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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Detecting a photon without changing it: Does it break conservation laws?

This is about an article published on ScienceMag: Nondestructive Detection of an Optical Photon. I don't have access to full text, but you can see a brief transcription in this link. Basically, it ...
8
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2answers
462 views

Do photons age in a medium?

According to special relativity, time starts to slow down as we increase our speed and eventually stops once we get to the speed of light. By that logic, photons don't age in a vacuum state as, to us, ...
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2answers
414 views

Some doubts about photons

I am reading Berkeley Physics Course vol. 4 (Quantum Mechanics) , chapter 4 (photons). (1) Section 46: book says: consider a typical photon emitted by the source. It can be regarded as a a wave ...
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115 views

Photons vs Uncertainty Principle

The uncertainty principle states: $\Delta_x\Delta_p>ħ/4$ We know the photon has a 0 rest mass but we are say that it's momentum is always the same $e=pc$ And more we are certain about the ...
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Why is the speed of light considered as a fundamental constant if its speed changes with medium resulting in refraction? [duplicate]

I know that the speed of light, the universal constant of gravitation and the Planck's constant are considered to be the three fundamental constants of the universe. But, why is speed of light ...
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0answers
102 views

How do we show that photons generated by a constant electric current are distributed according to a Poisson distribution?

I saw the answer sometimes ago in a book "Quantum Electronics" or similar title. I don't remember the author since I lost the book. The book sets ( I believe so ) a constant electric current $I$ in a ...
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0answers
68 views

What determines the probability of a pair of photons interacting, and producing a positron and an electron?

The second answer to this question describes how this process might occur, and I'm curious for more details about it: What is the probability distribution of the interaction producing ...
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1answer
447 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 ...
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0answers
74 views

Does classical axial current conservation prevent the spontaneous emission of a photon by an electron?

I understand the axial current conservation (in the massless limit) in classial field theory to mean that the difference between right handed and left handed electrons is conserved in QED. $$j^{\mu ...
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5answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
144 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 ...
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1answer
245 views

Photon “stuck” on the event horizon of a black hole

According to what I've read on special relativity, $c$ is the speed limit for every object in the universe, and according to Einstein, an object's speed through the three spatial dimensions plus its ...
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1answer
189 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 ...
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1answer
450 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 ...
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0answers
121 views

How to calculate angular momentum per second for a photon beam? [closed]

Given a photon polarization state $$|\phi\rangle = \frac{3}{5}|x\rangle + \frac{4i}{5}|y\rangle,$$ a beam of photons transmit $N$ photons per second in such a state. An L-polarized photon has an ...
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1answer
73 views

Stimulated Emission in Free-Electron Lasers

I've been reading about free-electron lasers these days. The basic principle is clear: In the undulator electrons spontaneousely emit synchrotron radiation. A self-attunement takes place, causing the ...
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0answers
397 views

Smallest minimum feature size possible for transistors printed by photolithography

I'm doing a project about Moore's Law, one of the subtopics I've come to is photolithography. The way I understand it is that the MOSFET transistors are currently printed on a silicon wafer by ...
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1answer
50 views

What does this term G+G'->G' mean?

In this document, what does the line "Write $\vec{G}_i + \vec{G}_i' \rightarrow \vec{G}_i'$" after equation (25) actually mean?
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4answers
304 views

A question abou $E=pc$ for massless particles

Since photon has no (rest)mass and $$E^2=(pc)^2+(mc^2)^2$$ we derive that $E=pc$ for particle with no (rest)mass. However, if we transform the non-relativistic formula for kinetic energy ...
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56 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 ...
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0answers
121 views

Does light initially accelerate? [duplicate]

Light travels with a speed of $3\times10^8{m\over s}$. My question is that was the light initially accelerating or it archived the speed in an instance? If it was accelerating then why it did not ...
3
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0answers
778 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 ...
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4answers
420 views

Why do lasers require mirror at the ends?

