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 a single photon always circularly polarized?

While trying to understand polarization in quantum field theory, I wondered how a single photon could go through a linear polarizer. I found a paper which asked "Is a single photon always circularly ...
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1answer
62 views

What role does wavelength play in the identity of a photon? [duplicate]

According to this question: What determines color -- wavelength or frequency? It is the energy, and thus the frequency of a photon $E=hf$, that determines where it lies in the electromagnetic ...
5
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1answer
221 views

How does one account for the momentum of an absorbed photon?

Suppose I have an atom in its ground state $|g⟩$, and it has an excited state $|e⟩$ sitting at an energy $E_a=\hbar\omega_0$ above it. To want to excite the atom, one generally uses a photon of ...
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1answer
97 views

What is a Lagrangian of a photon? [duplicate]

In sense of classical mechanics+special relativity what is lagrangian of a photon? Lagrangian of a relativistic massive particle is as follows: $$ L_{massive}= -mc\sqrt{c^2-v^2} $$ So is it a zero?
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1answer
48 views

How does localization affect interferometry?

A classic setup (I suppose it's classic) in introductory quantum mechanics has a single photon passing through a double slitted grating. Directly across each slit of the grating is a device that can ...
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3answers
132 views

Why can't we see virtual photons? [closed]

If photons are the carriers for the electromagnetic force, then why can we not see electromagnetic fields, given that photons are involved in this interaction?
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1answer
65 views

Einstein's 1905 “Concerning an Heuristic…emission and transformation of light”

I'm currently attempting to read Einstein's annus mirabilis papers, starting with his introduction of the quantization of light in the paper: "Concerning an Heuristic Points of View Toward the ...
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0answers
49 views

Inconsistency in illustration of double slit experiment?

So I have 2 questions: 1) In the following drawing, it seems to me that for a concentration spot to show up in the center of the receiver (orange dotted lines), the width of the emitter must be ...
1
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1answer
63 views

Uncertainty in the average of a series of photon counting measurements

I'm a bit stuck on a problem relating to statistics in photon counting. I'm measuring a spectra with a spectrometer and can set a measurement time and number of times to repeat the measurement in ...
0
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1answer
115 views

how do photons move with respect to EM (I'd like to picture wave magnitudes frame by frame) [duplicate]

(I'm aware treating photon as particle and talking about its position is not exactly, conceptually right but I think it makes sense, at least in the point of view of a beginner. Please just assume ...
1
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1answer
29 views

Interpretation of different values of antibunching

When the frequency resolved second order correlation function at zero time delay, $$g^{(2)}(\omega_1, \omega_2) = \frac{\langle a_1^\dagger a_1(t) a_2^\dagger a_2(t)\rangle}{\langle a_1^\dagger ...
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1answer
30 views

Power and frequency of photons and its relationship with biological safety

I understand that x-rays are more dangerous than radio waves because they are of higher energy, since they have higher frequency. However, it’s less dangerous to stand near a radio station with a ...
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1answer
37 views

Interactions of light with the air

This is an interesting thought which I had when driving home today looking in my wing mirrors. If you are driving a car and looking in your, say, right wing mirror, you see an image of the car ...
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2answers
174 views

Why is the Spin of the photon neglected?

We know photons have spin s=1. However, in Nuclear physics, the conservation of angular momentum in case of Gamma transitions is employed as follows: $$\vec J_i=\vec J_f+\vec L$$ where $J_i$ is the ...
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3answers
113 views

Does orbital angular mometum has no meaning for single photons?

