2
votes
0answers
35 views

Expectation value for the time of a photon reflection

A photon is reflected by matter (by an electron in empty space). How long does the reflection take? (i.e. is there any infinitesimal time elapsing during the reflection process?), or more precisely, ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Electromagnetic Field VS Photons [duplicate]

I am currently studying electrodynamics with all the fields and the like. Now, as I understand it, in a more modern viewpoint there is a duality between electromagnetic fields and photons, with ...
5
votes
3answers
735 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
41 views

Can a classical (or quantum) field, particularly the EMF, have a frame of reference?

I understand that a massless particle (such as a photon) cannot have a frame of reference. But the electromagnetic field does have mass; does it have a frame of reference? If so, I have a second ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Do plasmons depend on the ambient EM field?

Imagine a situation: There's an illuminated metal slab in vacuum. Normally, there are some plasmons created running all over the slab. What would happen if we had turned a giant magnet near the slab? ...
2
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
125 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?
4
votes
1answer
102 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
196 views
8
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
272 views

Where do the photons mediating the electromagnetic force come from?

The electromagnetic field is mediated by photons (energy quanta). Its range is infinite, the interaction only weakens quadratically with distance due to the area of an expanding virtual sphere. Where ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

On-shellness of photons

In principle, we could describe all physics without EM fields (or photons), as they are mainly a useful tool to describe "action at distance" (which does not mean instantaneous) between charged ...
7
votes
1answer
171 views

Is the third spin vector of a photon always suppressed?

I like to tell people interested in light polarization that the photon is a vector boson for which the third spin axis, the one in the direction of travel, is suppressed due to photons being massless ...
0
votes
1answer
387 views

Can a photon survive a collision? If so, is it at rest during the process?

Background Irving Kaplan, in Article 6.7: The Compton Effect of Nuclear Physics (2nd Ed.) explains the Compton effect as follows: Compton (1923) was able to show that when a beam of ...
2
votes
0answers
426 views

Proof of Furry's theorem

i was wondering if anyone could give an explicit calculation or show a link that shows the proof to Furry's theorem. showing how the vacuum expectation value of any odd number of electromagnetic ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

LSZ theorem for photons

Is there any discussion on what the LSZ theorem for photons looks like? I would rather like a discussion of this in axial gauge $A_0 = 0$ (instead of the usual Lorenz gauge), but anything would do.
17
votes
5answers
2k views

How do we know photons have spin 1?

Electrons have spin 1/2, and as they are charged, they also have an associated magnetic moment, which can be measured by an electron beam splitting up in an inhomogeneous magnetic field or through the ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Photon detection time in NMR rotating frame

I think of an NMR experiment, but with a single spin half nucleus initially set to the excited state. When the nucleus finally returns to its ground state, it will emit a photon. An observer in the ...
6
votes
2answers
265 views

Mass gap for photons

I am puzzled by the answers to the question: What is a mass gap? There, Ron Maimon's answer gives a clear-cut definition, which I suppose applies to any quantum field theory with Hamiltonian $H$, ...
2
votes
1answer
860 views

Photons, where do they come from? [closed]

Photons, where do they come from? What exactly is a photon? I've certainly heard how they get produced, but it doesn't seem to make sense that some sort of particle should need to be produced just ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

How does QED deal with wavelength of quanta [duplicate]

Since QED treats photons as individual units (quanta) how does it treat the concept of the "wavelength" associated with the photon?
4
votes
1answer
755 views

Are there 2 kinds of photons, one that mediate the electromagnetic interaction and the other the quanta of light?

It is usually said that photons are the force carriers or the mediators of the electromagnetic forces between electric charges. At the same time we know also that electromagnetic waves on the quantum ...
5
votes
2answers
408 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
233 views

Why does Quantum Electrodynamics Allow a Photon to Exist Temporarily as a Positron and an Electron?

In this question... Why does a photon colliding with an atomic nucleus cause pair production? ...I asked why a photon colliding with a atomic nucleus can become an electron and a positron. The ...
1
vote
1answer
174 views

Two-photon scattering: colours

Is there a particular conservation principle that necessitates that the outcoming photon pair has the same frequencies as the incoming photon pair? I'm thinking in particular of these Feynman-like ...
1
vote
0answers
87 views

Photons interact with themselves

We know that photons are the antiparticles of themselves and if they interact with each other through higher order process do they annihilate and again produce photons? Here is the Phys.SE question ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
405 views

What is the massless limit of massive electromagnetism?

Consider electromagnetism, an abelian gauge theory, with a massive photon. Is the massless limit equal to electromagnetism? What does it happen at the quantum level with the extra degree of freedom? ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How many photons can an electron absorb and why?

How many photons can an electron absorb and why? Can all fundamental particles that can absorb photons absorb the same amount of photons and why? If we increase the velocity of a fundamental ...
2
votes
3answers
717 views

If electromagnetic fields give charge to particles, do photons carry charge?

As I understand these two statements: An electromagnetic field gives particles charge A photon is a quantum of electromagnetic field It must mean that a photon carries charge. But I guess it isn't ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Why/how does an electron emit a photon when decelerating?

I've had two special relativity courses so far but none really gave me a clear description of the process.
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Is there a point interaction model of the electron?

Is there a point interaction model of the electron? Is there a point interaction model of the electron? I imagine something like $\propto(\bar \psi\psi)^2$ (edited). Is such a thing in use? Since I ...
8
votes
2answers
695 views

Deriving Planck's radiation law from microscopic considerations?

In the usual derivation of Planck's radiation law, the energies or frequencies $\omega$ of the oscillators depend on the measurements $L$ of the black body. The model is such that the only ...
4
votes
1answer
831 views

Why can't we make measurements in a photon's rest frame when loop diagrams make measurements possible?

It is one of the axioms of special relativity that the photon has no rest frame; light travels at speed c when measured in any inertial frame of reference. As a corollary, it is often said that if one ...
2
votes
1answer
187 views

For someone who only studied electromagnetism, what is the modern way to explain electromagnetic fields?

After reading most of the electromagnetism chapters of Feynman's lectures on physics, I would like to understand in more detail, at least an idea, of what causes the electromagnetic fields. Not sure ...
6
votes
2answers
349 views

Why and how, in QED, can excited atoms emit photons?

The quantum mechanics of the structure of atoms as determined by the electromagnetic forces inside them correctly describes the location and coupling of the different energy levels in essentially all ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

Why can't photons have a mass

Why can't photons have a mass? Could you explain this to me in a short and mathematical way?
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Properties of the photon: Electric and Magnetic field components

Consider an electromagnetic wave of frequency $\nu$ interacting with a stationary charge placed at point $x$. My question concerns the consistency of two equally valid quantum-mechanical descriptions ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

The exchange of photons gives rise to the electromagnetic force

Pardon me for my stubborn classical/semiclassical brain. But I bet I am not the only one finding such description confusing. If EM force is caused by the exchange of photons, does that mean only when ...