Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is the de Broglie (matter) wavelength $\lambda=\frac{h}{p}$ of a photon equal to the electromagnetic wavelength of the radiation? I guess yes, but how come that photons have both a matter wave and an electromagnetic wave but other particles not and that matter and electromagnetic wavelength miraculously match?

share|improve this question
    
Hi user24298, and welcome to Physics Stack Exchange! On this site, it's best to ask questions one at a time. I've edited out everything but your first question, and once you get answers to that, it will help you to formulate your second question so you can post it separately. –  David Z May 10 '13 at 6:12
    
You may also want to read this. –  David Z May 10 '13 at 6:13
    
"photons have both a matter wave and an electromagnetic wave" What does this mean? –  Ben Crowell Aug 8 '13 at 20:20
    
How the electromagnetic wave is built up is written up here : motls.blogspot.com/2011/11/… . It is no simple and needs a level of mathematical knowledge. –  anna v Jan 5 at 14:00

1 Answer 1

1) Yes. The photon's matter wave is actually its electromagnetic wave.

2) Photon emission is not such a kind of process when you get some particles emitted in some interval of time, and you can assume some emission moment within that interval to every particular particle. No, it is a quantum process. The system's intermediate states are not "some particles are emitted, and some are not emitted yet", but "system has some intemediate probability to be in the initial state, and some probability to be in the final state". Every photon is the subject to that accumulating probability. So the most we can say for every photon is that it is emitted in the same interval of time.

The frequency, polarisaion, direction, spatial distribution and all such characteristics of each photon would be the same as those of the electromagnetic wave. (Some advanced details are omitted.)

3) The same way as you may interpret some particular waveform in different bases, like a function of time or a set of sinewave weights, you can interpret photons in different bases. The non-basic waveform is then understood as a quantum superposition of states that belong to the chosen basis.

4) The question is based on the wrong assumption, see the answer to the question 2.

P.S. You deleted your 4 questions, leaving just one, but I hope my answers would still help you.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.