Instructables

what is a photon made of?

Searle dtates thath it is two electrons, but is he right?

I'm pretty sure photons are fundamental. Which means that a photon is made of a photon. I admit that's not a very satisfying answer, but maybe someone else here can come up with a better one.

A photon cannot be made of two electrons, because the quantities of fundamental stuff, you know, like charge, mass, spin... well maybe you can get spin to add up, but charge and mass don't.
nerd7473 (author)  Jack A Lopez2 years ago
So searl is wrong on that note, so it was a lie?
No, Searl is either completely uniformed, or an excellent con man. Probably both.
Trust Kelseymh he is a scientist! (really!)
Thanks, Rick! But appeals to authority are pretty non-scientific, aren't they? ;-)
Worse than that I only have your word for it! :-)

However as a teacher I learned to have at least some trust in qualifications and experience!

As you say Not a very scientific approach but you have to start somewhere.
Well, you (and I mean the generic "you" of whomever is reading this, not just Rick Harris) can start with taking my word for it, then go to the SLAC Web site and search to find out if I actually work there. You could go to the arXiv physics preprint server (or even Google Scholar) see whether I have any published papers in my claimed field of expertise.

Since I use my actual name for my username, such searches are trivial for anyone of intelligence (which might exclude a large number of the "you"'s reading this :-/).

Of course, you (Rick) realize that I was being a tad sarcastic there, eh? :-)
Awww you scientists!! always joshing around. :-)

iceng2 years ago
I was educated to believe a photon is a packet of energy that can behave like a wave or behave like a particle but certainly nothing like an electron.

Even if you subscribe to string theory, I do not believe he is right.

Do you watch the Big Bang Theory on television ?

A
Vyger iceng2 years ago
I watch Big Bag Theory all the time. It is where I have learned how to interact with others members of the sub set called humans.
In physics everything is consistent, you get the same results with the same experiments and the same reactions. The laws are not broken. And yet we still don't understand it.
In social relationships nothing is ever consistent. No two similar situations ever produce the same results, and yet we actually believe that we can understand what is going on. In this respect Penny actually has a much greater knowledge of her expertise than Sheldon can ever hope to have of his.

In the March 2012 issue of Discover Magazine on page 44 there is a very interesting article called "Gravity off the Grid". I brings out some of the ways in which Einstein was/is possible wrong. Particularly in reference to the concept of space. Ernst Mach theorized against the concept of absolute space and although Einstein adopted that idea for time he did not do so for space and as a result things don't work out correctly and they are now having to invent things (not unlike the ether) to get things to work correctly. Its a very good article.
FRONZ Vyger2 years ago
EINSTEIN IS WRONG .
THE PROBLEM HERE IS THE VIEW . A VIEW CAN'T BE CONSTRUCTED MATHEMATICALLY . BECAUSE IT IS MECHANICAL AND FOLLOWS NO LAWS THAT CAN BE MATHEMATICALLY EXPLAINED .
YET MECHANICALLY , IT CAN .
TO DISCOVER THE MECHANICS YOU NEED TOOLS .
THE TOOLS NEEDED AREN'T CONVENTIONAL , THEY ARE NATURAL , AND AS NATURE GIVES ONE VIEWER THE ABILITY , ANOTHER CAN'T VIEW THE MECHANICS .
IT IS IN YOU , WHAT ABILITIES YOU HAVE .
THAT IS WHY WE NEED A TEAM TO ARRIVE TO AN ANSWER THAT IS NOT KNOWN . WHAT REPLIES YOU SEE HERE ARE THE TEAMS AT WORK. TO GRASP THE TOPICS PRESENTED HERE YOU'VE GOT TO ASSEMBLE THE ANSWER , IF YOU STILL DON'T REACH IT , YOUR MISSING A MEMBER OF YOUR TEAM . FIND THEM AND YOU WILL HAVE YOUR CLOSEST ANSWER .
GIANFRANCO FRONZI. JUNE /6/12
nerd7473 (author)  iceng2 years ago
no
tylervitale2 years ago
My chemistry teacher always described photons as "little packets of energy".

