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Newbie Questions . . .
"Richard" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message
news:ci7s7i$4i0$[Only registered users see links. ]...
Here's my twopence worth; more a general point than a specific answer to
The propagation of light exhibits many of the attributes of classical
wave-like behaviour: It has a velocity, a frequency, a wavelength, displays
interference effects...etc . However, It differs from a classical wave in
that it's energy exists in discrete 'lumps' rather than being continuous.
This means that energy can only be added to (or removed from) the wave in
multiples of 'hf'. We call these lumps of energy 'photons'. Any attempt to
'visualise' photons as anything more than bundles of energy isn't worth the
effort because it isn't possible.
One of your points concerned polarising filters. A single photon has a 50%
chance of transmission, but not because there's a 50% chance of perfect
alignment with the filter's axis; obviously the probability of that is
extremely small. A photon which is out of alignment has a finite
probability of transmission, with that probability decreasing from 1 to 0 as
the angular separation increases from 0 to 90 degrees.
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