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Quick Answer: What is a photon?

What exactly is a photon?

The photon (Greek: φῶς, phōs, light) is a type of elementary particle. It is the quantum of the electromagnetic field including electromagnetic radiation such as light and radio waves, and the force carrier for the electromagnetic force.

What is a photon made of?

A photon is a tiny particle that comprises waves of electromagnetic radiation. As shown by Maxwell, photons are just electric fields traveling through space. Photons have no charge, no resting mass, and travel at the speed of light.

Is a photon a particle or a wave?

Now that the dual nature of light as “both a particle and a wave” has been proved, its essential theory was further evolved from electromagnetics into quantum mechanics. Einstein believed light is a particle (photon) and the flow of photons is a wave.

Is a photon an atom?

Photons are very special particles. Elementary particles like electrons, protons, neutrons or composite quasi-particles like atoms, molecules, ball-bearings, planets, stars, etc. share one important feature; they have mass. Photons in vacuum, lets call them “pure” photons, have no rest mass.

Does time exist for a photon?

Photons do not experience time. From the perspective of a photon, there is no such thing as time. It’s emitted, and might exist for hundreds of trillions of years, but for the photon, there’s zero time elapsed between when it’s emitted and when it’s absorbed again. It doesn’t experience distance either.

Why photon has no mass?

Light is composed of photons, so we could ask if the photon has mass. The answer is then definitely “no“: the photon is a massless particle. According to theory it has energy and momentum but no mass, and this is confirmed by experiment to within strict limits.

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Are photons visible to the human eye?

Yes. In fact, photons are the only things that humans can directly see. Human eyes are specifically designed to detect light. This happens when a photon enters the eye and is absorbed by one of the rod or cone cells that cover the retina on the inner back surface of the eye.

Do photons die?

No, photons do not die. They are absorbed by the particles like an electron.

Is a photon matter?

Matter is usually defined as something that has both a rest mass and a volume. Photons have neither of these so they are not considered matter. This is why photons, which move at the speed of light, have mass. But if it were possible for a photon to be at rest, it would have no mass.

How a photon is created?

A photon is produced whenever an electron in a higher-than-normal orbit falls back to its normal orbit. During the fall from high energy to normal energy, the electron emits a photon — a packet of energy — with very specific characteristics. A sodium vapor light energizes sodium atoms to generate photons.

Is a photon the smallest particle?

A photon is the smallest discrete amount or quantum of electromagnetic radiation. It is the basic unit of all light. Essentially, he explained how a stream of photons can act both as a wave and particle.

What does a photon look like?

A photon just looks like a blink of light from a small point. So, when you see a photon (if your eyes are sensitive enough), you see a blip of light.

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Can a photon pass through an atom?

Photons may pass through an atom and maintain the same energy and direction, even if it appears to coincide with the electron’s path. In this case, the photon is not absorbed by the electron. As illustrated in the photons page, the photon should match the frequency of the electron to exchange energy.

Can an atom be created?

Atoms cannot be created nor destroyed, and they are indestructible; they cannot be broken into smaller parts. This was based on the Law of Conservation of Mass. It was later learned that atoms can break into smaller parts. Chemical reactions involve a separation, combination, or rearrangement of atoms.

Can a photon turn into an electron?

A photon can spontaneously degenerate into a particle with mass and its antiparticle in a process known as pair production. In this process, the energy of the photon is completely transformed into the mass of the two particles. For example, a photon can turn into an electron and an anti-electron.

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