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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:31 pm
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A dumb question perhaps but I needs to know.......I stumbled across an article that says as long as an object is above 0ยบ Kelvin it will emit radiation, thus even ice will emit photons. So I'm thinking, I've never seen ice glow as it heats up. I always think of a photon as observable light but does this mean photons can be something other than visible light while occupying a different range in the electro magnetic spectrum?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:43 pm
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Yes, photons can be outside the narrow band of the EM spectrum that is visible with our human eyes. They are found across the entire EM spectrum.

There are obviously some strange properties to account for due to particle wave duality and QM, but they are emitted and just wiggle wobble at different frequencies depending on the energy (x-ray, gamma ray, infrared, uktraviolate, microwaves, and all the rest).

If our eyes were tuned differently, you'd be able to "see" the process of ice emitting photons. With the proper equipment, you could see it today.

There's a similar concept to photons from light found in sound. They're called phonons. Whenever a sound exists, it spreads via phonons, and that's true whether or not the sound is at a frequency we can hear with our ears. Perhaps this will help wrap your brain around the photons also existing across different frequencies.

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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:00 pm
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iNow wrote:
Yes, photons can be outside the narrow visual band of the EM spectrum. They are found across the entire spectrum.

There are obviously some strange properties to account for due to particle wave duality and QM, and they are emitted but just wiggle wobble at different frequencies (x-ray, gamma ray, infrared, uktraviolate, microwaves, and all the rest).

If our eyes were tuned differently, you'd be able to "see" the process of ice emitting photons. With the proper equipment, you could see it today.

There's a similar concept to photons from light found in sound. They're called phonons. Whenever a sound exists, it spreads via phonons, and that's true whether or not the sound is at a frequency we can hear with our ears. Perhaps this will help wrap your brain around the photons also existing across different frequencies.


It does help rid me of a misconception I've had all these years. Never imagined a radio wave being a photon, probably the letters p-h-o-t-o that confused me. Thanks

Phonons are new to me. No phonons in space?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:01 pm
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Sound requires a medium to travel. Space is (mostly) a vacuum so there is no sound in space.

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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:13 pm
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iNow wrote:
Sound requires a medium to travel. Space is (mostly) a vacuum so there is no sound in space.


I understand that but would phonons be produced by a noisemaker in space, regardless?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:48 pm
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I'm unsure.

My guess is that, yes, they're created, but only travel as far as the medium will allow (for example, inside your mouth or in a space suit), but then terminate. Just because they're halted due to lack of a medium shouldn't mean the process by which they're created in the first place ceases to function as per usual.

To be clear, I have no idea whether this is true or not. Am simply trying to reason through it based on what I know.

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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:25 pm

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Phonons are not particles in the same way as photons are (they are sometimes called quasiparticles). Phonons are a QM description of vibrational modes in a crystal or medium. No medium, no vibration, no phonons...

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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:36 pm
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PhDemon wrote:
Phonons are not particles in the same way as photons are (they are sometimes called quasiparticles). Phonons are a QM description of vibrational modes in a crystal or medium. No medium, no vibration, no phonons...


Makes me wonder if a photon is actually a visible particle before it hits a sensor? This may sound weird but is it our brains that convert the particle/wave/vibration to what we call light?

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Last edited by Zinjanthropos on Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:44 pm

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A photon can be inferred to exist without the need for measurement as they are needed for various conservation laws (energy, momentum and various quantum numbers). Their existence is independent of sensors or eyes to see them, the fact that eyes have evolved to use a very small energy range of them to "see" the world around them is a happy accident, an accident that has lead to the idea of "light". ;) You don't need eyes to detect photons, infra red photons can be detected by the skin as "heat". They are really, physically, the same thing, it is only the wavelength that is different and the way we have evolved to use one and not the other...

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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:47 pm
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PhDemon wrote:
A photon can be inferred to exist without the need for measurement as they are needed for various conservation laws (energy, momentum and various quantum numbers). Their existence is independent of sensors or eyes to see them, the fact that eyes have evolved to use a very small energy range of them to "see" the world around them is a happy accident, an accident that has lead to the idea of "light". ;)


As in everything is a vibration, light included? So is light actually a heat wave?

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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:52 pm

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Not really, "light" and "heat" in this context don't actually mean much. The only important thing is the wavelength of the photon (and hence it's energy). We arbitrarily call the wavelengths between 400 and 700 nm "light" because our eyes have evolved to detect them. They are no different to any other photon except for their energy.


