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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Does the entropy of the universe change as expansion exceeds the speed of light?

The potential encoded information in a photon that is at the edge of the observable universe would seem to be lost as the universe expands. Does that loss of information contribute to the overall ...
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What could cause a diode laser to be emitting the half-harmonic of the fundamental frequency?

I have a 405nm laser which is seemingly outputting a small portion of 810nm light. I am wondering what mechanism this could be caused by. Is this a down-conversion phenomenon or perhaps just another ...
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Can a photon have little to no energy and/or speed?

Can a photon move more slowly than the speed of light and behave 'non-relativistically,' so to speak. Perhaps another way to express my thought is: could we stop a photon from moving?
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Brightness of light sources

I would like to know what determines the brightness of light.I'm confused,After hours of reading i got these definitions mixed up i need to link them together : Light intensity Brightness of light ...
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Why doesn't light vibrate in-situ?

Light always moves in a straight geodesic path (shortest distance between 2 points in flat space where gravity is homogeneous) across 3 dimensions of space and 1 dimension of time. It is consists of a ...
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Why does the Sun feel hotter through a window?

I have this big window in my room that the Sun shines through every morning. When I wake up I usually notice that the Sunlight coming through my window feels hot. Much hotter than it normally does ...
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What happens to theoretical physics if a photon has non-zero mass?

I want to know the theoretical implication if photons have a non-zero mass. What happens to the Maxwell equations? What happens to QFT? If the photon have mass it can decade?
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Photon Energy and Einstein Equation $E=mc^2$ [duplicate]

If the mass of a photon is zero and these ones travel to the light speed, how may I explain Einstein's equation $E=mc^2$? It is well known that the energy associated to a photon may be calculated ...
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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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How can we see objects that are so far away? [duplicate]

The HUDF used to be the deepest image of the universe ever taken by the Hubble telescope, the furthest star in this image is 59000 light years away. The star in question: Now Imagine a light ...
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137 views

Does a normal torch emit entangled photons?

I was reading a sciencenews.org post about three photons being entangled. My question here is, why is the chance of producing an entangled pair once in a billion times? Isn't every particle produced ...
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112 views

Laser Transverse/Longitudnal Modes

When we say Laser transverse modes. Is that mean what we will get at the output spot of laser beam ? secondly In practice , what TEM01 or TEMnm means ?
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48 views

Entangled Photon (laser pointer)

From a laser pointer emission; is it creating entangled pairs of photon? is it possible to get more than "pair" entangled, like group of photons all entangled?
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During transition of the electron from high to low energy state, is the photon released always of same energy?

Is it not possible that during transition of an electron from higher to lower energy state, it can release multiple photons of low energy instead of a single photon of the exact energy difference ...
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How do solar cells increase the lifespan of the Sun?

While reading "Physics of Solar Cells" by Würfel, I came across an amusing statement: An interesting aspect arises if we had to pay for solar energy, but could also get a refund for energy ...
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2answers
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Why are non-linear optics called non-linear?

Looking at the wikipedia article on nonlinear optics you can see a huge list of frequency mixing (or multi-photon) processes. What makes these different from single-photon interactions? More ...
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Don't photons pass photons move away at speeds faster than light? [duplicate]

I understand there is a longstanding rule that nothing travels faster than the speed of light... but if you had two flashlight aimed at each other and turned them on inside a vacuum the photons from ...
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How is polarization vector in QFT related to polarization in classical electrodynamics?

As i know in classical electrodynamics polarization shows the orientation of the electric vector in a plane perpendicular to the direction of propagation of light. But in quantum field theory ...
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Virtual photons, what makes them virtual?

The wikipedia page "Force Carrier" says: The electromagnetic force can be described by the exchange of virtual photons. The virtual photon thing baffles me a little. I get that virtual particles ...
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1answer
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Quantization of energy of phonons

when taking into account of energy of photons, the relationship $E=nh\nu$ stands because it is said that the Energy is proportional to the frequency of the electromagnetic wave, however when the ...
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What forms does the energy of a photon get converted to after absorption

Assume an object which has a high absorption rate of light. Now my question is, if you shine light on the object, what all forms of energy does the object acquire? I know there will be an increase in ...
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Explain the notion of light/electromagnetic waves/photons to a non-physicist

A non-physicist asked me about special relativity. My explanations naturally were based on gedankenexperiments involving light. This forced the question: "What is light? It is particles, isn't? Or is ...
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Spin zero photons

As I understand it, the reason why there is no Spin 0 Photon is because the polarisation of an EM field lives in two dimension. Hence we only have two basis vectors, yielding two pairs of ladder ...
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Photon Emission/Absorbsion from the Photons Perspective [duplicate]

First some assumptions. 1) Photons travel at the speed of light. 2) From the photon's reference spacetime is contracted to 0 length in the direction of photon travel. 3) From the photon's reference ...
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Why are photons bosonic?

I am studying the quantization of the electromagnetic field. My text quantizes by changing amplitudes to ladder operators, by putting in an action and by imposing bosonic commutation relations upon ...
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How do we know photons have spin 1?

Electrons have spin 1/2, and as they are charged, they also have an associated magnetic moment, which can be measured by an electron beam splitting up in an inhomogeneous magnetic field or through the ...
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Does a photon exert a gravitational pull?

I know a photon has zero rest mass, but it does have plenty of energy. Since energy and mass are equivalent does this mean that a photon (or more practically, a light beam) exerts a gravitational pull ...
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Do virtual photons have a frequency?

Real photons do have frequencies, which is directly related to its energy. So, can virtual photons that take part in EM interactions have frequencies too? When my hand is pressed up against a glass ...
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Why is a photon its own anti-photon?

Two properties of a photon that I have considered in trying to answer this myself : Photons are electrically neutral, so there is no need for "anti-photons" to preserve conservation of charge. Take ...
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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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Is a single photon also a Maxwellian wave?

A photon is associated with the equations $h\nu$ and $\frac{hc}{\lambda}$. My book (Serway Modern Physics) says that Einstein explained the photoelectric effect by assuming that the classical ...
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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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1answer
22 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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173 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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107 views

Why does the photon propagator contain the metric tensor?

The Klein Gordon propagator is (Peskin p-30) $$ D_F(x-y)=\frac{i}{p^2-m^2} $$ which is actually the Green's function of the KG field. But a photon contains additionally $g_{\mu\nu}$ in the numerator. ...
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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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How can the 'choice' of a photon said to be delayed?

My question arises from two ideas that seem to be contradictory. Idea One: Wheeler's Delayed Choice experiment is an interesting variation of the double slit experiment. Idea Two: In the "reference ...
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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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472 views

Does the electromagnetic field “spin”?

Due to electron "spin", a small magnetic field is produced. Maxwell's equations imply that magnetic fields are due to changes in electric fields. Is the magnetic field produced then because the ...
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How can a photon have a frequency but not a phase?

When a single photon is emitted as a result of relaxation of an electronic energy level, it (the field) is clearly in a Fock state because it has a well-defined number of quanta. By the uncertainty ...
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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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Why is Light invisible?

Why can't we see light? The thing which makes everything visible is itself invisible. Why is it so?
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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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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
151 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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53 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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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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the temperature of photon and its energy

Do photons have temperature? If not, does it mean that photon lose energy while travelling through space? As the planets farther away from the sun are comparatively cooler than the one that are ...
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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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Are electron fields and photon fields part of the same field in QED?

I know in classical field theory we have the electromagnetic field. And Maxwell's equations show how electromagnetic radiation can propagate through empty space. I also have been reading about QED ...