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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Deflection Effects on a 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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Have they really photographed light behaving both as a particle and a wave?

I just came across this article where they are claiming that they have photographed light behaving both as a wave and a particle! The paper has been published in Nature Communications and I read the ...
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photon absorption by atoms causes heat?

I have came up with a weird doubt: photon absorption by atoms causes heat? I mean, I was always told that if the photon's frequency is the magic one, the atoms absorbs the photon and goes to an ...
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Do photons interact with molecules present in atmosphere? Do they get heated up and why? [closed]

I want to know about effects photons have on our atmosphere. Do they flow like electrons do in a conductor? Is their flow resisted by our atmosphere?
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2answers
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Can photons decay without interaction?

Can photons decay like other particles without interacting with other particles or fields, i.e. by just "being"? In case the answer is "no" - does this have anything to do with them travelling at c, ...
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Does a photon in vacuum have a rest frame?

Quite a few of the questions given on this site mention a photon in vacuum having a rest frame such as it having a zero mass in its rest frame. I find this contradictory since photons must travel at ...
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Can the intensity distribution behind edges and slits be explaint by the interaction with the surface electrons of the edges?

Reading about diffraction of EM radiation on edges, slits and multi slits as well as about electron diffraction behind a wire I came to the conclusion that the intensity distributions on an observers ...
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Do x-rays and gamma rays also contain photons like visible light does?

Do x-rays and gamma rays also contain photons like visible light does? If so, then what makes photons of visible light and other waves different? The rest mass of a photon is zero, but as it moves at ...
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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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Angular momentum conservation at quantum level

how angular momentum of system is conserved when electron jumps higher energy state to lower energy state and photon is emitted(circularly polarized)? i read somewhere that it is NOT conserved .Why?
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Relativistic momentum of an electron

Suppose we have some interaction between a photon and an (initially) stationary electron, and we wished to find the final momentum of the electron. Should we solve this using conservation of momentum, ...
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338 views

Is the virtual photon a particle?

I just saw an exam question: Write down the antiparticle for the virtual photon. The answer was "virtual photon". Is the question even a meaningful one? If so please explain why?
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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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Difference between electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and Electromagnetic Field?

I'm a freshly graduated electrical engineer. One course that I really struggled with was Field Theory, because it was a lovely assortment of vector calculus and things that were explained to me well ...
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1answer
135 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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What happens to the planck distribution if the temperature is set to zero?

BE Problem I am currently working on modelling the density of states and optical conductivity of graphene utilizing the GW algorithm. In calculating the exchange self energy of the system, the ...
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4answers
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Is pair production only with $\gamma$ photons?

in my revision guide the section on pair production only mentions it happening with gamma photons, so the question arose whether this is the only way it can happen? This is what the book says: "Pair ...
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2answers
139 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 ...
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Amount of energy received from photons when traveling at near-light speed? [closed]

Special Relativity says that when you are traveling in a rocket ship at near-light speed, in effect your clocks "tick slower", however from your reference frame every one else's clocks "run slower". ...
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Is it feasible to transfer energy from power stations to communities via photons instead of electrons?

Electrical wires are relatively inefficient in transferring energy--especially when the place of production is quite far from communities. Would it be possible to transfer that energy via photons? I ...
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Double-double-slit with entangled photons

Edited question to face complaints about ambiguity Following experimental setup. Bob uses a nonlinear crystal to create two entangled photons A and B. Consider a standard pair of EPR-entangled ...
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1answer
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Luminal motion and the uncertainty principle

I had a thought the other day about a connection between special relativity and the uncertainty principle. According to special relativity, you need an infinite amount of energy to accelerate a ...
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1answer
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Common CCDs and photons

Is it possible to capture single (refracted?) photons with a CCD in a typical digital camera? Are these more likely due to coatings, etc? I have minimal knowledge of physics, but am curious.
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1answer
114 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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1answer
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2nd law of thermodynamics - thought experiment

I have designed this simple thought experiment that seems to contradict 2nd law of thermodynamics. Could you please find a mistake in my reasoning? ...
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3answers
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Kinetic energy and Potential of a photon

How does the potential and kinetic energy of a photon relate? Do they mean the same thing? Also how does De broglie wavelength and Potential relate?
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2answers
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Is light a particle with EMF or does it travel in wave? [duplicate]

Is light a particle which has a electromagnetic field around it OR does the particle itself travels in a wave like motion? IS it just the EM field which moves in a wavy motion like ripples? (Please ...
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Quantum dual-slit experiment via Youtube live streaming (explanation within)?

