Tagged Questions

"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.

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Photons emitted by radioactive source

Can we calculate the number of photons emitted per second by a radioactive source (gamma) ? we can take 100g of barium-133 as an example
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1answer
58 views

Speed of light and lorentzian factors [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can a photon have no mass and still travel at the speed of light? If light travels at the speed of light, and anything with rest mass will experience relativistic ...
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2answers
382 views

statistics for photon counts in photomultiplier

It seems that a common statistical model for the count numbers of a photomultiplier is a Poisson distribution whose parameter $\lambda$ equals to the square-root of the number of counts.(e.g. ...
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1answer
580 views

Confused about fire?

Im confused about fire. The way I see it : Heat creates (kinetic) energy in mass and this creates stronger vibrations of atoms. When those vibrations are strong enough the electrons interact ...
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1answer
395 views

Gravitational redshift derivation

When we derive gravitational potential it is dependant only on (rest) mass $m$, but i have seen a derivation of gravitational redshift equation placing relativistic mass $\widetilde{m}$ instead of ...
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2answers
980 views

Kinetic energy of a photon and Schwarzschild radius

I have read here, that $\frac{1}{2}mv^2$ must not be applied on a photon ever. If i want to calculate escape velocity $v_e$ i need to use $\frac{1}{2}mv^2$ because we say that kinetic energy ...
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2answers
225 views

Photons in a gravitational field

I have been really staring for a while in a MP-Beiser book and I totally disagree with a statement he does there. On a page 85 he states that photons act as they have a mass $m$. He derives this by ...
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1answer
95 views

How can the 5-photon absorption coefficient be estimated?

Imagine a large bandgap material which is irradiated by an intense laser beam. If the photon energy is only high enough for 1/5 of the bandgap, is there a way to approximate the absorption by 5-photon ...
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1answer
157 views

Photoionization equation

I really need help understanding this equation ,i am new to quantum mechanics and i cant understand the math, so i need every single symbol to be explained or given a value if it is a constant , ( ...
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3answers
265 views

Why do Photons want to be together?

So I've heard that when a photon flies by a atom excited enough to release a photon there's a good chance it will. Because Photons want to be together and have the same direction etc? Is this true? ...
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1answer
170 views

Does photon possesses no time to cover any arbitrary distance?

Photon travel 8 minutes (with speed $c$) from the sun to reach the earth. Any particle (or space-ship) with velocity $0.99 c$ covers the same distance (93 millions km) within less than 2 minutes ...
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2answers
413 views

Why does $\mathcal L = -\frac14 F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}$ imply Photons are massless?

The Lagrangian $\mathcal L = -\frac14 F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}$ with $F_{\mu\nu} = \partial_\mu A_\nu - \partial_\nu A_\mu$ results in the four-potential's equation of motion $$ \underbrace{\partial^\mu ...
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186 views

Polarization photon and Stokes parameters

I have the following situation: About the polarization of the photon, I introduce the basis: Horizontal polarization $|\leftrightarrow>=\binom{1}{0}$ Vertical polarization ...
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2answers
2k views

Do photons lose energy while travelling through space? Or why are planets closer to the sun warmer?

My train of thought was the following: The Earth orbiting the Sun is at times 5 million kilometers closer to it than others, but this is almost irrelevant to the seasons. Instead, the temperature ...
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2answers
433 views

How does scattering work?

Why is the sky blue? I was always taught in high school that light with wavelength $\lambda$ acts like a little particle that wiggles up and down through space (in proportion to its magnitude). I was ...
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2answers
211 views

Photons and Relativity

Consider a Photon from Sun and travels with a velocity $c$. Now think we are that photon. For us, it looks like Sun is moving away from us with a velocity $c$. So, why don't we get attracted back ...
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2answers
2k views

What do massive photons have to do with superconductivity?

I keep reading that the idea of massive photons leads to an explanation of the Meissner effect but I fail to see how photons are involved with the repulsion of fields inside a superconductor. How ...
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4answers
4k views

Amplitude of an electromagnetic wave containing a single photon

Given a light pulse in vacuum containing a single photon with an energy $E=h\nu$, what is the peak value of the electric / magnetic field?
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0answers
74 views

Photon pumping in Laser

Let's consider a ring laser where the laser must pass through the gain material before it is sent toward a partially reflective surface $\ R=1-T $. The other mirrors are perfect reflectors with $\ ...
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3answers
905 views

How many percent of the visible light reaching the Earth are from other stars than the Sun?

How many percent of the whole visible light reaching the Earth are from other stars than the Sun? Is it maybe 0,5 - 1% or is my guess already too much? I am interested mainly in visible light, but ...
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4answers
2k views

Why is the $S_{z} =0$ state forbidden for photons?

If photons are spin-1 bosons, then doesn't quantum mechanics imply that the allowed values for the z-component of spin (in units of $\hbar$) are -1, 0, and 1? Why then in practice do we only use the ...
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1answer
345 views

Photons arriving from the Sun

Given that the Sun is a bit less than 10 light minutes away from Earth, is it correct to assume in principle (I understand actual processes in the core of the Sun make the situation at a photon's ...
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2answers
428 views

What happens to the wavelength/frequency of a photon as it passes through an event horizon?

