Linked Questions

79
votes
7answers
43k views

What is the relation between electromagnetic wave and photon?

At the end of this nice video (https://youtu.be/XiHVe8U5PhU?t=10m27s), she says that electromagnetic wave is a chain reaction of electric and magnetic fields creating each other so the chain of wave ...
17
votes
5answers
5k views

How many photons are needed to make a light wave?

What is the smallest number of photons needed to make a "light wave"? In other words, how many (coherent?) photons start to exhibit classical behavior? For example, how many photons are needed to get ...
15
votes
8answers
18k views

Why do electromagnetic waves oscillate?

I've been considering this question, and found many people asking the same (or something similar) online, but none of the answers seemed to address the core point or at least I wasn't able to make ...
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Is light amplitude spatial?

In diagrams I often see light waves depicted as little sine waves that travel through space. And often when describing polarizers, the explainer will angle their hand to show the angle of ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

How does light oscillate?

Why do we say that electromagnetic wave is oscillating? Or does light propagate really in a wavy form like this image? What is making the photons oscillate and how is it oscillating is it oscillating ...
9
votes
5answers
813 views

Is a single photon also a Maxwellian wave?

A photon is associated with the equations $h\nu$ and $\frac{hc}{\lambda}$. My book (Serway Modern Physics) says that Einstein explained the photoelectric effect by assuming that the classical ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Do Photons Move in a Wave Like Pattern? [duplicate]

In many pieces of literature, light is said to travel like a "wave". Does this mean the light literally propagates through space like a wave as in up and down and so on or does light move linearly ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to imagine the electromagnetic waves? [duplicate]

I've learned at school, that the electromagnetic radiation consists of photons. And all the frequencies of the wavelengths of photons define electromagnetic spectrum. The lower wavelengths are ...
1
vote
2answers
159 views

Can photons oscillate?

If you fired a laser at the perfect angle at a mirror (for either mirror setup), and then quickly moved a mirror to replace the laser, will the light oscillate between the mirrors, as shown in the ...
2
votes
4answers
128 views

Why do we need short wavelength to measure the position of a particle accurately?

I am reading "A brief history of time" by Stephen Hawking. It is explaining the uncertainty principle: ... However, one will not be able to determine the position of the particle more accurately ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

If photons don't oscillate, how do they oscillate?

The internet has told me seemingly contradictory things, and I hope you folks might help me sort it out. This blog post states: "Electromagnetic waves are waves from electric and magnetic fields ...
1
vote
3answers
161 views

Lasers, Why doesn’t a photon go through the same slit every time?

I am trying to understand the setup of a double slit experiment. When a laser fires photons through the double slit, wouldn’t the laser be accurate enough that all photons just go through one slit ...
-3
votes
2answers
107 views

Does the wavefunction propagate as a Gaussian wave or is it just virtual (a mathematical model)? [closed]

I am not asking about wavefunction collapse. I do understand that QM is one of the most experimentally proven theories, but there are different interpretations. What I am asking about is whether the ...