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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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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836 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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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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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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83 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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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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287 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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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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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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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
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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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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; ...
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How is an ideal mirrored box of photons distinguishable from massive particles?

Suppose you have an ideal mirrored box that contains enough photons as to have a relativistic mass equivalent to the [rest mass + kinetic energy] of an electron. In other words, the two systems have ...
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877 views

Why is there a photon every millimeter on earth coming from a star millions of light years away?

I've been having this confusing thought for so long now it would be amazing if someone could answer me. Imagine this asterisk * . As you see, from the center point, lines go outwards, just like a ...
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4answers
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What happens when a photon hits a mirror?

When a photon of light hits a mirror does the exact same photon of light bounce back or is it absorbed then one with the same properties emitted? If the same one is bounced back does it's velocity ...
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1answer
175 views

polarization and frequency of a single photon

I believe that we can take a single photon state as a tensor product of a frequency Hilbert space (infinite dimension) and a polarization Hilbert space (dim 2). Does this mean we can measure the ...
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3k views

Does the uncertainty principle apply to photons?

Wikipedia claims the following: More generally, the normal concept of a Schrödinger probability wave function cannot be applied to photons. Being massless, they cannot be localized without being ...
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2answers
188 views

Is it possible to change the path of a single photon?

In other words, if a photon is emitted from source, is it possible to change its course en route either by introducing a gravitational lensing or some sort to change the road it travels (spacetime) ...
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1answer
601 views

Photons and uncertainty principle

Let's assume we have a perfect single-photon source: a device emitting exactly one photon at a time, with defined energy and direction. Let's shoot a photon: we know exactly the position of the photon ...
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Why do photons add mass to a black hole?

Why do photons add mass to a black hole? When photons are taken irreversibly into a black hole does the mass of the BH increase?
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Why do photons travel?

Photons travel at the speed of light. Is there a known explanation of this phenomenon, and if yes, what is it? Edit: To be clearer, my question is why do photons travel at all. Why do they have a ...
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How is light affected by gravity?

Light is clearly affected by gravity, just think about a black hole, but light supposedly has no mass and gravity only affects objects with mass. On the other hand, if light does have mass then ...
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1answer
459 views

Expression for the (relativistic) mass of the photon [closed]

I started learning a bit ahead from an old physics book, and they were discussing the photoelectric effect and after that Planck's hypotheses and energy quantas. The book said that the mass of a ...
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Mechanism of pair production and annihilation of matter

Pair production is where an energetic photon on its interaction with strong electric field surrounding a nucleus produces an electron-positron pair. Annihilation is its converse where an ...
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1answer
243 views

The electron jumps and lets loose photons

Where is the source of the photon. If the photon propagates from within the electrons transit does this point to some sort of field? Does the energy come from a boundary being broken in laymens ...
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5answers
200 views

Photoelectric effect without light rays

For electromagnetic waves we have the photon association, one imagines light as particles "flying around". What is the analogy for a constant electrical field, one which doesn't change in time ...
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510 views

Compton scattering angle

Say a photon hits a free electron at rest. I understand that there is a formula for the Compton scattering when the photon is scattered with an angle $\theta$, but I don't understand what determines ...
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Compton scattering vs. photoelectric effect

Say a photon hits some atom. What determines whether there will be a photoelectric effect (photon is absorbed, electron is released) or whether there will be a Compton scattering (the photon is ...
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3answers
932 views

If electromagnetic fields give charge to particles, do photons carry charge?

As I understand these two statements: An electromagnetic field gives particles charge A photon is a quantum of electromagnetic field It must mean that a photon carries charge. But I guess it isn't ...
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How do photons travel at a speed that should be impossible to attain?

If it requires infinite amount of energy to travel at the speed of light then how photon attains this speed? Its source is never infinitely sourced.
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369 views

PV cell for invisible spectrum only

Is it possible to make a photovoltaic cell that would only absorb the invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, while letting visible light pass through or bounce off its surface? I guess that ...
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1answer
141 views

Is it possible to send a single photon from a distant planet (say Mars) and detect its arrival at a site on Earth?

