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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How photons represent colors that you see?

Right now, my understanding is that, a mixture of photons of many different frequencies is perceived as white by your eye. While no photons at all, is perceived as black. And photons with the blue ...
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Do protons exchange photons with electrons?

I'm sorry for this question but, I just don't get it. According to the electromagnetic field theory, electrons repel each other by exchanging photons. How do protons attract electrons, by photon ...
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If light is linearly polarized, does it have some spatial extent?

If light (a photon) is linearly polarized, say vertically, does it have some vertical spatial extent (perhaps in amplitude)?
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Single photon interference experiment

In short: the question is, does the length of the path affect the outcome of detecting a photon? Consider the single photon beam splitter experiment. Does the probability of detecting the photon ...
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Couldn't we measure electrons with good enough technology? [duplicate]

I am a bit confused about the Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle - just read about it in How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, by Chad Orzel. He states that the reason electrons can't be measured is ...
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158 views

How can photons exert gravity if they are wave-like?

As a reference, see this question: Does a photon exert a gravitational pull? It turns out the answer is "Yes" -- but this does not seem consistent with light being wave-like. I am imagining a ...
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Is this mental picture of photon correct?

What is exactly meant by a statement like "there are about 400 photons per cubic cm in certain region"? Should I mentally picture this as 400 discrete photons enclosed in that volume, each moving at ...
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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 ...
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Photon detection rate for pure / mixed states coming from single mode point source

Let the pure states be in superposition of horizontal and vertically polarized basis states. They are arriving at the point detector one at a time. So, a pure state is $|\Psi\rangle = \alpha|V\rangle ...
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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 ...
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Why does a photon colliding with an atomic nucleus cause pair production?

I understand that the photon needs to have enough energy to produce a lepton and it's antimatter partner, and that all of the properties are conserved, but why does the photon do this in the first ...
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Absorption cross section for direct dissociation and predissociation - Photoelectric absorption

Why the absorption cross section in direct dissociation process is wide and structureless while the absorption cross section in the predissociation process is structured and containing lines which are ...
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Do photons actually generate a slight kinetic force?

My question is even though photons have no (rest) mass, do they emit a external force due to EM radiation causing electrons to be excited and jump to higher energy shells which electrons have mass ...
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If photons move linearly, what's actually stopping them from passing through a microwave oven mesh?

So, my understanding is that the wavelength of a photon is the distance traveled in the time it takes it's magnetic field to oscillate. And it's inversely proportional to it's energy and it's ...
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What is a two-photon process?

I am reading some introductory materials on modern optics, in which they mention two-photon processes everywhere. I know fundamental optics and a bit on quantum mechanics. Can anyone explain in a ...
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How many orders of magnitude in energy spans the Standard Model phenomenological spectrum?

I am wondering if it makes sense to state that the upper limit is roughly 1012 eV (up to know the physics probed by the LHC seems to be pretty consistent with the SM) and the lower one is ... the ...
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Where do photons get their energy from?

If energy required to accelerate a particle to the speed of light is infinite then where do they get it from? But first if photon's are massless, then why do they collide to some other thing and get ...
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What is light, and how can it travel in a vacuum forever in all directions at once without a medium?

I know there are many questions that are similar (maybe identical?). I am not a physicist nor a student - I am just interested in physics and have been watching many physics channels on youtube ...
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A question about how light hits a surface

my question is about how photons travel from a light source and hit an object. When you look at an object being hit by light the whole surface becomes brighter. What i'm trying to understand is why ...
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Speed of Light in a Medium [duplicate]

For light travelling in a medium with refractive index greater than one: The "average" speed of light is slower than the speed of light in a vacuum. As far as I know, the instantaneous speed of light ...
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Is light affected by gravity? Why?

I would like to know if light is affected by gravity, also, I would like to know what is the correct definition of gravity: "A force that attracts bodies with mass" or "a force that attracts bodies ...
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1answer
384 views

Life of a photon [duplicate]

I am a student of class 12th and as far as i know when anything reaches about 99.99% of the speed of light it starts traveling in time or time for it slows down so that it don't breaks the speed ...
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201 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 ...
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658 views

Does this experiment on wave-particle duality and complementarity disprove quantum mechanics and prove the EPR viewpoint on it?

