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What is the speed of light from the reference frame of a photon? Do other photons appear to travel at the speed of light with respect to them or do they appear stationary? What if they are aimed in opposite directions? If light travels at the speed of light with respect to light then how do photons interact because the one photon must look like a point to the first but how does interference work then (which can't be between a point and a wave, only two waves)?
So, how does it 'become aware' of another photon when it interferes with it?
My reasoning behind this question stemmed from the idea that light waves appear to us as points (photons) and behave like ideal gases because they are moving at the speed of light (where time is zero), thus by the equation d = rt that everyone learns in elementary or middle school, the length should be zero (d = c*0 = 0). But since light has to move at the 'speed of light' in every reference frame one might ask if it should to another photon. However, reference frames can't exist at 'the speed of light' so that rule doesn't apply. Another way to think about it is that if a light wave moved at c relative to another light wave, then relative to it, that other wave would be a point. Interference can't happen between a point and a wave, only two waves, so light must appear as a wave to another light wave (so they can interact in an interference pattern).
Isn't nulling each other out imply that the photons are interacting?
...aren't photons just EM waves? I mean...if they move at the speed of light relative to us, shouldn't they appear contracted to a point, in other words a photon?
There is no difference between photons and electromagnetic waves
Ok, that's what I thought. Can you clarify a point here for me?...if an EM wave is moving at the speed of light, then shouldn't it appear as a point to us?
So is it possible then for photons just to be the particle representation (due to our observations from an inertial refrence frame) of EM waves?
Whoa!, hold on...I thought that light from the lamp consisted of more than one wave-packet.
Whoa!, hold on...I thought that light from the lamp consisted of more than one wave-packet. Each atom in the tungsten filament (assuming of course that it's an incandescent bulb) emitted a seperate wave packet. Each one of those is due to an electron losing energy (which then gets converted into a wave-packet). Those electrons don't take 1.5 seconds to lose that energy so how can one wave-packet be that long? I can see the stream of wave-packets being that long but each individual wave-packet (which is moving at light speed) should be contracted to a point then as a consequence of SR.
To clarify your question lightarrow, I mean, is a photon simply a wave-packet length-contracted to a point as a result of SR? This makes sense to me but I do not know all there is to know about E&M and as I'm only in highschool, you certainly know more about it than me. I want to understand the modern viewpoint, which I'm assuming you hold as a modern scientist, and reconcile it with what I see in the equations and explanations I am given in school. Once I understand physics as it is now, I can begin to understand it in a new way, thus making the jump from scientist to Research Scientist.
Ok, I must have been taught incorrectly in school because I always thought a photon represented the particle nature of light.
So, a photon isn't really a particle, or a wave, it's just the symbolic name for the interaction between light and an electron (the detector) which can only occur if the light has an energy equal to any number of quantized values (energy levels). Understandable. And now the big question...Why does light behave both as a particle and a wave? That's what I've been trying to answer by applying the lorentz contraction to light (which I now understand is inapplicable to light because it would involve changing the wavelength to zero and thus making the energy infinite).
Ok, on to another question...since an oscillating electric charge creates an electric wave, shouldn't an oscillating mass create a gravitic wave?
How does this wave interact with mass? Is it's absorbtion quantized, similar to a photon's.
Ah, ok. Now, suppose that atoms did not absorb light in quantized amounts (had continuous energy bands) then would the light hitting these atoms be percieved as having particle-like properties?
What do you mean by 'quadrupole oscillations?'