"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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Deriving Planck's radiation law from microscopic considerations?

In the usual derivation of Planck's radiation law, the energies or frequencies $\omega$ of the oscillators depend on the measurements $L$ of the black body. The model is such that the only ...
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363 views

At what angle does a single atom “reflect” a single photon?

Does this question make sense in the quantum world? Imagining a single photon (wave packet?) interacting with a single atom (its electrons etc) how do we currently describe/define the emitted photon ...
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Why can't we make measurements in a photon's rest frame when loop diagrams make measurements possible?

It is one of the axioms of special relativity that the photon has no rest frame; light travels at speed c when measured in any inertial frame of reference. As a corollary, it is often said that if one ...
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Quantum Cryptography

First question was a little bit ambiguous. Photons are passed through a linear polarizer that is oriented $\theta$ degrees again the photon passes through another linear polarizer that also have a ...
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1answer
160 views

Can unbound electrons jump energy levels?

If an unbound electron (or indeed any charged particle) is moving through free space, is there a probability that it can spontaneously change energy by emitting a photon, or does this require the ...
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Have red shifted photons lost energy and where did it go?

I think the title says it. Did expansion of the universe steal the energy somehow?
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378 views

Is the electron wave function defined during photon emission

I have heard the term quantum leap to describe the (instantaneous?) transition from a higher energy orbital to a lower energy orbital. Yet, I understand that this transition time has now been ...
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What longest time ever was achieved at holding light in a closed volume?

For what longest possible time it was possible to hold light in a closed volume with mirrored walls? I would be most interested for results with empty volume but results with solid-state volume may ...
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277 views

Wavelength of photon changes as it rises from a planet's surface(acc. to this equation)?

The setup assumes a large mass(Earth?) an a photon launched from its surface initially. The wavelength of the photon on launch is known. Then the new energy of the photon is compared with energy it ...
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True or false? Particle physics [closed]

It is not possible to prove the point of origin of a photon It is not possible to prove the point of origin of a free electron It is not possible to prove that protons or neutrons exist inside a ...
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428 views

Entanglement and the double slit experiment

Is the double slit experiment an example of entanglement when it seems as if the photon is going through both slits? Or put another way, is it at this stage when we attempt measurement we see a photon ...
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3answers
518 views

Can a photon be emitted with a wavelength > 299,792,458 meters, and would this violate c?

Just curious if the possibility exists (not necessarily spontaneously) for a photon with a wavelength greater than the distance component of c to be emitted, and would this inherently violate the ...
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Fields versus Photons

Does the field of a set of photons behave differently from a single photon. e.g. Suppose I have a group of photons with their Electric fields $\mathbb{E}_n$ all aligned. So $$\mathbb{E}_{\text{tot}} ...
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Is photon emission possible without electrons changing energy levels?

Does molecular vibrational transition and consequent emission of infrared radiation involve electrons changing energy level? In wikipedia, about vibronic transitions it says "Most processes leading to ...
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211 views

Why is $c$ considered as the speed of the photons?

Maxwell equations brought $\ c_{o}=\frac{1}{\sqrt{\mu_{o}\varepsilon_{o}}}\ $. Since this is a constant, it made all physicists at that time wonder where was the frame of reference? They ended up with ...
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6answers
2k views

Do photons have acceleration?

Photons travels with the largest speed in our universe, the speed of light. Do photons have acceleration?
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178 views

For someone who only studied electromagnetism, what is the modern way to explain electromagnetic fields?

After reading most of the electromagnetism chapters of Feynman's lectures on physics, I would like to understand in more detail, at least an idea, of what causes the electromagnetic fields. Not sure ...
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602 views

What happens to a photon in a black hole?

Assume a photon enters the event horizon of a black hole. The gravity of the black hole will draw the photon into the singularity eventually. Doesn't the photon come to rest and therefore lose it's ...
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Signal-to-noise ratio of the difference between two signals

Something tells me this must be a fairly simple question, but I have somehow been unable to find an answer to it. In short: I need to calculate the difference between two signals, A and B, each one of ...
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129 views

Will a photon emitted from something moving quickly have a shorter wavelength?

If a photon is emitted from a light source moving at any speed, the photon will nonetheless always move at c (assuming it is emitted in a vacuum.) If the speed of a photon's emitter cannot influence ...
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516 views

Photon spin projection to arbitrary axis

For photons (and any massless particle) we consider only a spin projection into the direction of motion (helicity). Why it's meaningless to talk about projection of photon's spin into some arbitrary ...
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251 views

What is the mass of a photon in non-empty spaces?

It is a well known result of the special theory of relativity that the photon has no rest mass, because for a particle to attain the speed of light, it must have zero rest-mass. I will not dig into ...
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274 views

What frequency photons are involved in mediating physical force?

If the force felt when pushing an object is mediated by the electromagnetic interaction and hence photons, what is their frequency?
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304 views

What would be pressure of 1 kg of photon gas at room temperature put in a volume of 1 liter?

