"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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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518 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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?
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Photons from stars--how do they fill in such large angular distances?

It would seem that far-away stars are at such a distance that I should be able to take a step to the side and not have the star's photons hit my eye. How do stars release so many photons to fill in ...
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Concentration of photons: How many can you slow down in a given unit of space?

Being able to slow down light to the speed of a bicicle as shown in this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK6HxdUQm5s Led to a question: Given a unit of space e.g. 1cm^3, and then you slowed down ...
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Detecting a photon without changing it: Does it break conservation laws?

This is about an article published on ScienceMag: Nondestructive Detection of an Optical Photon. I don't have access to full text, but you can see a brief transcription in this link. Basically, it ...
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Do photons age in a medium?

According to special relativity, time starts to slow down as we increase our speed and eventually stops once we get to the speed of light. By that logic, photons don't age in a vacuum state as, to us, ...
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Some doubts about photons

I am reading Berkeley Physics Course vol. 4 (Quantum Mechanics) , chapter 4 (photons). (1) Section 46: book says: consider a typical photon emitted by the source. It can be regarded as a a wave ...