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Thu Apr 25, 2019, 05:25 PM

Inside Giant Atom Smasher, Physicists See the Impossible: Light Interacting with Light

By Paul Sutter, Astrophysicist | April 25, 2019 07:14am ET

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Credit: Shutterstock

In case you didn't realize it, photons are tiny little bits of light. In fact, they're the smallest bit of light possible. When you turn on a lamp, gigantic numbers of photons spring from that bulb and slam into your eyes, where they are absorbed by your retina and turned into an electrical signal so that you can see what you are doing.

So, you can imagine just how many photons surround you at any one time. Not just from the lights in your room, but photons also stream in through the window from the sun. Even your own body generates photons, but all the way down in infrared energies, so you need night vision goggles to see them. But they're still there.

And, of course, all the radio waves and ultraviolet rays and all the other rays constantly bombard you and everything else with an endless stream of photons.

It's photons everywhere.

These little packets of light aren't supposed to interact with each other, essentially having no "awareness" that the others even exist. The laws of physics are such that one photon just passes by another with zero interaction. [The 18 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics]


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Reply Inside Giant Atom Smasher, Physicists See the Impossible: Light Interacting with Light (Original post)
Judi Lynn Apr 2019 OP
JDC Apr 2019 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 08:03 PM

1. Thank you. Very interesting.

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