"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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Why does $\mathcal L = -\frac14 F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}$ imply Photons are massless?

The Lagrangian $\mathcal L = -\frac14 F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}$ with $F_{\mu\nu} = \partial_\mu A_\nu - \partial_\nu A_\mu$ results in the four-potential's equation of motion $$ \underbrace{\partial^\mu ...
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Polarization photon and Stokes parameters

I have the following situation: About the polarization of the photon, I introduce the basis: Horizontal polarization $|\leftrightarrow>=\binom{1}{0}$ Vertical polarization ...
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1k views

Do photons lose energy while travelling through space? Or why are planets closer to the sun warmer?

My train of thought was the following: The Earth orbiting the Sun is at times 5 million kilometers closer to it than others, but this is almost irrelevant to the seasons. Instead, the temperature ...
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335 views

How does scattering work?

Why is the sky blue? I was always taught in high school that light with wavelength $\lambda$ acts like a little particle that wiggles up and down through space (in proportion to its magnitude). I was ...
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138 views

Photons and Relativity

Consider a Photon from Sun and travels with a velocity $c$. Now think we are that photon. For us, it looks like Sun is moving away from us with a velocity $c$. So, why don't we get attracted back ...
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What do massive photons have to do with superconductivity?

I keep reading that the idea of massive photons leads to an explanation of the Meissner effect but I fail to see how photons are involved with the repulsion of fields inside a superconductor. How ...
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Amplitude of an electromagnetic wave containing a single photon

Given a light pulse in vacuum containing a single photon with an energy $E=h\nu$, what is the peak value of the electric / magnetic field?
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67 views

Photon pumping in Laser

Let's consider a ring laser where the laser must pass through the gain material before it is sent toward a partially reflective surface $\ R=1-T $. The other mirrors are perfect reflectors with $\ ...
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657 views

How many percent of the visible light reaching the Earth are from other stars than the Sun?

How many percent of the whole visible light reaching the Earth are from other stars than the Sun? Is it maybe 0,5 - 1% or is my guess already too much? I am interested mainly in visible light, but ...
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Why is the $S_{z} =0$ state forbidden for photons?

If photons are spin-1 bosons, then doesn't quantum mechanics imply that the allowed values for the z-component of spin (in units of $\hbar$) are -1, 0, and 1? Why then in practice do we only use the ...
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279 views

Photons arriving from the Sun

Given that the Sun is a bit less than 10 light minutes away from Earth, is it correct to assume in principle (I understand actual processes in the core of the Sun make the situation at a photon's ...
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327 views

What happens to the wavelength/frequency of a photon as it passes through an event horizon?

I've asked a similar question about photons and black holes but wanted to rephrase it more specifically, so here goes... Ever since I learned how a photon's wavelength and frequency are indivisibly ...
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107 views

Where can you get a photon detector?

Say I'm doing the double-slit experiment with photons as the particle and want to add a detector just behind each slit to eliminate the interference pattern. Where would I get a detector like that?
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Ejected Electrons with 0 KE?

So I was taught that: Kinetic Energy (of electron) = Energy (of photon) - Ionization Energy If E(photon) = IE, then KE=0 of the electron. What does this physically/theoretically mean? My current ...
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422 views

Mechanism for the gravitational field generated by photons

This question follows from a schooling I received in this thread. I figured that photons do not interact with gravity, except when they've spontaneously converted into a particle-antiparticle pair. ...
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1answer
512 views

What really is Planck's constant and what are its origins?

In the physics texts I have read and other info online, they says Planck's constant is the quantum of action or that it is a constant of the ratio of the energy of a particle to its frequency. Im ...
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651 views

Photon energy - momentum in matter

$E = h\nu$ and $P = h\nu/c$ in vacuum. If a photon enters water, it's frequency $\nu$ doesn't change. What are its energy and momentum : $h\nu$ ? and $h\nu/c$ ? Since part of it's energy and momentum ...
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81 views

Why, in EXAFS spectrum, does the absorption coefficient monotonically decrease with increasing photon energy?

In atomic physics, it is common knowledge that following the absorption edge, where the photon energy equals the binding energy of a core electron, a monotonic decrease in the absorption coefficient ...
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317 views

Does the Photino have mass or is it mass-less like the photon

Does the photino in super-symmetry have a mass, Or is this different in different super symmetric models?
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192 views

How to relate photon's higher frequency to time dilation?

The usual explanation for photon's higher frequency in lower altitudes (higher gravity), when the photon is going downward towards a massive body, is that gravitational potential energy is converted ...
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Modeling the probability of a photodiode measuring photons targets at a neighbor

In current digital cameras, sensors are arrays of photodiodes which "transform" photons energy to electrons. I am aware that the probability of a photon to generate an electron is modeled by a Poisson ...
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244 views

Why photons are emitted because of changes to electron behavior

Explanations I have read of why photons are emitted from atoms mention electrons being 'excited' to another energy level, and then returning to their base level, releasing a photon. I have also seen ...
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Black out the sun?

How many observers would it take to cancel out the number of photons produced in a medium sized star like our Sun, thus making it dark? (I want to consume more photons than the star is generating)
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What is the massless limit of massive electromagnetism?

Consider electromagnetism, an abelian gauge theory, with a massive photon. Is the massless limit equal to electromagnetism? What does it happen at the quantum level with the extra degree of freedom? ...
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Why are photons released from high-voltage electricity through a near vacuum?

