The exhibition of both wavelike and particlelike properties by a single entity. For example, electrons undergo diffraction and can interfere with each other as waves, but they also act as pointlike masses and electric charges. The theory of quantum mechanics is a attempt to explain these apparently contradictory properties exhibited by matter. See also complementarity.
Why Are We Calling Everything A “Wave”?Why have so many waves found their way into our cultural lexicon in recent years? In this article, the first in the column Mincing Metaphors, we unpack this oceanic metaphor to better understand what it means and why it’s proving so useful right now.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Culture definitions for wave-particle duality
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.