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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5answers
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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 ...
21
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7answers
4k views

How do we see? Where do the photons disappear?

I know that the light is reflected from a object to my eyes, but I don't understand exactly how. The photons appear from the light source and disappear in my eye! Can someone explain the phenomenon of ...
3
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1answer
47 views

Rate of interaction of free electron with photons from sunlight

How many photons does a free electron (in sunlight say) interact with per second? I did a rough calculation assuming the electron interacts with any photon that enters through an area the size of ...
15
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4answers
4k views

Why does the sun make me feel warm?

For a while I thought that the reason I felt warmth from the sun was because my skin was being hit by photons, but then I realized that photons also hit me when I take an X-ray, but I don't feel any ...
10
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2answers
858 views

Why don't photons split up into multiple lower energy versions of themselves?

A photon could spontaneously split up into two or more versions of itself and all the conservation laws I'm aware of would not be violated by this process. I've given this some thought, and a system ...
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1answer
52 views

Can one detect a single photon through measuring its impulse/momentum on a mirror?

Can one detect a single photon through measuring its impulse/momentum on a mirror? If the answer if YES or theoretically possible, photon path and interference fringes can be detected simultaneously ...
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1answer
34 views

Photon energies and attenuation [on hold]

I hope you can help. I am trying to understand which attenuation effect (photoelectric, compton scatter and pair production) is dominant at which level of photon energy and why. The levels are 10keV, ...
0
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1answer
13 views

Are the produced entangled photons in type II SPDC always in phase?

Are the produced entangled photons in type II SPDC (spontaneous parametric down conversion) always in phase? In Kim's delayed choice quantum eraser, two entangled photons are produced by a BBQ ...
3
votes
2answers
46 views

Which photons pass through a circular annulus?

Passing light through a circular sieve: Well, actually, let’s think about radar or microwaves with a wavelength of order a centimeter or two, so you can tailor your aperture, say by etching a silver ...
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5answers
6k views

Why doesn't light kill me?

Why does each individual photon have such a low amount of energy? I am hit by photons all day and I find it amazing that I am not vaporized. Am I simply too physically big for the photons to harm me ...
0
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1answer
25 views

What happens when the frequency of light propagating through a solid equals the resonance frequency of the electrons in the atoms? [on hold]

I was reading this article and the following questions came to my mind: During the propagation of light through a solid, the photons collide with the atom making the electrons vibrate. What happens ...
0
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1answer
82 views

Do photons emitted from a LED show bunching?

If photons are emitted from a thermal source, we get photon bunching. For coherent radiation, the detection probability doesn't change after detecting a photon. For single photon sources, we get ...
0
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0answers
44 views

Can photons be converted to dark matter in black holes? [duplicate]

I'm a pharmacy student so if it's not a good theory let's just not laugh at me :) I was wondering if it is possible that when the light enters a black hole and gets trapped in its gravity, its energy ...
0
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2answers
31 views

Pair Production in Entangled Photons

Two high-energy photons are entangled and go their separate ways. One of them undergoes pair production by interacting with an atomic nucleus, and this is observed. Does the other photon also undergo ...
0
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2answers
47 views

How to turn the light stronger than your strength in start

Imagine the following scenario: I have one lamp, and I would like to turn it stronger, like a strength of 2 lamps. Can I do it, passing the light (for example) through one crystal or a special ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

What are the non-absorbing methods to detect a single photon? [closed]

What are the non-absorbing methods to detect a single photon? Optical resonator with a rubidium atom is one of the methods. Are there any other methods? How does each method change the state of the ...
1
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2answers
143 views

Matter to energy conversion

Okay so I have a question, during a nuclear explosion or particle/antiparticle annihilation, matter is converted into energy. How do I determine if a from a explosion will come lets say a small ...
0
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1answer
42 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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0answers
24 views

Suggest an experiment which demonstrates that a photon must explore both paths through a beam splitter? [closed]

A left-circularly polarised photon is incident on an x-y beam splitter. Suggest an experiment that demonstrates that the photon must explore both paths through the beam splitter.
4
votes
2answers
181 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

The Thomson scattering optical depth for a photon ar radius r

I am looking to understand some more about the physics of gamma ray bursts. In particular I am looking at the origin of the "prompt emission". Some of the energy associated with this prompt emission ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Is possible to use optical fiber to transmit light to streetlights? [closed]

I was thinking about this idea: Only one lamp, inside a optical fiber structure, transmitting all the light through a lot of optical fiber cables direct to streetlights. (I guess that the cables ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

$U(1)$ local gauge invariance in QED [duplicate]

While constructing Lagrangian of QED, we don't add the mass term for photon $\dfrac{1}{2} m^{2}A_{\mu}A^{\mu}$ because gauge invariance does not allow. I want to ask, whether "$\bf{Theoretically}$", ...
2
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2answers
74 views

Silicon Laser and Laser mirrors

If I will place Silicon as the active medium to create a Silicon Laser. Why I cannot achieve Lasing ? secondly, why do we always consider Laser mirrors in an standing position along the optical axis ...
1
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2answers
733 views

What the lifetime of a massless black hole of photons?

