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What are photons made off?

by anj16
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anj16
#1
Feb12-12, 04:54 PM
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this might be a stupid question but
lets take a proton or a neutron these
"elementary" particles are made up of quarks,
does photons in its particle state follow the same pattern??
if yes then what constitutes into a photon??

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jtbell
#2
Feb12-12, 05:12 PM
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In the Standard Model, photons are elementary particles, i.e. not composed of other particles.
Redbelly98
#3
Feb12-12, 05:20 PM
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Moreover, protons and neutrons are not considered elementary particles in the standard model.

Naty1
#4
Feb16-12, 09:23 AM
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What are photons made off?

A photon is the quanta, the local 'particle' character, of a wave......[electromagnetic radiation, like light] ...hence it is composed of energy.

More here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon
mal4mac
#5
Feb18-12, 07:57 AM
P: 1,080
But a photon has spin. So how can it be a wave?
JHamm
#6
Feb18-12, 08:03 AM
P: 389
The photon is not a wave, it does however appear to act LIKE a wave in many circumstances due to the uncertainty in the movement of elementary particles
juanrga
#7
Feb18-12, 01:39 PM
P: 476
Quote Quote by mal4mac View Post
But a photon has spin. So how can it be a wave?
Photon is not a wave it is a particle.
HallsofIvy
#8
Feb18-12, 02:09 PM
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Naty1 did NOT say a photon was a wave. He said it was a quantum of an electromagnetic wave.
juanrga
#9
Feb18-12, 02:50 PM
P: 476
Quote Quote by HallsofIvy View Post
Naty1 did NOT say a photon was a wave. He said it was a quantum of an electromagnetic wave.
A photon can be sometimes considered the quanta of electromagnetic field. «Field» is not synonym for «wave»: both are different physical concepts.
Naty1
#10
Feb18-12, 03:06 PM
P: 5,632
in my prior post, 'field' IS better than 'wave',,,,,I meant to draw no distinction here.

"what constitutes [into] a photon??"

What 'constitutes' any particle is it's measured/observed behaviors.....We create models to replicate those.
So we can observe, describe, and model other characteristics of photons as well but those descriptions depend on what models we use....different model behaviors can manifest as 'spin' for example. What's 'really' there is
anybody's guess unless we can smash something apart and look at the constituents...[which still seems like an odd approach, but it works. Like taking a car apart to see how its made by beating it!!!]

from the link I posted:

The quanta of an Abelian gauge field must be massless, uncharged bosons, as long as the symmetry is not broken; hence, the photon is predicted to be massless, and to have zero electric charge and integer spin.
That's a mathematical statement.

Meantime, string theory, another theory, also describes photon characteristics but I don't know enough about the math to divine exactly how [or if] AdS/CFT precisely relates string theory to gauge theory strictly enough to make direct characteristic 'spin' comparisons....

Seems that things like spin pop out of mathematical models and clever physicsts exclaim "Oh that looks just like 'spin'...and so it is....but it takes a lot of work to compare the origins of such different mathematical model outcomes....
PaulS1950
#11
Feb18-12, 08:35 PM
P: 151
A "photon" (that we perceive as a "particle) is generated by a change in the energy state of an electron. As the electron moves from a high energy state to a low energy state the energy that is lost by the electron is the "photon". It is a state of energy, mass without matter, how can it be a particle without matter?

Paul
Drakkith
#12
Feb19-12, 02:17 AM
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Quote Quote by PaulS1950 View Post
A "photon" (that we perceive as a "particle) is generated by a change in the energy state of an electron. As the electron moves from a high energy state to a low energy state the energy that is lost by the electron is the "photon". It is a state of energy, mass without matter, how can it be a particle without matter?

Paul
A photon is just as much of a particle as an Electron is EXCEPT that it has no invariant mass. (Commonly known as "rest mass") Both photons and electrons have particle-like and wave-like properties, as the commonly performed Double-Slit experiment will show with either one. There is nothing that says a particle MUST be matter.
PaulS1950
#13
Feb20-12, 12:22 AM
P: 151
Where does the photon get its matter? The electron has none to provide and preserve its existence yet the change in energy state is all that is required to make the photon.

We perceive the effects of what we don't understand and make them understandable by expanding the improbable. Hiding behind the multiple definitions only delays the truer understanding of the reality of the universe.

Photons only "behave" like particles and waves depending on the perceptions of the tests to which we subject them.

Paul
Nabeshin
#14
Feb20-12, 12:58 AM
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Quote Quote by PaulS1950 View Post
A "photon" (that we perceive as a "particle) is generated by a change in the energy state of an electron.
I hope you realize that photons are generated by more than electronic transitions.

You keep using the word 'matter', but I don't really know what you mean by it. I'd define matter as 'stuff made of hadrons and leptons', but apparently you seem to disagree. What exactly is this 'matterness' that you seem to think the photon has that is confusing you?
Drakkith
#15
Feb20-12, 01:36 AM
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Quote Quote by PaulS1950 View Post
Where does the photon get its matter? The electron has none to provide and preserve its existence yet the change in energy state is all that is required to make the photon.
Matter is typically defined as objects that have mass. A photon does not and isn't matter. In fact, the matter isn't "something" in and of itself, it is merely a way to classify things. Similarly a proton is a Hadron and an Electron is a Lepton. Photons are Bosons, a type of subatomic particle that has spin 0. Leptons, Quarks, and Bosons are the 3 types of fundamental particles that everything else is made up of. Matter is simply another type of classification.

We perceive the effects of what we don't understand and make them understandable by expanding the improbable. Hiding behind the multiple definitions only delays the truer understanding of the reality of the universe.
Nonsense. You simply don't know the differences in the terms that are used. And there is no "truer" understanding of reality other than science.

Photons only "behave" like particles and waves depending on the perceptions of the tests to which we subject them.

Paul
No, they act like both a particle and a wave all the time.(Edit: Rather they act like waves and particles whenever appropriate, irregardless of whether or not we are observing them) We can see the wave-like part of them when we look correctly, and we pretty much always see the particle-like part when we interact with them during a measurement.
mal4mac
#16
Feb21-12, 06:12 AM
P: 1,080
Quote Quote by JHamm View Post
The photon is not a wave, it does however appear to act LIKE a wave ...
If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, then (surely) it is a duck?!
mal4mac
#17
Feb21-12, 06:17 AM
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Quote Quote by HallsofIvy View Post
Naty1 did NOT say a photon was a wave. He said it was a quantum of an electromagnetic wave.
The OED defines quantum to mean an "amount; share; portion" of something. A portion of cake is ..er.. cake. So how can a quantum of an electromagnetic wave not be an electromagnetic wave?
mal4mac
#18
Feb21-12, 06:22 AM
P: 1,080
Quote Quote by Naty1 View Post
What's 'really' there is
anybody's guess
So we can't say what photons are made of? We can't even say if they are particles or waves or strings?


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