I recently read Photons act like they go through two paths, even when we know which they took, at Ars Technica, which reports on the paper Wave-particle dualism and complementarity unraveled ...
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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 ...
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What would the collision of two photons look like?

Could someone explain to me what the collision of two photons would look like? Will they behave like, Electromagnetic waves: they will interfere with each other and keep their wave nature Particles: ...
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How to make DIY flight detector for double slit experiment?

I want to reproduce double slit experiment. So, is it possible to build flight detector (situated near one slit) at home? Is it possible to buy it somewhere?
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Thermionic emission and delayed emission

I want to understand the concepts behind the thermionic emission. In thermionic emission, the energy randomization occurs and the energy may be split to electronic or roto-vibrational states. If this ...
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How does a photon experience space and time?

To an an external observer it appears that time has stopped for photon. But this relation is reflexive, so for an observer travelling with the photon it appears the universe has stopped everywhere. ...
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Frequency Of Light

I am confused on few topics... What is meant by "Frequency of Light"? Does the Photon(s) vibrate, that is known as its frequency? If the Photons vibrate, then they have a specific frequency, then ...
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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 ...
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What is a photon's speed inside a dieletric?

We know that EM waves are slowed down in a dielectric. But at what speed does the photons that make up the wave travel? Do they always travel at the speed $c$, but colliding/being absorbed and ...
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How fat is Feynman’s photon?

According to my calculations, it is a lot skinnier than Airy’s photon, but still a whole lot fatter than a straight line. So, how does a photon get from point A to Point B? The ray optics ...
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Confusion regarding photons?

I'm still in high school, and while I can't complain about the quality of my teachers (all of them have done at least a bachelor, some a masters) I usually am cautious to believe what they say ...
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295 views

Photons, no energy? [duplicate]

I am only 14, so I don't know much about physics, and I would appreciate help on this topic. A photon, is said to have 0 mass. However, they carry energy, as electromagnetic radiation. Albert ...
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Redshifted photons

When a photon is emitted from a far away source and then measured by an observer, there is a loss of energy or redshift which takes place. Why does this happen? I have read this similar post, however ...
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Does photon have size measurement because of its particle nature

Does photon have size measurement because of its particle nature like electron's 3.86*10^-13m etc..
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If photon energies are continuous and atomic energy levels are discrete, how can atoms absorb photons?

If photon energies are continuous and atomic energy levels are discrete, how can atoms absorb photons? The probability of a photon having just the right amount of energy for an atomic transition is ...
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Is there a maximum amount of photons that can exist in a certain amount of space?

If you have a set amount of space, lets say 10 cubic centimeters, and you would be able to trap photons in there. If you would then add more and more photons to that space, could you then go on ...
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How photons move along with EM wave?

So the wave moves like. a wave, it moves up and down, up and down. But how do photons move? Do they follow the same path or do they just go straight forward without oscillating?
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Does the electromagnetic field “spin”?

Due to electron "spin", a small magnetic field is produced. Maxwell's equations imply that magnetic fields are due to changes in electric fields. Is the magnetic field produced then because the ...
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1answer
76 views

Any suggestions for units conversion? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Photometer: measured Irradiance L converted to photon rate I am conducting a experiment where stimulus output of $470\ nm$ is measured by a radiometer at $30\ \mu W\ ...
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Compton Scattering

Compton Scattering essentially states that when a photon of a given wavelength hits an electron the energy level of the electron changes and the photon has its wavelength changed. This seems to be ...
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Graviton and photons interaction

If one believes in the theory of gravitons then by viewing a black hole you see gravitons affect photons. This in turn leads to the conclusion that force carrier's mass equivalences allow them to be ...
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Specific electron energy gap values $E_{i+1}-E_i$ vs. photons with arbitrary energy $\hbar \omega$

The energy levels of electrons in an atom are quantized $E_i$. A photon of a specific momentum $\vec p$ and energy $$\omega=(E_{i+1}-E_i)/\hbar$$ hits an atom and gets absorbed. Okay now say the ...
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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
62 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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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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912 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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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 ...