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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How would an X-ray mirror work?

I was wondering if light can be reflected how can someone reflect X-ray of what material does it need to be made of and is its design completely different to that of our original mirrors? Does this ...
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122 views

Faraday Effect does light bend or lose energy?

I was reading upon Faraday effect when it said Faraday effect causes a rotation of the plane of polarization That in mind, does this mean the light can be bent around or does the light loose ...
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1answer
113 views

If I'm running away from chasing gamma photons, I can see them, right?

Suppose Bruce Banner goes back in time, convinced that the Hulk is a stupid menace. Let's say he also borrows Quicksilver's speed abilities (maybe the Flash is more appropriate, but based on the ...
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1answer
174 views

Redshift of Cosmic Microwave Background

Does the cosmic microwave background radiation have a red shift parameter z? If so what is the value for z?
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169 views

Can light be trapped theoretically?

My question is a little silly I know, but I'm curious to know if a particle of light can be theoretically trapped between two reflective screens. For example once the particle of light has left it's ...
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27 views

How does the photon field operator change are understanding of the electromagnetic stress-energy tensor?

Given the following photon field operators \begin{align} \mathbf{A}(\mathbf{r}) &=& \sum_{\mathbf{k},\mu} \sqrt{\frac{\hbar}{2 \omega V\epsilon_0}} \left(\mathbf{e}^{(\mu)} ...
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Do x-rays and gamma rays also contain photons like visible light does?

Do x-rays and gamma rays also contain photons like visible light does? If so, then what makes photons of visible light and other waves different? The rest mass of a photon is zero, but as it moves at ...
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218 views

Why does a single mode fibre have a cutoff wavelength?

I earlier had a doubt based on ray theory that light must reflect and so all wavelengths should propagate through SMF. This Q/A Single-mode fibers and ray-theory of light does specify that we have to ...
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43 views

Expectation value for the time of a photon reflection

A photon is reflected by matter (by an electron in empty space). How long does the reflection take? (i.e. is there any infinitesimal time elapsing during the reflection process?), or more precisely, ...
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1answer
33 views

The meaning of “heralded photon”

I am not a native English speaker, and I have just started to study physics in English. However, I came across the term heralded photon while I was reading a review article about optical quantum ...
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1answer
77 views

How can the 'choice' of a photon said to be delayed?

My question arises from two ideas that seem to be contradictory. Idea One: Wheeler's Delayed Choice experiment is an interesting variation of the double slit experiment. Idea Two: In the "reference ...
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1answer
182 views

Why do i see bright red hand when i place flashlight behind my hand?

When I place a working flashlight behind my hand, I see my hand bright red because of the light. So my question is, why do I only see red light after transmission even if incoming light from the ...
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5answers
467 views

Uncertainty principle with two photons

Imagine an experimental setup in which you have to measure the momentum and location of a particle. To measure it we know we will have to affect it, and the uncertainty principle would come into the ...
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1answer
66 views

Problem regarding quantum mechanical notation of photons

I have recently been reading about spontaneous parametric down conversion(SPDC). I do clearly understand the process. What has been intriguing lately is the notation. For those of you who are ...
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1answer
67 views

How can I calculate the relationship between power and acceleration for a beam driven photon sail?

I am writing a novel, and although I have a background in physics, I am unsure of the exact equations to use. Specifically: For a photon-sail ship, how powerful would a driving laser need to be in ...
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1answer
66 views

Ultrafast photon detectors

Are there already photon detectors that can resolve the shape of photons in the time domaine if it looks like below where the two humps are separated by a time of the order of femtoseconds? What I ...
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1answer
24 views

Optical devices for micro meter photons?

