFC

  • Loki Beckons says:

    pls talk a lil slower, love the explanations <3

  • Madhab Koirala says:

    Frame dragging is responsible for wave particle duality.Can you explain it?

  • Hasir Mushtaq says:

    If light acts as a particle then why dont two particle collide with each other when we use two torches perpendicular to each other?

  • Hasir Mushtaq says:

    What happens when green light passes through a prism? Does it split into anything like white light?

  • J Kaner says:

    Trying to get my head round all this. How do they know for sure they're only firing one electron at a time? I know I'm probably picturing this wrong when I think of the electrons being fired out, but I imagine a gun, securely set up, firing one bullet at a time hitting, or being very,very close to where the first bullet landed one after the other. So why do the electrons go all over the place when fired one at a time? Why aren't they behaving like bullets would? I mean, even a sub machine gun firing one bullet at a time wouldn't spray them about, well it might if I was holding and firing it, but if it's securely held in place I wouldd've thought the bullets would more or less hit the same spot. Any budding physicists out there know where I'm going wrong with my gun/bullet analogy and how they know for sure they're only firing one electron at a time?

  • M says:

    Episode 3. Name changed from One Minute Physics, to minute physics.

  • M says:

    Episode 4: previous video "outro"

  • rdococ says:

    Wait. When the electron hits the wall and repels the electrons in the wall, it will bounce, right? Now imagine the wave bouncing. Isn't that the same thing? What if all matter is made out of waves?

  • Nice Try M9 says:

    isn't the huge BH is the center of the galaxy who attract the stars? which form then a galaxy.

  • Don Williams says:

    Lol back in the day when he had to edit each video to be under 1 minute long

  • Nishanth Moolam says:

    am i the only one who got the "toot your horn" joke???

  • jakeflow says:

    I do understand that the scientific community has pretty much accepted particle/wave duality, but I believe there is a simpler answer that makes more sense. The double slit experiment makes perfect sense if light is a waveform because of the interference patterns. The reason people believe its a particle and wave could be partially due to the assumption that what they are emitting is light. If an electron is emitted, it will create an electromagnetic field around it much like a wake from a boat or when it impacts other matter. The electron itself is not light. This theory is very testable. perform the double slit experiment in a total vacuum, there should be no interference pattern.

    Another reason why people believe light as it's particle form is because of the way it behaves in space. For example, how could light travel through space if its a vacuum, or why does a black hole or massive objects cause light to change direction.

    This could be answered the same with sound waves. Does sound travel in space? No. Does Light travel in space? Actually no. Electrons striking the atmosphere impact create the electromagnetic wave which we see as light. If you were to put a camera in space, the electrons would contact the CCD on the camera and create the electromagnetic wave directly on the camera. But technically by this theory the light doesn't exist in space until it contacts matter. This makes perfect concerning black holes. black holes have a lot of mass, electrons have mass. The same could be said about sound in space, an object traveling in space hits your space helmet, you would hear it as the object would create the wave when it contacts you. So the sound doesn't travel in space, but you will hear it when it hits you. black holes effect the trajectory of electrons, problem solved. According to common scientific belief, "photons" have no mass. How does gravity effect the path of light then?

    My theory has huge consequences on the way everyone views the universe. Speed of light is not constant, just like sound. Sound travels slower or faster depending on the propagation medium just like light. In fiber optics, this concept is known as refractive index, because light waves travel 1/3 slower through fiber optics. This would mean that there may be some errors in the way which people theorize the distance of the stars using the speed of light, although the actual light waves do not travel through space.

  • Sun Kaur says:

    excellent drawing i watch it best one appriciable

  • Xx_FaZe_Rolf_xX l says:

    Where is the mathematical proof of this!!!!????

  • 111alien111 says:

    You made a mistake, an electromagnetic wave is NOT an probability wave.
    Electromagnetic wave is NONE quantized –
    A photon IS quantized – which obeys a probability wave to be located.

