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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
2answers
110 views

How do photons “decide”?

I was reading that when horizontally polarized light hits a vertical Polaroid all the light is blocked out. But when the Polaroid is off the vertical, some but not all photons "decide" to jump into ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Can light produce weak gravitational waves?

I have read online that light can produce a weak gravitational field (for example antiparallel beams should, in principle, attract weakly). This made me wonder if light can produce minute ...
0
votes
1answer
137 views

Does a normal torch emit entangled photons?

I was reading a sciencenews.org post about three photons being entangled. My question here is, why is the chance of producing an entangled pair once in a billion times? Isn't every particle produced ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Invisible stars due to finite photons [duplicate]

When we study black body radiation, we often make calculations assuming a continuum of radiation with some amount of flux. In reality, there is a very very large number of photons being emit per unit ...
5
votes
2answers
540 views

Is there a relationship between the energy of a photon and the energy of an electromagnetic wave?

If the energy of a photon $E_{p}=hv$ And the energy of an electromagnetic wave is $E_{w}\propto \hat{\mathbf B}^2$ What is the relationship between $E_{w}$ and $E_{p}$?
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Only transverse photons are gauge-invariant (Peskin page 298)

Seven lines down from the top of page 298 of P & S, it says "Single particle states containing one electron, one positron, or one transversely polarized photon are gauge-invariant, while states ...
2
votes
4answers
428 views

How did photons and electrons arise out of the quark-gluon plasma?

I am just beginning to learn about the ideas of the early universe, so this is probably a beginner question. I understand that protons and neutrons (which are baryons, which are hadrons) are made out ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Electric charge of light? [duplicate]

Light (or any radiation as a matter of fact) is an electromagnetic wave so why doesn't it have a electric charge associated with it? As far as I know only static or flowing electric chargers can ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

DO the condensed photon particles-waves-longitudinal-waves exist? [closed]

This is kind of hard to explain, because weird as it sounds, i have experienced a phenomenon that i would like to see if it exists and if i can explain it mathematically. The longitudinal waves of ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Is the photon first a wave, then a particle? [duplicate]

When the 'photon' is emitted, it would reason that the result of the energy fluctuation that creates 'it' rather is created as an energy wave, which when measured by us or a surface, it 'becomes' as a ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

Internal energy and photon absorption

I just wish to confirm whether my understanding is correct. I know that photon absorption/emission brings about quantised changes in electron energy levels. Photons (infrared) also interact with ...
0
votes
0answers
66 views

Polarizing Beam Splitter Interferometer

In "Dance of the Photons" by Anton Zeilinger (pgs. 82-84), Zeilinger has a polarising beam splitter interferometer as such- ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

Can a $\gamma$-ray photon give some of his energy to an atom and accelerate it?

I know gamma-ray photon can only give its momentum energy to the electrons of an atom. My question is: Can a photon give some of its momentum to the atom (including its nucleus) to give it heat or ...
2
votes
1answer
252 views

How do you isolate a single photon?

How do scientists/researchers isolate a single photon (for single photon sources)? How do they know they have isolated it? Is it really totally "isolated"? What is the photon isolated in? Sorry if ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Atomic absorption question

My book says that when a photon carrying a certain amount of energy hits an electron, that gets excited and goes on an higher energetic level, absorbing the energy of the photon. When it comes back to ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Do photons change velocity instantaneously?

Any object traveling at c is observed as traveling at c in all reference frames. When a photon travels through a vacuum at c, all reference frames observe it traveling at c. When a photon passes ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

No photon interaction in free space

How can the Hanbury Brown and Twiss effect (photon bunching) be explained if photons don't interact in free space? To explain it with the influence of the two photons on the two detectors ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Can various wavelengths participate in C/D Interference?

My question is can multiple wavelengths or at least two different wavelengths interfere with one another? I know that they usually have to be the 'same' wavelength, but you'd think they can vary a bit ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

Shooting a single photon through a double slit

Consider the image below. It shows a double slit experiment but with a single photon at a time. My question is as follows: Why is it that the photons always take a different path when shot at the ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are neutrinos more weakly interacting than light?

When people describe neutrino interactions they describe them as rare/infrequent due to the fact that the neutrinos are electrically neutral and have little mass, if any. Well why then is the photon ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Massive photon and gauge invariance of S-matrix amplitude

Let's have minimally extended gauge invariant lagrangian (with free kinetic term of EM field): $$ \tag 1 L (\Psi , \partial_{\mu} \Psi) \to L (\Psi , D_{\mu}\Psi ) - \frac{1}{4}F^{\mu \nu}F_{\mu \nu}, ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Why photon has a wave nature? [duplicate]

Wave theory does not account for the photon model, which was developed only to explain quantum effects like photoelectric effect. Then why do we talk about a photon's reflection and rarefaction, as ...
3
votes
2answers
421 views

If a photon has no mass, how can it be attracted by the Sun?

I read that the photon doesn't have mass, but my teacher says that the photon has mass because the sun can attract it (like in the experiments to prove the theory of relativity). I think that there ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Energy & Mass of a Photon [duplicate]

$$\text{Please read the whole question before answering}$$ Before I ask my question, I would like to say that "Yes, I do know a photon has no mass." I was helping someone here on P.SE with the ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

What causes light to travel? [duplicate]

What is the force that causes it to move and why does it maintain the speed for so long? If it has no mass, why is it effected by mass?
3
votes
1answer
173 views

Taking photos without photons?

