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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Photoelectric effect and work function relation

Let's consider the graph above for two metals $M_1$ and $M_2$ showing relation between photocurrent and potential. First question that I want to ask here is that how do you relate stopping ...
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Why doesn't light affect a compass?

In our daily life a lot of photons of visible light, infrared and radio etc move around us. We know that light is an electromagnetic radiation. So why doesn't that electromagnetic radiation affect a ...
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Why can't light escape a blackhole? [duplicate]

Gravity attracts objects which have mass right. We know that light is massless so why does a black hole's gravity attract light?
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2answers
147 views

Isn't the Coulomb interaction a photon interaction between two charges?

Isn't the Coulomb interaction a photon interaction between two charges? if yes then what does the following text mean? (Many-particle Physics by Gerald D. Mahan.)
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2answers
51 views

How does light oscillate?

Why do we say that electromagnetic wave is oscillating? Or does light propagate really in a wavy form like this image? What is making the photons oscillate and how is it oscillating is it ...
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1answer
107 views

I want to know why light even moves at all.

Never mind in a vacuum, why and how does light even move at all? What propels it?
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In $1$-dimensional space, how would the gravity generated by an electron affect a photon moving away from the electron if the photon can’t slow down?

Suppose we had a universe obeying the same physical laws as our own. But it had only one spatial dimension (represented by the $x$ axis) and it was totally empty. There are just two point-like ...
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1answer
45 views

Does a photon travel in all directions?

For example i am standing and a beam of light is passing in front of me. I am able to see that beam of light so does it mean that photons are travelling in all directions other than the photons which ...
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Optics - Photodiodes - minimum photon energy that a photodiode will be sensitive to [on hold]

I'm foraying into the world of photodiodes, and I'm trying to calculate the minimum photon energy required for the photodiode to be sensitive to. Symbolic expressions desired. Minimum detectable ...
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2answers
910 views

In an electron-positron annihilation, in what direction are the photons released?

I read that, in an electron-positron annihilation, at least 2 photons are produced, because of the law of conservation of momentum. my question is: in what direction are those photons released? and ...
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3answers
176 views

Do free electrons really not interact with photons?

If free electrons don't interact with photons, why are free electrons accelerated by electromagnetic fields?
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3answers
246 views

Do photons lose energy due to gravitational redshift? If so, where does the lost energy go? [duplicate]

In the gravitational redshift, the frequency of photons radiated from some source is reduced. As the energy of a photon is given by $\hbar\omega$, if the frequency is reduced where is the lost energy? ...
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33 views

How does the photon differentiate between events?

As far as I know for a photon that's moving at the speed of light (obviously) time comes to a halt and space contracts to a point, making all travels instant from its perspective. Now this is the part ...
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Does photon polarization take place without scattering processes?

Behind two perpendicular crossed polarisation filters (for visible light) the intensity of light will be zero. After installing a third filter between the two others non parallel to each of them some ...
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1answer
35 views

Photon propagator inverse

If i have the operator $D^{\mu\nu}=\partial^{\mu}\partial^{\nu}+m\epsilon^{\mu\alpha\nu}\partial_{\alpha}$. What's your inverse $(D^{\mu\nu})^{-1}$?
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Photons under pressure

Does it make sense for photons to be put under pressure, if so how would this be measured? I'm wondering because I would like to plug in $E = h\nu$ into the formula for enthalpy.
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2answers
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How to count the number of modes/polarizations of a Gaussian field theory?

A Gaussian (free) field theory is described by a quadratic action of the field, e.g. $S=\int\psi^\dagger K\psi$ (or $S=\frac{1}{2}\int\phi^\intercal K\phi$ for real fields). Usually one just need to ...
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1answer
66 views

Do time stop for these two clocks orbiting each other at speed of light indefinitely? [closed]

This is a hypothetical question where there are two identical atomic clocks (Clock A and Clock B) perfectly in sync with each other, suppose it is possible to accelerate matter to the speed of light ...
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0answers
23 views

Does a superconducting coil need a minimum amount of electric current to be a superconducting magnet?

I'm not about that for a tiny amount of Cooper electrons perhaps we can't measure the magnetic field. I suppose that it needs some influental electric current below which the coil isn't a superfluid ...
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2answers
58 views

photon wave function, double slit, single photon source

There's an old argument by Newton and Wigner, that the photon as a massless particle can't have a position operator and therefore no position space wave function. How does this tie in with the double ...
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3answers
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How does an Inductor “store” energy?

It seems to me that an electromagnetic field is nothing more than a collection of photons, which as I've heard, extends through space infinitely. Why is it, then, that an inductor such as simple ...
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2answers
49 views

Models of light

As far as I'm aware, there are two different (and almost contradictory) models that describe the behavior of light: light as a wave (EM), and light as a particle (QM). From what I've heard, depending ...
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1answer
46 views

Quantum mechanics between proton & electron but not electron and positron

An electron approaching a proton gives off the hydrogen spectra. An electron approaching a positron does not give off the spectrum of hydrogen. Why? Both scenarios are -1 charge approach a +1 charge. ...
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1answer
55 views

Can I use the grand canonical ensemble for a photon gas?

I have been reading about photon gases at https://www2.chem.utah.edu/steele/doc/chem7040/chandlerch4.pdf. They do the analysis using a canonical ensemble. Since photon numbers are not conserved, I ...
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Does Gravity Act on Any and All Things in the Universe? [duplicate]

I'm studying physics, and the questions below popped up in my head. I learned that all objects on planet Earth fall due to the influence of gravity. A ball falls. A mug cup falls. A coin falls. ...
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3answers
164 views

Why most of physics is somehow related to light? [closed]

It seems that for the past 200 years, every physicist is concerned about light. For example : Newton's particle model, Young experiment, Photo-Electrict effect and Einstein's formula, Special ...
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730 views

Is Maxwell's field the wave function of the photon?

In his ArXiv paper What is Quantum Field Theory, and What Did We Think It Is? Weinberg states on page 2: In fact, it was quite soon after the Born–Heisenberg–Jordan paper of 1926 that the idea ...
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Is Magnetic Field is made of Photon? Is there any frequency of Magnetic Field waves? [duplicate]

(Considering the What is a magnetic field question which is asked on just 8th march, by @DragonSlayer3 and my own question which is left with negative points and closed, Photon Energies in sunlight, ...
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1answer
116 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 ...
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6answers
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Do photons have acceleration?

Photons travel at the fastest speed in our universe, the speed of light. Do photons have acceleration?
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1answer
54 views

Spectral lines and QM

In the various presentations I've seen so far in atomic physics of series such as the Balmer series, the wavelength of each spectral line is definite - but in QM, free particles have no definite ...
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2answers
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Dose-depth curve of photons vs. protons

The dose-depth curve of protons and photons can be seen in the image below: Now, what I've heard is, that in some cases, proton therapy is advantageous compared to photons, and of course the other ...
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6answers
884 views

What happens when a photon hits a beamsplitter?

Yesterday I read that we can affect the path and the 'form' (particle or wave) of a photon after the fact (Wheeler's delayed choice experiment). Part of what is puzzling me is the beam-splitter. Are ...
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1answer
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Saturation point of incident Light on an object

Since the color of objects depends on the parts of the visible spectrum reflected out and the remaining is absorbed; is there any maximum limit to which the absorption can take place? In other words, ...
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Where do photons go when they are absorbed?

The answer I usually get (and I'm paraphrasing here) is that they disappear and are instead absorbed as heat energy. But I find it hard to believe that the photon simply "disappears." Common sense ...
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Why photon propagator has metric tensor additionally?

Klein Gordon propagator is (Peskin p-30) $$ D_F(x-y)=\frac{i}{p^2-m^2} $$ which is actually Green function of KG field. But photon has $g_{\mu\nu}$ additionally in the numerator. I would expect its' ...
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Why can't photons have a mass?

Why can't photons have a mass? Could you explain this to me in a short and mathematical way?
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X-ray radiation - What does h * fmax = e * U mean?

I'm trying to figure out this formula for X-ray radiation $$h \times f_{max} = e \times U$$ $h$ = Planck's constant $f_{max}$ = maximum frequency, in hertz (?), that the photons can have because ...
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48 views

How can solar sails be maneuvered?

Photons from the Sun are always radial to it and hence solar sails can only travel radially. Any techniques related to maneuvering?
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5answers
370 views

Local EPR-experiments with photons in vacuum?

The principle of non-locality states "that an object is influenced directly only by its immediate surroundings." (Wikipedia) When two entangled particles are measured in an EPR experiment, we ...
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Do all massless particles (e.g. photon, graviton, gluon) necessarily have the same speed $c$?

I suppose there was a discussion already on speed-of-gravity-and-speed-of-light. But I silly wonder whether all the massless mediators of four fundamental forces, i.e. Graviton: $g_{\mu\nu}$ ...
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3answers
112 views

Is it possible to create a beam of light with frequency of 0?

Is it possible to create a beam of light with frequency of 0? So this would involve photon(s) that move forward without fluctuating with any frequency. If yes, how could this be done? Also, ...
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Does each photon have a unique wavelength?

Since the frequencies (or inversely, wavelengths) of photons are part of a continuous realm, doesn't this mean that no photon has exactly the same frequency? Two photons might have the same apparent ...
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What would the collision of two photons look like?

Could someone explain to me what the collision of two photons would look like? Will they behave like, Electromagnetic waves: they will interfere with each other and keep their wave nature Particles: ...
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3answers
117 views

What is a photon? [duplicate]

I'm trying to get a definitive and clear answer to the question of what a photon actually is. Textbooks seem to give quite vague explanations, all starting with Einstein's idea that a quanta is a form ...
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1answer
111 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 ...
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121 views

Slower than light photons in vacuum?

This report on the BBC site suggests that optical photons have been prepared that travel slower than c in vacuum. How is this possible?
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Do photons exert gravity? [duplicate]

I read about GR today and came across the Bonnor beam. As I understand it, two parallel light beams (in a flat space) will in fact creep – slowly – towards each other. As Wikipedia puts it: On the ...
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4answers
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Can we change a photon's frequency in mid-air?

Can we have a light source emitting photons in the infrared range and after, lets say, 5 meters, these photons become a photon in the x-ray range? The only way I know we can change a photon's ...
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1answer
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Do photons have a spectrum like light when they are treated as waves?

If light can be treated as both a particle and a wave, are there things called infrared photons, or ultraviolet photons etc, as there are infrared waves, or ultraviolet waves? Or are photons just ...