Let a bundle of photons very concentrated in a very small area so that the space-time is curved as a black hole, and the photons can't escape: this is what I call a massless black hole of photons. ...
2
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3answers
58 views

Observing a photon during flight

When I was reading about the double-slit experiment in quantum mechanics, everything seems to make sense in terms of the waves and the interference pattern, but if thinking more about this ...
0
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1answer
77 views

What's the difference between vacuum particle-antiparticle annhiliation and regular annihilation?

Why does vacuum particle-antiparticle creation and annihilation result in nothing rather than photons? What is the difference between that and regular annihilation that does result in photons.
0
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2answers
85 views

Thought experiment on light accumulation

Consider an object which is a spherical one-way mirror, and let's call it the "Sphere". For the needs of the thought experiment, suppose that: the Sphere is perfectly spherical the mirror is ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Do photons have six degrees of freedom?

Calculations involving pressure and volume relationships of photon gas during the cosmologic expansion of the universe posit an adiabatic cooling process with a heat capacity ration of 4/3. This ratio ...
2
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3answers
128 views

Are there more photons than nuclei within the Sun?

Are there more photons than nuclei within the Sun? Is there a good way to estimate what the ratio would be?
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Flip of polarisation of light

Consider an optical experiment with photons or light pulses. Is there an optical element that acts in the polarisation degree of freedom like the unitary $$ U = \frac 1 {\sqrt 2} \begin{pmatrix} 1 ...
2
votes
1answer
18 views

Why is radiation under Poynting-Robertson drag anisotropic?

According to the Wikipedia article on Poynting-Robertson drag, the reason solar radiation slows an orbiting object is because the re-radiation of photons by the object is anisotropic in the frame of ...
2
votes
2answers
50 views

Do photons experience every moment in time and position in space simultaneously? [duplicate]

Would it be more correct to say that a photon, traveling at the speed of light, would experience all points in time simultaneously, and therefore be everywhere at once? It might be just our ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Physical meaning of wavelength of an EM wave

What is the physical meaning of the wavelength of light? This question has been asked before but I cannot find a satisfactory answer. Some respondents have said that the question is vague, I don't ...
42
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7answers
2k views

Photons from stars--how do they fill in such large angular distances?

It would seem that far-away stars are at such a distance that I should be able to take a step to the side and not have the star's photons hit my eye. How do stars release so many photons to fill in ...
6
votes
5answers
532 views

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
151 views

Do photons affect one another

This question can have many answers. For one, I would be enlightened to understand whether two photons can truly create an electron-positron pair, as well I would like to know if a photon is able to ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

Has someone measured that in the far field of radio waves, the electric and magnetic field oscillate synchronously?

That in near field both fields oscillating 90° displaced is obvious since in antenna rod a lot of electrons will be accelerated and and this oscillation of electric field is escorted by alignment of ...
1
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0answers
27 views

UV absorption decrease with an increase in concentration

I am working on a project measuring the absorbance of a solution which contains surfactant and hard brine. The solution has a constant concentration of surfactant and varying concentration of hard ...
0
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2answers
47 views

When a charged particle absorbs a photon, does the particle get 'pulled' or 'pushed'?

When a charged particle absorbs a photon, does the particle accelerate towards where the photon was coming from or where the photon was going
0
votes
2answers
31 views

Is the change in orbital of an electron the only way a photon is created [closed]

I would like to know if there are any other ways in which photon's are being emitted other than in the case an electron's orbital around a nucleus changes.
0
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2answers
81 views

Video of light passing through water

How is this possible? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtsXgODHMWk Video shows beam of light travelling through water. I was under impression that Einstein's equations showed that light speed is ...
0
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2answers
34 views

Would an ordinary or fluorescent lightbulb generate electricity when exposed to light?

I was wondering whether the physic laws or the nature in which lightbulbs are constructed would allow for lightbulb to generate electricity when subjected to strong (intensive and concentrated) ...
1
vote
2answers
199 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Material that changes transparency when lased from side?

I am into photonics research, and have been searching about this topic in vain, but almost nothing from Google shows up. So i turned here for some light. Do you guys know any material that changes ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What happens to light that falls into a black hole?

When light enters a black hole, what happens to it? I imagine the photons will either fall into the singularity, or the light will orbit just inside the event horizon indefinitely. (Some background ...
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2answers
122 views

Faster-Than-Light Communication using Entangled Photons

Based on my understanding of the “Double-Slit Quantum Eraser Experiment”, documented here: http://grad.physics.sunysb.edu/~amarch/, it seems that Faster-Than-Light communication is possible. Of ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Can we detect a photon's direction?

The question of if a photon even has a direction may be up for interpretation, but I wanted to know if it's possible for a device to absorb most light from every which direction and only detect light ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

Is the wobbly rope depiction of a radio wave inherently wrong? And how do vectors of parallel waves align with each other?

I don't have a scientific education, yet I'm scientifically curious. Among other things, I'm struggling to understand the nature of electromagnetic waves. What I have recently realized is that the ...
2
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1answer
120 views

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 ...