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November 3 2012

Measurements retroactively force photons to be both wave and particle

One of the stranger features of the quantum world is that lightóeven individual photonsócan behave as a wave or a particle, depending on how you measure it. But, according to papers released by Science today, the quantum weirdness doesn't end there. Researchers have now found a way to put a photon in a quantum superposition where it is both a wave and a particle at the same time. Worse still, one setup allows them to determine the photon's nature as a wave or particle after it has gone through an apparatus where it must act as one or the other.

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