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Orbiting photon

  1. Apr 11, 2013 #1
    can a photon have a perfectly smooth orbit?

    say for e.g. you have a photon orbiting a point, if its wavelength were to become twice the diameter of its orbit then would the wave not become a replica of the orbit offset by the amplitude?

    similarly say the amplitude is the radius of the orbit and the wavelength is the diameter would the wave not travel in a straight line through the centre?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2013 #2


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    Photon orbits require black holes, otherwise their deflection is not strong enough. I don't think those orbits are stable, but I would have to check. If the orbits are unstable, you don't have to worry about interference - the photon will not live long enough anyway. If the orbits are stable, photons might be long-living for specific frequencies only.
    The amplitude of a photon is not a displacement or length in space.
  4. Apr 11, 2013 #3
    Isn't its displacement in space the principal through which polorization works?
  5. Apr 11, 2013 #4


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    No, it is the direction of the electric field. This is NOT a line in space (but some images are misleading, as they plot it like that), the direction is defined at every point in space.
  6. Apr 11, 2013 #5

    George Jones

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    Yup, photon orbits around black holes are unstable.
  7. Apr 12, 2013 #6

    Claude Bile

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    My intuition is that you cannot get stable photonic modes around a singularity due to diffraction of the photonic wavefunction.

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