  • John Grayson says:

    My giraffe was NOT parked where I left it at all. It buggered off to talk to bloody Pokemon Bats.

  • Dyslexic Artist Theory on the Physics of 'Time' says:

    Could the wave particle duality of light and matter in the form of electrons be forming a blank canvas that we can choose how we interact with forming a future of our own choice relative to the energy and momentum of our actions. In such a theory the mathematics of quantum mechanics represents the physics of ‘time’ as a physical process, with classical physics representing processes over a period of time as in Newton’s differential equations

  • Yvon-Sebastien Landais says:

    If water waves need water to travel, then what material do electrons need to travel as a wave??

  • Akshay Diwadkar says:

    Nice thought man!

  • cibriosis says:

    I see this in real life..yes the macroworld acts diferently than particle world..however the way reality is described and given that we are particles ourselves much like everything else..well..

  • ila ila says:

    um…how does one electron travel outwards like a wave?

  • Mike Stoltz says:

    A particle is just a single point within the wave… they are the same thing. Think of it in terms of a water molecule in the wave of an ocean. There is only a wave, which represents vibration. The particle is an illusion as demonstrated by the double slit experiment.

  • _CrazyCrafter672 says:

    Yeah, imagine that electron's point of view as it wonders, "Which way should I spin?"

  • Reza M says:

    I've never seen it before.
    But I suggest you see some interesting videos on SALEH THEORY-com about behaviors of photon.

  • Prince Geta says:

    "leave your giraffe.."

  • Котов says:

    It's quantum mexaniks

  • Buttercupkat Productions says:

    When will the part 2 come out?

  • Smokie Bear 🔴🔵 says:

    Bergen tech Teterboro?

  • Hrishikesh Joshi says:

    Hi. I have a question which i am not quiet sure how to put…there is no hard ground upon which i am asking it though…
    Light consists of photons which are accelerated particles right? So as they travel in space how can they follow a wave like movement ..shouldnt an accelerated particle follow a straight infinite trajectory???
    I hope i didnt ask anything stupid..

  • Albert Nave says:

    I thought sound was always a wave. Then I go on Wikipedia and learn about this "phonon" shit? So now SOUND has particles!

  • Alex Bott says:

    flip floppers? lmfao have you ever thought that this illusion of something flipping from side to side is your own distorted perception? or the manipulation of others?

  • Matt Bruce says:

    Waves, particle, atoms, they are all just models that help us create a foundation for classical physics. No person has ever seen a wave. No person has ever seen a particle. Therefore neither a wave nor a particle actually exist. Everything we do requires at least a bit of faith.

  • Sitesh Roy says:

    why earth and electrons rotate about their respective axes?

  • Sitesh Roy says:

    why can we hear a sound when the vibrating medium particles enters our ear and that too only between frequencies from 20 Hz to 20 KHz

  • Sitesh Roy says:

    what is a wave?

  • Zes says:

    wrg, ts not borix or not

  • colonel radec says:

    see but just from a logic stand point here.. a shot guns pellets spread out like a wave but lacks in power penetration because the original energy source was spread between many pellets. like a lazer compared to a flashlight.

    meaning if all your voice was not spread out in a wave the 1 person you were talking too would be deaf lol and the one wave you created with the force of your boat would cut the beach in half.

    are you entirely sure the wave and the particle are of the same origin. would the wave not be the power or delivery souce and the particle the pellet.

  • SIGMA _Ansh says:

    But what waves

  • Xeno Bardock says:

    No, light is not a particle. There is no such thing as photon particle. Compression is being misinterpreted as photon. Light is coaxial circuit transverse dielectro-electromagnetic with dielectric as the longitudinal coaxial Z-axis. Blue light is less spatial than red light. Smaller the space, higher the dielectric capacitance, more energy there is. Watch video "LIGHT: Deeper Secrets of Light & Nature's Field Geometry". Google "Uncovering the missing Secrets of Magnetism". Read Page 208. Know the true nature of light. Wave-particle duality is nonsense.

