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> Photon Travel Challenge
 
Is it possible for two photons from different sources to occupy the same space for at least a year while traveling?
Yes [ 3 ]  [100.00%]
No [ 0 ]  [0.00%]
Umm [ 0 ]  [0.00%]
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EMPulse
Posted on Apr 12 2012, 11:02 PM


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If you answer yes or no, provide a reason of why or how for your answer. If you'd like.


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rpenner
Posted on Apr 12 2012, 11:23 PM


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It's called classical superposition and is in Maxwell's equations.

If A is a solution to Maxwell's equations in vacuum, and B is a solution to Maxwell's equation in vacuum, then any mixture: aA + bB where a and b are scalars is also a solution.

Specifically, if A is a bunch of light, 2 A is a double-big bunch.

Secondly, in space there are natural cases of stimulated emission of radiation, and this is the definition of photons form two sources sharing the same state of motion.


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EMPulse
Posted on Apr 13 2012, 07:03 AM


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How do you get photon A on the same superposition space as photon B? without source B interfering with photon A?





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If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. -Albert Einstein

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. -Albert Einstein


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rpenner
Posted on Apr 13 2012, 07:26 AM


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Stimulated emission:

A certain atom is excited and falls into a metastable state.

Photon A hits the atom, causing it (with some probability) to fall to the ground state, releasing photon B.

If photon A and photon B have the same energy, they are in phase, and so constructively interfere.

If you get a lot of excited atoms (a population inversion) this process is called lasing.


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"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
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mr_homm
Posted on Apr 14 2012, 03:39 AM


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I agree with rpenner. The whole mode of operation of a laser is to stimulate new photons to join the herd of photons which are already traveling through the tube. When a new photon joins, it is identical to the existing ones (i.e. it is in precisely the same state). Since the new photons are the result of separate emission events compared to the older photons, they qualify as coming from a different source. Simply aim a pocket laser at the night sky, and the beam will travel for years, retaining most of its photons, so yes, you will have photons from different sources persisting in the same state for years.

--Stuart Anderson


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