Laser uses mirrors to reflect photons in order to stimulate atoms to emit photons, but why this is so?. I mean, why does a photon stimulate atoms to produce more photons? If a photon made an atom to ...
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1answer
123 views

Plane Wave expansion method

I really don't know if this is the right forum to ask the question...but please help me if you can!! I was going through the Plane Wave Expansion Method Derivation...But to be honest I could not find ...
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2answers
200 views

Finally photons got a mass, what now? [closed]

Finally photons have got a mass, and what we have got is a new state of matter. Most of you must have heard about this till now, for those who don't, visit this page. I am not a pro or something, ...
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3answers
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How can we interpret polarization and frequency when we are dealing with one single photon?

If polarization is interpreted as a pattern/direction of the electric-field in an electromagnetic wave and the frequency as the frequency of oscillation, how can we interpret polarization and ...
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4answers
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Why do photons excite electrons?

I know that when electrons encounter photons, they become excited and move to an orbit farther away from the nucleus of an atom as a result. What I want to know is exactly why the photons cause the ...
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1answer
68 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 ...
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1answer
350 views

How to determine the amount of light energy (photons) being released from an incandescent light bulb?

I have got this all down pat: 1.Collision with a moving particle excites an atom. 2.This causes an electron to jump to a higher energy level. 3.The electron falls back to its original energy level, ...
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0answers
41 views

Why don't photons crash into each other occasionally? Or do they? [duplicate]

At the LHC, researchers smash particles into each other at speeds close to speed of light. Photons, on the other hand, already move at the speed of light. Do they ever smash into each other? Or do ...
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4answers
725 views

If matter and light have dual-nature, shouldn't we able to explain the observed phenomenons using either wave or particle?

Historically wave and particle has been perceived as totally different phenomenons (before 20th century). Now is it widely accepted and there are experimental results to show that in fact both matter ...
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1answer
147 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.
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196 views

Is the Copenhagen interpretation still valid?

"The secret lives of photons revealed" - physicsworld.com. It seems that this experiment violates the Copenhagen interpretation. Is it still valid? Can you please give me more insight on this ...
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5answers
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Is coherent light required for interference in Young's double slit experiment?

In this Veritasium video, a home experiment is presented which appears to produce a very good double-slit interference pattern with normal sunlight. The experiment is an empty cardboard box with a ...
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Double Slit Experiment: How do scientists ensure that there's only one photon?

Many documentaries regarding the double slit experiment state that they only send a single photon through the slit. How is that achieved and can it really be ensured that it is a single photon?
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1answer
255 views

How does the uncertainty principle make a photon beam spread out?

I'm reading about uncertainty principle, and something has been bothering me for quite a while. There is the formula: $$\sigma_x \sigma_p \ge \frac{\hbar}{2}$$ I know what this means: the more you ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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Casimir Effect and polarization of photons

I have read Casimir's derivation of the Casimir fore between 2 parallel plates and have been told that in reality, the Casimir force should be twice as large due to the 2 polarization states of ...
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2answers
463 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?
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0answers
571 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 ...
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710 views

No magnetic dipole moment for photon

Electrically neutral particles such as neutrinos can have nonvanishing magnetic dipole moments. Spin-1 particles, e.g., deuterium nuclei, can also have dipole moments. Googling seems to show that the ...
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263 views

How is wavelength actually related to space (/distance)?

Is a photon of 400nm in wavelength "smaller" than a photon of 1km in wavelegth?
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3answers
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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 ...
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4answers
657 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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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1answer
306 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?
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2answers
681 views

The Quantization of Photon Energies [duplicate]

Despite Planck's constant being in $E=hf$, it would appear to me that energy is still not discrete, as frequency can be an fraction of a Hertz that one wants. How does this imply that electromagnetic ...
3
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1answer
239 views

Photon mass and life time

In this article, the author tried to explain that, Einstein's theory may not valid because he says "photon can decay because it may have minute amount of mass". I'm totally in a conundrum state that ...
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Do cosmologically redshifted photons violate energy conservation? [duplicate]

I understand that, due to the Doppler effect, different frames of reference moving at different velocities relative to each other will measure different photon frequencies and hence energy. The ...
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Adiabatic quantum evolution of single photon or biphoton system

The prerequisite for adiabatic quantum evolution of single photon or biphoton system is as follows. We have to prepare a single photon or biphoton quantum system which has a ground and a higher level ...