"Photon" is the name given to particles of light in the quantum mechanical understanding. In interaction where the classical and quantum mechanical understandings of light agree they are fully equivalent to electromagnetic waves.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
2answers
59 views

Photons emitted at the event horizon?

While looking through the questions, a came across a section about black holes. I immediately though; what would happen if an atom is orbiting a black hole and emitted a photon perpendicular to the ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

When photons reach us, what exactly is happening to us and to that photon?

I'm new to physics and am just going through some of the free online classes at World Science U, and after watching this video on the nature of the speed of light and its constancy, a question came to ...
1
vote
3answers
50 views

Do atoms of a surface excite to reflect the light?

How do surfaces reflect certain colours and absorb the others?
2
votes
3answers
64 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
135 views

Why don't we substitute for $p$ in $E = pc$?

See, the energy of a photon is given out by $E = pc = hv$ why don't we substitute for $p$ in $E ^2= p^2 c^2 + m^2 c^4$ by putting $p = \gamma mv$ and then get a value for $m$ (which will be $0$ for a ...
3
votes
1answer
59 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Energy in an electromagnetic wave

A radio antenna creates EM waves through switching the polarization in the antenna at a certain frequency. I assume the the energy of the photons produced in this process amount to E=hf for each ...
5
votes
2answers
211 views

How does the frequency of a particle manifest itself?

In terms of wave-particle duality for, let's say a photon; how would the frequency practically manifest/demonstrate itself? Like, i understand that the frequency is related to the energy a particle ...
5
votes
2answers
221 views

About photons and mirrors

If a photon hits a 'perfect' mirror (with no environment interference) would the mirror move a bit?
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What if photons are not the fastest particles?

Einstein originally thought that special relativity was about light and how it always travelled at the same speed. Nowadays, we think that special relativity is about the idea that there is some ...
0
votes
3answers
51 views

light entering a black hole's singularity

I already understand that light cannot escape a black hole after passing the event horizon, so please do not explain that to me. What I would like to know is this: a well known fact about light (a ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Why can lights(photons) bends in a curve through space without mass? [duplicate]

I've heard that light can form a curve if they travel near high-mass stars or even a backhole with high gravities. Which is according to this equation. $$\large F_{g}=\dfrac{Gm_1m_2}{r^2}$$ But I've ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

If 'pure energy' is photons, and energy is conserved, how can matter and antimatter (electrons and positrons) annihilate into photons and vice-versa? [duplicate]

The first law of thermodynamics says energy cannot be created or destroyed. But we can collide photons to form electrons and positrons. Does this means that law does not apply in these microscopic ...
0
votes
0answers
77 views

Photons and Black holes

How many photons in one Planck volume would it take to form a tiny black hole? A photon doesn't have mass but it does have energy, $1.0101 \times 10^{-37}$ Joule for red $650$ nm wavelength light if ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

limited number of photons problem

Given that there are a finite number of photons that exist in the universe, and the maximum speed of a photon is governed by the speed of light, is it possible that enough people observed an object, ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

SPEED of LIGHT as photons reach black holes [duplicate]

As photons reach a black hole and begin fall in - is their speed increased as they go down (like a vacuum cleaner does to dust).
1
vote
4answers
166 views

How do we know that photons are exactly massless and travel exactly with speed $c$ in vacuum?

I know that this question may sound stupid, but what I mean is that photons have some energy and no mass, yet the mass and energy are said to be equivalent (or maybe I got that part wrong). In an ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

How is the image in a mirror created? Are there infinitely many light rays?

How is the image in a mirror created? Are there infinitely many light rays? My motivation for the question is from image processing. We work with images as discrete 2D functions, as matrices. Spatial ...
0
votes
3answers
65 views

Speed of light originating from a star with gravitational pull close to black-hole strength?

Imagine you have a star which is on the brink of turning into a black hole. Lets say it is infinitely close to become a black hole, but not there yet. Since there is no event horizon, but a great ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is an electron still an elementary particle after absorbing / emitting a photon?

When an electron absorbs a photon, does the photon become electron "stuff" (energy); or, is it contained within the electron as a discrete "something"?
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Can relativistic momentum (photons) be used as propulsion for 'free' after the initial generation?

In discussing this question about propelling a spacecraft with photons and their relativistic momentum, the author asked that I restate my comment as another question. If photons can really be used ...
1
vote
1answer
70 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
1answer
38 views

Do beam splitters work for very broad photons? (frequency bandwidth, spatial extent)

If I send a single photon through a usual beam splitter, is there a limit for the beam splitter to work properly related to the photons broadness in frequency or in space? For example a femto second ...
3
votes
1answer
22 views

Are photons absorbed by expanding space?

