- #1

Brian Preece

- 5

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- TL;DR Summary
- How does a photon experience its journey from one event to another?

I’m watching TV. An excited electron in an LED in the screen falls back to its normal energy state, releasing a quantum of electromagnetic energy in the form of a photon. Let’s call this event ‘A’ (x1, y1, z1, t1). The wave packet of this photon fills the universe (quantum mechanics). Across the room, after a short time, I observe the photon as its wave packet collapses and transfers its quantum of energy to an electron in my retina. Let’s call this event ‘B’ (x2, y2, z2, t2). This is how I see it, but what about the photon? How does it see the journey?

When the photon travels from ‘A’ to ‘B’ at the speed of light (c), its clock stops; the ultimate twin paradox, (special relativity – simultaneity). It will measure the distance between ‘A’ and ‘B’ using the Lorentz transformation [(x2 – x1)2 + (y2 – y1)2 + (z2 – z1)2 – (t2 – t1)2c2] (general relativity). In simple terms the photon will take zero time to travel zero distance. This is how I imagine the photon experiences the journey.

Am I correct?

When the photon travels from ‘A’ to ‘B’ at the speed of light (c), its clock stops; the ultimate twin paradox, (special relativity – simultaneity). It will measure the distance between ‘A’ and ‘B’ using the Lorentz transformation [(x2 – x1)2 + (y2 – y1)2 + (z2 – z1)2 – (t2 – t1)2c2] (general relativity). In simple terms the photon will take zero time to travel zero distance. This is how I imagine the photon experiences the journey.

Am I correct?