How can we visualize the movement of Photons on the water?

• B
We all know that the photons have a wave-like motion,if the waves on the water form because of the motion of the particles inside the air(oxygen+nitrogen gas and %1 another gasses) so in the beginnig of this process,photons hit the air and make particles jiggle and that make air jiggle and air jiggles on the water and that motion we can wave? can we define like this? or any other suggestions please?

Nugatory
Mentor
Photons do not have a wave-like motion, and are not what you're thinking they are.

Electromagnetic radiation is a type of wave, but this is a classical phenomenon, no quantum mechanics or photons involved. We have a number of threads about EM waves work; the quick summary is that nothing is physically moving back and forth, but the electrical and magnetic fields are changing.

What do you mean by nothing is moving back and forth or up and down? so you mean when the light comes out from a flashlight the only thing happening is the changing electro-magnetic fields in the area which light passes?

jtbell
Mentor
so you mean when the light comes out from a flashlight the only thing happening is the changing electro-magnetic fields in the area which light passes?
Yes.

Dale
Mentor
2020 Award
photons hit the air and make particles jiggle and that make air jiggle and air jiggles on the water and that motion we can wave? can we define like this?
In addition to the comments by @Nugatory and @jtbell the frequencies are all wrong for this. Light is in the terahertz range, sound is in the kilohertz range, and water waves are less than a hertz.

Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
What do you mean by nothing is moving back and forth or up and down? so you mean when the light comes out from a flashlight the only thing happening is the changing electro-magnetic fields in the area which light passes?

That's right. Specifically it is the electric and magnetic field vectors that are changing. It is these field vectors which define the direction and magnitude of the EM field at every point in space.

So the (atoms)are producing this EM radiation when they oscillating by other atoms around them?

Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
So the (atoms)are producing this EM radiation when they oscillating by other atoms around them?

That's one way to produce EM radiation. You can also accelerate charges instead of entire atoms, like what happens in a transmitting antenna. Electronic transitions, which are when electrons drop from higher energy levels in atoms/molecules to lower energy levels, also produce EM radiation.

berkeman
Mentor
How can we visualize the movement of Photons on the water?
photons hit the air and make particles jiggle and that make air jiggle and air jiggles on the water and that motion we can wave?
Yes, it is very much like photons and smoke on the water...

pinball1970 and davenn
That's one way to produce EM radiation. You can also accelerate charges instead of entire atoms, like what happens in a transmitting antenna. Electronic transitions, which are when electrons drop from higher energy levels in atoms/molecules to lower energy levels, also produce EM radiation.
So if i shake my hand up and down, i accelarete my atoms in my hand and their electrons jump a higher state and when they turns back to normal state they give off photons and that photons give the energy to the air and that process happens same like my hand in the oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the air?

Nugatory
Mentor
So if i shake my hand up and down, i accelarete my atoms in my hand and their electrons jump a higher state and when they turns back to normal state they give off photons and that photons give the energy to the air and that process happens same like my hand in the oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the air?
All light is electromagnetic radiation.

When you accelerate changed objects they give off electromagnetic radiation. This is a classical phenomenon that has very little to do with photons or electron energy levels. However, your hand is for all practical purposes electrically neutral so shaking it up and down does not produce any electromagnetic radiation.

Photons are not what you're thinking they are; it might be best to forget that you ever heard the word "photon" until you have a clear understanding of the classical model of light as electromagnetic waves.

Last edited:
sophiecentaur