# ELI5- If light is both a wave and a particle, why isn’t there visible buildup of those particles from the sun and whatnot?

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ELI5- If light is both a wave and a particle, why isn’t there visible buildup of those particles from the sun and whatnot?

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Those particles absorb. They disexist when they are absorbed.

Or they reflect, in which case they continue moving elsewhere.

Which one happens depends on the wavelength, the object they strike, and random chance.

Either way, there isn’t a buildup.

Light is neither a wave nor a particle it just behaves like one or the other depending how you measure it.

Where do you expect this visible build-up to gather? What would it look like? How long would it take to accumulate a mℓ of light?

It is more helpful to think of a photon as a unified packet of electromagnetic waves of a given frequency. These packets represent the minimim unit at which electromagnetic energy can propagate.

It is not just light that is a wave and a particle, that is the case for everything atoms, molecules, humans, planets etc. It is just the higher the mass of the particle is the more pronounced the wave-like properties.

For electrons, it is a fundamental part of how they move around the atomic core.

We can calculate the de Broglie wavelength of anything. We can do the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment you likely have seen not just with light but electrons, atoms, and molecules too. With diffraction grating rather than two slits wave properties have been detected with molecules made up of 2000 atoms and a mass 25,000 more than hydrogen atoms.

Why there is not a particle buildup has been explained by others, the phones are absorbed and the energy is transferred to what they hit. A photon has no rest mass and can only move at the speed of light, it can never stop.

They don’t have any mass to leave behind. The *mass* they do have comes from the amount of energy they have.

Wave/particle duality is just weird.