"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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is a single photon a wave? Is it a wave packet?

How could it split and interfere? How could a wave packet, with many frequencies, be a photon with one freq.? Thank you very much.
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What Causes the Noise Floor of Modern CCDs?

CCDs are getting pretty good these days, but all systems are subject to noise. A typical value for a CCD seems to be 20 electrons RMS per pixel. This article from qsimaging.com says CCD Read ...
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52 views

How is a photon emission energy balance maintained?

How is a photon emission energy balance maintained ? If an electron is in motion across space at 260,000 kilometers per second, and it releases a photon in that same direction of travel, the photon ...
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147 views

Photons and proper time

Why is there no proper time without inertial frame? In question n°95054 I learned that there is no proper time zero and no proper distance zero for photons because they are no inertial frames. That ...
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87 views

How far does a Photon's field Extend?

I read the related answer to whether photons have size, and the answer seemed to be it depends. If a Photon, or a rather an E&M wave has a magnetic and electric field, should things be able to ...
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250 views

How do electrons and photons interact?

Two electrons, or an electron and a proton, interact with each other because of the Coulomb potential, which can also be seen in the Schrödinger equation (which is the equation that describes the ...
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103 views

Atomic Physics: stimulated emission

I'm studying a chapter about atomic physics right now but there's thing I just don't seem to understand. When stimulated emission occurs, there's an incoming photon which stimulates the atom to go an ...
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154 views

Can we observe diffraction even if the slit size is tending to zero?

According to Huygens principle, if we consider any point of the primary wave fronts, each point is the source of secondary disturbance. If the point size we consider tends to zero, the number of ...
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92 views

Why can TV broadcasts send such large amounts of data(photorealism) and a PC cant

Firstly I think I am right in saying that TV broadcast are sent via electromagnetic waves which means they are sent via photons, how is that even possible? And then the main questions, how can you ...
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203 views

Resolution of the EPR paradox using relativity of simultaneity

A simple explanation for photon entanglement experiments Example: Quantum teleportation La Palma-Teneriffa in 2012 (distance 143 km) - Photons were entangled in such a way that when measuring ...
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145 views

What is the energy distribution of light if it has an infinite length?

What is the energy distribution of light if it has an infinite length? I have read in one of the answers here on phys.SE that light has actually an infinite length. But then what is the energy ...
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34 views

how photons are said to be in momentum if they are considered to have no mass and no charge? [duplicate]

According to quantum theory,Einstein said that light waves have small packets called photons and they are said to have no mass and charge but having energy E=hv and they behave has both particle and ...
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40 views

What is the nature of Young's Double Slit Experiment with detectors?

If a detector is kept at the two slits the fringes disappear. But, when the detectors are removes do the fringes come up immediately without any significant time lag? Can there be a way to switch on ...
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104 views

Why photon-electron energy transfer can't occur in steps or does it?

The process of exchange of energy between a photon and an electron only occur after a specific energy called work-function of the material. Thus, the energy transferred is quantised due to the fact ...
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154 views

Do photons feel gravity of approaching objects only?

I have read that photons while travelling near massive objects such as the sun experience gravitational pull which is why we see some stars at different positions than they are when seen towards the ...
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523 views

What force particle mediates electric fields and magnetic fields?

The force carrier for magnetic fields and electric fields are supposedly photons. I don't get it: 1) Wouldn't that mean that a charged particle (e.g. an electron or even a polarized H2O molecule) ...
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47 views

Dual photon in d=3

In some papers (such as http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9910184 and http://arxiv.org/find/all/1/all:+AND+kapustin+AND+topological+disorder/0/1/0/all/0/1) I am reading it is always referred at "the dual ...
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Does a photon instantaneously gain $c$ speed when emitted from an electron?

An excited electron looses energy in the form of radiations. The radiation constitutes photons which move at a speed $c$. But, is the process of conversion of the energy of the electron into the ...
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173 views

photon momentum

assume 2 space ships "at rest" in the vacuum, at about 300.000KM apart one from another, one having a laser source, the second having a receptor. Also assume both ships have synchronous clocks (they ...
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101 views

Degrees of freedom of the photon in $d=n$

It is well known that in ordinary $4$ dimension, the photon has on shell only two physical degrees of freedom. Physically this means its elicity is either $\lambda=+1$ or $\lambda=-1$ but cannot ...
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Polarisation of light is a wave concept or applicable to photons as well?

I have a very fundamental question. We explain polarisation of light assuming wave nature of light. Is it still valid if we assume light as photons? Or in other words, polarisation is a wave concept ...
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1answer
87 views

Why is photon annihilation associated with the POSITIVE frequency component of the electric field?

I'm reading Glauber's paper "The quantum theory of optical coherence". In his work he does not introduce the annihilation and creation operators, but he refers instead to the positive and negative ...
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46 views

What is the difference between orbital angular momentum of photons and their polarization

What is the difference of OAM of photons and their polarization?
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Collision between a photon and a massive particle

Just a small question regarding collisions. Imagine a head-on collision between a photon and a particle with mass that moves with a non-relativistic speed, the particle was on its ground state, ...
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Do two photons traveling in opposite directions emit gravitational waves?

Do two photons traveling in opposite directions emit gravitational waves? If so, does it mean that any volume filled with photon gas will eventually degrade into graviton gas? In other words, if flat ...
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Does the photon emitted by an electron falling to a lower energy level have a direction?

