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In 1678, Huygens proposed his wave theory of light, which was contrary to the particle theory supported by Newton. It was not until much later that the dual nature of light was discovered. Another of Huygens’ great contributions to physics was his study of the pendulum and its applications to timekeeping and clocks. In the field of astronomy, he discovered Saturn’s largest moon and more clearly distinguished the shape of Saturn’s rings, which were first observed by Italian scientist Galileo. Huygens also had many theories regarding extraterrestrial life and wrote one of the earliest published works on the subject.

You have no idea. In locating the golf ball, the tennis ball has knocked it away somewhere. You can only guess where it might have gone. When we look for electrons with very high-energy light waves, we can get a sharper picture of an electron’s location. But just by observing the electron, we have caused a change in its momentum. Atomic particles cannot be observed without disturbing them. That means there must always be some uncertainty about where atomic particles are and what they are doing.

Because of their speed, they have tremendous energy. The beam of particles is then aimed at a target. Of course, the atomic particles are much too fast and much too small to see. So physicists find out about them by examining the evidence they leave behind when they hit the target. Researchers can keep a careful photographic record of what happens to the target as the particles hit. Imagine that you arrive at the scene of an accident. A vehicle has crashed into a wall, but the vehicle has been taken away.

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