In the quantization of free electromagnetic field, it is found that the left-circularly polarised photons corrsponds to helicity $\vec{S}\cdot\hat p=+\hbar$ and right-circularly polarised photons ...
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0answers
30 views

High energy photon collapsing into its own black hole

If I did not mess up the math, a photon with a wave length of $$ \lambda = \sqrt{2\pi}\, l_p$$ where $l_p$ is the Planck length has a mass (energy/$c^2$) of $$ m = \sqrt{2\pi}\, m_p$$ where $m_p$ ...
2
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4answers
81 views

the relation between frequancy and energy of EM waves

In quantum theory, $$E=\hbar w$$ In classical theory, we have the Poynting vector: $$\vec{S_\space}=\frac{1}{\mu_0}\vec{E_0}\times\vec{B_0}{\cos}^2(kr-wt)$$ given S is energy flux density (the ...
0
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2answers
79 views

Velocity of photon when changing direction [duplicate]

We know the speed of a photon is constant. Yet when any other object changes direction, its velocity must go to zero. Thus, my question is how does a photon avoid this? I assume that to change ...
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2answers
81 views

How energy of a photon or EM wave has something to do with frequency?

While I was thinking what exactly meant by energy in quantum mechanics, I was quite shocked by the fact that it is proportional to frequency. $$E=hf$$ Given the fundamental definition of energy in ...
0
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1answer
99 views

Number of photons

When a light source blinks, it "creates" a ball of photons, expanding by speed of light. How many photons are there in one "layer" of the ball (no matter how long is the source active)? Is it a ...
0
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1answer
60 views

Why does photon have to travel in sideways to hit the light clock?

From this article, Let’s say Alice is holding a light clock, and Bob is watching her run by, while holding it, with speed V. Alice is standing still (according to Alice), and the time,$ \tau$, ...
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3answers
44 views

In diffraction process, how to describe the edge in the sense of particle-wave duality?

In diffraction experiments photons show behind an edge intensity distributions in the form of fringes. It seems to be without doubt that the edge is a part of the game. My question is, how to describe ...
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1answer
324 views

Källén–Lehmann spectral representation for massless particle?

Is it possible to write down a KL-like formula for massless particles (in particular, the photon)? The usual proof of the theorem assumes (see ...
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1answer
36 views

Are there any other tests demonstrating wave properties besides interference and diffraction?

Are there any other tests demonstrating wave properties besides interference and diffraction? How about refraction? Does it show wave properties also?
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1answer
88 views

How can photons/particles/objects/things be massless? [closed]

How could we say a photon be massless? A thing which has no mass is seem to be just like it does not exist or we say it is nothing. It should be very less but we can't say "massless". Everything which ...
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1answer
36 views

Why we do not consider trajectories for photons/lightlike curves/radiation? I am having a term confusion

Lately I have asked a question about the trajectory of photons and almost everyone told me that I shouldn't talk about trajectories. Also people talked about photons, lightlike curves, light, ...
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4answers
101 views

How does light travel?

How does light travel, does this not contradict the idea that going the speed of light stops time? Because if going the speed of light stops time and light goes the speed of light shouldn't it be ...
0
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1answer
20 views

How does an object in vacuum loose its temperature? [duplicate]

Well, it radiates in the infrared, I guess. But how exactly are these photons created? The atoms have some kinetic energy, which makes up the temperature. So while the atoms or molecules jitter a bit ...
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2answers
313 views

Why does wavelength determine the energy of a photon?

The professor for my first-year university chemistry class remarked that the wavelength of a photon determines its energy. Why is it that the case? I've only completed high-school physics so far, so ...
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0answers
27 views

Does a Description with Photons as Force Carriers Apply for Non-Radiative Systems?

What is the full quantum mechanical description of the statement from classical electromagnetism "the electric field of a uniformly charged infinite flat plane is constant"? By "full" I mean that I'm ...
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3answers
86 views

Justification of $P_{\text{photon}}=E/c$ in derivation of $E=mc^2$

I recently was reading up on the derivation of $E=mc^2$. Now, I came across this derivation at this link. I noticed that several lines into the derivation they throw in the equation ...
4
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2answers
88 views

How photons can emerge quantized if their cause is continuous?

I know that photons are quantized, they are not continuous. But they are created by an accelerated charge. So how is it possible to have a quantized outcome from a symmetric continuous event? I mean ...
7
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1answer
544 views

Do photons decay as they travel in free space

From maxwell's equations, it occurred to me that photons are stable. Decrease in electric field creates magnetic field and vice versa and somehow there is a harmony that allows photon to exist as long ...
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1answer
96 views

Do photons have no mass? [duplicate]

My Quantum Mechanics' teacher said today on the class that photons don't have mass. I was puzzled because I knew that photons have momentum. If a particle hasn't mass then its momentum sould be $0$ ...
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0answers
37 views

Is there a theoretical derivation of Kim's delayed choice quantum eraser?