Suppose a number of photons with spectrum corresponding to black body spectrum at 293 K with total energy corresponding to 1 kg put in a box with ideal mirror walls with volume of 1/1000 of a cubic ...
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615 views

If photons are deflected by a strong gravitational field, then how come photons do not have mass? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Explain how (or if) a box full of photons would weigh more due to massless photons It has been proved and showed through experiments that light can be bent by the Sun or ...
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What causes light to move through a vacuum

I was looking at rockets and stuff and thought about how they move through a vacuum using newtons 3rd law, and then I started thinking of any other ways you could move through a vacuum without using ...
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468 views

Can photons and gluons be holes in an aether?

Consider photons and gluons have 0 mass and 0 charge. In many respects they're already understood as the absence of a particle by mathematical models. Couldn't this be interpreted to mean they ...
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What exactly is a quantum of light?

I am currently trying to learn some basic quantum mechanics and I am a bit confused. Wikipedia defines a photon as a quantum of light, which it further explains as some kind of a wave-packet. What ...
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Why are noble gases used for lights?

I know that neon is used in advert signs due to its inertness. However, I am not entirely sure how the inertness is exploited. I think it is because Ne being inert means that after electricity frees ...
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What about the other side of the Black Hole

I was wondering if on the recieving end of a black hole can you see the photons being sucked in
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What if we could give photons some mass?

I was reading an article and these paragraphs got me wondering... Before I list the replies, here is some background. The Higgs mechanism describes an invisible field that, it is argued, split one ...
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234 views

Formation of black holes

If stars start with a finite density and light can escape from them, how can they be compacted to form a mass with infinite density which light cannot escape? The black hole will have the same mass as ...
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What are the specific requirements for a do-it-yourself quantum double-slit experiment?

I was shocked to recently learn that the double-slit experiment is not only possible to do with completely ordinary equipment (with photons of course), but it actually looks rather easy. This is from ...
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838 views

What are the polarization states of the photons in a polarized and unpolarized light?

The photons are completely polarized, i.e their polarization states can be expressed as $a|R\rangle+b|L\rangle$, where $|R\rangle$ and $|L\rangle$ are two helicity eigenstates of the photon. For ...
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Does a photon in vacuum have a rest frame?

Quite a few of the questions given on this site mention a photon in vacuum having a rest frame such as it having a zero mass in its rest frame. I find this contradictory since photons must travel at ...
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why isn't the variance of Fano noise proportional to the number of photon arrivals?

I've been reading "Photon Transfer" by James Janesick and in Chapter 3 (http://spie.org/samples/PM170.pdf) he describes the various sources of noise in a CCD. Basically, incoming photons interact with ...
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Conservation of energy and Doppler effect?

From what I understand, the frequency of light coming from the source moving towards an observer increases. From $ E=hv $ , this implies increase in energy of photon. What really is confusing, is ...
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The energy carried from one winding of a transformer to another, in quantum terms

I have read in wikipedia this statement "The energy carried from one winding of a transformer to another, in quantum terms is carried by virtual photons, not real photons" (wikipedia src: virtual ...
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952 views

High speed and low speed photons

Looking at the discovery of the neutron, and I came across this page: http://www-outreach.phy.cam.ac.uk/camphy/neutron/neutron3_1.htm The animation on the left, talks about low energy photons and ...
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Wave / particle duality question for sound and light

Sound is usually referred to as just "sound waves" - we do not talk about a "sound particle" and only as a wave or "matter wave." Could something similar apply to light i.e. that there really is no ...
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345 views

Question about Rayleigh scattering

To quote from Wikipedia on elastic scattering, "In this scattering process, the energy (and therefore the wavelength) of the incident photon is conserved and only its direction is changed." How does ...
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Can you split a photon?

I was wondering if a photon is divisible. If you look at a photon as a particle, then you may be able to split it (in theory). Is it possible and how do you split it?
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Propagation of light in transparent media: absorption and reemission or scattering?

In the two Phys.SE questions What is the mechanism behind the slowdown of light/photons in a transparent medium? and Why glass is transparent? transparent media were discussed. But I'd like to clarify ...
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photons in expanding space: how is energy conserved?

If a photon (wave package) redshifts (streches) traveling in our expanding universe, is it's energy reduced? If so, where does it go?
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Spontaneous pair production?

So I've been looking into particle-antiparticle pair production from a gamma ray and don't understand one thing. Let's say I have a 1,1 MeV photon and it hits a nucleus - electron-positron pair with ...
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Photons in a “wrap-around” universe

This question was inspired by: How are photons "consumed"? Imagine I have some number of photons, $N$, each of frequency $\nu$, moving randomly in a spherical "wrap-around" universe of ...
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How are photons “consumed”?

I have very little background in physics, so I apologize if this question is painfully naive. Consider the following thought experiment: an observer is in a closed room whose walls, floor, and ...
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Why are lasers inefficient?

Why are lasers inefficient? Is it because of the heat lost during lasing? Why couldn't there be thermocouples or turbines in parts of the cooling circuits to extract something out of that heat?
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Is there a limit to the visual information a photon can carry?

As photons bounce around and finally find their way into our eyes, are they continually relinquishing the information of the previous thing they "bounced off of"? Is this the reason why we receive a ...
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Hydrogen transition and photon behavior

consider a transition for an electron in the Hydrogen atom from the ground state to the 1st excited state. Let's say this transition occurs through absorption of a photon of exactly the energy ...