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This is my first time posting here, I am a school student who is just curious. So today I was wondering about how light works and how it travels, and this thought came to my mind:

Light is made of photons traveling in transversal waves, doesn't this mean that photons are moving in longer distances than light itself because photons don't move in a straight line, while taking the same time that light does to reach the same position, so does this mean that the speed of photons is actually greater than the speed of light?

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Light is made of photons traveling in waves, doesnt this mean that photons are moving in longer distances than light itself because photons dont move in a straight line

The thing that "waves" in the electromagnetic wave is not the position of the photon, it's the strength of the electric field.

Ignoring diffraction effects, the light wave moves in a straight line.

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The electromagnetic field is transverse, because "its electric and magnetic fields rotate continuously around the beam axis during propagation". This statement from the Wikipedia reference refers to circular polarization. Light has a circular polarization when the spin of all photons points in the same direction. Linear polarization of the transverse wave involves an equal mix of photons with the opposite spin. The image from the article clearly shows how the transverse field is comprised of the photons flying straight:

enter image description here

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Waves have a phase velocity, which can exceed the speed of light. A wave packet travels at a group velocity. Information cannot travel faster than c. A pure sinusoidal wave carries no information; you know a phase and frequency, so you can predict what it will be at any future time. That a photon might travel faster than light is uninteresting if it cannot carry information. Information is modulated via wave packets, which cannot exceed c. Look up the definition of phase versus group velocity for a better definition. Or perhaps, Cerenkov radiation, which is a neat example of the differences.

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protected by Qmechanic Oct 2 '17 at 22:31

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