What will happen with this theoretical setup: A scientist is bored one day and positions his photon detector at the classic dual-slit photon experimental setup. Then he wires the photon detector up to ...
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Are there any theoretical limits on the energy of a photon?

Is there any lower or upper limit on the energy of a photon? i.e. does the mathematical framework we currently use for Quantum Mechanics blow up when a photon surpasses a certain upper limit of ...
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Physical reality of calculated wavelength from the two measurable phenomena slit distance and fringes distance?

I see some difficulties in answering this question (Have we really measured the wavelength of light?) about the measurement of the light's wavelengths with double slit interference. "... we can find ...
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Saturation current vs frequency

In the photocurrent experiment, if the intensity of light is kept constant, but the frequency is slightly increased, what's the effect on the saturation current? I think saturation current should ...
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1answer
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Questions About The Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment

from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_choice_quantum_eraser (4/20/2015) From the wikipedia article The experimental setup, described in detail in Kim et al.,1 is illustrated in ...
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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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Is a photon always in a state of superposition while traveling through space?

In the double-slit experiment, we emit a photon that is in a state of superposition (wave form) which travels through both slits to interfere with itself. When we measure which slit it went through, ...
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What happens when light is reflected from a surface moving in a medium with a huge refractive index?

Imagine a mirror is moving away from a light source in a substance through which the speed of light is very slow -- so slow that the speed of the mirror is close to being the same as the speed of the ...
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Photon hitting an atom with higher energy than needed to ionize

Suppose we have an atom with several energy levels (e.g. an hydrogen), and it is hit by photons. I know that in order to have the atom change energy levels, the photon must have an energy level ...
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Why can't “missing mass” (=dark matter) be photons?

After a star lives and dies, I assume virtually all of its mass would be photons. If enough stars have already lived and died, couldn’t there be enough photon energy out there to account for all ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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Perpendicular doppler effect photons

If I have a photon with frequency f in the lab frame and the observe it in a inertial frame moving perpendicular to the photon. The direction of the velocity of the photon must change but does this ...
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Entanglement of two particles with same values of the entangled parameters?

The question For an entangled state consisting of systems A and B, if A is measured when does the wavefunction at B collapse? contains next entangled state: If there are two systems A and B, with ...
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Is This A Working Time Machine? [duplicate]

picture taken from this video for those who do not like to click on youtube links youtube video - retrocausality through Double Slit & Bose The answer will probably be no, but i am interested ...
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1answer
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Have we really measured the wavelength of light? [duplicate]

Have we practically measured the distances between the variations of electromagnetic radiations in space in nanometers or is it just theoritical because of calculations? Also the one who have marked ...
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1answer
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Why is it necessary to supply constant electricity to make a laser work?

As we know that in lasers there are excited atoms. When energy is provided in the form of light, heat or electricity to these atoms, these excited atoms after sometime go to a lower state of energy ...
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Double slit experiment with animals as observers

I was searching about the double slit experiment, reading and watching videos, etc. If I understood correctly, when they measure the photon it behaves like a particle. On the Youtube video Tom ...
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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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Photon: speed and mass

Is it correct to think that the speed of light does not depend on the speed of light source because photons have no mass, so they have no the kind of inertia that is associated with mass, so they can ...
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Where does an LED use energy other than emitting light?

I have a quantum formula describing what kind of photon should be emitted by an LED depending on its voltage. Of course the colour is depending on the material, but every type of LED also needs its ...
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1answer
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Can a solar panel work with heat?

As we know that a solar panels due to the energy of light, but can we run a solar panel with the same amount of energy provided as heat?
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1answer
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Would it be efficient to run a solar panel with laser?

Would it be efficient to run a solar panel with laser? I know this question is unsual as we are using electricity powered laser to run a solar panel. Actually i am paricipating in the Google Science ...
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1answer
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Understanding the behavior of light/photons inside a Laser

I am trying to establish a model inside my head of how light behaves but find it hard with all the seemingly contradicting information. For example, electrons inside a Laser are raised to a higher ...