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So what does a single photon do to a group of charged particles?

  1. Oct 3, 2012 #1
    I have heard, but never seen a representation, that we know the characteristics of photons because of their reaction with other charges particles. So what exact physical motions are induced on the particles when a photon travels through them. Does the magnitude of the electric and magnetic fields pulse in a spherical way, so the particles may move in a uniform way from the photon, the distance of the radius depending on the strength of the fields? Does this make sense?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 3, 2012 #2


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    No it does not. We are really developing an extensive mythology here! As pointed out elsewhere, a photon is a quantum object. It is not accompanied by an extended set of E and B fields. When it interacts, it collides with a single particle and is absorbed by it. The energy it had goes into kinetic energy of the struck particle and also possibly creating other particles.
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