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Particles and waves: The central mystery of quantum mechanics - Chad Orzel


11,127 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

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One of the most amazing facts in physics is that everything in the universe, from light to electrons to atoms, behaves like both a particle and a wave at the same time. But how did physicists arrive at this mind-boggling conclusion? Chad Orzel recounts the string of scientists who built on each other’s discoveries to arrive at this ‘central mystery’ of quantum mechanics.

A popular image of science is of the lone genius who invents a new theory in isolation purely by thinking about it. Does the story of quantum mechanics suggest that this is a good model of science?

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Chad Orzel
  • Director Joana Bartolomeu
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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