General Question

luigirovatti's avatar

Do you agree with the following quote about photons' mass?

Asked by luigirovatti (1926points) December 25th, 2019

“For us to be able to see the light from a star that is literally billions of light years away suggests that an enormous amount of photon mass would have to be emitted from that star into the celestial space around that star. I cannot imagine that as a possibility. [The Aurora Borealis has a different explanation.] We also know the researchers in quantum mechanics claim to have found particles with physical mass that pass in and out of [our physical domain/our existence…] Assuming that the theory of photons having physical mass is true, could the photons be passing in and out of existence as the light’s waveform alternates between states, and the photons’ mass would be from something local instead of from the unbelievable distance to the star that was the original light source?”

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

Caravanfan's avatar

Where does that quote come from? It is incorrect. Photons do not have mass.

luigirovatti's avatar

@Caravanfan: “I cannot imagine that as a possibility. [...] We also know the researchers in quantum mechanics claim to have found particles with physical mass that…”

Dutchess_III's avatar

He asked for a source.

luigirovatti's avatar

@Caravanfan, @Dutchess_III: Jim Levale, “Space Chess”.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Another of your questions that confuses the hell out of me. Are you saying that the photon transits between its source and us, and is undetectable anywhere between?

luigirovatti's avatar

@stanleybmanly: This time it’s NOT my fault. This is a quote, I mentioned the source. If you have problem, PM LuckyGuy.

Caravanfan's avatar

Anyway photons do not have mass because they travel at the speed of light. What is a far more interesting question is “do photons experience time?” The answer is probably not, according to Relativity Theory. So that means that a photon that is emitted millions of years ago and hits your eye is hitting your eye at exactly the same time it is emitted.

Zaku's avatar

The quote is a question. And yes, i agree that is a reasonable question. As I was reading the build-up to the question, I had similar thoughts in mind.

Further, it occurs to me as unlikely that it would be mass crossing such distances at the speed of light, also because of various considerations or rate/time/distance and the thinking around the speed of light being constant, etc.

luigirovatti's avatar

@stanleybmanly: Sorry to butt in, but you’re writing for something, like, 30 minutes. 8—()

stanleybmanly's avatar

Distractions at home. Busy day here.

luigirovatti's avatar

@stanleybmanly: Ah, yes, I understand. Merry Christmas! And to everyone you know and/or might be reading this.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Thanks and the same to you all!

Caravanfan's avatar

A photon has no mass because it moves at the speed of light, by definition. It has no momentum—only energy. Nothing that has any mass can move at the speed of light because of the Special Theory of relativity. As objects with mass move closer to the speed of light, their relative mass increases towards infinity. Only massless photons (and presumably gravitons) move at the speed of light. It can not really be explained more without math.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^ The man knows what he’s talking about!

Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther