PIRSA Logo


PERIMETER INSTITUTE RECORDED SEMINAR ARCHIVE

Quantum Mechanics 8 - What is a Photon?
Speaker(s): Richard Epp
Abstract: By applying our understanding of the quantum harmonic oscillator to the electromagnetic field we learn what a photon is, and are introduced to “quantum field theory” and the amazing “Casimir effect.”
Learning Outcomes:
• Understanding that classical electromagnetic waves bouncing around inside a mirrored box will exist as standing waves with only certain allowed frequencies.
• How each of these standing waves oscillates harmonically, and thus why – at the quantum level – their energies must be discrete, which is interpreted as the presence of a discrete number of photons.
• What the zero point energy of the electromagnetic field represents, and its relationship to a remarkable property of the quantum vacuum called the “Casimir effect.”
Date: 12/08/2008 - 10:30 am
Collection: ISSYP Virtual
Valid XHTML 1.0!