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Bounced Photons

  1. Dec 23, 2013 #1
    Do photons bounce off after they hit each other or they just pass through one and another?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2013 #2


    No, photons do not carry charge so cannot bounce off each other. However, the interaction of physical matter is modeled as exchanges of virtual photons but I do not think there is agreement whether this should be taken literally in any sense.
     
  4. Dec 23, 2013 #3
    So neutrons have no charge, so they also dont hit each other?
     
  5. Dec 23, 2013 #4

    They do not repel or bounce off each other.
     
  6. Dec 23, 2013 #5
    Sorry im just clarifying, so they move into each other then carry their path?
    If yes, is it still matter when they move into each other like ghost.( as long as matter is an object where it gets bounced if it hits other particle).
     
  7. Dec 23, 2013 #6

    ChrisVer

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  8. Dec 23, 2013 #7


    Matter is not solid in the way you seem to imagine. Billions of neutrinos pass right through your body every day as they do not interact with physical matter and so you have never noticed. Does this mean you are a ghost?
     
  9. Dec 23, 2013 #8
    Imagine we shoot a ball towards the ground with high power, it bounces back up. So if photons with high power hit each other they interact and bounce? How?
     
  10. Dec 23, 2013 #9
    Ohhh so can you explain matter clearly for me please?
     
  11. Dec 23, 2013 #10
    A question like this is too general to answer. If you have something specific you wish to know, people would respond with what the best current model and theory says.
     
  12. Dec 23, 2013 #11

    DrChinese

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    Neutrons have a very small scattering section, don't they?
     
  13. Dec 23, 2013 #12

    ChrisVer

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    For every process/interaction, you have probabilities for it to happen. You shouldn't try to imagine things as the classical bouncing, which always occurs. Even in non-relativistic qm you have the tunneling effects, which tells you that something can pass through things without interacting with them. They are not ghosts, the particle just don't "feel" them.
    The figure I showed above is a possible interaction between 2 photons, but it is suppressed being a 4th order interaction.

    neutrons do scatter in nucleon nucleon scatterings. They don't scatter because of electromagnetic interactions (at least not in low energies where quarks don't "see" quarks) but they do due to other processes (like strong interactions).
    Neutrinos are better to see that, since they can pass through the whole planet without interacting (because they interact only with weak interactions)
     
  14. Dec 23, 2013 #13
    Thanks, this topic answered some of my questions.
     
  15. Dec 23, 2013 #14


    Yes, his example wasn't the best one to compare composite particles interactions when he talked about photons.
     
  16. Dec 23, 2013 #15

    DrChinese

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    Thanks, I thought I remembered as much.
     
  17. Dec 23, 2013 #16
    Neutrons can interact with photons because despite being neutral they do have a sizable magnetic dipole
     
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