Why don't photons build up inside boxes?

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Duncan Amos

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Why don't photons build up inside boxes?
« on: 11/10/2010 10:30:03 »
Duncan Amos asked the Naked Scientists:
I failed O-Level Physics at school 40  years ago but I have a few questions that have been bugging me for a few years now:
If a photon is a particle that behaves like a wave (which I think is how it is regarded) then it has mass and should be affected by gravity. If I have a box with an open top and sunlight streaming in then it must be "filling up" to some degree with photons. If I close the lid, what happens to the photons? Logic says that there must be some left in there.  Likewise, if the refrigerator light stays on when the door closes then there is a closed box with photons bouncing around like there's no tomorrow - If the bulb fails whilst the door is closed and then I open it, how come I don't skate all over the floor on worn-out photons?
Hoping you can help calm an old man's puzzled brain!
Duncan Amos

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 11/10/2010 10:30:03 by _system »