My question is specifically whether there exists a technique by which a single photon can be "tagged" or "encoded" in such a way that it can traverse our atmosphere and arrive at some sort of detector ...
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81 views

polarization - quantum point of view

polarization could be easily imagined in classical model: direction of E vector. is there any simple image for polarization of single photon?
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148 views

Does this photon emission problem even make sense?

I came across this question in an introductory physics course awhile back and I never got over it: "A hydrogen atom has an electron in the n=5 orbit, what is the maximum number of photons that might ...
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Can a photon be made to orbit a known (or undiscovered theoretical) body?

Can a photon through some process be made to orbit a celestial or any other object? Two follow-up questions. Can this orbit be described as the photon crossing its own path. Will this ...
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Is it possible to create an entangled pair of photons if they originate initially from operations at two separate sites?

My question is whether or not it would be possible to create an entangled state between two photons that do not share the same initial photon source and their respective sources are separated by an ...
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834 views

Frequency and wavelength of photons

I try to better understand how electromagnetic radiation works. So I have some questions. If an antenna emits at 100MHz (the charges on the antenna oscillate at 100MHz) what frequency will have the ...
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2answers
506 views

Electron model under Maxwell's theory

I was not able to recall my memories, so: What is the formula that states the frequency of electrons revolving around nucleus is equal to the frequency of light (or photon) emitted (or radiated)? (I ...
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Does $p=mc$ hold for photons?

Known that $E=hf$, $p=hf/c=h/\lambda$, then if $p=mc$, where $m$ is the (relativistic) mass, then $E=mc^2$ follows directly as an algebraic fact. Is this the case?
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Compton scattering multiple wavelengths?

The formula given for compton scattering shows that when x-ray of one specific wavelength hits carbon or some materials, emitted x-ray will be of one new specific wavelength. However, according to ...
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1answer
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Does light photons have jerk? [duplicate]

While searching in web regarding whether rate of change of acceleration is possible or not; I came across the concept of jerk. I want to know whether photons which can be accelerated can also have ...
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What are electromagnetic fields made of?

I am trying to understand electromagnetic fields so I have two question related to them. What is a electromagnetic field made of? Is it made of photons / virtual photons? How about a static electric ...
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377 views

How does one calculate the quantum propagator for a massless photon

So I want to calculate the quantum massless photon propagator. To do this, I write $$ A_\mu(x) = \sum\limits_{i=1}^2 \int \frac{d^3p}{(2\pi)^3} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2\omega_p}} \left( \epsilon_\mu^i (p) ...
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Why/how does an electron emit a photon when decelerating?

I've had two special relativity courses so far but none really gave me a clear description of the process.
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Why does photon have only two possible eigenvalues of helicity?

Photon is a spin-1 particle. Were it massive, its spin projected along some direction would be either 1, -1, or 0. But photons can only be in an eigenstate of $S_z$ with eigenvalue $\pm 1$ (z as the ...
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1answer
83 views

Computing gravitational deflection of light knowing $\phi$ and $-\nabla \phi$?

I have a 3D cartesian grid an in each grid I know the gravitational potential $\phi$ and the 3D gravitational field $-\nabla \phi$ (with a Newtonian approach). How to compute the path of a photon in ...
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1answer
197 views

Exist some relationship between irradiance units and wavelenght of the incident sunlight?

Exist some relationship between irradiance units and wavelength of the incident sunlight? What about irradiance? I want to establish a relationship between wavelength and irradiance, because I would ...
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1answer
223 views

Will photon's energy be exactly same after million years?

If photon will travel for million years without collisions, what subtle effects can be accumulated ? Gravity fields affect trajectory, but is energy completely intact after fly by ? Photon has its ...
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How can a Photon have a “frequency”?

I picture light ray as a composition of photons with an energy equal to the frequency of the light ray according to $E=hf$. Is this the good way to picture this? Although I can solve elementary ...
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Optical Tunneling

Is there light tunneling taking place in optically transparent mediums like glass? wherein light travels a larger path in these mediums without interacting with atoms and without any change in ...