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A Snapshot in Time of a Photon 
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#1
Mar2514, 05:19 PM

P: 48

I'm not sure if there's a satisfying answer to this question, but I'd at least like to incite some discussion.
I haven't had a formal education about photons or quantum mechanics, so all I know is what I've read about outside the classroom, but a buddy and I have been talking about them, as we've reached electromagnetic waves in our EM class. I know that a photon travels through space the way a wave would, but also exhibits particlelike properties (I've read up on the double slit experiment). Imagine we have a traveling photon. If we could freeze time, or just take a snapshot of an instant in time, would that photon still exist? Do photons exist in individual instants? Or do they need the progression of instants (the flow of time) to exist? I suppose I could ask this question of absolutely anything, but the photon is what came up in conversation, I think because it seems to me currently like an intrinsic property of a photon is its motion. 


#2
Mar2514, 05:24 PM

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A photon has a well defined wavefunction at any instant of time. Furthermore, given the photon's wavefunction at any instant of time you can calculate its wavefunction at any other time.



#3
Mar2514, 06:08 PM

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#4
Mar2514, 06:44 PM

P: 48

A Snapshot in Time of a Photon



#5
Mar2514, 06:50 PM

P: 48




#6
Mar2514, 06:58 PM

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Be aware that you're pretty far off into speculation land. I'd advise rereading the rules so your thread doesn't get locked for speculating. 


#7
Mar2514, 07:38 PM

P: 48




#8
Mar2614, 07:34 AM

Sci Advisor
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 12,238




#9
Mar2614, 09:34 AM

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#10
Mar2614, 02:19 PM

Sci Advisor
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 12,238




#11
Mar2614, 03:32 PM

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P: 17,509

I am not sure what you are asking here.
The concept of superposition is a consequence of the fact that wavefuctions are vectors which can be represented in a variety of basis sets. It applies for any wavefunction regardless of how it was created, how many particles it consists of, and how you might plan to measure it. 


#12
Mar2614, 05:56 PM

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#13
Mar2714, 12:40 AM

P: 16

There are two conditions i.) Photon is a form of energy(it does not have mass). Means it has speed(without mass). In zero time interval, it has zero speed. Answer: Photon will not exist. ii.) I think Photon have mass because it is not traveling with infinite speed. Means in zero time interval, it has zero speed but have mass. Answer: Photon will exist. 


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