Linked Questions

2
votes
2answers
936 views

Can we define a wave function of photon like a wave function of an electron? [duplicate]

By definition, the wave function can be obtained by acting the position eigenstate to a state of the system, e.g., $\langle x\vert \psi \rangle$. For the wave function of an electron travelling in one-...
21
votes
4answers
7k views

Are the Maxwell equations a correct description of the wave character of photons?

In basic quantum mechanics courses, one describes the evolution of quantum mechanics chronologically. Interference experiments with particles showed that particles should have a wave character; on the ...
21
votes
3answers
7k views

How can we interpret polarization and frequency when we are dealing with one single photon?

If polarization is interpreted as a pattern/direction of the electric-field in an electromagnetic wave and the frequency as the frequency of oscillation, how can we interpret polarization and ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

If photons carry 1 spin unit, why does visible light seem to have no angular momentum?

Spin 1 silver atoms have a definite spin axis, e.g. up or down along an axis labeled X. This in turn means that they carry angular momentum in an overt, visible fashion. However, spin 1 photons do ...
10
votes
2answers
739 views

From discrete to continuous - why quantum *fields*?

From what I understand, combining special relativity with quantum mechanics requires quantum field theory (QFT). Why fields? I can see that for quantities already described by classical fields, such ...
6
votes
2answers
512 views

Why doesn't there exist a wave function for a photon whereas it exists for an electron?

A photon is an excitation or a particle created in the electromagnetic field whereas an electron is an excitation or a particle created in the "electron" field, according to second-quantization. ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

What is the significance of wavelength when referring to light (in layman's terms)?

Without any equations or complex terminology, I simply want to understand in complete layman's terms what the significance of a single photon's wavelength is. People say that microwave radiation's ...
4
votes
2answers
432 views

What is the correlation between the wave function of a photon and the vector potential?

Sometimes (only when convenient) I hear professors and textbook writers considering the 4-vector potential $A_\mu=(\vec A,\phi)$ as the wave function of a photon. However, since photons have spin 1, I ...
6
votes
2answers
170 views

Spatial wave-function of a single photon and its measurement

In the last decade there were several papers claiming that they've measured a "transverse quantum state" / "quantum wave-function" / "spatial Wigner function" of a single photon: Measurement of the ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Why is electron's wave nature described by a packet of waves and not a single wave like we describe the wave of photons?

First I want so say that I'm new to quantum physics and have basic knowledge about waves . The question : When the lecturer wanted to describe a wave of photons he always described and drew it as a ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Fundamental Limits for Photon Detection

In quantum electrodynamics "photons don't have positions". The physical relevance and consequences of this fact has been discussed on this site 1. (Further relevant questions about the concept of ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Photons in non-relativistic quantum mechanics

I have just finished my very first quantum theory of matter course and everything we did was strictly non relativistic. No QFTs whatsoever, no creation and annihilation operators, no mention to the ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Without strict photon position observable (spatial probability density), how is the double slit experiment possible?

I have read this question: EM wave function & photon wavefunction Wave function of a photon? where Arnold Neumaier says: photons do not have a spatial probability density He specifically ...