Plurality of Wave–Particle Duality

Publication Type:

Journal Articles

Source:

Current Science, Volume 118, Issue 9, p.1365-1374 (2020)

Keywords:

History of quantum mechanics, plurality, wave–particle duality

Abstract:

Wave–particle duality has been one of the guiding concepts in the development of modern physics. Even though duality has been extensively studied, the concept possessing multiple definitions has not received due attention. The article, to begin with, establishes the plurality associated with duality by highlighting the presence of multiple interpretations in the history of quantum mechanics and also demonstrates how prominent scientific pedagogic texts, drawing from these different threads of development, differ in the depiction of duality. This plurality has not been recognized for several reasons. Among these, the article criticizes the simplistic historical depiction of duality by showing how the narration of this concept undergoing linear development glosses over crucial historical details. Following that, the nature of the concerned plurality is analysed by comparing it with other kinds of plurality found in science. The article concludes by emphasising the relevance of this discussion for the current scientific research and for the pedagogy of quantum mechanics