A photon is a type of elementary particle, the quantum of the electromagnetic field.

  • As an electromagnetic field propagates through space it is configured as bundles of energy called photons.
  • Photons are the force carriers of radiant energy (electromagnetic radiation).
  • So a photon is a type of elementary particle and represents a quantum of light (eg. visible light). Another way of putting this is that a photon is the smallest quantity (quantum) into which light can be divided.
  • For everyday purposes, we might say that electromagnetic radiation travels through space as bundles of energy called photons and that streams of photons are configured as electromagnetic waves. So, the waves are the carriers of the energy (electromagnetic radiation).
  • It was Albert Einstein who first showed that while light travels in waves, it also is made of particles called photons.
  • The energy associated with a photon is determined by its wavelength. Photons with shorter wavelengths have more energy per photon than longer wavelength photons.
  • An electromagnetic field can be thought of as a single more complete object than its component electric and magnetic field.
  • A photon has zero mass when at rest.
  • A photon moves at the speed of light in a vacuum.