"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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What is the energy distribution of light if it has an infinite length?

What is the energy distribution of light if it has an infinite length? I have read in one of the answers here on phys.SE that light has actually an infinite length. But then what is the energy ...
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Photons emitted at the event horizon?

While looking through the questions, a came across a section about black holes. I immediately though; what would happen if an atom is orbiting a black hole and emitted a photon perpendicular to the ...
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When photons reach us, what exactly is happening to us and to that photon?

I'm new to physics and am just going through some of the free online classes at World Science U, and after watching this video on the nature of the speed of light and its constancy, a question came to ...
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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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Why photon-electron energy transfer can't occur in steps or does it?

The process of exchange of energy between a photon and an electron only occur after a specific energy called work-function of the material. Thus, the energy transferred is quantised due to the fact ...
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Does a high energy photon experience deceleration or direction-change when it impinge into water or something due to the change of refraction index?

Wave experiences refraction when it propagates into another medium which has different refraction index. Lights surely does experience refraction at the border of mediums which have different ...
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Do atoms of a surface excite to reflect the light?

How do surfaces reflect certain colours and absorb the others?
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Why can colors be mixed? [duplicate]

We can combine colored light, creating other colors, at least in terms of visual perception. But how it the result physically "a different color" - if it is at all? Or is all this not a physical ...
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light entering a black hole's singularity

I already understand that light cannot escape a black hole after passing the event horizon, so please do not explain that to me. What I would like to know is this: a well known fact about light (a ...
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Why don't we substitute for $p$ in $E = pc$?

See, the energy of a photon is given out by $E = pc = hv$ why don't we substitute for $p$ in $E ^2= p^2 c^2 + m^2 c^4$ by putting $p = \gamma mv$ and then get a value for $m$ (which will be $0$ for a ...
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Photon Angular Momentum

Essentially I am wanting to evaluate $$\langle j\, m \mid a^\dagger(\mathbf{k}, \lambda) \mid 0 \rangle \,,$$ where $\lambda$ indicates the circular polarization (about $\mathbf{k}$). We have that ...
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Energy in an electromagnetic wave

A radio antenna creates EM waves through switching the polarization in the antenna at a certain frequency. I assume the the energy of the photons produced in this process amount to E=hf for each ...
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What is the mechanism behind the slowdown of light/photons in a transparent medium?

So light travels slower in glass (for example) than in a vacuum. What causes light to slow down? Or: How does it slow down? If light passes through the medium, is it not essentially traveling in the ...
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How does the frequency of a particle manifest itself?

In terms of wave-particle duality for, let's say a photon; how would the frequency practically manifest/demonstrate itself? Like, i understand that the frequency is related to the energy a particle ...
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What if photons are not the fastest particles?

Einstein originally thought that special relativity was about light and how it always travelled at the same speed. Nowadays, we think that special relativity is about the idea that there is some ...
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Can a photon get emitted without a receiver?

It is generally agreed upon that electromagnetic waves from an emitter does not have to connect to a receiver, but how can we be sure this is a fact? The problem is that we can never observe non ...
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About photons and mirrors

If a photon hits a 'perfect' mirror (with no environment interference) would the mirror move a bit?
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Why can lights(photons) bends in a curve through space without mass? [duplicate]

I've heard that light can form a curve if they travel near high-mass stars or even a backhole with high gravities. Which is according to this equation. $$\large F_{g}=\dfrac{Gm_1m_2}{r^2}$$ But I've ...
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If 'pure energy' is photons, and energy is conserved, how can matter and antimatter (electrons and positrons) annihilate into photons and vice-versa? [duplicate]

The first law of thermodynamics says energy cannot be created or destroyed. But we can collide photons to form electrons and positrons. Does this means that law does not apply in these microscopic ...
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Photons and Black holes

How many photons in one Planck volume would it take to form a tiny black hole? A photon doesn't have mass but it does have energy, $1.0101 \times 10^{-37}$ Joule for red $650$ nm wavelength light if ...
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Do photons interact only with single partles or can a single photon be absorbed by 2 or more particles simultaneously?

Say I have 100 particles in a vacuum that are spread out such that their movement caused by a time variant electromagnetic field does not have an effect on each other. That is the particles can not ...
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Photons and proper time

Why is there no proper time without inertial frame? In question n°95054 I learned that there is no proper time zero and no proper distance zero for photons because they are no inertial frames. That ...
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Is coherent light required for interference in Young's double slit experiment?

In this Veritasium video, a home experiment is presented which appears to produce a very good double-slit interference pattern with normal sunlight. The experiment is an empty cardboard box with a ...
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limited number of photons problem

Given that there are a finite number of photons that exist in the universe, and the maximum speed of a photon is governed by the speed of light, is it possible that enough people observed an object, ...
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SPEED of LIGHT as photons reach black holes [duplicate]

As photons reach a black hole and begin fall in - is their speed increased as they go down (like a vacuum cleaner does to dust).
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Relativity and photon interactions

A particle's interaction (with anything it can interact with) can be thought of as it making a measurement of the physical quantity associated with the interaction, (e.g. electric field in case of the ...
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How do we know that photons are exactly massless and travel exactly with speed $c$ in vacuum?

