# Do virtual photons explain this phenomenon?

1. May 21, 2015

### Prashan Shan

ok.
this may sound stupid,
first of all i asked this question because i have a doubt that "if a photon can see things around it will it be able to see its own reflection if it aproaches towards a mirror?"
so i played a video of light being reflected in a mirror in slow motion and paused the video.
i saw that before the laser beam came out of the source, the light is reflected in the mirror.
so i thought it may be because of virtual photons.

First image:

Second image:

2. May 21, 2015

### ChrisVer

You saw what?

3. May 21, 2015

### ChrisVer

Also I want to understand what you meant with this.... what do you mean by photon seeing things around it and seeing its own reflection?

4. May 21, 2015

### Prashan Shan

if you have no mass and u are travelling in the speed of light towards a mirror will u see your image in the mirror?

5. May 21, 2015

### ChrisVer

I haven't thought about this scenario... I guess nope [because the light leaving from me towards the mirror is going to arrive there together with me]... not until I reached the mirror. But again the sentence doesn't really makes sense...

6. May 21, 2015

### Prashan Shan

see the 2 images which i have uploaded. in the first image u can see a small green spot on the mirror, but why does the path of light is not visible

7. May 21, 2015

### ChrisVer

Because of its low intensity...Obviously there seems to be a beam visible (incoming and outgoing).

8. May 21, 2015

### Prashan Shan

in the 1st image if the intensity of the incident beam is low, then how does a small portion of reflected beam is visible near the mirror?

9. May 21, 2015

### ChrisVer

I guess it's the camera's angle...

10. May 21, 2015

### Prashan Shan

if it is because of camera's angle how it is visible in the 2nd image. the camera is in the same angle as it was before in the 1st image.

11. May 21, 2015

### ChrisVer

The difference between pic1 and pic2, is the beam's intensity...

12. May 21, 2015

### Prashan Shan

what if it is coming from opposite direction?

13. May 21, 2015

### ChrisVer

how would it come from opposite direction?

14. May 21, 2015

### Prashan Shan

it may be virtual photons...
the travel back in time, they travel FTL ..........

15. May 21, 2015

### ChrisVer

absolutely not... for what we have already mentioned...

FTL =?
again this makes no sense... it's obvious in both pics what is happening. And I wouldn't expect any quantum effect in this case (as far as you have a beam, it looks like it's mere optics).

16. May 21, 2015

### Prashan Shan

i can't understand.

17. May 21, 2015

### ChrisVer

by optics, I mean classical optics... what you can't understand?

18. May 21, 2015

### Orodruin

Staff Emeritus
This has absolutely nothing to do with quantum physics. The reflection of light is perfectly well understood in classical physics and there is no need whatsoever to invoke photons to make this description.

19. May 21, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

You are incorrect. You cannot see the laser beam unless the light reflects off of something. The 'beam' you see in the air is just light from the laser scattering off of air molecules and dust. At no point do you see the reflection or scattering before the light leaves the laser, despite what you think the video shows.

20. May 21, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

We can close this thread, as the original question has been answered several times over.