The photon is the quantum of the electromagnetic four-potential, and therefore the massless bosonic particle associated with the electromagnetic force, commonly also called the "particle of light". Use this tag for questions about the quantum-mechanical understanding of light and/or electromagnetic ...

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Could a photon also be a fermion? [duplicate]

Some phycisits have found photons that has a spin of 1,5. Now fermions has always a half spin and bosons like photons always with a whole spin. But if those photons really exists are they than ...
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44 views

Gaining some intuition: Photon bunching

This is a very easy question: I'm in need of some intuition on the fact that, e.g. thermal sources, produce bunched photons. It is very easy to "undertand", without any quantum mechanics, why single ...
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Does photon experience time? [duplicate]

According to the special theory of relativity, for all observers the speed of light is c. Any observer travelling at the speed of light c does not experience time. Hence even protons shouldn't ...
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According to Einstein & Brian Greene, does the photon remain stationary in the fourth dimension? [duplicate]

According to Einstein and Brian Greene, does it logically follow that the photon remains stationary in the fourth dimension? In An Elegant Universe, Brian Greene writes: “Einstein found that ...
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Why can't electrons absorb any energy (i.e. absorb some energy of the photons necessary and emit the residual)?

Recently I had a question in mind about the absorption of photons. Why is it that only specific energy levels can be absorbed by electrons? I mean, I get the idea that electrons in an atom have only ...
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Are photons massless? [closed]

If anything that has no rest mass will travel at the maximum possible speed. Hence, light being massless travels at this speed. Does this means that photons are massless?
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Can a photon be emitted if it is also not received?

In GR, the space for a photon is zero, so the destination is the same as the point of departure. In QM, a photon is an interaction between 2 charged particles. So basically, a photon cannot exist if ...
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1answer
87 views

Can light be a spinor?

A recent discovery suggests that photons can have half-integer spins. This seems to contradict the well understood notion that photons are vector (1-form) fields What does this mean for the ...
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756 views

Photons with half integer angular momentum - what's happening?

I have just read this article - what is happening? Analysing these beams within the theory of quantum mechanics they predicted that the angular momentum of the photon would be half-integer, and ...
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2answers
80 views

Does a source of photon emission “sense” if the photon is absorbed? [closed]

Can the absorption of a photon be 'felt' by the source that emitted it? At least, if we assume that it emits a steady stream of photons? Is there a back reaction of some kind on the source?
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Why is it that light bends towards gravity when it has no mass at all? [duplicate]

Why is it that light bends towards gravity when it has no mass at all? Is it because of how gravity behaves as mentioned in general relativity? As far as I know, light cannot escape from black holes, ...
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1answer
31 views

Perfectly elastic and inelastic collision of photon

I`m having some trouble understanding (and finding any relevant information) about the elastic and inelastic collision between a photon and a mirror in non-quantum machanical terms. When a photon hits ...
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4answers
83 views

If photons travel at the speed of light how can they ever be destroyed? [duplicate]

If photons travel at the speed of light than due to relativity they must experience no time frame in which to be destroyed in the first place so they must be immortal which is silly. So, clearly I am ...
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2answers
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How can photon have wave properties if they travel at the speed of light? [duplicate]

I am not a physicist so please excuse me if this is a dumb question. As far as I understand Relativity, as observer (in this case a photon) travels at the speed of light, time stops. So how can the ...
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4answers
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Does a box containing photons have more inertia than an empty box?

A box containing photons gravitates more strongly than an empty box, and thus the equivalence principle dictates that a box containing photons has more inertia than an empty box. The inescapable ...
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24 views

Photon in the box electric field strength

If we put a photon in a box and suppose the resonant frequency is $f$. If we know the volume $V$, How do we approximate the electric fields at the center of the box?
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1answer
60 views

Concerning The Oil Drop Experiment: How does ionizing radiation create the electron(s) that the droplets of oil collect?

