Photon - Nomenclature


Standard model of particle physics
Large Hadron Collider tunnel at CERN
Background Particle physics
Standard Model
Quantum field theory
Gauge theory
Spontaneous symmetry breaking
Higgs mechanism
Constituents Electroweak interaction
Quantum chromodynamics
CKM matrix
Limitations Strong CP problem
Hierarchy problem
Neutrino oscillations
See also: Physics beyond the Standard Model
Scientists Rutherford · Thomson · Chadwick · Bose · Sudarshan · Koshiba · Davis, Jr. · Anderson · Fermi · Dirac · Feynman · Rubbia · Gell-Mann · Kendall · Taylor · Friedman · Powell · Glashow · Meer · Cowan · Nambu · Chamberlain · Cabibbo · Schwartz · Perl · Majorana · Weinberg · Lee · Ward · Salam · Kobayashi · Maskawa · Yang · Yukawa · 't Hooft · Veltman · Gross · Politzer · Wilczek · Cronin · Fitch · Vleck · Higgs · Englert · Brout · Hagen · Guralnik · Kibble · Ting · Richter

In 1900, Max Planck was working on black-body radiation and suggested that the energy in electromagnetic waves could only be released in "packets" of energy. In his 1901 article in Annalen der Physik he called these packets "energy elements". The word quanta (singular quantum) was used even before 1900 to mean particles or amounts of different quantities, including electricity. Later, in 1905 Albert Einstein went further by suggesting that electromagnetic waves could only exist in these discrete wave-packets. He called such a wave-packet the light quantum (German: das Lichtquant). The name photon derives from the Greek word for light, φῶς (transliterated phôs), and was coined in 1926 by the physical chemist Gilbert Lewis, who published a speculative theory in which photons were "uncreatable and indestructible". Although Lewis' theory was never accepted as it was contradicted by many experiments, his new name, photon, was adopted immediately by most physicists. Isaac Asimov credits Arthur Compton with defining quanta of energy as photons in 1923.

In physics, a photon is usually denoted by the symbol γ (the Greek letter gamma). This symbol for the photon probably derives from gamma rays, which were discovered in 1900 by Paul Villard, named by Ernest Rutherford in 1903, and shown to be a form of electromagnetic radiation in 1914 by Rutherford and Edward Andrade. In chemistry and optical engineering, photons are usually symbolized by , the energy of a photon, where h is Planck's constant and the Greek letter ν (nu) is the photon's frequency. Much less commonly, the photon can be symbolized by hf, where its frequency is denoted by f.

Read more about this topic:  Photon

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