oldprof asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 4 years ago

# What's the standing wave of a photon, of a string, of all the particles standing in?

The photon for example has a fundamental frequency as in e = hf, but it's highly truncated by its own harmonics into a standing wave packet. What's that wave standing in?

In a musical instrument, the standing wave nodes are fixed at the extremes of the instrument. So those standing waves are standing in the instrument itself.

What's the instrument for a photon?

Or in string theory we read that the tips of the string snippets are somehow attached to space itself. But the loop strings are free to come and go into and out of our universe (Lisa Randall). At least these are standing in themselves as loops. But those snippets? What are they standing in.

Relevance
• neb
Lv 7
4 years ago

Generally, free particles are not standing waves. An electron in a potential well (the old standby is the infinite potenttial on either side of the well), the potential serves as the endpoint of the particle - the amplitude is 0 at the wall. For an electron in an atom, the standing wave is a loop, sort of like the closed string in string theory.

• oldprof
Lv 7
3 years agoReport

I checked the ref Neb; I saw "barriers" etc. forcing nodes and between which the standing waves operated. The figure with the PE well, barrier on either side, just supports my question...that's the barrier for a photon? Why does that wave packet stay truncated to a size we can treat it as a point?

• 4 years ago

Waves don't have to be standing IN anything.

We only need some construct so that we get constructive and destructive interference.

An orbiting particle arrives back at its starting point after one complete circuit.

Therefore ANY WAVE AT ALL which is associated with the particle meets the condition for interference.

Many other types of standing waves exist. For example single and dual slit interference.

Diffraction gratings.

Vibration of metals in your car.

You need to reject the concept that waves are standing in anything.

• oldprof
Lv 7
4 years agoReport

Your examples of "other types" actually lists the constructs for those kind of standing waves. They are the physical context in which the waves are caused to interfere. What causes the harmonics of a photon to interfere which each other and form a packet.