I've asked a similar question about photons and black holes but wanted to rephrase it more specifically, so here goes... Ever since I learned how a photon's wavelength and frequency are indivisibly ...
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1answer
116 views

Where can you get a photon detector?

Say I'm doing the double-slit experiment with photons as the particle and want to add a detector just behind each slit to eliminate the interference pattern. Where would I get a detector like that?
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1answer
114 views

Ejected Electrons with 0 KE?

So I was taught that: Kinetic Energy (of electron) = Energy (of photon) - Ionization Energy If E(photon) = IE, then KE=0 of the electron. What does this physically/theoretically mean? My current ...
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3answers
612 views

Mechanism for the gravitational field generated by photons

This question follows from a schooling I received in this thread. I figured that photons do not interact with gravity, except when they've spontaneously converted into a particle-antiparticle pair. ...
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1answer
693 views

What really is Planck's constant and what are its origins?

In the physics texts I have read and other info online, they says Planck's constant is the quantum of action or that it is a constant of the ratio of the energy of a particle to its frequency. Im ...
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2answers
912 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 ...
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1answer
101 views

Why, in EXAFS spectrum, does the absorption coefficient monotonically decrease with increasing photon energy?

In atomic physics, it is common knowledge that following the absorption edge, where the photon energy equals the binding energy of a core electron, a monotonic decrease in the absorption coefficient ...
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1answer
416 views

Does the Photino have mass or is it mass-less like the photon

Does the photino in super-symmetry have a mass, Or is this different in different super symmetric models?
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1answer
215 views

How to relate photon's higher frequency to time dilation?

The usual explanation for photon's higher frequency in lower altitudes (higher gravity), when the photon is going downward towards a massive body, is that gravitational potential energy is converted ...
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56 views

Modeling the probability of a photodiode measuring photons targets at a neighbor

In current digital cameras, sensors are arrays of photodiodes which "transform" photons energy to electrons. I am aware that the probability of a photon to generate an electron is modeled by a Poisson ...
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1answer
336 views

Why photons are emitted because of changes to electron behavior

Explanations I have read of why photons are emitted from atoms mention electrons being 'excited' to another energy level, and then returning to their base level, releasing a photon. I have also seen ...
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1answer
134 views

Black out the sun?

How many observers would it take to cancel out the number of photons produced in a medium sized star like our Sun, thus making it dark? (I want to consume more photons than the star is generating)
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3answers
427 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? ...
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1answer
124 views

Why are photons released from high-voltage electricity through a near vacuum?

I read an answer to what is inside a typical vacuum, and it suggested neutrinos from Space, and vapor from the container. So, maybe they add to this effect... But why are photons released from ...
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3answers
3k 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 ...
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2answers
311 views

when photons can be trapped in a cavity and manipulated. How they can be observed without being destroyed?

An observer is anything that can cause a wave function to collapse. That is an interpretation of wave function collapse (usually referred to as the measurement problem). Now, when can photons be ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there still light in practical darkness? Do photons penetrate everywhere?

I always thought that, even in darkness, there would still be some light, making complete darkness, i.e. complete absence of photons as far as I know, just a theoretical thing. When I tried looking up ...
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2answers
676 views

Is it possible to charge photons

For example there are anti-particles to every particle we know, Similary in some sense, is there a possibility that we can charge photons..if not what are the reasons and has there been any attempt ...
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1answer
285 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 ...
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88 views

Is there any optical experiment that can not be explained by photon model defined in QED?

Some author(in the paper of Evolution of the modern photon) mentioned that photon cannot account for the zero intensity through two crossed polarizators by 90 degree. Why so?
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1answer
81 views

Non-conversion of mass & energy?

This article is certainly an interesting alternative perspective, but is it factual or does it contain fallacies? http://www.circlon-theory.com/HTML/EmcFallacies.html Are mass and energy not ...
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2answers
89 views

Can non-photon atomic particles (can/may be) stimulate photonreceptors in our eyes?

I want to ask if the human eye can see only photons particles between ultra violet and infrared wavelengths, can we see other particles (that have a wavelength between ultra violet and infrared) ...
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1answer
270 views

What is a virtual photon pair?

When describing a black hole evaporation in the hawking black body radiation it is usually said that is due to a virtual photon pair, is it this what happens? And what is virtual photon pair, does the ...
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5answers
2k views

Why is Light invisible?

Why can't we see light? The thing which makes everything visible is itself invisible. Why is it so?
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1answer
1k views

What is the difference between infrared heat and “regular” heat?

In Feynman's terms temperature is the speed at which atoms are 'jiggling'. Now, let's suppose I've just eaten a sizable dinner, and my body temperature just got a tad up. Am I emitting more photons in ...
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1answer
87 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 ...
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4answers
1k views

Single photon and double-slit experiment [duplicate]

Laser fires single particles of light, called photons, through the slits. Even though only single photons of light are being fired through the slits and They create three pattern again. How single ...
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2answers
259 views

Conservation Laws in Photon Parametric Down-Conversion

As Wikipedia explains, one photon passing through a crystal sometimes down-converts to two photons. Wikipedia says total energy and momentum are conserved by just considering the three photon states; ...