Episode Seven – Bohr’s Philosophy


It is no different when you talk about “light waves”, “electron waves” or any other kind of wave phenomena observed on the quantum scale.

Waves are not things. When someone says an electron is a wave, they are saying that an electron is an abstraction identifying relationships.

But, if an electron is a physical object, then it cannot also be an abstraction. Therefore, no physical entities can be both a particle, ie a physical object and a wave, ie an abstraction.

Whatever physical object you observe, it is not a wave.  Whenever you observe a wave, you are observing relationships.  Whether they be relationships of one or more physical entities or the changing properties of the same physical entities.  If light is a wave, then there is something waving.

So, no there is no justification for alleging particle-wave duality. No experiment has ever actually proven this to be the case.

What then to make of the double slit experiments and the like which are purported to prove that electrons are both waves and particles? And other such experiments?

Double-slit experiment

The double slit experiment attempts shines light or beams of photons through one or two slits in a screen

They do not show that electrons or anything else are both particles and waves.  They show that when you perform such experiments, under certain conditions you observe particle behavior and under other conditions you observe waves.

But, that does not prove that electrons are both waves and particles.  You cannot explain the behavior of electrons by appealing to non-physical so-called “explanations” which violate the Law of Identity.

What then does the double slit experiment demonstrate the nature of light?  That remains to be seen. But, you cannot explain the observations of such experiments by appealing to non-physical explanations which attempts to establish a contradiction and to treat a physical entity as an abstraction.

And yet Bohr did just that, under the influence of philosophical tenets he already held. As we have mentioned already, his concept of “complementarity” was one of his most irrational and revealing philosophical notion, which embraces contradictions.

It is no wonder that this kind of philosophy ultimately led to the acceptance of the dual nature of light. The Law of Identity had already been rejected with the notion of “complementarity” and it is not a big leap from that to embracing the dual nature of light.

This is quite an example of how a philosophical idea such as complementarity has influenced and infected quantum mechanics. Let us now dive into a couple of quotes that shed light on his rejection of causality.


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