Can a photon/EM-field-excitation redshifted by spatial expansion be completely dissipated? Does the energy reach a minimum value (Planck's constant) and continue on as normal? Does expansion also ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Information carried by single photon

In Quantum Information we can use photons for quantum bits (qubits). What i often read is that each photon can carry one unit of information, i.e. using the polarization state of a single photon. I ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Wave function of a photon?

consider a single photon. Since it is not possible to create a photon with a certain frequency it can be characterized by a normalized frequency distribution $f(\nu)$ that is peaked around some mean ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

How to formulate collapse in polarization subspace of a photon?

I am wondering how to describe the collapse of a photon state when it is measured in the polarization degree of freedom (say by a filter which let pass just one particular polarisation). Let the free ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Does a high energy photon experience deceleration or direction-change when it impinge into water or something due to the change of refraction index?

Wave experiences refraction when it propagates into another medium which has different refraction index. Lights surely does experience refraction at the border of mediums which have different ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

If a photon is a boson and has spin 1, shouldn't it have 3 spin orientations since spin 1 is a triplet? [duplicate]

I've gotten used to the fact that a spin can be described by its total spin and its $z$-component. And I've learned that a particle (really, anything) with spin 1 forms a triplet with three possible ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

How is it possible for light to be a wave and a particle? [duplicate]

I have always been interested in Physics, and lots of people say that light is a particle and a wave. How is it possible? How can a photon (a light particle) be a wave as well, when its a particle? ...
1
vote
2answers
192 views

Light formed by the sun?

This is an extract from the astrophysics chapter in my book: Hydrogen atoms fuse to form helium. At the same time, lots of of gamma photons and neutrinos are produced. The photons take thousands ...
1
vote
2answers
122 views

Size of a photon

When detecting radio waves in space, we use very large telescopes or arrays of telescopes. But according to QM, aren't photons point particles when measured? Does a photon with a large wavelength ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

need data-point: count rate of APD (avalanche photo-diode) for specific aperture and stellar magnitude

I hope lab / experimental physics is fair game for this web-site. If not, sorry! I'm designing a sensor system to perform specialized [astronomy and space-sciences] experiments, and need a "reality ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

How do cathode ray tubes (CRT) synthesize colours?

I just read about how LCD displays were based only on black&white contrasts, and only colour filters on each subpixel generated the colour of a pixel. However, how does that happen for a CRT? Is ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Local EPR-experiments with photons in vacuum?

When two entangled particles are measured in an EPR experiment, we consider these events as non-local. Generally I agree. But does this also apply to a pair of photons in vacuum? (and if so, why?) ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

What is relation between electrons and photon? [closed]

What is the relation between electrons and photons? Why do atoms get excited when their electrons come in contact with photons? Why do electrons go from a higher to lower energy level when emitting a ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Characteristic x-ray in energy spectrum

Context: Monte Carlo simulation of a linear accelerator photon beam. The energy spectrum for photons as calculated from the phase space files found in here has a peak somewhere near ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

What is Photoproduction

I wonder what photoproduction means in the context of pion decay and vector meson dominance? What is the reaction formula, Feynman diagram for such a photoproduction thing? Is it simply a reaction ...
4
votes
2answers
77 views

Do free electrons really not interact with photons?

If free electrons don't interact with photons, why are free electrons accelerated by electromagnetic fields?
1
vote
2answers
62 views

Do photons interact only with single partles 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Photons straight into black hole

What happens to a photon shot straight into a black hole? Does it gain infinite momentum before it crosses the horizon? If it has a finite momentum going in, then it would seem that a photon of the ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Photon emission and absorption by atomic electrons

Assume a photon is produced by an atomic electron making a transition down from a certain energy level to another. Can that photon only be absorbed by another atomic electron making exactly the ...
2
votes
2answers
80 views

Suppose a light wave with wavelength 3m. What happens if one tries to contain that wave within a 1m container?

Suppose a light wave with wavelength 3m. What happens if one tries to contain that wave within a 1m container? If I'm going about this entirely the wrong way or have wrong conceptions about light ...
1
vote
3answers
66 views

Intuitive understanding of wavelength

Light is described as having wavelength. I can somewhat understand this in connection with for example the double slit experiment, that photons interact spatially in a wave like manner. But can the ...
3
votes
0answers
54 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

If a photon's emission is detected is it real or virtual?

I understand that one can measure a single photon being absorbed using a photomultiplier tube or CCD. Can one measure a single photon being emitted by monitoring the current through an LED or the ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

What is the significance of the difference in the eigenvalue equations of Bloch functions for electrons vs photons?

any text on photonic crystals will highlight the almost perfect analogy between electrons in a periodic potential and photons in a periodic dielectric. The analogies are: $$V(\vec r + \vec R) = ...
15
votes
3answers
263 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

What happens to a photon when it enters a black hole?

The photon has a mass of 0, but it has energy because of its motion. When it is sucked into the black hole and becomes a singularity, it loses its energy because it is no longer moving. It is not ...