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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
1answer
134 views

Specific energy and specific angular momentum of photon

In this PDF [1], is made reference to specific energy and angular momentum of a particle. If the particle has no mass, like a photon, how should I define these terms in the equations further down for ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

What happens when a photon hits a beamsplitter?

Yesterday I read that we can affect the path and the 'form' (particle or wave) of a photon after the fact (Wheeler's delayed choice experiment). Part of what is puzzling me is the beam-splitter. Are ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Do excited electrons drop back to same quantum state?

I'm trying to wrap my head around spectroscopy, therefore, I am looking for as complete an answer as possible here, hence why I have broken the question into a different points. Here is what I know ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

Photon Escape Angle From Black Hole

Consider a photon source emitting photons near the surface of a Schwarzschild black hole. What angle, as a function of the source's radius from the event horizon, must the photons be emitted at such ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

If time stops at the speed of light is a photon 'everywhere' at once? [duplicate]

I am not a physicist so excuse my question if it's paticularly stupid. As a particle gets closer to the speed of light time slows down as for that particle as compared to a reference from the ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the photon emitted in the same direction as incoming radiation in Laser?

When an atom “lases” it always gives up its energy in the same direction and phase as the incoming light. Why does this happen? How can this be explained? How does the photon generated because of ...
0
votes
1answer
151 views

Magnitude of a photon?

I encountered the following sentence in my textbook, which I don't quite understand, and after an unfruitful google search, I still can't figure out what they mean by magnitude in this context: ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Collision between a photon and an electron

Looking through this AP Physics question, I was struck by how the 'collision' between a photon and electron looks so much like a macroscopic collision. Is this even physically possible? Look at the ...
2
votes
2answers
325 views

How does optical phase modulation produce photons with different frequencies?

The classical description of electro-optic modulators is an index of refraction that depends on the applied voltage. For example, for a sine modulation $\sin(\Omega t)$, a monochromatic laser of ...
0
votes
1answer
247 views

Why is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle not obvious give the conservation of mass- energy?

A photons energy is given by $E=h *f$ and momentum $p=E/c$ (spin?) but the photon has no (rest) mass! Therefore it is the ultimate probing tool for looking at any mass position and velocity because ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Can we build a synthetic event horizon?

If we imagine ourselves to be a civilization capable of manipulating very heavy masses in arbitrary spatial and momentum configurations (because we have access to large amounts of motive force, for ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How do particles become entangled?

A person asked me this and I'm just a lowly physical chemist. I used a classical analogy (how good or bad is this and how to fix?) Basically, light has a net angular momentum of zero, insofar as ...
6
votes
2answers
309 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 $H$, ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Contact electricity and photoelectric effect

Most universities provide an experiment about the photoelectric effect to determine $h$ by measuring the stop voltage against the light frequency and calculating the slope $h/e$. But mostly they also ...
34
votes
5answers
5k views

Why doesn't light kill me?

I was attending my philosophy class and in the middle of student presentations, I found myself mentally wondering off and thinking about light. After a few minutes of trying to piece together how the ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

Does quantum mechanics depend solely on electromagnetic waves? [duplicate]

I am beginning to learn quantum mechanics. Since determining the position of an object involves probing by electromagnetic waves and since i have read a simple derivation of Heisenberg's uncertainty ...
4
votes
3answers
287 views

Precision of Coulomb's law

Up to which precision has the coulomb law proven to be true? I.e. if you have two electrons in a vacuum chamber, 5 meters appart, have the third order terms been ruled out? Are there any theoretical ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

How can we detect X-rays?

I know that X-rays can be detected by various ways, like ionizing of air particles. Is there a way to detect X-rays,which are photons, by detecting? Can something absorb the energy of the X-rays and ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the de Broglie wavelength of a photon equal to the EM wavelength of the radiation?

Is the de Broglie (matter) wavelength $\lambda=\frac{h}{p}$ of a photon equal to the electromagnetic wavelength of the radiation? I guess yes, but how come that photons have both a matter wave and an ...
3
votes
3answers
569 views

Difference between electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and Electromagnetic Field?

I'm a freshly graduated electrical engineer. One course that I really struggled with was Field Theory, because it was a lovely assortment of vector calculus and things that were explained to me well ...
1
vote
1answer
504 views

Why does Lorentz factor not hold for relativistic mass when we apply it to photons? [duplicate]

We know that the photon itself is massless particle $m_0=0$. But we also know, that the mass of the objects does increase with their energy. And we know that under certain circumstances (gravity, ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

In solar cells, do photons break apart electron-hole pairs, or create them?

Some sources say that when a photon hits the PV cell, it breaks apart electron-hole pairs. Other sources say that photons create electron-hole pairs. Can anyone explain which one is right? I've read ...
3
votes
0answers
25 views

Energy needed to raise energy level of an atom? [duplicate]

Suppose I have an atom at rest which is at energy level $E_i$. Would it be possible to raise it to the next higher level $E_{i+1}$ by shooting a photon of energy $E_{i+1}-E_i$ at it? I ask because ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Where is the amplitude of electromagnetic waves in the equation of energy of e/m waves? [duplicate]

Does the amplitude of the photon oscillations always stay constant and if it is not - what are the physical differences between the photon with higher amplitude in comparison to the one with the less ...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

EM Waves Energy Loss

Where does the energy go when two photons interfere destructively at a point on a screen in Young's double slit experiment ?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Infinite reflection of light and the conservation of energy / momentum

First off, I confess I'm no physicist, but I have been asking people with a more extensive knowledge this one question, without a definitive answer so far. Basically, I'm playing around with the idea ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Physical significance of effective wave function

In Yanhua Shih's book on quantum optics, the coherence functions are expressed in terms of effective wave function. Here are the expressions for single photon wave packets. To derive the coherence ...
42
votes
2answers
3k views

Neutrinos vs. Photons: Who wins the race across the galaxy?

