2
votes
3answers
56 views

Why can colors be mixed? [duplicate]

We can combine colored light, creating other colors, at least in terms of visual perception. But how it the result physically "a different color" - if it is at all? Or is all this not a physical ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Does the photon-phonon interaction always rotates the photon polarization of 90°?

I'm reading about the acousto-optic effect and on the Acousto-Optical Tunable Filters on particular and wanted to understand the physics under its working. I found this paper ...
3
votes
0answers
53 views

Optical Bloch Oscillation

I have a doubt about how the optical Bloch oscillations happen in a 1D photonic crystal. I try to explain: in a photonic crystal with discrete translational symmetry in one direction I superimpose a ...
2
votes
0answers
85 views

If photons don't have mass, how can they accelerate objects? [duplicate]

As far as I know photons don't have mass but they do have momentum ($p=mv$). Scientists say that if we put a shiny (reflective) shield of large radius in the vacuum of space, then light from sun will ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

Relection of light [duplicate]

If I recall my physics correctly, and it was a long time ago, when a photon strikes a reflecting surface that specific photon is not what is reflected--rather the photon excites an electron which ...
3
votes
1answer
205 views

Didn't Newton's Corpuscular theory fail to explain reflection?

In 1637 Descartes gave the corpuscular model of light and derived Snell's law. This Corpuscular model of light was further developed by Isaac Newton in his famous book entitled OPTICKS and because of ...
2
votes
3answers
82 views

How to smooth the spectrum of a light source?

Could somebody please tell me if there's a reasonably cheap substance or device can I use to smooth the spectrum of a light source? For example, if the spectrum has spikes as in the blue graph below, ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

What gives substances their color?

As far as i know (i may be wrong!), substances appear to have a definite color because they reflect/ transmit all the light rays of the given color, and absorb all the lights rays of the remaining ...
6
votes
5answers
370 views

Explain reflection laws at the atomic level

The "equal angles" law of refection on a flat mirror is a macroscopic phenomenon. To put it in anthropomorphic terms, how do individual photons know the orientation of the mirror so as to bounce off ...
3
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Why does static electricity not make a charged body reflective?

If mirrors work by deflecting photons by free electrons in surface layer of mirror, so it could be possible to take a glass pane and provide it with extra free electrons by giving it massive static ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Is there spatial data loss in light passing through transparent crystal?

There is perfect parallelepipedal bar made of transparent crystal with cubic lattice floating in vacuum. Faces of parallelepiped are parallel to lattice axis. There is image, forming checkerboard ...
6
votes
2answers
599 views

Slowing down light in an opaque crystal for a whole minute

I just read about a team of physicists at the University of Darmstadt, Germany, that managed to completely slow down a beam of light that traveled through an opaque crystal (article here). How is it ...
14
votes
1answer
196 views

GHz rate single photon counting

The fluorescent lifetimes of molecules used in biological applications tend to be in the sub-ns to a few ns timescale (let's say 0.8-4). The most direct methods to measure lifetimes typically involve ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Silicon Laser and Laser mirrors

If I will place Silicon as the active medium to create a Silicon Laser. Why I cannot achieve Lasing ? secondly, why do we always consider Laser mirrors in an standing position along the optical axis ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

Laser Transverse/Longitudnal Modes

When we say Laser transverse modes. Is that mean what we will get at the output spot of laser beam ? secondly In practice , what TEM01 or TEMnm means ?
3
votes
1answer
511 views

Infinite reflection of light and the conservation of energy / momentum

First off, I confess I'm no physicist, but I have been asking people with a more extensive knowledge this one question, without a definitive answer so far. Basically, I'm playing around with the idea ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Is this mental picture of photon correct?

What is exactly meant by a statement like "there are about 400 photons per cubic cm in certain region"? Should I mentally picture this as 400 discrete photons enclosed in that volume, each moving at ...
3
votes
2answers
366 views

What is a two-photon process?

I am reading some introductory materials on modern optics, in which they mention two-photon processes everywhere. I know fundamental optics and a bit on quantum mechanics. Can anyone explain in a ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

Speed of Light in a Medium [duplicate]

For light travelling in a medium with refractive index greater than one: The "average" speed of light is slower than the speed of light in a vacuum. As far as I know, the instantaneous speed of light ...
6
votes
2answers
653 views

Photon energy - momentum in matter

$E = h\nu$ and $P = h\nu/c$ in vacuum. If a photon enters water, it's frequency $\nu$ doesn't change. What are its energy and momentum : $h\nu$ ? and $h\nu/c$ ? Since part of it's energy and momentum ...
0
votes
1answer
238 views

Transmission of Gaussian Beam Through Graded-Index Slab

The $ABCD$ matrix of a glass graded-index slab with refractive index $n(y)=n_0(1-\frac{1}{2}\alpha^{2}y^{2})$ and length $d$ is $A=\cos(\alpha d)$, $B=\frac{1}{\alpha}\sin(\alpha d)$, $C=-\alpha ...
-4
votes
1answer
78 views

Photonics: Slab As a Lens [closed]

The question can be found here: http://gyazo.com/fc4d26cd35e6ce368ad2a8ed504f1dcc The refractive index it references can be found here: http://gyazo.com/94fd2f3b5ea7da9226c3acd56b0024c1 I'm not ...
0
votes
0answers
78 views

polarization - quantum point of view

polarization could be easily imagined in classical model: direction of E vector. is there any simple image for polarization of single photon?
1
vote
2answers
292 views

Optical Tunneling

Is there light tunneling taking place in optically transparent mediums like glass? wherein light travels a larger path in these mediums without interacting with atoms and without any change in ...
12
votes
5answers
532 views

What longest time ever was achieved at holding light in a closed volume?

For what longest possible time it was possible to hold light in a closed volume with mirrored walls? I would be most interested for results with empty volume but results with solid-state volume may ...
3
votes
2answers
373 views

why isn't the variance of Fano noise proportional to the number of photon arrivals?

I've been reading "Photon Transfer" by James Janesick and in Chapter 3 (http://spie.org/samples/PM170.pdf) he describes the various sources of noise in a CCD. Basically, incoming photons interact with ...
4
votes
1answer
343 views

Question about Rayleigh scattering

To quote from Wikipedia on elastic scattering, "In this scattering process, the energy (and therefore the wavelength) of the incident photon is conserved and only its direction is changed." How does ...
3
votes
2answers
788 views

Propagation of light in transparent media: absorption and reemission or scattering?

In the two Phys.SE questions What is the mechanism behind the slowdown of light/photons in a transparent medium? and Why glass is transparent? transparent media were discussed. But I'd like to clarify ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

How are photons “consumed”?

I have very little background in physics, so I apologize if this question is painfully naive. Consider the following thought experiment: an observer is in a closed room whose walls, floor, and ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are lasers inefficient?

Why are lasers inefficient? Is it because of the heat lost during lasing? Why couldn't there be thermocouples or turbines in parts of the cooling circuits to extract something out of that heat?
5
votes
2answers
357 views

Photon statistics of an incandescent light source

We usually calibrate the cameras on our microscopes by capturing 20 images of a blurry (not sharp) fluorescent particle. For each pixel in this stack of 20 images we calculate the intensity variance. ...
2
votes
3answers
862 views

Reconciling refraction with particle theory and wave theory

I have searched the web for good answers to why refraction occurs when light moves from one medium to another with different density. I have limited background in physics and want to know if there is ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

How does a photon travel through glass?

This was discussed in an answer to a related question but I think that it deserves a separate and, hopefully, more clear answer. Consider a single photon ($\lambda$=532 nm) traveling through a plate ...