4
votes
2answers
448 views

Do x-rays and gamma rays also contain photons like visible light does?

Do x-rays and gamma rays also contain photons like visible light does? If so, then what makes photons of visible light and other waves different? The rest mass of a photon is zero, but as it moves at ...
5
votes
3answers
674 views

Why aren't all photons virtual particles even in the “vacuum” of empty space? [duplicate]

I'm thoroughly confused about the nature of electromagnetic radiation. Light is supposed to exhibit both wave and particle characteristics. But does that mean that it is both a wave and a particle or ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

Interesting relationship between diffraction and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle?

I recently came across an interesting explanation of diffraction through an aperture which does not use Huygens' Construction but instead relies on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle: The ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Are photons electromagnetic waves, quantum waves, or both? [duplicate]

Are photons electromagnetic waves, quantum waves, or both? If I subdivide an electromagnetic field into smaller electromagnetic fields, should I eventually find an electromagnetic wave of a photon? ...
6
votes
2answers
76 views

Energy in electromagnetic radiation

I learned that power intensity in EM (electromagnetic) radiation is $$ I=\frac12c\varepsilon_0E_0^2 $$ This equation implies that the energy in EM radiation is frequency-independent I also learned ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

What is the difference between light and visible light? [duplicate]

After watching a few videos on light and electromagnetic radiation, I am a little confused. The way things are explained, is that light is just the same as electromagnetic radiation I thought this ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Photon Angular Momentum

Essentially I am wanting to evaluate $$\langle j\, m \mid a^\dagger(\mathbf{k}, \lambda) \mid 0 \rangle \,,$$ where $\lambda$ indicates the circular polarization (about $\mathbf{k}$). We have that ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Is every electromagnetic radiation considered “light”?

Somebody mentioned on Freenode chatroom for physics that All Electromagnetic Radiation are delivered in form of Photons not just light. Is it true? Does that mean if we get a THF electrical ...
1
vote
3answers
88 views

Do photons interact only with single particles or can a single photon be absorbed by 2 or more particles simultaneously?

Say I have 100 particles in a vacuum that are spread out such that their movement caused by a time variant electromagnetic field does not have an effect on each other. That is the particles can not ...
17
votes
3answers
298 views

Comparing predictions and reality for the gravitational attraction due to light beams

While doing some on-the-side reading, I stumbled across this question: Do two beams of light attract each other in general theory of relativity?. Great question and a great, easily understandable ...
7
votes
2answers
232 views

Do photons and cosmic rays radiate energy through gravitational waves? If not, why not?

Due to the mass-energy equivalence, both matter and EM radiation bend spacetime, and both are capable of forming singularities (black hole, white hole/kugelblitz). In light of this, why do photons ...
5
votes
1answer
177 views

Orbital angular momentum of photon

People talk about orbital angular momentum (OAM) of photons. Is there some physical example that cannot be explained without assuming that photons have non-zero OAM? Does different photons have ...
-1
votes
1answer
92 views

Why can TV broadcasts send such large amounts of data(photorealism) and a PC cant

Firstly I think I am right in saying that TV broadcast are sent via electromagnetic waves which means they are sent via photons, how is that even possible? And then the main questions, how can you ...
3
votes
2answers
144 views

What is the energy distribution of light if it has an infinite length?

What is the energy distribution of light if it has an infinite length? I have read in one of the answers here on phys.SE that light has actually an infinite length. But then what is the energy ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Polarisation of light is a wave concept or applicable to photons as well?

I have a very fundamental question. We explain polarisation of light assuming wave nature of light. Is it still valid if we assume light as photons? Or in other words, polarisation is a wave concept ...
4
votes
2answers
126 views

Does the photon emitted by an electron falling to a lower energy level have a direction?

When an electron falls from an energy state to a lower one, electromagnetic radiation is emitted. Is this equally emitted in all directions (as a spherical wave) and can we only give it a direction ...
-1
votes
1answer
63 views

Is it feasible to transfer energy from power stations to communities via photons instead of electrons?

Electrical wires are relatively inefficient in transferring energy--especially when the place of production is quite far from communities. Would it be possible to transfer that energy via photons? I ...
2
votes
2answers
182 views

Why do light disappears the moment we switch off the source (inside the wooden box)?

I am failing to explain why light won't remain inside the wooden box in the following situation. I considered a wooden box closed from all the sides, with a bulb inside it. If we switch on the bulb, ...
7
votes
3answers
792 views

What is the relation between electromagnetic wave and photon?

At the end of this nice video, she says that electromagnetic wave is a chain reaction of electric and magnetic fields creating each other so the chain of wave moves forward. I wonder where the photon ...
1
vote
1answer
303 views

Physical Interpretation of Poynting Vector

I'm looking for a physical interpretation of the Poynting Vector. I understand that it should be thought of as an energy flow due to the electromagnetic field, but would I be correct in saying that in ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Has advanced radiation been detected experimentally?

I would like to know whether there has been an experimental detection of advanced radiation. I seem to recall reading about such an experiment but I can't find any reference to it on the interwebs so ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

How far can diffused undersea light travel and still be perceived by the human eye?

Example: If one SCUBA diver looks past another SCUBA diver horizontally into negative space, how far away is the most distant emission of 'blue' light waves? Consider the sight angle in question to ...
3
votes
1answer
594 views

Decay of metastable state: spontaneous vs. stimulated emission.

