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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Can I catch a single photon with webcam's cmos or ccd sensors?

I thought it would be nice to capturing single photons using a webcam's sensor due to simplicity. I've read that ccd and cmos sensors have a certain percent of quantum efficiency. What about ...
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Break time-reversal symmetry in photonic system without using bias magnetic field

In photonic system, e.g, photonic crystals, people usually use ferromagnetic material or so called Tellegen medium which acts as effective field bias to break the time-reversal symmetry. I just want ...
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QED - Some problems with reflection from surfaces - diffuse, specular, IOR [on hold]

I've been reading about Quantum electrodynamics. There are a couple of effects that I see on objects, regarding reflections, that I cannot translate to the things that I did understand from this ...
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77 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 ...
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131 views

Does gravitational field has gravitational mass?

Other questions closely related to the one of the title (as I will show) are Does speak about work done on photon has sense? Does photon has a gravitational mass? Does exists a modern (and more ...
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50 views

How is light slowing down in a medium thought of in the photon picture? [duplicate]

The speed of light in any medium besides vacuum is smaller than $c$. In a classical way, I just look at that as a wave that propagates less fast, the change in EM-field is passed on slower. How should ...
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Gravitational “acceleration” and frequency change of a photon?

For massive particles, force translates into acceleration which again is a change of the velocity vector in direction and/or magnitude. For a photon, the velocity magnitude cannot change, only the ...
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66 views

Is the Energy of an absorbed photon exactly the energy of the band gap?

I was wondering, if the Energy of a Photon which is absorbed by an Electron, hast to be exactly the Energy of the bound gap. So if i have two energy levels in an atom $E_2$ and $E_1$, does my ...
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73 views

How can radiation be a transverse wave? Does light really resemble a rope? How can a 3D field be a medium for non-spatial 1D waves? Need mental model

I understand longitudinal waves. For example, I've got a clear mental modal of air waves: a slice of air becomes overcompressed, then the slice next to it becomes overcompressed and the first slice ...
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81 views

Question about electron-hole pair generation in depletion layer for a p-n junction photodiode

At the heart of operation of p-n (or p-i-n) junction photodiodes is the absorption of photons leading to generation of electron-hole pairs. If the diode is, e.g., reverse biased, then the motion of ...
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How does a photon leave trace of its polarization state in a photon detector but not trace of which direction it came in?

Some quantum erasure experiments involve polarization of photons. In one such experiment with a double slit, a horizontal polarizer is used in front of one slit, and a vertical polarizer is used for ...
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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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46 views

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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103 views

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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38 views

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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48 views

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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81 views

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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38 views

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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52 views

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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115 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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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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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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47 views

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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28 views

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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26 views

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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21 views

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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109 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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65 views

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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99 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 ...
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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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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 ...