When an electron falls from an energy state to a lower one, electromagnetic radiation is emitted. Is this equally emitted in all directions (as a spherical wave) and can we only give it a direction ...
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49 views

Photon number conservation during scattering

I was reading this writeup on the Kompaneets equation and the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect. On page 3, section 2 the author states There is no way to increase the mean energy of a planckian ...
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Is it feasible to transfer energy from power stations to communities via photons instead of electrons?

Electrical wires are relatively inefficient in transferring energy--especially when the place of production is quite far from communities. Would it be possible to transfer that energy via photons? I ...
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63 views

Quantum eraser double slit experiment

In the quantum eraser double slit experiment, does the photon (or wavefunction) pass through one slit or both slits when different polarizers are placed over the slits?
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The nature of the probability distribution for the energy of a photon released via stimulated emission

The vanilla description of stimulated emission (e.g. in the context of an inverted population laser gain medium) says that a photon with some state vector specifying its energy / polarization / ...
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426 views

Didn't Newton's Corpuscular theory fail to explain reflection?

In 1637 Descartes gave the corpuscular model of light and derived Snell's law. This Corpuscular model of light was further developed by Isaac Newton in his famous book entitled OPTICKS and because of ...
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183 views

Why do light disappears the moment we switch off the source (inside the wooden box)?

I am failing to explain why light won't remain inside the wooden box in the following situation. I considered a wooden box closed from all the sides, with a bulb inside it. If we switch on the bulb, ...
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54 views

How is the probability of intersystem crossing influenced by small differences in energy levels?

Say I have some dye molecule in some low level triplet state, e.g. $T_1$, and it's decaying slowly to the ground state via phosphorescence. However, there are also events where the dye in the $T_1$ ...
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99 views

How to smooth the spectrum of a light source?

Could somebody please tell me if there's a reasonably cheap substance or device can I use to smooth the spectrum of a light source? For example, if the spectrum has spikes as in the blue graph below, ...
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What is the relation between electromagnetic wave and photon?

At the end of this nice video, she says that electromagnetic wave is a chain reaction of electric and magnetic fields creating each other so the chain of wave moves forward. I wonder where the photon ...
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Do all massless particles (e.g. photon, graviton, gluon) necessarily have the same speed $c$?

I suppose there was a discussion already on speed-of-gravity-and-speed-of-light. But I silly wonder whether all the massless mediators of four fundamental forces, i.e. Graviton: $g_{\mu\nu}$ ...
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Light pulses and energy-time uncertainty principle [duplicate]

Suppose we have a monochromatic light beam. We put an obstacle between source and observer and remove it repeatedly by certain frequency such that observer sees an oscillating intensity of light. Will ...
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143 views

Quantum barrier for photons [closed]

In quantum mechanics, a particle may tunnel through a barrier it would not be able to surmount in a classical sense. My question is this: What are all the factors that may prevent a photon from ...
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1answer
52 views

Slowing of photons in a EB Condensate

Help me understand this. I have heard tell that they are now able to slow the forward progress of a photon traveling through an EBC to somewhere near 35mph. Is this actually the physical slowing down ...
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230 views

Does string theory pose a photon mass problem?

A few weeks ago, I started reading books on string theory. One thing that really seemed confusing or contradictory was that string theory explains that the energy of a superstring gives mass to the ...
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304 views

Physical Interpretation of Poynting Vector

I'm looking for a physical interpretation of the Poynting Vector. I understand that it should be thought of as an energy flow due to the electromagnetic field, but would I be correct in saying that in ...
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Clocks tick steadily, so why is there no photon time? [duplicate]

Consider a photon bouncing left and right between two mirrors in a photon clock. Seen from inside the clock, the photon bounces at a constant frequency. Time ticks regularly. No matter whether the ...
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165 views

Change in Wavelength of a Photon Relation to Energy (specifically Compton Effect)

Given a photon dropping from $\lambda_1$ to $\lambda_2$, its energy will drop from $\frac{hc}{(\lambda_1)}$ to $\frac{hc}{(\lambda_2)}$. However, I was wondering if there is any significance in the ...
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Understanding the virtual states referenced in multiphoton absorption studies

The Heisenberg energy-time uncertainty tells us that we can have so-called virtual states between eigenstates as long as the lifetime of these states is at most: $\tau = (\frac{h}{4 \pi E_v})$ Where ...
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85 views

How do virtual-photons curve in a magetic field?

From what I understand photons only move in straight lines unless reflected or refracted (other than influences from gravitational fields and their usual wavelike movement). And since they are a ...
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220 views

Relativity and photon interactions

A particle's interaction (with anything it can interact with) can be thought of as it making a measurement of the physical quantity associated with the interaction, (e.g. electric field in case of the ...
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72 views

Steps involved in photon emission [duplicate]

What are the detailed steps involved in the emissions of a photon, for example, when an electron drops to a lower energy level? How well do we understand the production of the photon in this example? ...
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1answer
104 views

What gives substances their color?

As far as i know (i may be wrong!), substances appear to have a definite color because they reflect/ transmit all the light rays of the given color, and absorb all the lights rays of the remaining ...
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Velocity of the photon

As far as I know photon travels in a wave pattern, that means it has $x$ and $y$ axis velocity components. If photon travels along $x$ axis, then what is it's maximum $y$ axis velocity?