# Can we charge a ray of light? Can photons never be charged under any circumstances? [closed]

can quantum theory never explain the hypothetical phenomena of charging photons? were there any experiments in this feild?

• There is no hypothetical phenomenon of a charged photon. – my2cts Nov 3 at 14:33
• Photons are the force carrier between charge particles. In a way "charging a photon" would be like "adding air to a sound wave", its nonsensical imho. – Gyromagnetic Nov 3 at 14:40
• It is unclear what you are asking. Redshift changes the frequency and energy of photons. Mirrors and lenses change the direction. – safesphere Nov 3 at 16:02

Light does not have charge and cannot be given charge under any circumstances. Light is produced by accelerating charge, but doesn’t and can’t itself have charge.

So photons are electrically neutral particles. The only force-carrying bosons that have electrical charge are the $$W^+$$ and $$W^-$$ bosons of the weak nuclear force which have charge $$+e$$ and $$-e$$ respectively.

You can, however, charge a battery using photons, such as with a wireless cellphone charger. The photons are not carrying charge; they are carrying energy to “charge” the battery by separating charges already in the battery.

Photons are elementary particles, pointlike, and EM neutral. This is the currently accepted theory of the SM.

Though I asked a question about why only the W is the only elementary boson with EM charge.

Why is the W boson (and none other elementary boson) the only with EM charge?

The gauge group of the electroweak part of the standard model is SU(2) × U(1). The group SU(2) is the group of all 2-by-2 unitary matrices with unit determinant; all the orthonormal changes of coordinates in a complex two dimensional vector space. This combination of generators (a z rotation in the SU(2) and a simultaneous U(1) rotation by half the angle) preserves the vacuum, and defines the unbroken gauge group in the standard model, namely the electric charge group. The part of the gauge field in this direction stays massless, and amounts to the physical photon.

Now in a functional reasoning, the W is the only elementary boson with EM charge, because whenever it is mediated between particles, the emitting particle gains or loses EM charge.

Now with the photon, the mediator of the EM force, there is no such EM charge gain or loss. Whenever a particle emits (real) photons, it does not gain or lose EM charge. When an electron emits the photon, the electron's intrinsic property, the elementary charge stays constant. Thus the photon needs to be EM neutral.

It is true that gauge fields are always in the adjoint, except when the gauge group is Abelian (e.g. U(1) EM) in which case the adjoint is just the singlet (or 'trivial') representation. This is why the photon is neutral.

https://physics.stackexchange.com/a/462738/132371

• why the downvote? – Árpád Szendrei Nov 4 at 2:20