"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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
47 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?
1
vote
3answers
150 views

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, ...
8
votes
2answers
226 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
130 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
51 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
69 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views
0
votes
0answers
65 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?
3
votes
0answers
67 views

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 / ...
3
votes
1answer
522 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
187 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, ...
1
vote
0answers
57 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 $T_1$ ...
2
votes
3answers
101 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, ...
7
votes
3answers
933 views

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

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: $g_{\mu\nu}$ ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
149 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
55 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
235 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
323 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
185 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
320 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
86 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
244 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
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? ...
1
vote
1answer
110 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 ...
-2
votes
3answers
143 views

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?
39
votes
6answers
2k views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
337 views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
396 views

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, ...
5
votes
2answers
327 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Photons vs Uncertainty Principle

The uncertainty principle states: $\Delta_x\Delta_p>ħ/4$ We know the photon has a 0 rest mass but we are say that it's momentum is always the same $e=pc$ And more we are certain about the ...
-2
votes
4answers
308 views

Why is the speed of light considered as a fundamental constant if its speed changes with medium resulting in refraction? [duplicate]

I know that the speed of light, the universal constant of gravitation and the Planck's constant are considered to be the three fundamental constants of the universe. But, why is speed of light ...
2
votes
0answers
93 views

How do we show that photons generated by a constant electric current are distributed according to a Poisson distribution?

I saw the answer sometimes ago in a book "Quantum Electronics" or similar title. I don't remember the author since I lost the book. The book sets ( I believe so ) a constant electric current $I$ in a ...
2
votes
0answers
59 views

What determines the probability of a pair of photons interacting, and producing a positron and an electron?

The second answer to this question describes how this process might occur, and I'm curious for more details about it: What is the probability distribution of the interaction producing ...
0
votes
1answer
255 views

Where do the photons mediating the electromagnetic force come from?

The electromagnetic field is mediated by photons (energy quanta). Its range is infinite, the interaction only weakens quadratically with distance due to the area of an expanding virtual sphere. Where ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

Does classical axial current conservation prevent the spontaneous emission of a photon by an electron?

I understand the axial current conservation (in the massless limit) in classial field theory to mean that the difference between right handed and left handed electrons is conserved in QED. $$j^{\mu ...
6
votes
5answers
649 views

Explain reflection laws at the atomic level

The "equal angles" law of refection on a flat mirror is a macroscopic phenomenon. To put it in anthropomorphic terms, how do individual photons know the orientation of the mirror so as to bounce off ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

On-shellness of photons

In principle, we could describe all physics without EM fields (or photons), as they are mainly a useful tool to describe "action at distance" (which does not mean instantaneous) between charged ...
3
votes
1answer
192 views

Photon “stuck” on the event horizon of a black hole

According to what I've read on special relativity, $c$ is the speed limit for every object in the universe, and according to Einstein, an object's speed through the three spatial dimensions plus its ...
7
votes
1answer
170 views

Is the third spin vector of a photon always suppressed?

I like to tell people interested in light polarization that the photon is a vector boson for which the third spin axis, the one in the direction of travel, is suppressed due to photons being massless ...
0
votes
1answer
381 views

Can a photon survive a collision? If so, is it at rest during the process?

Background Irving Kaplan, in Article 6.7: The Compton Effect of Nuclear Physics (2nd Ed.) explains the Compton effect as follows: Compton (1923) was able to show that when a beam of ...
0
votes
0answers
86 views

Photons angular momentum / spin

I have a textbook that says that photons have a spin of absolute value $\hbar$ and at some other point, they say that it has angular momentum of absolute value $\hbar$. Now, since they are different ...
2
votes
0answers
102 views

How to calculate angular momentum per second for a photon beam? [closed]

Given a photon polarization state $$|\phi\rangle = \frac{3}{5}|x\rangle + \frac{4i}{5}|y\rangle,$$ a beam of photons transmit $N$ photons per second in such a state. An L-polarized photon has an ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Stimulated Emission in Free-Electron Lasers

I've been reading about free-electron lasers these days. The basic principle is clear: In the undulator electrons spontaneousely emit synchrotron radiation. A self-attunement takes place, causing the ...
3
votes
0answers
319 views

Smallest minimum feature size possible for transistors printed by photolithography

I'm doing a project about Moore's Law, one of the subtopics I've come to is photolithography. The way I understand it is that the MOSFET transistors are currently printed on a silicon wafer by ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

What does this term G+G'->G' mean?

In this document, what does the line "Write $\vec{G}_i + \vec{G}_i' \rightarrow \vec{G}_i'$" after equation (25) actually mean?