How does a massless photon impart force?

In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of photons being massless and how they can still impart force. The idea is explained through the concept of momentum and how a photon's momentum can cause a change in momentum, resulting in a force on an object.
  • #1
dev_c0t0d0s0
1
0
I've been watching a lot of physics videos lately and a couple of said that photons are massless. What I don't understand is how a massless photon can impart force? Like the ideas of having a laser propel a deep space probe.
 
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  • #3
dev_c0t0d0s0 said:
how a massless photon can impart force
A Massless object can still have Momentum. It is the Momentum of a Photon that imparts a change of Momentum (i.e. a force) on an object that it hits.
 

Related to How does a massless photon impart force?

1. What is a massless photon?

A massless photon is a type of elementary particle that carries electromagnetic radiation, such as light. It has no rest mass, meaning it does not have any physical substance or weight.

2. How does a massless photon travel at the speed of light?

A massless photon travels at the speed of light because it has no rest mass. According to Einstein's theory of relativity, objects with mass cannot reach the speed of light, but massless particles have no mass to slow them down.

3. How does a massless photon impart force?

A massless photon imparts force through its electromagnetic radiation. When a photon is absorbed by an object, it transfers its energy and momentum, causing the object to experience a force.

4. Can a massless photon exert a force on an object with mass?

Yes, a massless photon can exert a force on an object with mass. This is due to the transfer of energy and momentum when the photon is absorbed by the object.

5. How does the force from a massless photon compare to the force from a massive object?

The force from a massless photon is significantly weaker than the force from a massive object. This is because the energy and momentum of a photon are directly proportional to its frequency and inversely proportional to its wavelength, which are both very small for a photon compared to a massive object.

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