Concerning the Oil Drop Experiment: I read, “Ionizing radiation is used to create the electron that the droplets of oil collect. When the air in the apparatus is bombarded by this ionizing radiation ...
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Definition of a field as a condensate state of bosons

I would like to know if a single boson can create a field or is it a requirement to have a condensate state of them where the number of bosons is not determined. For example, if you create a single ...
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22 views

Interesting question regarding stimulated emission

why is outgoing photon emitted during stimulated emission in phase with the incoming photon? I can't see why this is so because the two photons may be out of phase yet conserving momentum and energy. ...
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1answer
84 views

If photons end up having a tiny mass, say $10^{-54}~\rm kg$, what would be the universal speed of massless particles?

First, I'm no expert so sorry if I get anything confused but I tried to research as much as could before asking this. So while it is pretty much accepted that photons are massless (Despite this ...
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Concerning The Oil Drop Experiment and Photon Absorption

Concerning The Oil Drop Experiment and Photon Absorption What would happen if you emit photons into the droplets, the molecule(s)? Is it possible for the photons to be absorbed by the droplet? I ...
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62 views

Photons when passing through matter

I am wondering whether there is a simple—or complicated—way to explain from a purely quantum mechanics (or QFT) viewpoint what happens to the photons when they go through some material whose index of ...
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70 views

Rainbow Black Hole [closed]

In the photon sphere of a black hole the photons are being trapped in orbit, pulled in and trajectories changed. From a safe distance should we see color from the entire spectrum if light in the ...
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32 views

Electromagnetic Field caused by accelerating and oscillating charge particles?

Will accelerating and oscillating charges will cause EM waves of different shapes ? As EM waves are always shown as sinusoidal Electric and Magnetic Fields perpendicular to each other. Does it mean ...
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1answer
23 views

How can excite a semiconductor to make a photon just by heat in room temperature?

I want to know if a semiconductor in room temperature can excite by heat, producing photon, without any other source of energy?
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Same photon or different photon?

Consider a typical optical focusing system: A small light source, then a collimating lens, then a focussing lens, and then a detector (e.g. CCD). Assume that source intensity is so low that only one ...
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Is the helicity of photon Lorentz invariant? [closed]

If the helicity of a photon is $+1$ in an inertial frame, then is the helicity of this photon $+1$ in another inertial frame? The helicity operator is $$ h=\mathbf{S}\cdot\hat{\mathbf{p}} $$ with $$ ...
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45 views

Electromagnetic waves and photons? [duplicate]

Electromagnetic waves are photons or photons cause electromagnetic waves ? Its said that when charges are accelerated we get electric and magnetic field that carries energy but then they say that this ...
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3answers
194 views

How do electromagnetic waves carry energy?

Its said that electromagnetic waves carry energy. Is this because these waves are made up of electric and magnetic fields which can cause changes to the stuff that falls with in their range? Is that ...
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2answers
166 views

Nature of light in Special Relativity

What is the nature of light in the context of Special Relativity? Is it a photon, or an electromagnetic wave, or something else? I have doubts, because a photon seems to me a quantum mechanical ...
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15 views

How could you slow down or change direction with photonic propulsion?

So you have a laser shooting at a sort of solar sail to transfer momentum in the forward direction but could you have an onboard laser and turn the laser around to hit another sail? How could you turn ...
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Calculating saturation current and energy associated with a band of wavelengths

Consider white light whose wavelength spread is from 400nm to 700nm. Its energy is uniformly distributed in this spectrum. The light is incident on metal A of work function 1.55eV. Saturation ...
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3answers
103 views

Does an electromagnetic wave necessarily contain many photons? [duplicate]

I've often come across people saying from a quantum physics standpoint that an electromagnetic wave necessarily contains many photons. But doesn't the double-slit experiment conducted one photon ...
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1answer
44 views

What determines the color of photon that is emitted from an exited atom?

