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What is the distance between two photons in a ray of light?

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What is the distance between two photons in a ray of light?

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In a laser, we try stack as many photons on top of each other in as small a space as we can. The density of photons that we get depends mostly on the technical limitations of the laser.

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ok, when light travels in a ray of light, isn't there some distance between them, otherwise I guess it wouldn't be quanta. Or when a laser is beamed towards the moon for measurement, the light disparses, so distance would increase. In an experiment done with a single photon counting CCD camera, the distance between the photons was 2km (http://ophelia.princeton.edu/~page/single_photon.html"). Is it wave related?

In a laser, we try stack as many photons on top of each other in as small a space as we can. The density of photons that we get depends mostly on the technical limitations of the laser.

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* a laser disperses because a single photon is a wave... it also has a definite position - those are very vague statements, do not ponder them for too long, they will drive you mad unless you learn more about them

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I wasn't suggesting they would bump into each other. I just wanted to have an idea what the distance, definite positions, between these single waves are in a normal ray of light or a laser beam. Thus when light "travels", and before the distances get bigger when they disperse.* a laser disperses because a single photon is a wave... it also has a definite position

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Again, as LukeD said they are bosons so not only can there be 0 distance between them they can also be in otherwise completely identical states of polarization momentum etc.isn't there some distance between them, otherwise I guess it wouldn't be quanta

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Is there such a thing as "bosonized", like in the sense of "ionized", where matter can become more charged?they are bosons so not only can there be 0 distance between them they can also be in otherwise completely identical states of polarization momentum etc.

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jtbell

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Getting back to your original question, it's possible to find a number that **would** be the distance between photons, **if** photons really were pointlike objects traveling along the beam, like a stream of tiny bullets. But you need some information about the beam to start with. Let's say for example that:

1. The beam has a power of 5.0 milliwatts (typical for a handheld laser pointer).

2. The beam's cross-section is circular, with a radius of 1.0 millimeter.

3. The light has a wavelength of 670 nanometers.

From the first two, you can calculate the energy density (joules per cubic meter) inside the beam. From the third, you can calculate the energy (joules) per photon. Using these two numbers, you can find the average distance between photons.

1. The beam has a power of 5.0 milliwatts (typical for a handheld laser pointer).

2. The beam's cross-section is circular, with a radius of 1.0 millimeter.

3. The light has a wavelength of 670 nanometers.

From the first two, you can calculate the energy density (joules per cubic meter) inside the beam. From the third, you can calculate the energy (joules) per photon. Using these two numbers, you can find the average distance between photons.

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Not really. Although you can annihilate matter with antimatter and turn it into light and therefore bosons.Is there such a thing as "bosonized", like in the sense of "ionized", where matter can become more charged?