I know that this question may sound stupid, but what I mean is that photons have some energy and no mass, yet the mass and energy are said to be equivalent (or maybe I got that part wrong). In an ...
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Speed of light originating from a star with gravitational pull close to black-hole strength?

Imagine you have a star which is on the brink of turning into a black hole. Lets say it is infinitely close to become a black hole, but not there yet. Since there is no event horizon, but a great ...
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How is the image in a mirror created? Are there infinitely many light rays?

How is the image in a mirror created? Are there infinitely many light rays? My motivation for the question is from image processing. We work with images as discrete 2D functions, as matrices. Spatial ...
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Photon emission and absorption by atomic electrons

Assume a photon is produced by an atomic electron making a transition down from a certain energy level to another. Can that photon only be absorbed by another atomic electron making exactly the ...
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Why is an electron still an elementary particle after absorbing / emitting a photon?

When an electron absorbs a photon, does the photon become electron "stuff" (energy); or, is it contained within the electron as a discrete "something"?
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Why do photons excite electrons?

I know that when electrons encounter photons, they become excited and move to an orbit farther away from the nucleus of an atom as a result. What I want to know is exactly why the photons cause the ...
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What is the significance of the difference in the eigenvalue equations of Bloch functions for electrons vs photons?

any text on photonic crystals will highlight the almost perfect analogy between electrons in a periodic potential and photons in a periodic dielectric. The analogies are: $$V(\vec r + \vec R) = ...
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Kinetic energy of a photon and Schwarzschild radius

I have read here, that $\frac{1}{2}mv^2$ must not be applied on a photon ever. If i want to calculate escape velocity $v_e$ i need to use $\frac{1}{2}mv^2$ because we say that kinetic energy ...
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Detecting a photon without changing it: Does it break conservation laws?

This is about an article published on ScienceMag: Nondestructive Detection of an Optical Photon. I don't have access to full text, but you can see a brief transcription in this link. Basically, it ...
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Can relativistic momentum (photons) be used as propulsion for 'free' after the initial generation?

In discussing this question about propelling a spacecraft with photons and their relativistic momentum, the author asked that I restate my comment as another question. If photons can really be used ...
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Is every electromagnetic radiation considered “light”?

Somebody mentioned on Freenode chatroom for physics that All Electromagnetic Radiation are delivered in form of Photons not just light. Is it true? Does that mean if we get a THF electrical ...
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Do beam splitters work for very broad photons? (frequency bandwidth, spatial extent)

If I send a single photon through a usual beam splitter, is there a limit for the beam splitter to work properly related to the photons broadness in frequency or in space? For example a femto second ...
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Information carried by single photon

In Quantum Information we can use photons for quantum bits (qubits). What i often read is that each photon can carry one unit of information, i.e. using the polarization state of a single photon. I ...
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Are photons absorbed by expanding space?

Can a photon/EM-field-excitation redshifted by spatial expansion be completely dissipated? Does the energy reach a minimum value (Planck's constant) and continue on as normal? Does expansion also ...
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What is the nature of Young's Double Slit Experiment with detectors?

If a detector is kept at the two slits the fringes disappear. But, when the detectors are removes do the fringes come up immediately without any significant time lag? Can there be a way to switch on ...
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Wave function of a photon?

consider a single photon. Since it is not possible to create a photon with a certain frequency it can be characterized by a normalized frequency distribution $f(\nu)$ that is peaked around some mean ...
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How to formulate collapse in polarization subspace of a photon?

I am wondering how to describe the collapse of a photon state when it is measured in the polarization degree of freedom (say by a filter which let pass just one particular polarisation). Let the free ...
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If a photon is a boson and has spin 1, shouldn't it have 3 spin orientations since spin 1 is a triplet? [duplicate]

I've gotten used to the fact that a spin can be described by its total spin and its $z$-component. And I've learned that a particle (really, anything) with spin 1 forms a triplet with three possible ...
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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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Size of a photon

When detecting radio waves in space, we use very large telescopes or arrays of telescopes. But according to QM, aren't photons point particles when measured? Does a photon with a large wavelength ...
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How is it possible for light to be a wave and a particle? [duplicate]

I have always been interested in Physics, and lots of people say that light is a particle and a wave. How is it possible? How can a photon (a light particle) be a wave as well, when its a particle? ...
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Light formed by the sun?

This is an extract from the astrophysics chapter in my book: Hydrogen atoms fuse to form helium. At the same time, lots of of gamma photons and neutrinos are produced. The photons take thousands ...
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need data-point: count rate of APD (avalanche photo-diode) for specific aperture and stellar magnitude

I hope lab / experimental physics is fair game for this web-site. If not, sorry! I'm designing a sensor system to perform specialized [astronomy and space-sciences] experiments, and need a "reality ...
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How do cathode ray tubes (CRT) synthesize colours?

I just read about how LCD displays were based only on black&white contrasts, and only colour filters on each subpixel generated the colour of a pixel. However, how does that happen for a CRT? Is ...