The first ever photograph of light as both a particle and wave
Geege Schuman stashed this in Physics
From the Reddit comments, Explain Like I'm Five:
Look at the picture and imagine the purple side as right and the red side as left. The picture shows how much energy the electrons gained when they interacted with the photons. The colours are how many electrons gained that much energy at that point. Up, along either one of these sides, is the distance along the wire, so you can see that there is a wave pattern of gain/not gain. From right to left, (the purple to red side) is how much energy they gained. So there's a wave pattern not only in the position of the photons along the wire, but also in how much energy they give to the electrons. It isn't a solid slope from purple to red.
From the Reddit comments, Explain Like I'm Four:
Electrons change energy when interacting with photons (shown by the colour, purple means more change while red is almost none). There are places where electrons change more energy and places where they change almost none, which translates to places where there are lots of photons and places where there are almost none, a wave. But there's also the same pattern in the amount of energy they change by, so they change by some multiple of the energy of a single photon. You can't change the energy by 1.5 photons, only by 1 or 2 or more. That's why you get that wave pattern in two dimensions. One axis is the position along the wire and the other is the energy change.
Here's the actual paper...
...and the actual photograph using the PINEM technique...
200 Reddit comments:
BRB, gonna grab a coffee and then try to read this again.
Lemme know if you figure it out. I need it explained like I'm three.