Linked Questions

2
votes
2answers
378 views

Is my visualization of a photon correct? [duplicate]

When trying to visualize a photon, I imagine it as an electromagnetic wave of very short length. Is this accurate?
2
votes
4answers
109 views

If light is considered a wave, then what exactly is a photon? [duplicate]

So according to google: a photon is a particle that transmits light. Ok, but light is considered a wave, not a stream of particles(I'm pretty sure that this is what Young's double slit ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

How do photons travel? Do they have a specific shape? [duplicate]

Generally photons are EM waves (2-axis i.e, 2 dimensions); from that we can imagine a photon basically travels in a cyclic wave pattern. If we go into higher dimensions, will they trace a spiral path ...
177
votes
9answers
232k views

If photons have no mass, how can they have momentum?

As an explanation of why a large gravitational field (such as a black hole) can bend light, I have heard that light has momentum. This is given as a solution to the problem of only massive objects ...
74
votes
6answers
11k views

What is more fundamental, fields or particles?

My confusion about quantum theory is twofold: I lack an adequate understanding of how the mathematics of quantum theory is supposed to correspond to phenomena in the physical world I still have an ...
40
votes
3answers
10k views

Why do the neutrinos (with mass) from a supernova arrive before the light (no mass)?

I've already read the below questions (and their answers) regarding neutrinos vs. electromagnetic waves propagating through space, but I'm still not clear on something. Neutrinos arrived before the ...
34
votes
7answers
2k views

Do Maxwell's equation describe a single photon or an infinite number of photons?

The paper Gloge, Marcuse 1969: Formal Quantum Theory of Light Rays starts with the sentence Maxwell's theory can be considered as the quantum theory of a single photon and geometrical optics as ...
32
votes
4answers
11k views

Do virtual particles actually physically exist?

I have heard virtual particles pop in and out of existence all the time, most notable being the pairs that pop out beside black holes and while one gets pulled away. But wouldn't this actually violate ...
40
votes
4answers
17k views

What is a phonon?

I am trying to understand intuitively what a phonon is, but for the moment I find it quite difficult (having a limited background in quantum mechanics, an undergraduate course in non-relativistic QM). ...
27
votes
4answers
31k views

What exactly is a quantum of light?

I am currently trying to learn some basic quantum mechanics and I am a bit confused. Wikipedia defines a photon as a quantum of light, which it further explains as some kind of a wave-packet. What ...
22
votes
2answers
6k views

The concept of particle in QFT

I never learnt QFT and I apologize for my (probably) elementary question. Somebody told me that in QFT a particle is viewed as an irregularity in the field. On the other hand, in an article in ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

How does gamma-gamma pair production really work?

See the Breit-Wheeler process, wherein two gamma photons are converted into an electron and a positron via a process that's the reverse of electron-positron annihilation. I do not doubt this process. ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How to rebut denials of the existence of photons? [duplicate]

Recently I have encountered several engineers who do not “believe in” photons. They believe experiments such as the photoelectric effect can be explained with classical EM fields + quantized energy ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a photon? [duplicate]

I'm trying to get a definitive and clear answer to the question of what a photon actually is. Textbooks seem to give quite vague explanations, all starting with Einstein's idea that a quanta is a form ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How do electromagnetic waves carry quantised energy?

If an electron oscillates about a mean position, it will create a time varying electric filed which in turn will create a time varying magnetic field and so on to create an electromagnetic wave. How ...

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