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Could light be a particle that is unobservable as an actual particle?

  1. Sep 26, 2012 #1
    Could light be a particle that is unobservable as an actual particle because of the fact that it is traveling at the speed of light, and thus occurs at a different temporal 'dimension' because of the relativistic difference in velocity between the light 'particle' itself, and the space in which it is moving through? In other words, if I were able to throw a particle at the speed of light, it might lose observability because of the speed it was traveling?
     
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  3. Sep 26, 2012 #2

    Drakkith

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    Light is observable though. I observe it every time I open my eyes, take a picture, or feel the Sun on my skin.
    Also, there is only one temporal timension, and we cannot throw a particle at the speed of light, so your question isn't answerable.
     
  4. Sep 26, 2012 #3
    Light is observable with our eyes, yes, but it behaves like a particle, particularly in the way that it is affected by gravity. The question might be 'what happens to a particle of matter if it was hurled at the speed of light in a vacuum?'.
     
  5. Sep 26, 2012 #4

    Drakkith

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    That cannot happen, so your question is invalid.
     
  6. Sep 26, 2012 #5
    Physicists have complicated equations that explain the behaviour of light. It has very little to do with the English word "particle."

    As far as I am concerned light is unobservable. All we can observe is what matter does when light whacks into it.
     
  7. Sep 26, 2012 #6

    Drakkith

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    But that's how we observe all things. Light or matter whacking into things.
     
  8. Sep 27, 2012 #7

    ZapperZ

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    There are a lot of errors here. Light is NOT a "particle of matter". Furthermore, the way light is affected by gravity is different than the way a particle with mass is affected by gravity. Read the FAQ in the Relativity forum.

    Your question can't be answered because it assumes a number of erroneous things. It is similar to asking "when did you stop beating your wife"?

    Zz.
     
  9. Sep 27, 2012 #8

    sophiecentaur

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    Unlike other 'particles', the photon doesn't have a meaningful 'size'. That's something that makes its particle nature different from other particles with which we're more or less familiar.
    Imho, it's best not to use the particle approach until you really know what you're doing. Of course, the Quantum nature of photons is another matter because the energy of their interactions is noticeably quantised - but that says nothing about the shape, size etc. of a photon.
     
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