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I Can a photon be accelerated?

  1. Jan 25, 2017 #1
    I am a student . My question is that in what way we can accelerate a photon , is this possible ?
    I am a student . My question is that in what way we can accelerate a photon , is this possible ?
    what if i pass the light to a medium of varying refractive index,containing lots of biprism at random angles so the velocity vector and the velocity will both change. does this will accelerate the photon
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2017 #2
    Photon travels with speed c.So I dont think we can accelerate it
     
  4. Jan 25, 2017 #3
    I don't think this is possible. For example, photons are already travelling at the speed of light when they are created. There is no need to accelerate them.
     
  5. Jan 25, 2017 #4

    stevendaryl

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    Actually, velocity is a vector. So even though the speed of a light pulse never changes, the direction of the velocity can. For example, by the light bouncing off a mirror. Also, in General Relativity, the path of a light pulse can be bent by gravity. Whether you consider these to be "acceleration" is a matter of semantics.

    Also, light travels slower through a medium (such as glass), so in that sense, light can accelerate when it passes from glass into air.
     
  6. Jan 25, 2017 #5

    stevendaryl

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    This question is actually a relativity question, rather than a quantum mechanics question. I know the question was expressed in terms of photons, but the question is really about the behavior of light. If there is nothing specifically quantum-mechanical to be said, I might (using my superpowers as a mentor) move the thread to the relativity forum.
     
  7. Jan 25, 2017 #6

    ZapperZ

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    Photons are always at c. So what is there to accelerate?

    Zz.
     
  8. Jan 25, 2017 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    One can accelerate a photon by changing its direction, but not by changing its speed.
     
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