This is another example of Pratchett's problem of trying to describe physics (especially QM) using a language that evolved to tell other monkeys where the food is ;)

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:58 pm
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Lol!

Another thing to keep in mind is that (in overly simplified terms) heat is a transfer of energy whereas temperature is a measure of it. People often conflate the two which leads to more confusion in discussions such as these.

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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:00 pm
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PhDemon wrote:
Not really, "light" and "heat" in this context don't actually mean much. The only important thing is the wavelength of the photon (and hence it's energy). We arbitrarily call the wavelengths between 400 and 700 nm "light" because our eyes have evolved to detect them. They are no different to any other photon except for their energy.


This is another example of Pratchett's problem of trying to describe physics (especially QM) using a language that evolved to tell other monkeys where the food is ;)


I feel like one of those monkeys but that's OK because I'm learning stuff. :D

How would Einstein's famous thought experiment work if he couldn't sense the light wave while moving at c? Would not the wave appear to be still and if so how would he sense it, or is that the gist of the experiment?

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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:04 pm

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Not my area but it dun't matter, that's the beauty of a thought experiment :lol:

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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:27 pm
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PhDemon wrote:
Not my area but it dun't matter, that's the beauty of a thought experiment :lol:

:D
Just out of curiousity, can a photon be heated? Cooled? or impossible for either to happen?

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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:54 pm

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A photon can be said to have a black body temperature (based on its wavelength), but temperature is a statistical thing (look uo Maxwell-Boltzmann curve) so applied to a single particle the idea of temperature is pretty meaningless...

Off to the pub! Happy New Year!

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:03 pm
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Indeed. It's a bit like asking how frequently and how hard children on a skating rink bump into each other when there's only one kid there skating and the rink is otherwise empty.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:06 pm
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Zinjanthropos wrote:
How would Einstein's famous thought experiment work if he couldn't sense the light wave while moving at c? Would not the wave appear to be still and if so how would he sense it, or is that the gist of the experiment?

By definition, if light exists then it is traveling at c. There is no stillness where photons are involved.

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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:28 pm
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iNow wrote:
Zinjanthropos wrote:
How would Einstein's famous thought experiment work if he couldn't sense the light wave while moving at c? Would not the wave appear to be still and if so how would he sense it, or is that the gist of the experiment?

By definition, if light exists then it is traveling at c. There is no stillness where photons are involved.


I understand that but if Einstein's at c then wouldn't the wave/photon he's keeping up with appear to be motionless? You'd think he could reach over and touch it.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:49 pm
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No. The constancy of the speed of light applies regardless of how fast one is moving. It is the same across frames of reference.

We must also recall that it's inappropriate to assume someone traveling on a light beam has a valid frame of reference in the first place.

They don't, and this is because reference frames are defined when something is at rest relative to something else, an impossibility for light (or anything traveling at light speed... if it were possible for something with nonzero mass to do so).

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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:06 pm
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iNow wrote:
No. The constancy of the speed of light applies regardless of how fast one is moving. It is the same across frames of reference.

We must also recall that it's inappropriate to assume someone traveling on a light beam has a valid frame of reference in the first place.

They don't, and this is because reference frames are defined when something is at rest relative to something else, an impossibility for light (or anything traveling at light speed... if it were possible for something with nonzero mass to do so).


Not even in a thought experiment? I wouldn't want to ask Einstein, "what were you thinking?" ;)

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geordief
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:31 pm

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Zinjanthropos wrote:
iNow wrote:
No. The constancy of the speed of light applies regardless of how fast one is moving. It is the same across frames of reference.

We must also recall that it's inappropriate to assume someone traveling on a light beam has a valid frame of reference in the first place.

They don't, and this is because reference frames are defined when something is at rest relative to something else, an impossibility for light (or anything traveling at light speed... if it were possible for something with nonzero mass to do so).


Not even in a thought experiment? I wouldn't want to ask Einstein, "what were you thinking?" ;)


Maybe when light is slowed down we get a glance across then??


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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:25 pm
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geordief wrote:
Zinjanthropos wrote:
iNow wrote:
No. The constancy of the speed of light applies regardless of how fast one is moving. It is the same across frames of reference.

We must also recall that it's inappropriate to assume someone traveling on a light beam has a valid frame of reference in the first place.