I have a question about the upper laser level (the metastable level) in a 3-level laser system. I will call the ground level of the 3-level laser system by "g" and the metastable level by "m". The ...
1
vote
2answers
245 views

Is compton scattering only effective by x rayphotons and gamma ray photons

Can Compton scattering work with any other forms types of photons, and why was the the Compton Scattering experiment only done with x ray photons?
2
votes
0answers
345 views

The physical meaning of electromagnetic wave

What, fundamentally, is an electromagnetic wave? As far as I know, all wave phenomena are derivations of an oscillating processes, e.g. particles vibrating in a medium. I can't imagine a wave process ...
6
votes
3answers
930 views

If photons carry 1 spin unit, why does visible light seem to have no angular momentum?

Spin 1 silver atoms have a definite spin axis, e.g. up or down along an axis labeled X. This in turn means that they carry angular momentum in an overt, visible fashion. However, spin 1 photons do ...
17
votes
4answers
522 views

Is the electromagnetic spectrum discrete?

I'm just starting to learn physics and I have a question (that is probably stupid.) I learned that energy levels that the bound electron can have are discrete. I also learned that when an electron ...
2
votes
1answer
186 views

Is there a way to increase photon energy by decreasing its wavelength?

Can I decrease a photon's wavelength by a medium or a vacuum? Are there other ways of decreasing the wavelength?
3
votes
2answers
329 views

Electromagnetic Momentum

My book says : The fact that electromagnetic radiation of energy carried momentum was known from classical theory and from the experiments of Nichols and Hull in 1903. This relation is also consistent ...
6
votes
3answers
193 views

Can visible light be emitted from a non-thermal source?

I was reading about thermal and non-thermal radiation and I was wondering if visible light can be emitted from a non-thermal source?
5
votes
1answer
213 views

How do individual photons make up an EM wave?

I'm trying to understand the connection between the wave model and the particle model for light. It's understood that the energy of a photon is given by E=hf, but from my understanding of fourier ...
5
votes
1answer
185 views

Photons: Collection of Wave Packets that produce a plane wave

Is it possible mathematically for photons, which behave as individual Gaussian wave packets, to combine in such a way that the approximate result is a plane wave at one particular frequency (i.e., the ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

How can we observe lights properties if it travels at the speed of light, or can we? [duplicate]

Special relativity says that anything moving (almost) at the speed of light will look like its internal clock has (almost) stopped from the perspective of a stationary observer. How do we see light as ...
5
votes
2answers
661 views

Why is the photon emitted in the same direction as incoming radiation in Laser?

When an atom “lases” it always gives up its energy in the same direction and phase as the incoming light. Why does this happen? How can this be explained? How does the photon generated because of ...
35
votes
5answers
4k views

Why doesn't light kill me?

I was attending my philosophy class and in the middle of student presentations, I found myself mentally wondering off and thinking about light. After a few minutes of trying to piece together how the ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Does quantum mechanics depend solely on electromagnetic waves? [duplicate]

I am beginning to learn quantum mechanics. Since determining the position of an object involves probing by electromagnetic waves and since i have read a simple derivation of Heisenberg's uncertainty ...
2
votes
5answers
994 views

How can we detect X-rays?

I know that X-rays can be detected by various ways, like ionizing of air particles. Is there a way to detect X-rays,which are photons, by detecting? Can something absorb the energy of the X-rays and ...
4
votes
1answer
601 views

Is the de Broglie wavelength of a photon equal to the EM wavelength of the radiation?

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
303 views

Difference between electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and Electromagnetic Field?

I'm a freshly graduated electrical engineer. One course that I really struggled with was Field Theory, because it was a lovely assortment of vector calculus and things that were explained to me well ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Where is the amplitude of electromagnetic waves in the equation of energy of e/m waves? [duplicate]

Does the amplitude of the photon oscillations always stay constant and if it is not - what are the physical differences between the photon with higher amplitude in comparison to the one with the less ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

If photons can be absorbed by electrons, wouldn't that mean light has a charge? [duplicate]

I am a biochemistry and molecular biology major. If photons can be absorbed by electrons, wouldn't that mean light has a charge? Electrons only attract positive charges. Isn't it?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How photons represent colors that you see?

Right now, my understanding is that, a mixture of photons of many different frequencies is perceived as white by your eye. While no photons at all, is perceived as black. And photons with the blue ...
5
votes
2answers
377 views

Does light really “travel”?

From what I've so far understood about light, a photon is emitted somewhere and after some time it's absorbed somewhere else. Have we had experiments that confirm the path taken or something akin to ...
2
votes
2answers
465 views

Do photons actually generate a slight kinetic force?

My question is even though photons have no (rest) mass, do they emit a external force due to EM radiation causing electrons to be excited and jump to higher energy shells which electrons have mass ...
5
votes
2answers
466 views

If photons move linearly, what's actually stopping them from passing through a microwave oven mesh?

So, my understanding is that the wavelength of a photon is the distance traveled in the time it takes it's magnetic field to oscillate. And it's inversely proportional to it's energy and it's ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What is light, and how can it travel in a vacuum forever in all directions at once without a medium?

I know there are many questions that are similar (maybe identical?). I am not a physicist nor a student - I am just interested in physics and have been watching many physics channels on youtube ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Can a photon get emitted without a receiver?

It is generally agreed upon that electromagnetic waves from an emitter does not have to connect to a receiver, but how can we be sure this is a fact? The problem is that we can never observe non ...
0
votes
1answer
195 views

Photons, no energy? [duplicate]

I am only 14, so I don't know much about physics, and I would appreciate help on this topic. A photon, is said to have 0 mass. However, they carry energy, as electromagnetic radiation. Albert ...
1
vote
1answer
723 views

How photons move along with EM wave?

So the wave moves like. a wave, it moves up and down, up and down. But how do photons move? Do they follow the same path or do they just go straight forward without oscillating?
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Amplitude of an electromagnetic wave containing a single photon

Given a light pulse in vacuum containing a single photon with an energy $E=h\nu$, what is the peak value of the electric / magnetic field?