  • byungkyup says:

    Um, what do you mean "what if"? Sound waves do have wave-particle duality, and the particles of sound waves are called "phonons" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonon).

  • carbonman tetrahedron mind over matter says:

    Everything done thru plasma and carbon 666 and carbon=possiblity burn any dead matter plant and your free carbon=imagination freedom intelligence money a lie

  • savemars says:

    This is soo funny. Why cant people understand this? A single electron is not a wave. It is a single partical that moves in an expanding spiral. It just "seems " to be a wave because of our math. It is just too small to see the spiral, and the math only says where it could possably hit.

  • YY Lok says:

    So… what is it?

  • Timothy Sheppard says:

    You explained that wrong… Half wrong

  • Ornithocowian King says:

    Sometimes, I leave my giraffe parked on the street, and when I come back, there's 2 giraffes.

  • Edward Liu says:

    Wave particle duality? You mean that spell that drains all my lives in subterranean animism?

  • Nicki nurse says:

    So with particles…it's not a WAVE…it just looks like waves, we're using the wrong word. It's more of a fuzz because of the speed of it flailing around in so many directions so fast. Think of waving a sparkler on the 4th of July…looks like waves but is a solid object…a particle. There is no mystery here just terminology problems.

  • Navaneeth Sujesh says:

    Toot your horn and the girl appears

  • Ron Villejo says:

    Perhaps there really isn't a duality at all: An electron is a particle that creates waves around it, like a boat cruising across the waters. But it's still a particle, and remains so at it arrives at its destination. Just because it creates waves as it moves doesn't mean that we can characterize it as a wave.

  • Ram Bala says:

    noice maybe okay

  • Maple Rock says:

    i've known about this duality since high school but the analogies in this video made it so i could actually grasp the concept

  • π KA CHU says:

    Came after biology byte

  • kamal sandhu says:

    How can you say electrons travels in all directions they can travel in one direction at once??

  • Duane Miller says:

    This video was just to short for trying to explain this conundrum.

    Think about light, you know, where all this wave/particle theory came from. Now we know that light as a wave because just like waves in water, if you run it through two slits it creates bars on the back wall equivalent to the shadow lines of wave tanks where the waves either amplify each other or cancel each other out. Now sometime in history, and I’ll be honest I forget who it was who came up with this theory, said that light was acting like a particle by knocking electrons loose when it hits certain objects. But what if instead of being a billiard ball knocking the electron loose we look at the electrons as surfers and the light as waves. As the light wave of sufficient energy strikes the Object certain electrons in the proper orbit around the atom can take this energy wave and ride it like a surfer. No impact, no collusion, no particle.

    Now consider if you release one photon of light, the smallest amount of light we know of. As it goes through the double slits it will hit the back wall but It will only be detected at one point. That point though will always comply with the rules decreed by wave theory. So why is it that it is only detected in one spot? Let’s go back and look at water waves. If you look at waves in water you’ll come across what is known as a rogue wave. A rogue wave is simply the amplitude of several waves amplifying each other. I theorize that this light wave is so weak that as it goes to the double slits there is only enough energy to create a singular Rogue Wave that is strong enough to be detected by the sensors.

    Can I prove my theory? No. However if you think about it you will see that it eliminates the need for both waves and particles when it comes to light and the fact that light travels in waves is undeniable. Everyone excepts it. It has been proven over and over. I understand this goes against what most people have been taught or they just don’t care and have never seen this information before, but remember, all science is theory so consider this theory without bias and see where it takes you. A simple theory where light is a wave and only a wave. And the electrons are not knocked loose but are like surfers riding that energy wave.

    Just a thought.

  • AlarminglyDog says:

    all of science: are you a particle or wave?
    light: yes

  • Journey Towards Physics by Ahmad Saeed says:


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