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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Function to fit solar radiation data

I have ground-level radiation data of solar incoming radiation from a radiometer (cosine collector) measured along the day. In the following plot you can see PAR irradiance (ie visible light) in Watts ...
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112 views

Photon striking a molecule and getting reflected

I am writing a simple simulator which simulate absorption of UV light in solution. The idea is to see if I can see Beer-Lambert laws in my model. It is not intended to be a precise simulator but ...
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1answer
167 views

What are some good resources for learning photonics?

Including the generation, transmission, modulation, signal processing, amplification, and detection/sensing of light, I am interested in getting a good understanding of photonics. Does anyone have any ...
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1answer
83 views

What is the status of massless photons traveling through a medium?

Photons in vacuum have no proper time, and they are not considered as observers and not as reference frame. But what about photons travelling through matter? Their velocity is lower than light speed, ...
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137 views

Beginner question: timelessness of massless particles [duplicate]

I am not very familiar with the quirkiness of relativity, and I was wondering how to explain this situation. If a beam of light is shining at some object at some distance from the origin of the beam, ...
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2answers
429 views

How can gravity affect light?

I understand that a black hole bends the fabric of space time to a point that no object can escape. I understand that light travels in a straight line along spacetime unless distorted by gravity. If ...
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Why are objects opaque?

I have been searching the internet for answers to this question, but haven't found a convincing one. I would appreciate any response. I understand why objects are opaque/black. For example when ...
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3answers
681 views

What trajectory has the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation taken to get to earth?

I have a few related questions: Where is the CMB coming (emitted/reflected/remitted) from? When CMB hits the earth, is that the first thing those photons hit since they were emitted 400 thousand ...
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2answers
95 views

Discrepancy ( or Confusion ) in the mass of photon

$E$ = $mc^2$ And also $E$ = $hf$ (f - frequency) And hence Einstein said $m$ = $hf\over c^2$ And so photons have mass But later he also said $M$ = $M_0\over \sqrt {1-v^2/c^2}$ Where if we put $v ...
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Is there any acceleration of light? [duplicate]

I find it hard to believe that photons always travel with 3 x 10^8 m/s just from the start. But there must be some acceleration of light. Maybe huge or taking place in picoseconds. So what maybe the ...
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3answers
901 views

Is the energy of a photon continuous/discrete?

I was struggling today with this question: does a free photon have a continuous energy spectra? Free means in no context of any energy system (eg. an atom, em field). Although I'm asking myself if ...
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How do photons know they can or can't excite electrons?

This might be a stupid question, but nonetheless, it has been bothering me. If you take a photon, make it go through some atoms in a solid, liquid or whatever, then you have the chance of this photon ...
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1answer
94 views

Understanding EM Fields

I am an electronics engineering major and some questions arise when studying communications technology that utilizes wireless technology. In particular, I am more of a complete picture kind of person, ...
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1answer
240 views

Intuitive reasoning for why short wavelength photons pack more energy?

The energy equation is straight forward, yes, but is there an intuitive reason for this?
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977 views

How many subatomic particles can absorb/emit photons?

Is the electron the only subatomic particle that can absorb and emit a photon?
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2answers
242 views

Why are results of Bell's experiments considered to “break realism”?

Related to my previous question (Why would classical correlation in Bell's experiment be a linear function of angle?), as a newbie in quantum mechanics, I am also unable to find the reason to why ...
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2answers
158 views

Polarizing beam splitters for X-rays?

What is the lower bound for the wavelength concerning polarizing beam splitters? Especially I ask for interferometer experiments with single photons. Of course I know that they exist for all ...
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1answer
346 views

Output of a beamsplitter with photon number (Fock) state inputs

Given a beamsplitter drawn below, where $\hat{a}$ and $\hat{b}$ are input modal annihilation operators, transmissivity is $\tau\in[0,1]$, and output modal annihilation operators are ...
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37 views

Electron transition creating Photons

If the transition of the electrons result in production of photons, Is photon creation is instantaneous? If Yes,At what moment rightly the photon gets created? Else, Will the photon be stationary ...
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0answers
50 views

Detect missing frequencies in a frequency distribution

I have photons with a frequency distribution where one frequency is completly cut out. For example a frequency distribution like that: My question is: How precise can the position (frequency) of ...
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2answers
1k views

How would an X-ray mirror work?

I was wondering if light can be reflected how can someone reflect X-ray of what material does it need to be made of and is its design completely different to that of our original mirrors? Does this ...
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2answers
183 views

Faraday Effect does light bend or lose energy?

I was reading upon Faraday effect when it said Faraday effect causes a rotation of the plane of polarization That in mind, does this mean the light can be bent around or does the light loose ...
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1answer
136 views

If I'm running away from chasing gamma photons, I can see them, right?

Suppose Bruce Banner goes back in time, convinced that the Hulk is a stupid menace. Let's say he also borrows Quicksilver's speed abilities (maybe the Flash is more appropriate, but based on the ...
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1answer
194 views

Redshift of Cosmic Microwave Background

Does the cosmic microwave background radiation have a red shift parameter z? If so what is the value for z?
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3answers
317 views

Can light be trapped theoretically?

