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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Linear polarization measurement - what QM observable is measured?

My understanding is that photon can have spin +-1 along propagation direction, corresponding to two circular polarizations. Linear polarization is superposition of two. Since one can measure linear ...
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can we detect the photons in the interaction of two charged bodies?

if the interaction of two charged bodies is through the photon exchange: 1) how much is the energy of these photons and how do we calculate their energies? 2) can these photons be detected by a photon ...
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Do twice more atoms absorb twice more photons?

Let's assume you have a photon detector that detect individual photons striking it when exposed to a weak light source. Now let's assume you somehow managed to make a denser detector from the same ...
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293 views

Isn't the Coulomb interaction a photon interaction between two charges?

Isn't the Coulomb interaction a photon interaction between two charges? if yes then what does the following text mean? (Many-particle Physics by Gerald D. Mahan.)
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178 views

What's the connection between the spin of the photon and the polarisation of light?

In view of wave-particle duality, the spin of the photon must have a counterpart in the wave picture: is this polarisation?
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Is $\phi_n =\left\langle \vec r | n \right\rangle $ the photon wave function?

I am a bit confused about this issue and I am still not clear whether is there is a photon wave function or not. Since we use Fock states $| n \rangle$ to represent the state of a quantized ...
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What is the principle behind the use of one LASER for optical pumping of Rubidium in presence of magnetic field?

How can we use a single LASER for optical pumping of rubidium in the presence of magnetic field as the zeeman levels are degenerate in the presence of magnetic field and how to decide upon the ...
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41 views

Is my representation of $\varphi$ Work function correct?

I am a middle-school so my understanding of physics may not be as solid as you professional physicists but never the less thought its worth a try to learn more. I read about photo-electric effect by ...
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157 views

How far back can you trace a photon?

You have a photomultiplier tube pointed at a distant star, exactly 100 light years away. It's perfectly set up so that nothing can get into the tube unless it came from that star. Every hour or so, ...
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105 views

photon absorption and emission

I was reading a book (Sears Zemansky) about this subject but I didn't understand something of an example, and this is that according to me there should be a process of emission for each of absorption (...
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55 views

Red shifted photons lost energy in which form?

Red shifted photons lost energy in which form? Photons which have experienced a change in frequency (red shift) due to gravity(or other red shifting affects), have necessarily lost energy, total ...
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72 views

If photons don't have charge, why are they deflected by charged black holes?

If photons don't have charge, why are they deflected by charged black holes? According to quantum electrodynamics, photons don't have electric or magnetic fields either.
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208 views

Is photon direction affected by a strong electric field?

Is photon direction affected by a strong electric field? Just like gravity pulls light?.
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Do like charges separating by a small distance release a photon?

I believe from earlier physics that an electron moving from higher to a lower potential (e.g. higher energy state to a lower) can release a photon. Given two like charges -- two electrons for example ...
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Differential cross section for photon scattering on fixed magnetic dipole

Photon with energy $\hbar\omega$ scattering on a fixed particle with magnetic momentum $\vec{\mu} = \mu \vec s$. How to calculate a differential and total cross section for the photon. I've found in ...
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665 views

How does gravity bend light [duplicate]

Assuming photons have no mass, as I believe they don't, how does gravity affect photons in order to bend them?
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61 views

Can a two-levels photon pair be created either entangled or not entangled? [closed]

I am learning about experiments on Quantum Optics and Quantum Tomography in order to understand how to measure two qubits with an arbitrary quantum state of their polarization degrees of freedom. ...
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321 views

Recoil from a photon gun

Suppose you have a laser gun or a gun that shoots high frequency photons. Now according to Newton's laws there should be an equal and opposite reaction. So the question is - Will there be a recoil ...
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2k views

Smallest Wavelength of light possible? [duplicate]

I was thinking about blue-shifting of light and I couldn't help my self but think about the limits of blue shifting mechanism and since we know energy of a photon is directly proportional to the ...
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114 views

In the Pound-Rebka experiment, does light lose energy?

In the Pound–Rebka experiment the redshift / blueshift of photons is measured in small distances. This experiment one explain by the influence of gravitational field on the photon: "When the photon ...
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754 views

Does the work function of metal depend upon the intensity of light?

does work function of metal depend upon the intensity of light?or does it depend upon the nature of metal?And according to my perception its depend upon both intensity and nature of light.
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3answers
678 views

How do two electrical charged particles know to repel or attract each other?

Now per QED, electrical charges interactions are effected by photons. Suppose you are one of the two charges. How do you know to attract or repel the other charge? In other words, how do you know if ...
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How to rebut denials of the existence of photons? [duplicate]

Recently I have encountered several engineers who do not “believe in” photons. They believe experiments such as the photoelectric effect can be explained with classical EM fields + quantized energy ...
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212 views

Does positron-electron annihilation preserve enough info to reverse exactly

An electron-positron annihilation can produce a pair of gamma rays. In the reverse process, known as pair production, can the gamma rays carry enough information to determine the resulting ...
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67 views

Kinetic theory of photon gasses

I have recently attempted to derive a fully functional non-handwavy derivation of the photon gas energy density without having to interpret some mass term such as $mc^2$ as the "photon energy". My ...
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103 views

