After listening to the episode about particle wave dualities, I spent a morning contemplating the issue while cleaning my shop. I had a thought that would seem to eliminate the issue of the particle wave duality, if it were true. This seems simple enough to me, but then again I don't have the physics background necessary to properly dissect my idea. Consequently I thought I'd post it here and see what sort of feedback I receive.
My idea is very simple. There is no particle wave duality because there is no particle. Never was.
My premise is that the universe carries energy in non-quantized packets of waves that we call light. The more energy in a packet the higher it's frequency. Nothing new so far. I'm using the term photon to describe this packet, though that word may not be entirely correct as a photon is considered to be a particle. But it's the best term I have for now.
Where my idea goes is that when the packet of energy encounters some matter there is a possibility of an interaction. When this interaction occurs it consists of the waveform collapsing and trying to transfer all of it's energy in to the matter (atom) that it is interacting with.
The bottom line is that when we we think that we see a photon as a particle that is not what we are seeing at all. We are instead seeing a photon collapse it's wave form, transferring it's energy into an existing particle. The particle is not the photon, it is the atom that it is interacting with.
What happens next depends on the energy state of the atom that the photon interacts with. In most cases the atom is unable to absorb the energy and so it sheds it as another photon. If the atom is able to absorb some energy it may shed a photon with a different frequency. This process takes time which is why light appears to slow down as it passes through different media.
There are some things that I don't have answers for. One of the most specific is why would a photon that is absorbed and re-emitted continue in the same direction of motion as it had been absorbed? This may be a deal breaker.
Anyhow, this idea would eliminate the need for a particle wave duality because there is no particle (there is no spoon!). It would raise questions as to what are the factors that control the probability that a wave might collapse when interacting with a particular atom.