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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 electric field stretching (oscillating) perpendicularly and at any angle to magnetic field.

My question is why does light move in such a way rather than vibrating or rotating, or any other actions, in-situ? Is it due to absence of Higgs boson or perhaps I should ask why does not all elementary particles move in a straight line?

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  • $\begingroup$ The electromagnetic field of light does oscillate just like any other AC field. Field quanta i.e. photons only matter in case of fields which are associated only with a small number of them, either because the field is weak or because it interacts with another quantum mechanical system (like an atom) which can only absorb or emit one or a few at a time. I would warn you not to think of photons as particles with trajectories. That's not what they are. A quantum is simply the smallest amount of energy/momentum/angular momentum etc. that can be exchanged in an interaction between systems. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Jun 27 '15 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ not the absence of Higgs boson but the no interaction of the photon with the Higgs field. Question still interesting since almost all is energy $\endgroup$ – user46925 Jun 27 '15 at 14:32
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My question is why does light move in such a way rather than vibrating or rotating, or any other actions, in-situ? Is it due to absence of Higgs boson or perhaps I should ask why does not all elementary particles move in a straight line?

You have managed to mix two different frames of reference in the above paragraph. Light belongs to the classical physics frame , classical electrodynamics with Maxwell's equations, classical mechanics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. The Higgs boson belongs to the frame of quantum mechanics and elementary particles. In this frame the carrier of electromagnetism is the photon, an elementary particle in the standard model of particle physics.

The elementary particles in the table are point like particles, i.e. they have a probability of appearing whole at a point in space time ( x,y,z,t); probability because they are quantum mechanical entities really, the probability describing their evolution is expressed by a probability wave, the square of the wavefunction, the solution of the quantum mechanical boundary value problem.

So a single photon by itself will give a point (x.y) on a photosensitive screen at z, and a track can be extrapolated from the source to the point(x,y), except that the probability of finding a specific point(x,y) on the screen has a wave like functional dependence. And a photon moves with speed c.

Light can be shown to be built up by zillions of photons in a mathematically consistent way at the limit of large numbers, light is an emergent phenomenon from the underlying confluence of many individual photons. .

The existence of three dimensional holograms should satisfy you that all sorts of shapes can be built up by light, the continuous flow from the source ( laser) of zillions of photons. Individual photons cannot be static, they go to infinity or interact and are absorbed and scattered, keeping the velocity c.

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