Why do photons slow down when they travel through matter?

Why do photons slow down when they travel through matter?

When light travels through a medium other than vacuum, it will be slowed down. That’s due to the fact that light scatters off the molecules that make-up different materials. The photons themselves do not slow down. But their passage through a medium involves absorption by electrons and re-emission.

What happens when photons pass through matter?

When a photon interacts with matter, two things happen : 1) it picks up “rest mass” and 2) it slows down. This happens because regular matter is made up of charged particles like electrons and protons (one each in a Hydrogen atom). The answer is that photons passing through matter are no longer (pure) photons.

How do you slow down a photon?

Scientists have managed to slow photons in free space for the first time. They have demonstrated that applying a mask to an optical beam to give photons a spatial structure can reduce their speed.

Why does light travel slower?

Light moves slower through denser media because more particles get in its way. Each time the light bumps into a particle of the medium, the light gets absorbed which causes the particle to vibrate a little and then the light gets re-emitted.

How are photons slowed down by the speed of light?

Photons don’t get slowed down by traveling through the air, that’s not how they lose energy. (Photons are light, and travel at the speed of light) They have a certain amount of energy “stored” in each photon, and it can only be imparted completely.

Why do photons lose energy as they travel through space?

photons can, however, lose energy over long periods of time traveling through space as they become red-shifted due to the expansion of the universe. this effect can be seen clearly in CMBR. How do you explain the Pound & Rebka Mossbauer Effect experiment on the effect of gravity on the 14.7 KeV iron-57 line.

Can a photon gain or lose energy in a gravitational field?

Photons can gain or lose energy travelling in a gravitational field, but they maintain a speed of C. Photons from space descending through the Earth’s gravitational field gain energy, move towards the blue.

Can a photon lose energy while traveling uphill?

Photons from nuclear isomeric transitions (very narrow linewidths) traveling uphill (22.5 meters uphill from a gravitational source) lose energy, as proved in the Pound Rebka experiment (in 1959) using the Mossbauer Effect in iron-57. Note that photons also gain energy going “downhill” in a gravitational field.

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