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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


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    Staff: Mentor

    No limits to the photon energy that I have heard about, but you may google for related Greisen–Zatsepin–Kuzmin limit.
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