Inspired by the wording of this answer, a thought occurred to me. If a photon and a neutrino were to race along a significant stretch of our actual galaxy, which would win the race? Now, neutrinos ...
0
votes
3answers
83 views

Interaction photons-matter and dimensional analysis

I know that when photons pass through matter, the law that describes the intensity in function of the thickness is: $$I(x)=I_0 e^{-\mu x}$$ where $\mu = \rho \frac{N_a}{A} \sigma$ and ...
3
votes
2answers
361 views

Do photons have mass? [duplicate]

As a student in a highschool physics class, my teacher has repeatedly told me that photons are massless. Yet, I have also heard from other sources that photons have momentum. If photons were to have ...
1
vote
0answers
51 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?
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Finding the maximum kinetic energy of any photoelectrons?

An incident photon, $f=5.5\times 10^{14}\ Hz$, hits a metal with a work function of $2.8\ eV$. Find the maximum kinetic energy of any photo-electrons (in Joules). I'm confused exactly how to do ...
2
votes
1answer
222 views

Color of a Metal's Threshold Wavelength?

How do I find the color of the threshold wavelength if the metal has a threshold wavelength of $\mathrm{6.5\times 10^{-7}m}$? I know that converts down to $\mathrm{650\ nm}$, but can I still use the ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Color of an incident photon?

If the incident light at 360nm causes photoemission of electrons, wouldn't the color be ultraviolet? I know that really isn't a color, but that's what my chart of the light spectrum says. Unless I ...
10
votes
1answer
471 views

How the inverse square law in electrodynamics is related to photon mass?

I have read somewhere that one of the tests of the inverse square law is to assume nonzero mass for photon and then, by finding a maximum limit for it , determine a maximum possible error in ...
2
votes
3answers
213 views

What is the cause the light is affected by gravity? [duplicate]

I know that photons have no mass and that a photons exist only moving at the speed of light. So what is the cause that a massive astronomical object can bend a ray of light? I have two thoughts, but I ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Transfer of electron energy to atoms (heating up of matter by absorption of photons)

If an electron absorbs a photon to get exited to a higher energy level, it should either come back to same state or any other lower state by emitting the required photon. How then can there be a net ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the mass of a photon moving at the speed of light? [duplicate]

What is the mass of a photon moving at the speed of light? And if it does not have mass, how is it affected by gravity? Also why does Einstein's general relativity support that a gravitational wave ...
2
votes
1answer
482 views

Single photon's effect on conservation of momentum?

When your looking at basic Compton theory you find that if you shoot a stream of photons at a particle (usually atoms or electrons), then you have the basic laws of conservation of momentum. The ...
2
votes
0answers
341 views

Conservation of Angular Momentum: atomic transitions vs exciton decay

I have a question about the role of photon angular momentum in two different sets of selection rules: In atomic transitions within the dipole approximation, I've seen the selection rule as: $\Delta ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

If photons can be absorbed by electrons, wouldn't that mean light has a charge? [duplicate]

I am a biochemistry and molecular biology major. If photons can be absorbed by electrons, wouldn't that mean light has a charge? Electrons only attract positive charges. Isn't it?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Seeing colors: photons vs waves

As an atmospheric physics major I am familiar with electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere and what dictates what wavelength objects will emit at. When observing radiation in the atmosphere it is ...
-2
votes
3answers
2k views

Does a photon have mass? [duplicate]

I have seen questions assume photons have no mass. But I have not seen any questions that directly ask whether or not photons have mass. If photons have no mass, then how do they occupy space? How ...
1
vote
2answers
147 views

Does performing a measurement on a system change its internal energy?

I'm studying Quantum Mechanics in my spare time from a general point of view (no technical details) so some fundamental question came into my mind: How is it possible to detect a single photon ...
8
votes
2answers
416 views

Are there “gaps” in light, or will it hit everywhere?

Not sure how to word my question. Picture a light source in vacuum, so nothing disturbs the light (or similar conditions), 2d. If I move very, very far away, will it happen that some of the light ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

How does a photon leave trace of its polarization state in a photon detector but not trace of which direction it came in?

Some quantum erasure experiments involve polarization of photons. In one such experiment with a double slit, a horizontal polarizer is used in front of one slit, and a vertical polarizer is used for ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Hurdles in creating (close to) infinite images [duplicate]

Let's put an object (hypothetical superman) inside a "well sealed" box containing only mirrors. Is it possible to create number of images that will be close to infinity, assuming that resolution of ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

the temperature of photon and its energy

Do photons have temperature? If not, does it mean that photon lose energy while travelling through space? As the planets farther away from the sun are comparatively cooler than the one that are ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...