Is there a theoretical derivation of Kim's delayed choice quantum eraser? The original paper only shows the experimental data.
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0answers
53 views

Can a molecule be ionized by absorbing the energy of more than 1 photon?

I'm wondering if a molecule can absorb more then 1 photon before releasing a photon. The reason I'm asking is I would like to ionize a molecule with light but the frequency of light this molecule ...
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2answers
140 views

What is Size of Photon?

Is there any size of photon if so what is it? And also which particle had smallest size / radius / volume considering all of the matter.
3
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3answers
140 views

'size' of a photon

What's the smallest apperture a photon can pass through? I mean with no transmission at all. I'm pretty sure I saw long ago an experiment when they were reducing the size of a hole in a gold film and ...
1
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1answer
66 views

Can photons move in circles?

A photon can travel between two points A and B in a straight line. However, there is a chance it will go in a slightly curved path. Is there a chance the photon will turn around? Does this mean that ...
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0answers
30 views

Problem in deriving the inner energy of a photon gas

We know that photons, as bosonic particles, obey Bose-Einstein statistics with $$ \langle n_{\mathbf{k} \sigma} \rangle = \frac{1}{\exp(\hbar \omega_k/k_B T) - 1} $$ the average number of photons in a ...
3
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1answer
79 views

If a photon doesn't necessarily travel in a straight line, doesn't it defy the law of cons. of momentum?

I just finished reading Richard Feynman's lectures on Quantum Electrodynamics (QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter) and it fascinated me. However, there's an unanswered question I have from ...
4
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2answers
719 views

What is going on in the photon-photon scattering Feynman diagram?

I understand the basic concepts of a Feynman diagram, but I don't get what is going on here. I have named the photons ABCD and the fermions 1234 for clarity. I'm going to assume that the vertical ...
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2answers
2k views

When an atom emits a photon are all directions equally likely?

When an atom has an electron in an excited energy level and it transitions to a lower level it emits a photon. What direction is it likely to emit the photon in? Are all directions equally likely, ...
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1answer
91 views

Is the relativistic mass of a photon non-zero?

A photon has rest $m=0$, but it is never at rest, so it has no rest mass, then the relativistic mass is according to me non-zero because: $E = \text{work}=m \times \text{acceleration} \times ...
2
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3answers
191 views

Is it possible that photons lose a small amount of energy over time to become redshifted instead of being redshifted because of an expanding universe? [duplicate]

Can photons lose a small amount of energy over time when traveling large distances due to either weak interactions with magnetic fields (Faraday Effect) or due to the way all objects cool and give off ...
2
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1answer
52 views

All possible photons wavelengths [duplicate]

As far as I know all photons come from electrons loosing their energy. I remember from physics and chemistry classes, that electron can loose or get only certain determined amount of energy. Also I ...
4
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2answers
116 views

Do individual rays of light lose energy via the inverse square law?

We've all heard of the inverse square law, but apparently that refers to the flux or intensity or number of photons hitting an imaginary surface area. This is not exactly what I want to ask about. ...
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2answers
67 views

Photons have a property from the matter they interact with?

When a photon leaves its source and hits our eye, our brain sees the source of the photon (Like a lightbulb or a star). When a photon is ejected from its source and bounces off of an object we see the ...
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1answer
25 views

Are the produced entangled photons in type II SPDC always in phase?

Are the produced entangled photons in type II SPDC (spontaneous parametric down conversion) always in phase? In Kim's delayed choice quantum eraser, two entangled photons are produced by a BBQ ...
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1answer
49 views

Photon energies and attenuation [closed]

I hope you can help. I am trying to understand which attenuation effect (photoelectric, compton scatter and pair production) is dominant at which level of photon energy and why. The levels are 10keV, ...