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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Can a photon be absorbed by a proton?

When incident light passes through a hydrogen gas, for example, does it have 50% chance (since it's a 1:1 ratio of protons to electrons) of getting absorbed by the proton? Any chance at all? If no, ...
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96 views

Light wave particle duality

I have studied about the dual nature of light and all the experiments that proved light was a wave and sometimes a particle, and I am comfortable with the concept that it can be both. However, I have ...
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128 views

Angular Momentum of a Photon

Why is it that the angular momentum of a photon is $\hbar$, irrespective of its energy? I encountered such a claim in a text about Raman spectroscopy. Is there an explanation for this using basic ...
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53 views

Photon as a mediator of electric field

How can a photon (which has momentum) from one electrically charged particle to an oppositely charged particle cause these particles to be pulled toward each other - or how can a magnetic field cause ...
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How many photons does my remote control garage opener emit?

Every time I drive up to my house I imagine all the photons spitting out of the remote control garage opener when I press the button. And I imagine the door opener in the garage receiving them. There ...
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306 views

Positron-electron annihilation - can more than two photons be created?

I'm an engineer and been reading about PET scanners and how they rely on the fact that a positron-electron annihilation will cause two photons to be emitted at 180 degrees from each other. After a bit ...
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1answer
79 views

Does third law of motion apply to light or EM waves? [duplicate]

Third law of motion - "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" I was considering the situation, where I may be motionless in space with only a flashlight and no forces acting on me. ...
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36 views

How are the photon and electron entangled in this situation? [duplicate]

If one of the photons in an entangled pair produced in parametric down conversion is absorbed by an electron or atom than this elecfron must be entangled with tge other photon. In what degree of ...
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47 views

Photons reflecting off matter

When photons reflect off matter, do they always lose momentum to the object? If they lose momentum to the object, that means they lose energy, and so their frequency should decrease. However, when we ...
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Creation of entangled electrons

If one obtains two entangled in polarization photons by parametric down conversion and one of them is accepted by and electron 1 and other by electron 2 - are this electrons now entangled in spin?
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52 views

Transformation of energy of a photon

I'm new to the forum so excuse me if I'm doing anything in a wrong format. My question is this: A photon fired from a spaceship at rest has energy $E$, if the spaceship starts moving with speed $v=\...
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69 views

Splitting molecule

The photon reacts with the binding electrons orbiting the two atoms. The photons have the 'correct' wavelength for Bond Dissociation Energy (BDE). 'Splitting' the molecule involves applying the ...
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59 views

Do virtual photons give particle charges?

I think the electric field is due to the exchange of virtual photons constantly emitted by the point charged particle such as an electron, does this apply to proton which is consisted of quarks? does ...
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67 views

Photo Multiplier Tube Usage

How is it determined that a PMT measures only one photon ? By the energy that one photon is supposed to have ?
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211 views

Can an electron jump to a higher energy level if the energy is insufficient or exceeds the ΔE

Lets say we have an atom of hydrogen. It has one electron on E1 = -13.6 eV (E2 = -3.4 eV) energy level. I know that if we fire a photon with 10.2 eV energy the hydrogen atom will absorb it and the ...
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27 views

The wavelength of photons emitted

If for example an electron in a hydrogen atom moved from n=2 to n=1, how can you find the wavelength of the emitted photon? I know that the energy involved is E = -13.6 eV * (1/(n_1)^2 - 1/(n_2)^2) ...
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1answer
277 views

Explanation for Refraction of light (change of angle) and Reflection

Refraction: I want a qualitative Quantum Mechanical explanation of why do we see light rays -in the classical picture- bend when light goes from one medium to another. I read that it is due to ...
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2answers
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Why is it that when I do some substitution, I get $p=1$ for a photon? [closed]

I know that this is wrong, but where did i make a mistake? I just use a few equations and substitutions and I get that the momentum of a photon is one. Here is my math: $p=h/λ$ $p=hf/c$ (substituted ...
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2answers
170 views

Particle anti-particle annihilation and photon production

This is just a conceptual question I guess. The annihilation of a particle with a finite mass and its anti-particle cannot lead to the emission of only one photon, and this is due to the conservation ...
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1answer
57 views

How to understand photons in terms of EM force carrier? [duplicate]

Say, there are 2 stationary electrons placed at a distance. The result of observation would be both flying apart with the same speed and the opposite direction, which would obey laws of conservation ...
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1answer
46 views

Photon polarization as a two-state system, what is the Hamiltonian?