Are there all the common optical devices like beam splitters, mirrors, polarizers, fibers, etc for photons with a wavelenght in the range of micro meters? If so, how broad can the bandwidth be for ...
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1answer
63 views

Collision of light waves & matter

When light or electromagnetic wave hits an obstacle, what happens? Are the reactions times always negligible? By reaction I mean all that happens after the hit like reflection for example.
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1answer
145 views

Electromagnetic Field VS Photons [duplicate]

I am currently studying electrodynamics with all the fields and the like. Now, as I understand it, in a more modern viewpoint there is a duality between electromagnetic fields and photons, with ...
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1answer
163 views

A formula for the photon gas correlation function

i need to derive a formula for the photon gas correlation function $\left\langle\partial n_i\partial n_j\right\rangle $ where $$\partial n_i=n_i -\left \langle n_i \right \rangle.$$ whilst solving ...
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2answers
753 views

Is single photon perfectly monochromatic?

Now, we do have equipment to generate single photon at a time, and LASERs are nearly monochromatic. While typing the question, am realizing that successive photons in case of single photon ...
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0answers
38 views

EM field from the electrons on the surface of a body and their influence to moving particles

Under this question quantum field theoretic models of decoherence @DanielSank gave a wonderful answer. Can I implement his answer to every material body? What about I'm thinking is that on the surface ...
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1answer
155 views

Are there new concepts for the explanation of the wave-particle duality?

Whenever we can observe photons immediate, they are particles. That includes that photons have a inner structure with periodically varying electric and magnetic fields. The EM field of a radio antenna ...
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1answer
43 views

Time dependency of the phase of a single photon

I am wondering if a wave packet of a single photon in the time domaine $$ \psi(t)=|\psi(t)|\; \text e^{\text i \varphi(t)} $$ can have a different $t$ dependence in phase than the simple phase ...
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3answers
918 views

Why aren't all photons virtual particles even in the “vacuum” of empty space? [duplicate]

I'm thoroughly confused about the nature of electromagnetic radiation. Light is supposed to exhibit both wave and particle characteristics. But does that mean that it is both a wave and a particle or ...
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2answers
93 views

Why does the light intensity increase as I approach a distance light source?

Analogy: assume that I have constant rain fall and I have a water bucket to collect this rain. If I am rest relative to the earth, I will catch a certain amount of rain. However, if I now move towards ...
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2answers
87 views

Energy carried by photon not conserved?

In an imaginary frame of reference traveling with a photon, the length of the path traveled is 0. If the length of the path is 0, isn't it similar to say that the photon is either at the source or at ...
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1answer
337 views

frequencies of light

Why are available frequency of light continuous ? I keep hearing that atoms absorb (and emit ) photons of particular frequency which correspond to their energy levels of their electron. Where do all ...
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Entropy of photons

Do low energy photons have greater entropy than high energy photons, or is the entropy of all photons the same (and the relationship between high and low entropy radiation is just a function of the ...
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2answers
131 views

At Interfaces Does Light Have to Accelerate?

First, I'm not sure if photons have to "get up to" the speed of light, or if they are thrown into existence at that speed. I know that they should just be generated moving at their speed, and I know ...
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1answer
88 views

What is the density and energy of a photon?

As I understand, photons are considered mass-less, which is a necessary condition for moving at the speed of light. However, does that mean their density is 0, as they will occupy some volume. If ...
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2answers
116 views

Do individual photons increase entropy as they travel?

If I draw a control volume around a single light wave traveling through empty space, is entropy increasing as it goes? How is the degradation of the quality of energy manifested?
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334 views

QM: why is reflection of a photon not a measurement?

Many experiments with entangled photons are sending them through different glass fiber cables (e.g. in opposite directions for spatial separation). The photons will inevitably be reflected many times ...
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1answer
816 views

Why doesn't De Broglie's wave equation work for photons?

Well, as I am learning about quantum physics, one of the first topics I came across was De Broglie's wave equation. $$\frac{h}{mc} = \lambda$$ As is obvious, it relates the wavelength to the mass of ...
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1answer
63 views

Placing a lens in front of ultraviolet femtosecond laser with 10e38 J in pulse makes it a gun that fires microscopic black holes at speed of light?