I understand the principle of how light is emitted from an atom. What I don't know is why neon atom is red and copper is green when exited? Is is the distance between the electron to protons or the ...
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Pair production in different reference frames

I understand that energy of photons is defined by their wavelength/frequency. This frequency (and so energy) will be different for different observers: observer moving towards the photon will see ...
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Does a photon follow a straight trajectory in a thin transparent film? [closed]

Emulsion films (developed by F.Powell) /by example/ show that elementary particles follow a straight trajectory staying in a film. The reason was clarified by Francis Mott in his famous 1929 paper ...
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1answer
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Is linear polarization of entangle photons in 2-particle decay always correlated?

In Aspect's paper "Bell's Theorem: The naive..." and in an 2002 AJP article by Dehlinger and Mitchell "Entangled photon apparatus..." the photons are described to be in the $|xx\rangle+|yy\rangle$ ...
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1answer
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Coulomb law and photons

When we consider process like $e^- e^- \to e^- e^-$ in QED, we see that from exchanges of one photon (tree-level diagrams) one can obtain Coulomb's law, while loop-diagrams give quantum corrections ...
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1answer
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Why do some elements burn different colors? [duplicate]

I have a torch lighter and it makes a green color when the flame passes over the metal in the center. What on the molecular level would a flame change color although there is no difference in ...
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3answers
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Why can't incoherent light be collimated as well as laser light (e.g. in a laser pointer)?

Why does a laser pointer contain a laser diode, and not just an LED? A laser pointer contains a laser diode, which essentially shines coherent light over a large angle, and a collimating lens, to ...
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3answers
100 views

Is this true about low-light/one photon at-a-time double-slit interference?

I've consistently noticed in pictures of double-slit interference when very low-light or one photon at-a-time is used, that there's lots of "stray" photons detected in the areas of destructive ...
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Time Dilation for a photon [duplicate]

Does a photon experience any time. Since a photon is massless and hence travels at (c) then it should suffer infinite time dilation, and hence shouldn't experience no time?
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1answer
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How can my window not scramble the image of my yard?

How can an image pass through a window if the atoms in the glass randomly emit photons in any direction? I've read that glass is transparent because the atoms don't readily adsorb visible light, so it ...
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120 views

How far does a photon move in the 4th dimension when it travels one light second? [closed]

In one second a photon moves 3x10^8 meters through the three spatial dimensions. Light's velocity is 3x10^8 m/s. If the photon moved at all in the fourth dimension, it's velocity would no longer be ...
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20 views

Mirror shake emulation for the light

Is there any way to simulate mirror shaking? Final goal is to make send light beam to the mirror and get reflected beam the same, as it happens if mirror is vibrating. Mechanical vibration is limited ...
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Relationship between oscillator strength and cross section

In the context of absorption of photons by atoms, I have come across two seemingly very related quantities, cross section and oscillator strength. In the book Physics of the Interstellar and ...
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76 views

Where does the energy of a photon trying to escape a black hole go?

I've heard "light cannot escape a black hole" explained several ways. One is that if a photon inside the event horizon tries to escape a black hole it loses energy to gravity. As it loses energy its ...
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1answer
23 views

How to get explicit value of Wigner angle for massless one-particle state transformation?

The one-particle massless state $|\mathbf p , \sigma\rangle$ is transformed under the Lorentz group $U(\Lambda) \equiv U(\Lambda , 0)$ as $$ U(\Lambda)|\mathbf p, \sigma \rangle = \sqrt{\frac{(\Lambda ...
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What is the QED model about half wave plate?

Surely classical electrodynamics (CED) has a good and well-known answer about the change of light polarization in a HWP (or Quarter wave plate). I tried to find how does this look like from point of ...
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Can 2 photons make up the same colour as another photon?

So, my question deals with the excited electron shown above. (1st diagram) This electron can return to its ground state by either of two ways. One of the ways involves the emission of 2 photons. ...