Highest Possible Frequency of Photon

In summary, the highest possible frequency a photon can have is the reciprocal of the Planck time, which is 10^43 Hz.
  • #1
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What is the highest possible frequency that a photon can have?

Here is an answer from Answers.com. Is this correct?
That's a good question and I've often wondered about it. I think, but I'm not certain, that the answer is the reciprocal of the Planck time, which is 10^43 Hz. At shorter wavelengths than 10^-35 m., which is the wavelength that corresponds to this frequency, the photon would disappear in the quantum foam. A photon with this frequency would have an energy of 10^43 times Planck's constant, 6.67x10^-34 joule-secs. This energy is 6.7x10^9 joules which is nearly 2000 kilowatt hours. Its mass equivalent would be 6.7 x 10^-9/ c^2, which is 8 x 10^-5 gram. Most of the maximum possible quantities are obtained by juggling the fundamental constants of physics; the speed of light c, Newton's universal gravitational constant G, Planck's constant h etc. until you get a quantity with the right dimensions, then work it out numerically with your calculator. For instance if you take the square root of (Gh/(c^3)) you get a quantity with the dimensions of length, which turns out to be the Planck distance, which is the wavelength of this photon; about 10^-35 metre.​

Thanks
 
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  • #2
can someone provide answer to this question ? I'm of the opinion that the highest frequency of a photon would be 2 X 1.23558996 × 10^20...any frequency beyond this means, the photons are so tightly coupled that, they form electron-positron pair ?
 
  • #3
The question is from Feb 2009.

I'm not positive, but I like the proposed answer:

...the answer is the reciprocal of the Planck time,
 
  • #4
Thought I should check a bit, here is what Wiki says:

One Planck time is the time it would take a photon traveling at the speed of light to cross a distance equal to one Planck length. Theoretically, this is the smallest time measurement that will ever be possible,[3] roughly 10−43 seconds. Within the framework of the laws of physics as we understand them today, for times less than one Planck time apart, we can neither measure nor detect any change

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plank_time


It should also be noted that the measured frequency is frame dependent so you can make it almost any value by changing observer speed. It's also dependent on gravitational potential at the observer.
I wonder if such a high frequenecy photon, very energetic, leaves a gravity well (say a star for example) what happens to it as it emerges into free space?? I think the best we can answer is the Wiki statement.
 
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  • #5
i was searching on the net following my post on pf and came across this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-photon_physics
"If the energy in the center of mass system of the two photons is large enough, matter can be created"
actually, the value how i arrived was, equating e=mc2 = hv. Take mass of electron, one of the fundamental, stable particles and you will arrive at this frequency.
coincidentally, this frequency is the range of high energy gamma rays !
 
  • #6
If you are saying that the highest energy gamma rays are the mass of an electron-positron pair, this is certainly not correct. This is only about 1 MeV, and much higher energy gamma rays are known - at least into the TeV (10^12 eV) region. A single gamma ray cannot decay into an electron-positron pair, because such a decay cannot conserve energy and momentum.
 
  • #7
phyzguy said:
If you are saying that the highest energy gamma rays are the mass of an electron-positron pair, this is certainly not correct. This is only about 1 MeV, and much higher energy gamma rays are known - at least into the TeV (10^12 eV) region. A single gamma ray cannot decay into an electron-positron pair, because such a decay cannot conserve energy and momentum.

Thanks for the clarification..its clear now :)
 
  • #8
Arguments involving the Planck time are speculative because physics at the Planck scale is completely unknown. It is not even known if the Planck energy value represents anything particularly significant in physics, because no experimental activity at those energies have been performed.

Based on non-speculative physics, it is unknown if there is such a limit on photon frequencies.
 
  • #9
The Wiki article on two photon physics is interesting but opaque...never heard of that before, still don't get it...

anybody have any references/papers that describe what's going on?
 

Related to Highest Possible Frequency of Photon

1. What is the highest possible frequency of a photon?

The highest possible frequency of a photon is determined by its energy and is given by the equation E = hf, where E is the energy, h is Planck's constant, and f is the frequency. This means that the highest possible frequency of a photon is directly proportional to its energy.

2. How is the highest possible frequency of a photon related to its wavelength?

The highest possible frequency of a photon is inversely proportional to its wavelength. This means that as the frequency increases, the wavelength decreases and vice versa. The relationship is given by the equation c = fλ, where c is the speed of light, f is the frequency, and λ is the wavelength.

3. What is the relationship between the highest possible frequency of a photon and the electromagnetic spectrum?

The highest possible frequency of a photon is at the upper limit of the electromagnetic spectrum. The electromagnetic spectrum is a range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation, including radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays. The highest possible frequency of a photon falls in the gamma ray region of the spectrum.

4. Can the highest possible frequency of a photon be exceeded?

No, the highest possible frequency of a photon cannot be exceeded. It is determined by the energy of the photon, which is limited by the speed of light and Planck's constant. This means that there is a maximum frequency that a photon can have, and it cannot be exceeded.

5. What are some practical applications of the highest possible frequency of a photon?

The highest possible frequency of a photon has many practical applications in various fields. In medicine, gamma rays, which have the highest frequency, are used for cancer treatment. In telecommunications, high-frequency radio waves are used for satellite communication. In astronomy, the study of gamma rays provides valuable information about the universe. It is also used in security scanning systems at airports to detect dangerous objects.

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