But if you're wondering if they have mass, no. They don't. When you think of photons, think of light. If a photon has mass, that means light also has mass. And that just doesn't seem to make sense. It also goes against the definition of a wave which is, "A transfer of energy without a transfer of mass". (I.E. sunlight hitting a black surface on a sunny day. You don't gain mass by being hit with sunlight, but it does warm you up, which is caused by energy.)
On top of that, if photons were made of two electrons, then that would mean they're charged particles that would be attracted to a positive charge. And as far as I know, light isn't attracted to anything except gravity.
Your "definition" of a wave (which doesn't match what I learned in physics) is inaccurate, though a reasonable approximation for small, slow, classicial systems.

When an object gets warmer, it does increase in mass. You can calculate exactly how much warmer it gets, and you'll discover that it is extremely small.

Start with the change in temperature, dT. Use the object's heat capacity C (J K-1 kg-1) and mass m, to compute the energy gained by the object, Q = mCdT. Then, since the object is at rest in its own reference frame, use the mass-energy conversion formula, m = Q/c2 to determine the change in mass.

Let's take a simple example, and do some simplifications to avoid integrals. Raise one kilogram (liter) of water from 20 to 40 C (from cool to warm). dT = 20 K, C = 4185 J K-1 kg-1, and m = 1 kg; so Q = 83,700 J. m = Q/c2 = 83700 / 2997924582 kg = 9.3 x 10-13 kg, or 93 nanograms.
Well, I guess I am learning small, slow classical physics. XD
I just have one question: why?
Where does that mass come from?
Mass and energy are the same thing. That was one of the radical consequences of special relativity: m = E/c2.
You might find this article enlightening.

If you need a quote to get your interest up ---

Can the mass of light be calculated?

Yes, it can be mathematically calculated.  No, it can't be experimentally calculated.  The electron has a mass of 9.11 x 10-28 and 5.1 x 1014 photons can produce the photo-electric effect, then the mass of a photon can be calculated to be 1.8 x 10-42 g.

kelseymh Vyger2 years ago
Um? What? That calculation is utter nonsense, as is the Web page you cited.

One single photon participates in the photoelectric effect (as Einstein showed quite clearly more than a century ago). The photoelectric effect doesn't create electrons: it knocks pre-existing electrons out of the atoms of a material. The energy involved is the ionization energy (or more accurately the work function) of the material.
Vyger Vyger2 years ago
And one more

"Does the photon have mass? After all, it has energy and energy is equivalent to mass.

Quantum mechanics introduces the idea that light can be viewed as a collection of "particles"--photons. Even though these photons cannot be brought to rest, and so the idea of rest mass doesn't really apply to them."
kelseymh2 years ago
No. Photons are not "made of" anything. They are the quantum of the electromagnetic field. If you really want the details, you should probably read Quantum Field Theory by Bjorken.

Who exactly is "Searle"? Can you provide a reference?
What about Prof Anton Zeilingers double slit experiment where when observed the photons do behave like a regular particle?http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgt69p_prof-anton-zeilinger-shows-the-double-slit-experiment_tech
Yeah. So what's your point? Of course photons behave like quanta -- they are quanta. Electrons also behave like quanta, as do protons, neutrons, whole atoms, and even large molecules.
I just realised my mistake so no point made.
:-) No harm no foul! Zellinger's experimental results are really great -- he's been doing this for a couple of decades now, and has managed to eliminate nearly all of the systematic uncertainties which plague most quantum foundations work.
He is an Ah-searle.
Possibly this Searl?
Inventor of the Inverse Gravity Vehicle.
(A.K.A the 'Levity Disc #;¬)
nerd7473 (author)  AndyGadget2 years ago
Yes that searl
nerd7473 (author)  kelseymh2 years ago
Searle invented the SEG or searle effect generator its a supposed antigravity machine
For Searle, check out this forum and the links within. Fun stuff. ;) Explains why questions of this sort pop up from time to time. Love the internet. lol

Qa
How can a photon have charge ???
Vyger2 years ago
I think they are made out of gold. That is why the sun is yellow and sunsets are all tinged with gold.
Now you just need to find a way to convert them into the metal form and make bars out of them.
Vyger Vyger2 years ago
I really hope no one takes this seriously.

You know at one time they used to believe that light came from your eyes and that is what made you able to see. (Maybe that is where they got the idea of Cyclops in X men).
And only a short time ago (100 years) they believed that light could not travel in a vacuum and so believed that the universe was filled with an ether and that is how light traveled between stars. They didn't know what the ether was they just knew that it was there, mostly because it fit the popular theories at the time. I have a feeling that dark matter and dark energy are going to turn out to be the same thing.