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Are all photons identical

  1. Sep 29, 2008 #1
    I thought all photons were identical...some would just have more energy associated with them. Anhow...I guess my question is: what is the difference between photons of light and nonvirtual force mediating photons??
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2008 #2


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    The only differences between photons are wavelengh and direction. As far as your question is concerned, the only difference I can see is lifetime.
  4. Sep 30, 2008 #3
    Does that mean photons of light can be force mediating for the EM field?? That doesnt seem to add up...or maybe I am wrong. Also, how do scientists deal with the two different charges? If all photons are identical, how is one supposed deal with the fact that a proton's photons would affect a proton differently than a an electron's photons?

    I think my problem lies somewhere in my lack of understanding of QED. Maybe I need a good book...any recommendations?
  5. Sep 30, 2008 #4
    Photons are not particles. They are useful tool to have scientific talks with fingers or diagramms.

    Quantized electromagnetic field exists and the photon is the quantized change of it.
    In man, the things which are not measurable are more important than those which are measurable. Alexis Carrel.
  6. Oct 1, 2008 #5


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    Feynman's book "QED".
  7. Oct 1, 2008 #6


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    The electromagnetic field is like an ocean.
    A photon is like a wave on the ocean.

    All photons (visible and force mediating) are identical in the sense that they are made from the same ocean. But they are different in the sense that they are different wave patterns.
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