corpuscular theory


Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to corpuscular theory: wave theory, Electromagnetic theory

corpuscular theory

n
(General Physics) the theory, originally proposed by Newton, and revived with the development of the quantum theory, that light consists of a stream of particles. Compare photon, wave theory
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.corpuscular theory - (physics) the theory that light is transmitted as a stream of particles
scientific theory - a theory that explains scientific observations; "scientific theories must be falsifiable"
natural philosophy, physics - the science of matter and energy and their interactions; "his favorite subject was physics"
undulatory theory, wave theory, wave theory of light - (physics) the theory that light is transmitted as waves
References in periodicals archive ?
The corpuscular theory explains refraction in terms of the attraction of the light-corpuscles at the boundary towards the optically denser medium, and this implies a greater velocity in the denser medium; on the other hand the wave theory demands, according to Huygens' construction, that a smaller velocity obtains in the optically denser medium.
(2.) Newton's corpuscular theory was published in his 1704 Opticks and was generally accepted until Thomas Young's 1803 "double slit experiment" proved the wave-like nature of light (Duszenko).
To describe Newton's corpuscular theory of light--as opposed to the wave theory of Hooke and Huygens--simply as 'correct', is insufficient.
Whether we accept the corpuscular theory of light, or the wave theory, or the theory of combining the two, our position is not affected thereby.