I was looking up some science news and I came across this! Blind quantum camera snaps photos of Schrödinger’s cat ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Photoelectric Effect - How are the electrons regained?

When the photons with enough energy impinge on a photocathode, it emits electrons. Does this mean that the solid will lose all its electron at one point? If not, how are electrons restored?
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Photons “rate of fire”

I'm not sure if this makes any sense but, do photons "discharge" from a source at an infinite rate?
5
votes
2answers
490 views

Does a reflection still transfer momentum to an mirror?

I have been recently wondering, if I take a powerful enough energy source (photon) and I have an perfect mirror exactly in front of it and assume an "emitter" shot the light towards the mirror. As ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Optical absorption in a semiconductor for $E<E_g$ [duplicate]

Quoting from Solid State Electronic Devices (by Ben G. Streetman and Sanjay Banerjee): A photon with energy less than $E_g$ is unable to excite an electron from the valence band to the ...
3
votes
4answers
150 views

Photons to Represent a Wave

I fear that I have a fundamental misconception about the "wave particle duality" of light, but in a related question, the answerer said, in some sense, that a light wave propagates until it hits ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

If an atom is positively ionized, can is gain electrons if you emit photons at it?

I read somewhere that electrons and light are just electromagnetic radiation and are basically the same thing, does this mean that if you emit photons at an atom it will gain electrons?
10
votes
1answer
196 views

How to tell whether photons are entangled?

Suppose you have some sort of a "black box" system - you know nothing of its inner workings. The system has two outputs, let's call them A and B, and it occasionally emits photons - one photon from ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

Quantum Eraser thought experiment with light photons of distinct color

I tried to recreate the Quantum Eraser experiment into a thought experiment with a few changes. It left me a little perplexed as to what outcomes I should expect. Any help would be appreciated. Lets ...
1
vote
1answer
190 views

Can a single photon be polarized non-linearly?

I want to check if I correctly understand polarization. Considering a single photon travelling in vacuum, it can only be polarized linearly under the same direction at any time, right? When we talk ...
1
vote
2answers
279 views

Is time nothing but the speed of light (or the light itself)?

With regard to relativistic effects on time, all the examples and explanations revolve around light and its speed. Especially in explanatory situations that explain this using photon clock, it seems ...
0
votes
4answers
213 views

Sequence of E and B field in radio waves and in single photons

In antenna technology we distinguish between nearfield and widefield. In the nearfield the electric and the magnetic fields are shifted by 90°. If you look closer you can see that there are two ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

Function to fit solar radiation data

I have ground-level radiation data of solar incoming radiation from a radiometer (cosine collector) measured along the day. In the following plot you can see PAR irradiance (ie visible light) in Watts ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

Photon striking a molecule and getting reflected

I am writing a simple simulator which simulate absorption of UV light in solution. The idea is to see if I can see Beer-Lambert laws in my model. It is not intended to be a precise simulator but ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

What are some good resources for learning photonics?

Including the generation, transmission, modulation, signal processing, amplification, and detection/sensing of light, I am interested in getting a good understanding of photonics. Does anyone have any ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

What is the status of massless photons traveling through a medium?

Photons in vacuum have no proper time, and they are not considered as observers and not as reference frame. But what about photons travelling through matter? Their velocity is lower than light speed, ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Beginner question: timelessness of massless particles [duplicate]

I am not very familiar with the quirkiness of relativity, and I was wondering how to explain this situation. If a beam of light is shining at some object at some distance from the origin of the beam, ...
1
vote
2answers
278 views

How can gravity affect light?

I understand that a black hole bends the fabric of space time to a point that no object can escape. I understand that light travels in a straight line along spacetime unless distorted by gravity. If ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are objects opaque?

I have been searching the internet for answers to this question, but haven't found a convincing one. I would appreciate any response. I understand why objects are opaque/black. For example when ...
3
votes
2answers
543 views

What trajectory has the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation taken to get to earth?

I have a few related questions: Where is the CMB coming (emitted/reflected/remitted) from? When CMB hits the earth, is that the first thing those photons hit since they were emitted 400 thousand ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

Discrepancy ( or Confusion ) in the mass of photon

$E$ = $mc^2$ And also $E$ = $hf$ (f - frequency) And hence Einstein said $m$ = $hf\over c^2$ And so photons have mass But later he also said $M$ = $M_0\over \sqrt {1-v^2/c^2}$ Where if we put $v ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Is there any acceleration of light? [duplicate]

I find it hard to believe that photons always travel with 3 x 10^8 m/s just from the start. But there must be some acceleration of light. Maybe huge or taking place in picoseconds. So what maybe the ...
1
vote
3answers
339 views

Is the energy of a photon continuous/discrete?

I was struggling today with this question: does a free photon have a continuous energy spectra? Free means in no context of any energy system (eg. an atom, em field). Although I'm asking myself if ...
7
votes
3answers
521 views

How do photons know they can or can't excite electrons?

This might be a stupid question, but nonetheless, it has been bothering me. If you take a photon, make it go through some atoms in a solid, liquid or whatever, then you have the chance of this photon ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Understanding EM Fields

I am an electronics engineering major and some questions arise when studying communications technology that utilizes wireless technology. In particular, I am more of a complete picture kind of person, ...