The Photon

12 Feb, 2015 530 Physics

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the photon, one of the most enigmatic objects in the Universe. Generations of scientists have struggled to understand the nature of light. In the late nineteenth century it seemed clear that light was an electromagnetic wave. But the work of physicists including Planck and Einstein shed doubt on this theory. Today scientists accept that light can behave both as a wave and a particle, the latter known as the photon. Understanding light in terms of photons has enabled the development of some of the most important technology of the last fifty years.

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  • Frank Close 15 episodes
    Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Oxford
  • Wendy Flavell No other episodes
    Professor of Surface Physics at the University of Manchester
  • Susan Cartwright 2 episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield

Reading list

  • The Infinity Puzzle: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe
    Frank Close Google Books →
  • QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
    Richard Feynman Google Books →
  • Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality
    Manjit Kumar Google Books →

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, what is light?