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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Angular Momentum of a Photon

Why is it that the angular momentum of a photon is $\hbar$, irrespective of its energy? I encountered such a claim in a text about Raman spectroscopy. Is there an explanation for this using basic ...
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41 views

How frequently do accelerating electrons emit photons?

In the quantum 2-slit experiment with light, we know that as the source intensity is turned down, individual photons arrive at the detector. I would like to know if there is a formula which tells us ...
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74 views

Does 'real' photon electromagnetically interact with matter?

Consider the standard description of Compton scattering - radiation is constituted of stream of photons (these are supposed to 'real' as contrasted to 'virutal' photons of the QED). One of these ...
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2answers
89 views

What is entanglement really about? [on hold]

I am a beginner in this field, I am trying to understand the basics of Quantum Mechanics, I want straightforward answers to few questions on entangled photon/electron: 1- What entangled photons ...
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50 views

Could a photon also be a fermion? [duplicate]

Some phycisits have found photons that has a spin of 1,5. Now fermions has always a half spin and bosons like photons always with a whole spin. But if those photons really exists are they than ...
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44 views

Gaining some intuition: Photon bunching

This is a very easy question: I'm in need of some intuition on the fact that, e.g. thermal sources, produce bunched photons. It is very easy to "undertand", without any quantum mechanics, why single ...
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Why can't electrons absorb any energy (i.e. absorb some energy of the photons necessary and emit the residual)?

Recently I had a question in mind about the absorption of photons. Why is it that only specific energy levels can be absorbed by electrons? I mean, I get the idea that electrons in an atom have only ...
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679 views

How do photons experience time? [duplicate]

I know that as velocity approaches the speed of light the time dilation shoots to infinity as shown below. 1)So I want to know how time is perceived from the point of view of the photon? 2)Since ...
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How does a photon experience space and time?

To an an external observer it appears that time has stopped for photon. But this relation is reflexive, so for an observer travelling with the photon it appears the universe has stopped everywhere. ...
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25 views

Does photon experience time? [duplicate]

According to the special theory of relativity, for all observers the speed of light is c. Any observer travelling at the speed of light c does not experience time. Hence even protons shouldn't ...
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1answer
90 views

According to Einstein & Brian Greene, does the photon remain stationary in the fourth dimension? [duplicate]

According to Einstein and Brian Greene, does it logically follow that the photon remains stationary in the fourth dimension? In An Elegant Universe, Brian Greene writes: “Einstein found that ...
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1answer
889 views

Gravitational redshift derivation [closed]

When we derive gravitational potential it is dependant only on (rest) mass $m$, but i have seen a derivation of gravitational redshift equation placing relativistic mass $\widetilde{m}$ instead of ...
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1answer
108 views

Convergence of light by light scattering amplitude

Perhaps I'm too exhausted to see the answer of why the photon-photon scattering should contain no divergences. In Peskin and Schroeder page 320 we find that because of the Ward identity the ...
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30 views

Can a photon be emitted if it is also not received?

In GR, the space for a photon is zero, so the destination is the same as the point of departure. In QM, a photon is an interaction between 2 charged particles. So basically, a photon cannot exist if ...
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3answers
375 views

What is the significance of wavelength when referring to light (in layman's terms)?

Without any equations or complex terminology, I simply want to understand in complete layman's terms what the significance of a single photon's wavelength is. People say that microwave radiation's ...
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2answers
804 views

Photons with half integer angular momentum - what's happening?

I have just read this article - what is happening? Analysing these beams within the theory of quantum mechanics they predicted that the angular momentum of the photon would be half-integer, and ...
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1answer
88 views

Can light be a spinor?

A recent discovery suggests that photons can have half-integer spins. This seems to contradict the well understood notion that photons are vector (1-form) fields What does this mean for the ...
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2answers
80 views

Does a source of photon emission “sense” if the photon is absorbed? [closed]

Can the absorption of a photon be 'felt' by the source that emitted it? At least, if we assume that it emits a steady stream of photons? Is there a back reaction of some kind on the source?
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3answers
95 views

Moving objects using light

Photon do not have mass but they have momentum, can we use laser to pick up golf ball and hurl it several yards away without burning it into crisp?
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Question about electron-hole pair generation in depletion layer for a p-n junction photodiode

At the heart of operation of p-n (or p-i-n) junction photodiodes is the absorption of photons leading to generation of electron-hole pairs. If the diode is, e.g., reverse biased, then the motion of ...
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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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24 views

Why is it that light bends towards gravity when it has no mass at all? [duplicate]

Why is it that light bends towards gravity when it has no mass at all? Is it because of how gravity behaves as mentioned in general relativity? As far as I know, light cannot escape from black holes, ...
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1answer
32 views

Perfectly elastic and inelastic collision of photon

I`m having some trouble understanding (and finding any relevant information) about the elastic and inelastic collision between a photon and a mirror in non-quantum machanical terms. When a photon hits ...
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3answers
450 views

Have CMB photons “cooled” or been “stretched”?

Introductory texts and popular accounts of why we see the "once hot" CMB as microwaves nearly always say something about the photons "cooling" since the Big Bang. But isn't that misleading? Don't ...
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Does a box containing photons have more inertia than an empty box?

