About the properties of photons
- A photon is a type of elementary particle that is a quantum (plural = quanta) of the electromagnetic field. This means that it is the smallest quantity into which light can be divided.
- A photon carries energy and can be described both in terms of a particle and a wave.
- While the wave model of light works well for some phenomena, the particle model is necessary to explain others.
- Light can exhibit both wave-like and particle-like behaviour depending on the experiment performed. This is known as wave-particle duality.
- The wavelength of a photon determines its energy and frequency.
- Photons with longer wavelengths have lower energy and frequency, while photons with shorter wavelengths have higher energy and frequency.
- The wavelength of a photon can also affect its behaviour, such as its ability to penetrate materials or cause photochemical reactions.
Other properties of photons include:
- Photons have zero rest mass but have energy and momentum proportional to their frequency.
- Unlike other kinds of elementary particles, photons have no rest mass.
- Photons are electrically neutral, meaning they have no electric charge.
- Photons are stable particles that do not decay over time.
- Photons can interact with other particles, such as electrons, through processes such as absorption and emission.
- Photons can interact with other particles, such as electrons, through processes like absorption and emission.
- Photons always travel at the speed of light in a vacuum, regardless of their frequency or energy.