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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Compton effect confusion

In a certain question we were told that a photon collided with an isolated electron and as a result its wavelength changed. We were told to calculate the initial and final momenta of the photon which ...
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69 views

Reflection of light at a microscopic level [duplicate]

I always read that light is reflected by a mirror! My question is how does reflection takes place at microscopic level? Mirror is just atoms and electrons are revolving around the nucleus ! So where ...
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1answer
127 views

Are there any naturally occurring examples of photons without mass?

I read that a photon is said to have zero mass at zero velocity. Does this mean that they only exist in a state of probability until observed && interacting with some system? And then when ...
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1answer
159 views

does photon travels in a helical path in an optical vortex?

The wave front of the optical vortex beam is helical. Does it mean that the photon travels in a helical path? When the optical vortex beam is focused on a screen, an annular ring with dark center is ...
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79 views

Photons at Event Horizon

The escape velocity at event horizon of a black hole is same as speed of light, So this questions is not about all photons travelling into a black hole, but for those which are tangential to the event ...
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1answer
582 views

Photoelectric effect – Why does one electron absorb one photon?

When I read about the photoelectric effect, I came across this: "The electrons could not absorb more than one photon to escape from the surface, they could not therefore absorb one quanta and then ...
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1answer
59 views

How many times can a photon be absorbed?wC

I am just being introduced to quantum physics. I know that in order for a transition in the energy level of an electron to take place, the photon energy must be equal to the difference in energy ...
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79 views

Calculating the Magnetic Component of a Photon

I've been trying to figure this out for some time. I have found some formulae on other sites that claim to allow me to calculate the magnetic component of a photon, but I have seen so many variants of ...
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5answers
240 views

What about a surface determines its color?

Light falls on a surface. Some wavelengths get absorbed. The other are reflected. The reflected ones are the colors that we perceive to be of the surface. What is the property that determines, what ...
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Do photons have/contribute to mass?

Do electrons gain mass by absorbing photons during excitation and releasing them by returning to the ground state? Do photons have mass in the form of energy by $E=mc^2$?
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482 views

Are photon energies conserved in general relativity?

As I understand it, both Maxwell's wave equation and the null geodesics of general relativity are scale invariant. Thus an electromagnetic wave can be shifted along a null geodesic without changing ...
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57 views

Does the Photoelectric Effect cause any kind of decay?

From my understanding, the Photoelectric Effect knocks electrons off of some metal using photons. Since electrons are being thrown out of the metal, does this cause some kind of decay?
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1answer
2k views

4-momentum of photon

The 4-momentum is defined as $p=mU$ where m is the rest mass of the particle and $U$ is the 4-velocity. Now I am confused as to how this applies to a photon for which one can't define $U$ since there ...
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2answers
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Deflection Effects on a Spinning Solar Sail

Suppose I have a solar-sail-powered starship flying directly away from a star. The sail is flat and perpendicular to the direction of travel. Now, in order to make the trajectory more stable (we ...
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1answer
112 views

photon absorption by atoms causes heat?

I have came up with a weird doubt: photon absorption by atoms causes heat? I mean, I was always told that if the photon's frequency is the magic one, the atoms absorbs the photon and goes to an ...
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2answers
124 views

Can photons decay without interaction?

Can photons decay like other particles without interacting with other particles or fields, i.e. by just "being"? In case the answer is "no" - does this have anything to do with them travelling at c, ...
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1answer
114 views

Angular momentum conservation at quantum level

how angular momentum of system is conserved when electron jumps higher energy state to lower energy state and photon is emitted(circularly polarized)? i read somewhere that it is NOT conserved .Why?
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1answer
145 views

Relativistic momentum of an electron

Suppose we have some interaction between a photon and an (initially) stationary electron, and we wished to find the final momentum of the electron. Should we solve this using conservation of momentum, ...
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1answer
399 views

Is the virtual photon a particle?

I just saw an exam question: Write down the antiparticle for the virtual photon. The answer was "virtual photon". Is the question even a meaningful one? If so please explain why?
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4answers
700 views

Is pair production only with $\gamma$ photons?

in my revision guide the section on pair production only mentions it happening with gamma photons, so the question arose whether this is the only way it can happen? This is what the book says: "Pair ...
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0answers
92 views

Amount of energy received from photons when traveling at near-light speed? [closed]

Special Relativity says that when you are traveling in a rocket ship at near-light speed, in effect your clocks "tick slower", however from your reference frame every one else's clocks "run slower". ...
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1answer
44 views

Luminal motion and the uncertainty principle

I had a thought the other day about a connection between special relativity and the uncertainty principle. According to special relativity, you need an infinite amount of energy to accelerate a ...
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1answer
30 views

Common CCDs and photons

Is it possible to capture single (refracted?) photons with a CCD in a typical digital camera? Are these more likely due to coatings, etc? I have minimal knowledge of physics, but am curious.
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1answer
92 views

What happens to the planck distribution if the temperature is set to zero?