My question is a little silly I know, but I'm curious to know if a particle of light can be theoretically trapped between two reflective screens. For example once the particle of light has left it's ...
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How does the photon field operator change are understanding of the electromagnetic stress-energy tensor?

Given the following photon field operators \begin{align} \mathbf{A}(\mathbf{r}) &=& \sum_{\mathbf{k},\mu} \sqrt{\frac{\hbar}{2 \omega V\epsilon_0}} \left(\mathbf{e}^{(\mu)} ...
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2answers
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Do x-rays and gamma rays also contain photons like visible light does?

Do x-rays and gamma rays also contain photons like visible light does? If so, then what makes photons of visible light and other waves different? The rest mass of a photon is zero, but as it moves at ...
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479 views

Why does a single mode fibre have a cutoff wavelength?

I earlier had a doubt based on ray theory that light must reflect and so all wavelengths should propagate through SMF. This Q/A Single-mode fibers and ray-theory of light does specify that we have to ...
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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, ...
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1answer
140 views

The meaning of “heralded photon”

I am not a native English speaker, and I have just started to study physics in English. However, I came across the term heralded photon while I was reading a review article about optical quantum ...
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1answer
142 views

How can the 'choice' of a photon said to be delayed?

My question arises from two ideas that seem to be contradictory. Idea One: Wheeler's Delayed Choice experiment is an interesting variation of the double slit experiment. Idea Two: In the "reference ...
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1answer
579 views

Why do i see bright red hand when i place flashlight behind my hand?

When I place a working flashlight behind my hand, I see my hand bright red because of the light. So my question is, why do I only see red light after transmission even if incoming light from the ...
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530 views

Uncertainty principle with two photons

Imagine an experimental setup in which you have to measure the momentum and location of a particle. To measure it we know we will have to affect it, and the uncertainty principle would come into the ...
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1answer
69 views

Problem regarding quantum mechanical notation of photons

I have recently been reading about spontaneous parametric down conversion(SPDC). I do clearly understand the process. What has been intriguing lately is the notation. For those of you who are ...
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1answer
97 views

How can I calculate the relationship between power and acceleration for a beam driven photon sail?

I am writing a novel, and although I have a background in physics, I am unsure of the exact equations to use. Specifically: For a photon-sail ship, how powerful would a driving laser need to be in ...
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1answer
72 views

Ultrafast photon detectors

Are there already photon detectors that can resolve the shape of photons in the time domaine if it looks like below where the two humps are separated by a time of the order of femtoseconds? What I ...
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1answer
31 views

Optical devices for micro meter photons?

Are there all the common optical devices like beam splitters, mirrors, polarizers, fibers, etc for photons with a wavelenght in the range of micro meters? If so, how broad can the bandwidth be for ...
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1answer
87 views

Collision of light waves & matter

When light or electromagnetic wave hits an obstacle, what happens? Are the reactions times always negligible? By reaction I mean all that happens after the hit like reflection for example.
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1answer
194 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 ...
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1answer
219 views

A formula for the photon gas correlation function

i need to derive a formula for the photon gas correlation function $\left\langle\partial n_i\partial n_j\right\rangle $ where $$\partial n_i=n_i -\left \langle n_i \right \rangle.$$ whilst solving ...
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2answers
870 views

Is single photon perfectly monochromatic?

Now, we do have equipment to generate single photon at a time, and LASERs are nearly monochromatic. While typing the question, am realizing that successive photons in case of single photon ...
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EM field from the electrons on the surface of a body and their influence to moving particles

Under this question quantum field theoretic models of decoherence @DanielSank gave a wonderful answer. Can I implement his answer to every material body? What about I'm thinking is that on the surface ...
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176 views

Are there new concepts for the explanation of the wave-particle duality?

Whenever we can observe photons immediate, they are particles. That includes that photons have a inner structure with periodically varying electric and magnetic fields. The EM field of a radio antenna ...
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1answer
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Time dependency of the phase of a single photon

I am wondering if a wave packet of a single photon in the time domaine $$ \psi(t)=|\psi(t)|\; \text e^{\text i \varphi(t)} $$ can have a different $t$ dependence in phase than the simple phase ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
192 views

Why does the light intensity increase as I approach a distance light source?

Analogy: assume that I have constant rain fall and I have a water bucket to collect this rain. If I am rest relative to the earth, I will catch a certain amount of rain. However, if I now move towards ...
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117 views

Energy carried by photon not conserved?

In an imaginary frame of reference traveling with a photon, the length of the path traveled is 0. If the length of the path is 0, isn't it similar to say that the photon is either at the source or at ...
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1answer
352 views

frequencies of light

Why are available frequency of light continuous ? I keep hearing that atoms absorb (and emit ) photons of particular frequency which correspond to their energy levels of their electron. Where do all ...
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142 views

Entropy of photons

Do low energy photons have greater entropy than high energy photons, or is the entropy of all photons the same (and the relationship between high and low entropy radiation is just a function of the ...
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2answers
154 views

At Interfaces Does Light Have to Accelerate?

First, I'm not sure if photons have to "get up to" the speed of light, or if they are thrown into existence at that speed. I know that they should just be generated moving at their speed, and I know ...