I read an answer to what is inside a typical vacuum, and it suggested neutrinos from Space, and vapor from the container. So, maybe they add to this effect... But why are photons released from ...
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How many photons can an electron absorb and why?

How many photons can an electron absorb and why? Can all fundamental particles that can absorb photons absorb the same amount of photons and why? If we increase the velocity of a fundamental ...
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when photons can be trapped in a cavity and manipulated. How they can be observed without being destroyed?

An observer is anything that can cause a wave function to collapse. That is an interpretation of wave function collapse (usually referred to as the measurement problem). Now, when can photons be ...
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615 views

Is there still light in practical darkness? Do photons penetrate everywhere?

I always thought that, even in darkness, there would still be some light, making complete darkness, i.e. complete absence of photons as far as I know, just a theoretical thing. When I tried looking up ...
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Is it possible to charge photons

For example there are anti-particles to every particle we know, Similary in some sense, is there a possibility that we can charge photons..if not what are the reasons and has there been any attempt ...
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238 views

Transmission of Gaussian Beam Through Graded-Index Slab

The $ABCD$ matrix of a glass graded-index slab with refractive index $n(y)=n_0(1-\frac{1}{2}\alpha^{2}y^{2})$ and length $d$ is $A=\cos(\alpha d)$, $B=\frac{1}{\alpha}\sin(\alpha d)$, $C=-\alpha ...
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Is there any optical experiment that can not be explained by photon model defined in QED?

Some author(in the paper of Evolution of the modern photon) mentioned that photon cannot account for the zero intensity through two crossed polarizators by 90 degree. Why so?
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76 views

Non-conversion of mass & energy?

This article is certainly an interesting alternative perspective, but is it factual or does it contain fallacies? http://www.circlon-theory.com/HTML/EmcFallacies.html Are mass and energy not ...
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Can non-photon atomic particles (can/may be) stimulate photonreceptors in our eyes?

I want to ask if the human eye can see only photons particles between ultra violet and infrared wavelengths, can we see other particles (that have a wavelength between ultra violet and infrared) ...
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242 views

What is a virtual photon pair?

When describing a black hole evaporation in the hawking black body radiation it is usually said that is due to a virtual photon pair, is it this what happens? And what is virtual photon pair, does the ...
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Why is Light invisible?

Why can't we see light? The thing which makes everything visible is itself invisible. Why is it so?
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What is the difference between infrared heat and “regular” heat?

In Feynman's terms temperature is the speed at which atoms are 'jiggling'. Now, let's suppose I've just eaten a sizable dinner, and my body temperature just got a tad up. Am I emitting more photons in ...
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Photonics: Slab As a Lens [closed]

The question can be found here: http://gyazo.com/fc4d26cd35e6ce368ad2a8ed504f1dcc The refractive index it references can be found here: http://gyazo.com/94fd2f3b5ea7da9226c3acd56b0024c1 I'm not ...
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Single photon and double-slit experiment [duplicate]

Laser fires single particles of light, called photons, through the slits. Even though only single photons of light are being fired through the slits and They create three pattern again. How single ...
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Conservation Laws in Photon Parametric Down-Conversion

As Wikipedia explains, one photon passing through a crystal sometimes down-converts to two photons. Wikipedia says total energy and momentum are conserved by just considering the three photon states; ...
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How is an ideal mirrored box of photons distinguishable from massive particles?

Suppose you have an ideal mirrored box that contains enough photons as to have a relativistic mass equivalent to the [rest mass + kinetic energy] of an electron. In other words, the two systems have ...
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Why is there a photon every millimeter on earth coming from a star millions of light years away?

I've been having this confusing thought for so long now it would be amazing if someone could answer me. Imagine this asterisk * . As you see, from the center point, lines go outwards, just like a ...
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What happens when a photon hits a mirror?

When a photon of light hits a mirror does the exact same photon of light bounce back or is it absorbed then one with the same properties emitted? If the same one is bounced back does it's velocity ...
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polarization and frequency of a single photon

I believe that we can take a single photon state as a tensor product of a frequency Hilbert space (infinite dimension) and a polarization Hilbert space (dim 2). Does this mean we can measure the ...
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Does the uncertainty principle apply to photons?

Wikipedia claims the following: More generally, the normal concept of a Schrödinger probability wave function cannot be applied to photons. Being massless, they cannot be localized without being ...
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164 views

Is it possible to change the path of a single photon?

In other words, if a photon is emitted from source, is it possible to change its course en route either by introducing a gravitational lensing or some sort to change the road it travels (spacetime) ...
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Photons and uncertainty principle

Let's assume we have a perfect single-photon source: a device emitting exactly one photon at a time, with defined energy and direction. Let's shoot a photon: we know exactly the position of the photon ...
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469 views

Why do photons add mass to a black hole?

Why do photons add mass to a black hole? When photons are taken irreversibly into a black hole does the mass of the BH increase?
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580 views

Why do photons travel?

Photons travel at the speed of light. Is there a known explanation of this phenomenon, and if yes, what is it? Edit: To be clearer, my question is why do photons travel at all. Why do they have a ...
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How is light affected by gravity?

Light is clearly affected by gravity, just think about a black hole, but light supposedly has no mass and gravity only affects objects with mass. On the other hand, if light does have mass then ...
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261 views

Expression for the (relativistic) mass of the photon [closed]

I started learning a bit ahead from an old physics book, and they were discussing the photoelectric effect and after that Planck's hypotheses and energy quantas. The book said that the mass of a ...