Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Physics, Astronomy & Cosmology => Topic started by: thedoc on 13/07/2012 22:30:01

Title: Do photons each carry an entire picture, or just part of it?
Post by: thedoc on 13/07/2012 22:30:01
Louis Kruger asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I am an avid listener to the show on Talk 702 (Redi Thlabi)

Always stunned by the diversity and depth of Chris's Knowlege. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

I have a question about Photons. Does each photon contain the entire picture? (When it reflects back into our eyes) How does our brain assemble the picture?

Kind regards,
Louis

What do you think?
Title: Re: Do photons each carry an entire picture, or just part of it?
Post by: Soul Surfer on 13/07/2012 23:23:11
We had a similar question to this very recently.  The only information that an individual photon carries is its frequency (colour) and the direction from which it has come.  It requires a great many individual photons to create an image which includes photons coming from a range of angles with different frequencies and sufficient numbers to create a range of intensities per picture element
Title: Re: Do photons each carry an entire picture, or just part of it?
Post by: imatfaal on 15/07/2012 14:48:43
Soulsurfer is of course correct.  I think each individual photon does also technically carry polarization information as well - but as measurement of polarization is a yes/no observation for individual photons; you wouldn't be able to find out much.