Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Extremely High Energy Photons?

  1. Aug 30, 2011 #1
    I was wondering whether it was possible for an extremely high energy photon to exist, or if there's a limit to the energy in just one photon. And I'm talking REALLY high energy here. Like twice the energy of, say, the gamma rays released in a supernova. If this is possible, what is that photon? Is it just a high energy gamma ray, or could it be something else?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2011 #2
    To my knowledge there isn't a limit, though one could speculate about planck-length wavelength limits that might arise from quantum gravity, assuming there is such a theory and that someone eventually figures it out. Such a photon would have an energy of ~ 10GJ, which is equivilent to tons of TNT. There is no experimental evidence that such photons actually exist, and creating them would be, ah, a bit of a challenge.
     
  4. Aug 31, 2011 #3
    Yes, yes I DO believe that would be an annoying little obstacle to overcome, wouldn't it? Haha thanks for the answer.
     
  5. Aug 31, 2011 #4
    I once calculated, to obtain all the enegry (mass to energy) in the universe, we need one
    single photon of frequency ~1099 Hz.
     
  6. Aug 31, 2011 #5

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    No limits to the photon energy that I have heard about, but you may google for related Greisen–Zatsepin–Kuzmin limit.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook