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Destructive electromagnetic waves

  1. Dec 6, 2015 #1
    Ive been wondering about this for about two days and i have a simple question and that is , if I have two photons that are 180 degrees out of phase, passing through a surface perpendicular to the photons velocity vector then will the EM fields exert tension on the surface?(in this case the material of the surface is not made up by any other constituent particles)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2015 #2


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    If they are exactly 180 degrees out of phase, there is no electromagnetic wave that could do anything.
    This does not exist.
  4. Dec 6, 2015 #3


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    It doesn't work like that; we're dealing with quantum particles and you can't apply classical notions to them. A photon doesn't have "a phase" because it isn't like a little squiggle - as shown on the Feynman (peace be upon him), in his diagrams. The wave functions, associated with each of the sources of the two photons will combine to make it very unlikely that there will be a photon interaction with 'the screen' or detector at a minimum (calculated in a classical way) and very likely that there will be an interaction at a calculated maximum (or one of the maxima on either side of the central maximum).
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