BE Problem I am currently working on modelling the density of states and optical conductivity of graphene utilizing the GW algorithm. In calculating the exchange self energy of the system, the ...
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1answer
104 views

2nd law of thermodynamics - thought experiment

I have designed this simple thought experiment that seems to contradict 2nd law of thermodynamics. Could you please find a mistake in my reasoning? ...
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3answers
1k views

Kinetic energy and Potential of a photon

How does the potential and kinetic energy of a photon relate? Do they mean the same thing? Also how does De broglie wavelength and Potential relate?
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2answers
216 views

Is light a particle with EMF or does it travel in wave? [duplicate]

Is light a particle which has a electromagnetic field around it OR does the particle itself travels in a wave like motion? IS it just the EM field which moves in a wavy motion like ripples? (Please ...
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3answers
551 views

Double-double-slit with entangled photons

Edited question to face complaints about ambiguity Following experimental setup. Bob uses a nonlinear crystal to create two entangled photons A and B. Consider a standard pair of EPR-entangled ...
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1answer
249 views

Saturation current vs frequency

In the photocurrent experiment, if the intensity of light is kept constant, but the frequency is slightly increased, what's the effect on the saturation current? I think saturation current should ...
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2answers
105 views

Has someone measured that in the far field of radio waves, the electric and magnetic field oscillate synchronously?

That in near field both fields oscillating 90° displaced is obvious since in antenna rod a lot of electrons will be accelerated and and this oscillation of electric field is escorted by alignment of ...
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1answer
134 views

Perpendicular doppler effect photons

If I have a photon with frequency f in the lab frame and the observe it in a inertial frame moving perpendicular to the photon. The direction of the velocity of the photon must change but does this ...
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205 views

Is This A Working Time Machine? [duplicate]

picture taken from this video for those who do not like to click on youtube links youtube video - retrocausality through Double Slit & Bose The answer will probably be no, but i am interested ...
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Physical reality of calculated wavelength from the two measurable phenomena slit distance and fringes distance?

I see some difficulties in answering this question (Have we really measured the wavelength of light?) about the measurement of the light's wavelengths with double slit interference. "... we can find ...
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1answer
115 views

Have we really measured the wavelength of light? [duplicate]

Have we practically measured the distances between the variations of electromagnetic radiations in space in nanometers or is it just theoritical because of calculations? Also the one who have marked ...
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1answer
77 views

Why is it necessary to supply constant electricity to make a laser work?

As we know that in lasers there are excited atoms. When energy is provided in the form of light, heat or electricity to these atoms, these excited atoms after sometime go to a lower state of energy ...
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2answers
801 views

Double slit experiment with animals as observers

I was searching about the double slit experiment, reading and watching videos, etc. If I understood correctly, when they measure the photon it behaves like a particle. On the Youtube video Tom ...
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Where does an LED use energy other than emitting light?

I have a quantum formula describing what kind of photon should be emitted by an LED depending on its voltage. Of course the colour is depending on the material, but every type of LED also needs its ...
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1answer
109 views

Would it be efficient to run a solar panel with laser?

Would it be efficient to run a solar panel with laser? I know this question is unsual as we are using electricity powered laser to run a solar panel. Actually i am paricipating in the Google Science ...
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1answer
63 views

Can a solar panel work with heat?

As we know that a solar panels due to the energy of light, but can we run a solar panel with the same amount of energy provided as heat?
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2answers
286 views

Questions About The Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment

from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_choice_quantum_eraser (4/20/2015) From the wikipedia article The experimental setup, described in detail in Kim et al.,1 is illustrated in ...
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1answer
184 views

Understanding the behavior of light/photons inside a Laser

I am trying to establish a model inside my head of how light behaves but find it hard with all the seemingly contradicting information. For example, electrons inside a Laser are raised to a higher ...
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2answers
315 views

How to interpret single photon interference when the two possible paths are different in length?

Here is my question. I struggle with the definition of single photon interference. Let’s assume we have a Michelson interferometer and the interference pattern we observe is a single photon result, ...
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1answer
164 views

If we go to space why isn't the temperature high? [duplicate]

We know that the temperature in space (which has vacuum) is low. If I go to space will I feel sweaty and hot or chilly? I think I will feel sweaty and hot because the radiation (UV, IR, etc) of the ...
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2answers
73 views

What is the maximum of information in a beam of light?

If I look at the space I can see the Andromeda Galaxy as a small dot in the sky. If I look through a telescope, I can see the spiral shape. If the saw right through a huge telescope, I could see a ...
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4answers
545 views

Is a photon always in a state of superposition while traveling through space?

In the double-slit experiment, we emit a photon that is in a state of superposition (wave form) which travels through both slits to interfere with itself. When we measure which slit it went through, ...
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3answers
118 views

Photon: speed and mass

Is it correct to think that the speed of light does not depend on the speed of light source because photons have no mass, so they have no the kind of inertia that is associated with mass, so they can ...
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1answer
105 views

Why does a real/virtual photon interact only with charged particle?

A photon is the force carrier of an electromagnetic wave and it consists of an electric and a magnetic field propagating through space at the speed of light in vacuum. It exhibits wave-particle ...
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2answers
77 views

Can a laser work forever if constant electricity is provided?

Can a laser work forever if constant electricity is provided? If we take a laser and provide it with constant electricity will the reactions in the semiconductor generate photons forever?
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4-momentum of massless photons

The time component of a particle's 4-momentum is $$ E'=\frac{E-up}{\sqrt{1-u^2/c^2}}\tag{1} $$ Now suppose it is photons that you are observing from a system moving at $u$ on a line towards ...
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1answer
724 views

How can electromagnetic waves be affected by gravity if photons have no mass? [duplicate]

I have found answers that say that gravity interferes with the oscillating electric and magnetic fields of the waves and others that say that since gravity is a bend in space-time, in which case the ...