They don't, and this is because reference frames are defined when something is at rest relative to something else, an impossibility for light (or anything traveling at light speed... if it were possible for something with nonzero mass to do so).


Not even in a thought experiment? I wouldn't want to ask Einstein, "what were you thinking?" ;)


Maybe when light is slowed down we get a glance across then??


I think I might have pissed iNow off but I don't pretend to know what I'm talking about. Hope that's taken into consideration. I did a little reading and I think I can see where he coming from. Einstein was dealing with a paradox from what I can understand (I stand to be corrected). Anyway I have another question re photons....

When a photon hits your eye, is it a wave or particle?

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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:08 pm

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Neither, "wave" and "particle" are monkey language (pace Pratchett), a photon is neither a wave or a particle, it is a completely different thing that can exhibit wave-like or particle-like properties depending on how it is interacting... Asking whether it is a wave or a particle is meaningless...

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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:24 pm
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PhDemon wrote:
Neither, "wave" and "particle" are monkey language (pace Pratchett), a photon is neither a wave or a particle, it is a completely different thing that can exhibit wave-like or particle-like properties depending on how it is interacting... Asking whether it is a wave or a particle is meaningless...


Sounds good. I guess my next question is: what property of a photon is interacting with the eye?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:45 pm
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Zinjanthropos wrote:
I think I might have pissed iNow off

Not at all. I just didn't have anything further to contribute at the time.

Zinjanthropos wrote:
what property of a photon is interacting with the eye?

All of it. The photon hits the retina in the eye, specifically the rod and cone receptors. When they are "energized" by the incoming photon, it triggers an electrical signal that combines with similar signals from neighboring rod and cone receptors in our eyes.

That adding to and cancelling out of all of the various signals provides the information we use to determine what's happening in the world around us. It eventually travels across the various parts of the brain where visual information is handled and gets interpreted / interacts with memories of past events that were similar.

That said, as a general rule we don't generally become consciously aware of individual photons arriving to our eyes, even though the biological machinery in our retinas may indeed show a spiked response to an individual photon coming in if we were recording it with sensitive enough equipment.

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geordief
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:03 pm

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iNow wrote:
Zinjanthropos wrote:
I think I might have pissed iNow off

Not at all. I just didn't have anything further to contribute at the time.

Zinjanthropos wrote:
what property of a photon is interacting with the eye?

All of it. The photon hits the retina in the eye, specifically the rod and cone receptors. When they are "energized" by the incoming photon, it triggers an electrical signal that combines with similar signals from neighboring rod and cone receptors in our eyes.

That adding to and cancelling out of all of the various signals provides the information we use to determine what's happening in the world around us. It eventually travels across the various parts of the brain where visual information is handled and gets interpreted / interacts with memories of past events that were similar.

That said, as a general rule we don't generally become consciously aware of individual photons arriving to our eyes, even though the biological machinery in our retinas may indeed show a spiked response to an individual photon coming in if we were recording it with sensitive enough equipment.

We don't register its/their wave property do we? That would make the eye an interferometer wouldn't it?


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Zinjanthropos
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:51 pm
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iNow wrote:

Zinjanthropos wrote:
what property of a photon is interacting with the eye?

All of it. The photon hits the retina in the eye, specifically the rod and cone receptors. When they are "energized" by the incoming photon, it triggers an electrical signal that combines with similar signals from neighboring rod and cone receptors in our eyes.

That adding to and cancelling out of all of the various signals provides the information we use to determine what's happening in the world around us. It eventually travels across the various parts of the brain where visual information is handled and gets interpreted / interacts with memories of past events that were similar.

That said, as a general rule we don't generally become consciously aware of individual photons arriving to our eyes, even though the biological machinery in our retinas may indeed show a spiked response to an individual photon coming in if we were recording it with sensitive enough equipment.


http://www.livescience.com/7799-strange-humans-glow-visible-light.html

The above website claims that humans emit weak visible light. Not quite sure what weak visible light actually is but it appears that along with reflecting and absorbing, life forms emit visible light. My next question was going to be about whether Earth emits any light but it seems like unless there's chemical activity going on it doesn't. Is that about right?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Ice Photons?  |  Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:44 pm
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geordief wrote:
We don't register its/their wave property do we?

No, it's essentially binary. Yes, this receptor was activated or No, this receptor has not interacted with an incoming photon

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