"Photon" is the name given to particles of light in the quantum mechanical understanding. In interaction where the classical and quantum mechanical understandings of light agree they are fully equivalent to electromagnetic waves.

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Decay of metastable state: spontaneous vs. stimulated emission.

I have a question about the upper laser level (the metastable level) in a 3-level laser system. I will call the ground level of the 3-level laser system by "g" and the metastable level by "m". The ...
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Casimir Effect and polarization of photons

I have read Casimir's derivation of the Casimir fore between 2 parallel plates and have been told that in reality, the Casimir force should be twice as large due to the 2 polarization states of ...
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Is compton scattering only effective by x rayphotons and gamma ray photons

Can Compton scattering work with any other forms types of photons, and why was the the Compton Scattering experiment only done with x ray photons?
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The physical meaning of electromagnetic wave

What, fundamentally, is an electromagnetic wave? As far as I know, all wave phenomena are derivations of an oscillating processes, e.g. particles vibrating in a medium. I can't imagine a wave process ...
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No magnetic dipole moment for photon

Electrically neutral particles such as neutrinos can have nonvanishing magnetic dipole moments. Spin-1 particles, e.g., deuterium nuclei, can also have dipole moments. Googling seems to show that the ...
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How is wavelength actually related to space (/distance)?

Is a photon of 400nm in wavelength "smaller" than a photon of 1km in wavelegth?
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If photons carry 1 spin unit, why does visible light seem to have no angular momentum?

Spin 1 silver atoms have a definite spin axis, e.g. up or down along an axis labeled X. This in turn means that they carry angular momentum in an overt, visible fashion. However, spin 1 photons do ...
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What's the refractive index of birefringence material for unporlarized light?

I know following facts: Interference is quantum mechanical phenomena that can be done even by single photon. Two orthogonally polarized light do not interference. Imagine Mach-Zehnder ...
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Is the electromagnetic spectrum discrete?

I'm just starting to learn physics and I have a question (that is probably stupid.) I learned that energy levels that the bound electron can have are discrete. I also learned that when an electron ...
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How do we know photons have spin 1?

Electrons have spin 1/2, and as they are charged, they also have an associated magnetic moment, which can be measured by an electron beam splitting up in an inhomogeneous magnetic field or through the ...
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164 views

Is there a way to increase photon energy by decreasing its wavelength?

Can I decrease a photon's wavelength by a medium or a vacuum? Are there other ways of decreasing the wavelength?
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243 views

The Quantization of Photon Energies

Despite Planck's constant being in $E=hf$, it would appear to me that energy is still not discrete, as frequency can be an fraction of a Hertz that one wants. How does this imply that electromagnetic ...
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Photon mass and life time

In this article, the author tried to explain that, Einstein's theory may not valid because he says "photon can decay because it may have minute amount of mass". I'm totally in a conundrum state that ...
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Do cosmologically redshifted photons violate energy conservation? [duplicate]

I understand that, due to the Doppler effect, different frames of reference moving at different velocities relative to each other will measure different photon frequencies and hence energy. The ...
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Adiabatic quantum evolution of single photon or biphoton system

The prerequisite for adiabatic quantum evolution of single photon or biphoton system is as follows. We have to prepare a single photon or biphoton quantum system which has a ground and a higher level ...
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307 views

Electromagnetic Momentum

My book says : The fact that electromagnetic radiation of energy carried momentum was known from classical theory and from the experiments of Nichols and Hull in 1903. This relation is also consistent ...
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84 views

Why does static electricity not make a charged body reflective?

If mirrors work by deflecting photons by free electrons in surface layer of mirror, so it could be possible to take a glass pane and provide it with extra free electrons by giving it massive static ...
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Is there spatial data loss in light passing through transparent crystal?

There is perfect parallelepipedal bar made of transparent crystal with cubic lattice floating in vacuum. Faces of parallelepiped are parallel to lattice axis. There is image, forming checkerboard ...
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128 views

How would it be to live in a very small universe, let´s say 20x20 square meters?

Let´s consider a curved universe that is very small, say 20 square meters and not expanding. If you stood at the middle of this tiny universe and looked forward, you wouldn´t see any walls, since it ...
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Can visible light be emitted from a non-thermal source?

I was reading about thermal and non-thermal radiation and I was wondering if visible light can be emitted from a non-thermal source?
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Slowing down light in an opaque crystal for a whole minute

I just read about a team of physicists at the University of Darmstadt, Germany, that managed to completely slow down a beam of light that traveled through an opaque crystal (article here). How is it ...
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264 views

Calculating an energy of an electron with known De Broglie wavelength (why can't we calculate it similar than we do it for a photon)

Lets say we have an electron with known De Broglie wavelength $\lambda$. Can anyone justify or explain why we calculate its energy $E$ using 1st the De Broglie relation $\lambda = h/p$ to get momentum ...
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197 views

GHz rate single photon counting

The fluorescent lifetimes of molecules used in biological applications tend to be in the sub-ns to a few ns timescale (let's say 0.8-4). The most direct methods to measure lifetimes typically involve ...
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Silicon Laser and Laser mirrors

If I will place Silicon as the active medium to create a Silicon Laser. Why I cannot achieve Lasing ? secondly, why do we always consider Laser mirrors in an standing position along the optical axis ...
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Polarization in Lasers and Liquid Crystal Displays

When we talk about Polarization in Lasers we mean placement of the crystal at Brewster angle to block the s-polarization and only the p-polarization will survive. How do we compare the term ...
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How do you build a simple low cost single photon detector?