In chapter III.11-4 of the Feynman lectures, he describes the polarization of a photon (with its momentum in the z direction) as a two-state system with the base states $\{|x\rangle,|y\rangle\}$ or $\{...
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75 views

Einstein equivalence principle cannot entirely predict gravitational time dilation

The Einstein equivalence principle can be used to derive the gravitational redshift of photons, but it does so in an unusual way. The derivation is as follows. Consider an source of photons on the ...
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Addition of Colors and Fluorescence

In fluorescence, you have an excited electron returning to ground state in multiple transitions, each emitting a photon of a lower frequency than the photon that excited the electron in the first ...
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1answer
38 views

How long will the light exist inside the sphere?

Ok, so let's say we have a very thick, but hollow, metal sphere. The inside of the sphere has a radius of 100 meters. The sphere also has a door that can be opened and closed and when closed makes an ...
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61 views

Single photon's gravitational field: “where” is it?

When a photon passes through a hole in a screen, the photon's energy is pretty localized, namely a the hole. Now let the photon "fly" for a minute into the open void. The field representing (...
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1answer
25 views

Direct bandgap semiconductor reaction to heat. Produce light?

In an indirect bandgap semiconductor if you apply heat the number of free electrons increases, conductivity increases, and the bandgap decreases. In a direct bandgap semiconductor is there any ...
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1answer
89 views

What is the bigger number of particles crossing an area: the number of photons or the number of neutrinos? [closed]

Take an squared area with (10²)² m² in front of the sun. What is the bigger number of particles crossing an area: the number of photons or the number of neutrinos? Just for clarification: you can ...
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46 views

Does the frequency of photons decrease at outer radii of a helical mode?

A helical mode is a mode of the electromagnetic field in which the wavefront is characterized by one or more helixes. Along the direction of travel, at the center, lies an "optical vortex." The ...
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Photoelectric effect and energy of light

I have a doubt about photoelectric effect and the nature of light in general. From what I understood, in order to ionize a piece of some material, I need an electromagnetic wave with a frequence ...
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1answer
71 views

Why is blue darker than yellow in an analog black and white photograph?

Blue is perceived darker than yellow by the human eye, because of biological principles within the eye. I can understand that therefore, when making a picture black&white in software like Adobe ...
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1answer
48 views

Quantum entanglement and Compton Effect

Suppose we generate 2 entangled photons (via a beam-splitter or similar apparatus). They have an arbitrary indeterminate initial frequency $\nu_i$. One of these photons is allowed to propagate through ...
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33 views

Do copropagating photon pairs exist?

Countepropagating photon pairs with opposing spin are well known. Are there physical phenomena that produce copropagating photon pairs with opposing spin? Wild speculation: A cooper pair of ...
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2answers
296 views

Will high amplitude, low frequency light be capable of wrapping around a macroscopic object? [duplicate]

To me, as a macroscopic observer of light, it appears that light moves in straight lines. If I shine a light at object A and object B moves between me and object A, the light hits, i.e. gets blocked ...
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42 views

EM wave frequency and photon energy

We know that a quanta of light of frequency f has energy hf. But when I consider a single photon there is no concept of "frequency of a wave" because there is no EM wave associated with it which would'...
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1answer
34 views

Can we use a photon to use it as a changing field in an electric generator? [closed]

In an electric generator we use a changing magnetic field to create electricity. But what if we use a photon's oscillation of EM waves to generate electricity in a metal wire as we do in an electric ...
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The properties of light photons [duplicate]

Please consider a closed room with light reflecting walls and in the centre of the room there is a Lighting Bulb. Now if I switch on the bulb, the room is obviously illuminated with light. When I ...
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77 views

How do I derive Feynman rules for vectors involving derivatives?

Suppose I have a term in the Lagrangian: $$\cal{L} \equiv (\partial_\mu B^+_\nu) B^{-\mu} A^\nu $$, where $B^\pm$ are charged massive vector particles and $A$ is photon. Now, how can we derive the ...
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1answer
150 views

How can a photon “stop”? What does its world line look like? [duplicate]

Einstein famously made a thought experiment: what would he see if he sat on a beam of light? His answer was -- it's impossible. Owing to him being a body with mass, he can never ever reach light speed ...
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95 views

How does a photon raise the temperature of a gas?

The temperature of a fixed volume of a gas is increased when it interacts with radiation. Why does the temperature increase (i.e. why does the velocity of a gas molecule increase) when a photon is ...
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2answers
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Double slit experiment with a single photon stream

I would like to know if the following are true: Each time you fire a single photon, only one dot appears on the back screen. Is there ever a case that while we are watching the experiment, that a ...
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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
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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 ...
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1answer
256 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
196 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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49 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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152 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
81 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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53 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 ...
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1answer
103 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 ...
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1answer
134 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 ...