Gravity's effects on photons moving away from source

As a photon has no mass and must always have velocity c, if I were to shine a laser straight up (so Earth's gravity would be pulling straight back on it), what would the effect be on the photon? It ...
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60 views

Defining photons

I've read every book for my course and all of them describe photons as wave-packets/"bursts" of the EM wave. I just can't appreciate this view of photons. From what I've gathered on photons: Photons ...
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143 views

Photoelectric effect intensity

I understand the PE effect quite well but I'm failing to understand one thing. Intensity is the amount of energy per second incident to a given area. So can you can increase the intensity by either ...
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64 views

Structure of white light? [duplicate]

White light is a mixture of different wavelengths. If so what will be the structure of a beam of white light ? Is there a separation between different colours ? what does it actually mean ? Does a ...
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30 views

Photon absorption by a hydrogen atom : [duplicate]

How does the photon absorption takes place in a hydrogen? The classical mechanics shows the absorption of photonic energy resulting in the excitation of atom. Intuitively, a photon with frequency ...
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1answer
286 views

Is it possible for photon to run in circle by its own gravity?

I have heard that gravity came from energy and momentum so photon has gravity too. Then there are theory state that photon has energy tied to frequency. So if a photon has very very high frequency ...
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427 views

Do virtual photons have a frequency?

Real photons do have frequencies, which is directly related to its energy. So, can virtual photons that take part in EM interactions have frequencies too? When my hand is pressed up against a glass ...
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3answers
3k views

Is a photon really massless? [duplicate]

If a photon travels at a speed of light and its massless then it must have no energy but this is not the case as we see in photo electric effect. Also help me to know what are photons made of, how are ...
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73 views

Photon and Wave

There are some aspects of light that can be easily demonstrated by using the concept of wave. However I really want to know what it would be like in term of photon point of view. So I have some ...
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99 views

Can all energetic photon excite an electron?

Consider a hydrogen atom, to excite the electron to a higher orbit, it should interact with photons of energy equal to that of the energy difference between the two states. If the energy of photon is ...
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295 views

What happens to the energy of photons when two light waves with plane wavefront interferes destructively? [duplicate]

When I began learning about optical interference, I came to know about destructive interference in which light waves cancel each other. How the energy is still conserved ? I found that the ...
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518 views

Why doesn't a ray of light have enough momentum to make us fall?

Why can't light be so powerful that it has enough momentum to make us fall?
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122 views

At what point are electromagnetic waves generated from an oscillating magnetic field?

I recently learned about how an oscillating current, flowing through a looped wire can generate an oscillating magnetic field. I also came into some sources saying this is how antennas generate EM ...
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70 views

What is “Lifetime Intensity” in photoluminescence?

I'm reading an article "Surface plasmon enhanced Förster resonance energy transfer between the CdTe quantum dots". Link The reasearchers are writing about increase in "lifetime intensity" and even ...
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279 views

Describing a single photon with creation and annihilation operators

Since I am not fully aware of the creation and annihilation operator formalism for single photons, I want to ask, if the following is correct: I am considering a photon in the vacuum which travel ...
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1answer
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What happens when an electron and an EMR meets?

The electron on an atom gets excited to a higher level when some how the energy is transferred to the electron. But I can't understand it. I'm no expert of physics. What happens when the electron in ...
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593 views

What exactly are light waves?

We know a sound wave is a disturbance that moves through a medium when particles of the medium set neighboring particles in motion. And using the pressure variations we can plot a pressure/time graph ...
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373 views

How noisy are photon detectors?

I have a single photon detector and $N$ photons per second arrive at the detector. Then something happens and the number of incoming photons per second changes by the factor of $\alpha$. So now $(1+\...
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52 views

When optically pumping a lasing gain medium with another laser, does Stimulated, or Spontaneous emission dominate?

Much of my reading seems to indicate that laser pumping results in a fluorescent stokes shift but somehow photon vector is maintained. I've seen the phrase "Spontaneous Fluorescence by Stimulated ...
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312 views

Photons as fundamental particles

Is there any theory, current or debunked, that considers the photon to be a non elementary particle? That is to say, is the photon just the photon or is there possibly more to the photon than just ...
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265 views

Can we find the definite path of electron?

Light can crisscross in all directions. Source: Can photons pass through each other? In a given volume, we can have light throughout, such that there is no space with no light in it (with the ...
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Particle collision: relationship of incident and reflected particles [duplicate]

A photon traveling through a curved fiber optic cable advances by reflection, yes? If each reflection is the product of a collision between the incident photon and, say, a wall particle that ...
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2answers
906 views

Why the photon can't produce electron and positron in space or in vacuum?

$$\frac{hc}{\lambda} = K_e + K_p + 2m_e c^2$$ could be the energy conservation equation for a photon of wavelength $\lambda$ decaying into a electron and positron with kinetic energies $K_e$ and $K_p$ ...
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309 views

Can photons pass through each other?

The below passage has been extracted form the book "Feyman's lectures on Physics. Vol I" "...We have heard that idea so long that we accept it, and it is almost impossible for us to realize that ...
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128 views

Single photon pulse and its electromagnet field

I describe the temporal distribution of a single photon pulse in an interferometer experiment in vacuum via the Gaussian function $\psi$: $$ \psi(t) = \tfrac{1}{(2\pi\sigma^2)^{1/4}} \text e^{-\frac{t^...