Where does photons come from and disappear to? Can photons be destroyed and created? Without atoms would photons exist? What other ways then from atoms can photons be made?


closed as too broad by Norbert Schuch, Kyle Kanos, user36790, gigacyan, ACuriousMind Mar 30 '16 at 0:17

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, photons can be "destroyed" and created. $\endgroup$ – Danu Jan 31 '16 at 11:44
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    $\begingroup$ This one might help a bit: physics.stackexchange.com/q/168684 $\endgroup$ – Hritik Narayan Jan 31 '16 at 11:45
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    $\begingroup$ Reasonable question. An unusual answer see here physics.stackexchange.com/questions/168684/… . Unfortunately it is without any criticism downvoted so it is not possible to see, what is wrong. $\endgroup$ – HolgerFiedler Jan 31 '16 at 12:08
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    $\begingroup$ @HolgerFiedler The problem with that answer is that we already have a quantum theory of radiation that has been verified to an enormous degree of precision ... perhaps (and arguably) standing with special relativity as the top two best-tested theories. Your ideas don't improve on what we already have. $\endgroup$ – garyp Jan 31 '16 at 16:03
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    $\begingroup$ In the case of the comment above "unusual" means "not even wrong". $\endgroup$ – dmckee Jan 31 '16 at 17:13

Photons mediate the electromagnetic force. Atoms are not necessary for photons to exist. You just need charged particles (electrons, protons, etc) to interact with each other from a distance.

There are many ways for a photon to be created and destroyed. Depending upon its wavelength, as it propagates in free space , it could "disappear" and a pair electron-positron could be created in its place. An atom could absorb it, and if it is part of a solid, it could couple its excited energy to a phonon and then create heat.

  • $\begingroup$ @igael could you help in restructuring my question so I can reopen it? $\endgroup$ – Muze Mar 30 '16 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ could you help in restructuring my question so I can reopen it? $\endgroup$ – Muze Mar 30 '16 at 18:44

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