I calculated that in the focal spot of such a laser the critical energy density would be met. Will these black holes really move at the speed of light, just as the the photons that made them? The ...
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2answers
125 views

Normalization of photon wavefunction and beam splitters

I am having trouble with the normalization of photon wave functions, when passed through a beam splitter. Let me define the single photon state as $$|1\rangle = \int \text{d}\omega \phi(\omega) ...
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1answer
103 views

How to get the accurate relativistic momentum form for photons? [duplicate]

I have studied from Griffiths, the relativistic form of momentum is $$p = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}} m_0v$$ Now when I evaluate the momentum for photon, I just insert $v=c$ and $m_0=0$ and I ...
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2answers
130 views

Why should photons obey the rules of causality? [closed]

This may have a quick answer, but it has been on my mind so here it goes: why, if according to special relativity, do photons obey the rules of causality, if they are inherently timeless. According to ...
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2answers
47 views

What is being deprived when a photon is being watched in double slit experiment?

How are photons being watched in the double slit experiment? What exactly does being observed mean, as it is obviously changes the state of the photon somehow - it must be depriving the photon of ...
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1answer
71 views

How is gravitational lensing possible? [duplicate]

How is it possible that a force that affects mass (gravity) can affect massless particles like photons?
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3answers
109 views

Could this suggest that there is a wavelength smaller than Planck's?

Suppose the earth receives a photon with a wavelength $\gamma_1$. Since spacetime is expanding, we know that this photon had an original wavelength $\gamma_2$, such that $\gamma_2\lt\gamma_1$. This is ...
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2answers
62 views

Relating Energy to Wavelength in curved space

Consider a curved space, e.g. Schwarzschild: \begin{align*} ds^2 = -\left(1-\frac{2M}{r}\right)dt^2+\left(1-\frac{2M}{r}\right)^{-1}dr^2+r^2d\theta^2+r^2\sin^2\theta d\phi^2 \end{align*} Now, the ...
2
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1answer
188 views

What happens when work function = hf

What happens when the photon which hits a metal surface has energy equal to the work function of that surface? $$\phi = hf$$ I realise the emitted electron will have no kinetic energy after escape, ...
2
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3answers
100 views

Photon speed going from $0$ to $c$ initially? [duplicate]

I have read many questions which ask whether there can be photons at speed other than the speed of light and all of them are answered no! But when the photon is created for ex during electron ...
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2answers
121 views

Can a photon, inside of an elastic bubble, bounce off the inner surface without losing velocity? [closed]

Take an shell or bubble. The bubble is strong enough to maintain it's static sphere shape, except when a photon bounces off the inner surface. A photon fires from inside the bubble. The inner ...
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1answer
245 views

Differences between absorption, transparency, reflection, and emission

Can someone help me conceptualize the differences between a photon's involvement with absorption, transparency, reflection, and emission? To be more specific, my current understanding of the matter ...
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2answers
247 views

Photons have no mass. So, why does $E = pc$ hold? [duplicate]

It's a somewhat theoretical question. In special relativity, The energy of a photon is given by $E = pc$. But, my argument is that, since photons have no mass, how can they have a momentum $p$? The ...
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1answer
48 views

Can a classical (or quantum) field, particularly the EMF, have a frame of reference?

I understand that a massless particle (such as a photon) cannot have a frame of reference. But the electromagnetic field does have mass; does it have a frame of reference? If so, I have a second ...
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1answer
67 views

Photons and perfect mirror

A perfect mirror means, that all the photons which collided with the mirror will be reflected in the same amount, with the same energy and with the same - except sign - angle. Will the mirror get an ...
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4answers
903 views

What is difference between white objects and transparent objects as far as photons are concerned?

Transparent materials let photons through because the energy gap of electron is so large that the photons cannot be absorbed. If the material absorbs a photon, the photon disappears; does this mean ...