Rather than buying a 4K-10K single photon detector, I was wondering if there were simple ways to build a simple single photon detector, of decent quality...
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Laser Transverse/Longitudnal Modes

When we say Laser transverse modes. Is that mean what we will get at the output spot of laser beam ? secondly In practice , what TEM01 or TEMnm means ?
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Energy of an EM wave compared to energy of a photon

Several posts on this forum ask the question about the role of amplitude in calculating the energy of an Em wave. This struck me as odd since I learned that E=hv. There is no amplitude in the Planck ...
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how can u split the Photon? [closed]

If any equations are there ,for split the light particle, means that i have a 1m length of light just consider that in that who can i split the light particle into 1/2 m length Pls tell
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Can a force stop a Photon since Photons have momentum and What does momentum mean when talking about massless particles?

Momentum measures how hard it is to stop an object. While Photons are massless they still have relativistic mass and energy. My question is can something stop photons other than being absorbed by ...
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Atom emitts a photon - what is the frequency of the energy of the photon?

Lets say I have an atom of known mass who goes from excited state to the ground state whose energy is $14.4 keV$ lower. I know that the emitted energy $14.4keV$ got converted into an energy of a ...
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123 views

Is it possible for a photon to be at rest? [duplicate]

I know it doesn't really make sense if looking at the photon from the wave point of view, but is there any law of physics which prohibits a photon from stopping completely? Thanks.
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Why does lightning emit light?

What exactly is causing the electric discharge coming from the clouds to emit light while traveling through the air. I've read and thought about it a little but with my current knowledge I cant really ...
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51 views

Photon propagation direction prediction possible after interacting with neutral hydrogen?

My current line of research deals a lot with hydrogen's Lyman-alpha emission and subsequent interactions of the Lyman-alpha photons with the surrounding hydrogen gas. My question is whether ...
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How does sun light after it has passed window's pane still heat me up?

I believe it is so because most of photons' energy has successfully passed the glass. But is it so? And how can I roughly estimate part of light's energy which will pass obstacles like glass? And how ...
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Do photoelectrons move fast enough to use special relativity? (+ homework)

What are the speeds of the photoelectrons which are knocked out of the metal during photoeffect? Do i have to use special relativity? I am having trouble solving a homework using relativity. But if ...
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How do individual photons make up an EM wave?

I'm trying to understand the connection between the wave model and the particle model for light. It's understood that the energy of a photon is given by E=hf, but from my understanding of fourier ...
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Can we see light as it 'interferes' with itself and produces the characteristic double-slit pattern?

This TED talk suggests that we can now watch as a beam of light propagates through a bottle filled with water. My question is: can we use this new technology to perhaps 'see' the photon as it makes ...
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Difference between $K_{\alpha}$, $K_{\beta}$ and binding energies

I'm having a small question regarding $K_{\alpha}$ and $K_{\beta}$ emissions. If I'm not mistaken this happens when there is a transition from the L shell to the K shell (Depending on the orbital), ...
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Virtual photons, what makes them virtual?

The wikipedia page "Force Carrier" says: The electromagnetic force can be described by the exchange of virtual photons. The virtual photon thing baffles me a little. I get that virtual particles ...
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Photon detection time in NMR rotating frame

I think of an NMR experiment, but with a single spin half nucleus initially set to the excited state. When the nucleus finally returns to its ground state, it will emit a photon. An observer in the ...
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Frame of reference of the photon? [duplicate]

In the frame of photon does time stop in the meaning that past future and present all happen together? If we have something with multiple outcomes which is realized viewed from such frame? Are all ...
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Can the photoelectric effect be explained without photons?

Lamb 1969 states, A misconception which most physicists acquire in their formative years is that the photoelectric effect requires the quantization of the electromagnetic field for its ...
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Why does the Sun feel hotter through a window?

I have this big window in my room that the Sun shines through every morning. When I wake up I usually notice that the Sunlight coming through my window feels hot. Much hotter than it normally does ...
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Photons: Collection of Wave Packets that produce a plane wave

Is it possible mathematically for photons, which behave as individual Gaussian wave packets, to combine in such a way that the approximate result is a plane wave at one particular frequency (i.e., the ...
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Born rule for photons: it works, but it shouldn't?

We can observe double-slit diffraction with photons, with light of such low intensity that only one photon is ever in flight at one time. On a sensitive CCD, each photon is observed at exactly one ...
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Equation for null geodesic around schwarzschild metric?

I'm trying to find the path of a photon around the Schwarzschild black hole, given its initial conditions. After much tribulation, I've basically given up on solving the equations by myself. I just ...
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How can we observe lights properties if it travels at the speed of light, or can we? [duplicate]

Special relativity says that anything moving (almost) at the speed of light will look like its internal clock has (almost) stopped from the perspective of a stationary observer. How do we see light as ...
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268 views

Discovery of $E=hf$?

How was the equation $E=hf$ discovered? Was the proportional expression between energy and frequency of light $E\propto f$ discovered only by experiment? Or is there some logical(theoretical) senses ...
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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 ...