How can photons have no mass?

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  1. #1
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    How can photons have no mass?


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    So in the recent months or so I've been studying quantum physics and particle physics among a few other things, and I've come across the subject of wave-particle duality and the matter of light 'particles' (known as photons) having no relativistic mass. Photons can be/are considered to coincide with something called wave-particle duality, where particles behave like waves rather than particles, but still exhibit other characteristics such as physical ones of a particle.

    I was just wondering, and wanted to make a small little debate over how a 'particle', or anything in existence for that matter, could have no mass, when mass is what physically constitutes something. So how can something have no physical mass inside of a physical universe, wouldn't that elude to the fact that it does not exist? Or would that possibly elude to a 'non-physical' universe?

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    Also, what is the main culprit for the reason why we can't see light travel from point A to point B?

    Because although it does travel at an insanely fast speed, (186,000 Miles/Second) over vast distances such as, a light year - light does not teleport nor travel instantly, it travels at a finite speed - but due to photons having no relative mass, is that the reason why we can not see light travel from point A to point B? Also, is that in relation with invisibility cloaks? Or do invisibility cloaks just bend and reflect/refract light in certain ways around the invisibility cloak?


  2. #2
    [R8]ℓσℓ32 caja is offline
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    Re: How can photons have no mass?

    This is really interesting, in fact the most interesting thread you created. Partial of the following content is just an idea I'm working on, it is not even a theory yet.

    If a photon has mass and moves at the speed of the light the mass will become infinite. In terms of relativistic mass:



    When setting values you will get m = (infinite) x 0 (it's like the mass of a photon is indeterminate)
    We also have no mass and no energy conservation, but both are conserved by the theory of relativity.

    Now if we see from a different viewpoint, the mass of photon is indeterminate and the reason is because a photon is not matter but it can form matter. Imagine the photon as "god particle" and when it slows down from speed light they become matter. (Photons as the source of matter)
    Of course this breaks the law of conservation of energy since it just doesn't allow to create matter but destroy matter too.

  3. #3
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Re: How can photons have no mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by caja View Post
    This is really interesting, in fact the most interesting thread you created. Partial of the following content is just an idea I'm working on, it is not even a theory yet.

    If a photon has mass and moves at the speed of the light the mass will become infinite. In terms of relativistic mass:



    When setting values you will get m = (infinite) x 0 (it's like the mass of a photon is indeterminate)
    We also have no mass and no energy conservation, but both are conserved by the theory of relativity.

    Now if we see from a different viewpoint, the mass of photon is indeterminate and the reason is because a photon is not matter but it can form matter. Imagine the photon as "god particle" and when it slows down from speed light they become matter. (Photons as the source of matter)
    Of course this breaks the law of conservation of energy since it just doesn't allow to create matter but destroy matter too.
    Hey every theory and major discovery starts with a simple idea! Gotta start somewhere, right?

    The part that I struggle with is the aspect of the mass and energy becoming infinite when traveling at or near the speed of light. I've talked about the concept and reality of 'infinity' in another thread, I'm not sure which one, but in it I basically discussed how yes, 'infinity' is a 'real' number - but it is more used as an... expression or just, as this thread relates to, a relativistic measurement/value.

    So I just don't get how it can be assigned to or coupled with other expressions when it isn't a (I'm going to blatantly contradict myself here) 'real' number, like 1, 2, 3 or 76,422,129,851,400,000,000,000 (Just for a crazy example, which just so happens to be the distance in miles to the farthest known Galaxy MACS0647-JD)

    With the m = (infinite) x 0 expression though, wouldn't that make the result of the equation 0; as anything multiplied by 0 is 0? Or is that what you essentially just said and I misinterpreted it?

  4. #4
    [R8]ℓσℓ32 caja is offline
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    Re: How can photons have no mass?

    I'm proud to say that started this light project more than 1 year ago and have over 4k pages of work. Still since day 1 this is my biggest fear:




    The infinite comes from a division by 0. And as you said infinite is used as expression and for that reason is not multiplied by numbers.



    v of photon is same as c. This leaves the equation with 0/0, which is undefined/indeterminate and usually represented as infinite to explain this case.

  5. #5
    goku can eat my ass ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ kidbuu is online now
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    Re: How can photons have no mass?

    Energy has no mass?

  6. #6
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Re: How can photons have no mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by kydbuu View Post
    Energy has no mass?
    Energy and matter are essentially the same things, according to the theory of general relativity and Einstein's famous E=mc2 equation, energy and matter are interchangeable.

  7. #7
    goku can eat my ass ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ kidbuu is online now
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    Re: How can photons have no mass?

    Maybe just maybe photons don't exist?

  8. #8
    [R8]ℓσℓ32 caja is offline
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    Re: How can photons have no mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by kydbuu View Post
    Maybe just maybe photons don't exist?
    They exist, it's not just a theory it's proved by numerous experiments and even the human eye is able to see a photon. The fact it doesn't behave like other known particles doesn't mean it doesn't exist, they have no mass but they have momentum.

  9. #9
    Cya nerds PunkS7yle is offline
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    Re: How can photons have no mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Justice For All View Post
    Also, what is the main culprit for the reason why we can't see light travel from point A to point B?
    This was done in an experiment recently.
    Scientists have filmed a 'sonic boom' of light for the first time - ScienceAlert

    Actual paper : http://advances.sciencemag.org/conte...01814.full.pdf

  10. #10
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Re: How can photons have no mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by PunkS7yle View Post
    So in other words, we can see light travel from point A to point B - we just need ultra-fast cameras to do so? That's amazing. I've always had a hunch that light created its own form of a 'sonic boom' like the article talks about I just didn't know it was like that. That was a great read thank you for sharing




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