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A photon is the smallest amount of visible light. When we "see", our eyes are receiving streams of photons reflected from the objects around us. In classical physics there was a paradox between the nature of light - whether it was a particle or a wave phenomenon, as it seemed to exhibit the properties of both. The accepted explanation now is that it is both, and consists of packets or quanta (singular quantum) of a wave. A photon is a single packet.