A box containing photons gravitates more strongly than an empty box, and thus the equivalence principle dictates that a box containing photons has more inertia than an empty box. The inescapable ...
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4answers
84 views

If photons travel at the speed of light how can they ever be destroyed? [duplicate]

If photons travel at the speed of light than due to relativity they must experience no time frame in which to be destroyed in the first place so they must be immortal which is silly. So, clearly I am ...
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Same photon or different photon?

Consider a typical optical focusing system: A small light source, then a collimating lens, then a focussing lens, and then a detector (e.g. CCD). Assume that source intensity is so low that only one ...
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2answers
57 views

How can photon have wave properties if they travel at the speed of light? [duplicate]

I am not a physicist so please excuse me if this is a dumb question. As far as I understand Relativity, as observer (in this case a photon) travels at the speed of light, time stops. So how can the ...
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1answer
124 views

Why can TV broadcasts send such large amounts of data(photorealism) and a PC can't

Firstly I think I am right in saying that TV broadcast are sent via electromagnetic waves which means they are sent via photons, how is that even possible? And then the main questions, how can you ...
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24 views

Photon in the box electric field strength

If we put a photon in a box and suppose the resonant frequency is $f$. If we know the volume $V$, How do we approximate the electric fields at the center of the box?
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60 views

Concerning The Oil Drop Experiment: How does ionizing radiation create the electron(s) that the droplets of oil collect?

Concerning the Oil Drop Experiment: I read, “Ionizing radiation is used to create the electron that the droplets of oil collect. When the air in the apparatus is bombarded by this ionizing radiation ...
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2answers
149 views

Quantum eraser double slit experiment

In the quantum eraser double slit experiment, does the photon (or wavefunction) pass through one slit or both slits when different polarizers are placed over the slits?
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28 views

Definition of a field as a condensate state of bosons

I would like to know if a single boson can create a field or is it a requirement to have a condensate state of them where the number of bosons is not determined. For example, if you create a single ...
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22 views

Interesting question regarding stimulated emission

why is outgoing photon emitted during stimulated emission in phase with the incoming photon? I can't see why this is so because the two photons may be out of phase yet conserving momentum and energy. ...
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70 views

Rainbow Black Hole [closed]

In the photon sphere of a black hole the photons are being trapped in orbit, pulled in and trajectories changed. From a safe distance should we see color from the entire spectrum if light in the ...
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1answer
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If photons end up having a tiny mass, say $10^{-54}~\rm kg$, what would be the universal speed of massless particles?

First, I'm no expert so sorry if I get anything confused but I tried to research as much as could before asking this. So while it is pretty much accepted that photons are massless (Despite this ...
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46 views

Concerning The Oil Drop Experiment and Photon Absorption

Concerning The Oil Drop Experiment and Photon Absorption What would happen if you emit photons into the droplets, the molecule(s)? Is it possible for the photons to be absorbed by the droplet? I ...
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Photons when passing through matter

I am wondering whether there is a simple—or complicated—way to explain from a purely quantum mechanics (or QFT) viewpoint what happens to the photons when they go through some material whose index of ...
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How do electromagnetic waves carry energy?

Its said that electromagnetic waves carry energy. Is this because these waves are made up of electric and magnetic fields which can cause changes to the stuff that falls with in their range? Is that ...
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1answer
23 views

How can excite a semiconductor to make a photon just by heat in room temperature?

I want to know if a semiconductor in room temperature can excite by heat, producing photon, without any other source of energy?
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33 views

Electromagnetic Field caused by accelerating and oscillating charge particles?

Will accelerating and oscillating charges will cause EM waves of different shapes ? As EM waves are always shown as sinusoidal Electric and Magnetic Fields perpendicular to each other. Does it mean ...
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What is the relation between electromagnetic wave and photon?

At the end of this nice video, she says that electromagnetic wave is a chain reaction of electric and magnetic fields creating each other so the chain of wave moves forward. I wonder where the photon ...
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40 views

Is the helicity of photon Lorentz invariant? [closed]

If the helicity of a photon is $+1$ in an inertial frame, then is the helicity of this photon $+1$ in another inertial frame? The helicity operator is $$ h=\mathbf{S}\cdot\hat{\mathbf{p}} $$ with $$ ...
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45 views

Electromagnetic waves and photons? [duplicate]

Electromagnetic waves are photons or photons cause electromagnetic waves ? Its said that when charges are accelerated we get electric and magnetic field that carries energy but then they say that this ...
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2answers
166 views

Nature of light in Special Relativity

What is the nature of light in the context of Special Relativity? Is it a photon, or an electromagnetic wave, or something else? I have doubts, because a photon seems to me a quantum mechanical ...
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15 views

How could you slow down or change direction with photonic propulsion?

So you have a laser shooting at a sort of solar sail to transfer momentum in the forward direction but could you have an onboard laser and turn the laser around to hit another sail? How could you turn ...
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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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56 views

Does a photon follow a straight trajectory in a thin transparent film? [closed]

Emulsion films (developed by F.Powell) /by example/ show that elementary particles follow a straight trajectory staying in a film. The reason was clarified by Francis Mott in his famous 1929 paper ...
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Calculating saturation current and energy associated with a band of wavelengths

Consider white light whose wavelength spread is from 400nm to 700nm. Its energy is uniformly distributed in this spectrum. The light is incident on metal A of work function 1.55eV. Saturation ...
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Does an electromagnetic wave necessarily contain many photons? [duplicate]

I've often come across people saying from a quantum physics standpoint that an electromagnetic wave necessarily contains many photons. But doesn't the double-slit experiment conducted one photon ...