Physicists sometimes say that a beam of light traveling through space is like a “great smoky dragon.” One can know much about where the light comes from (the dragon’s tail) and where it is seen (the dragon’s head), yet still know precious little about the journey in between (the dragon’s mysterious, nebulous body). As light travels from source to detection, it can behave as either a particle or a wave-or, paradoxically, both states or neither state. Now an experiment using laser beams shot at satellites in low-Earth orbit has confirmed that this bizarre detail about the nature of light holds true across record-breaking distances.
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