Shedding Light on Light Years- Part 1

The fabric of space and time bends just a little by the mass of the planets on it. On the infinite stretch of this fabric lies the Milky Way Galaxy, the home to thousands of stars and planets. Bound by the gravity of the fierce, powerful sun, these planets rotate and revolve in the delicately curved space-time.

And in the quiet of the space, occur some of the most violent reactions. Powerful hydrogen atoms are fused together in the core of the sun to form heavier and heavier atoms, releasing tons and tons of energy.

Kanchan, Sumit. Sun-The Alien Landscape. 2013. Web. 25 Jun. 2017.

The photon formed makes its way through the scattered atoms in the body of the sun, bumping into one and bouncing off another. After years together of aimless roaming, it finally emerges out of the surface of the massive star and into space. Zooming through the dark space, it starts its journey on an unknown path to an unknown destination.

Kanchan, Sumit. Sun-The Alien Landscape. 2013. Web. 25 Jun. 2017.

Free of mass, it lunges forward at a lightning speed. At times, though, the obstacles soak up the energy of the photon. The absence of mass and enormous energy work in its favor to help it travel so fast that it zooms right through space and plunges onto earth within no time at all.

Meanwhile, time ticks by on Earth as the photon eats up the 93 million miles towards the planet. Its species perceive the tiny electromagnetic wave travel through space, it’s electric and magnetic fields entwined to help each other lunge forward. The humans closely monitor every movement of light, from its birth until its disappearance.

And while the photon takes eight long minutes to reach earth, both time and distance cease to exist in its own world.


5 Comment(s)

  1. Anonymous
    June 29, 2017

    The photon is not entirely absent of mass is it? Schrodinger’s Theory proves that light (photons) behaves as both, a particle and a wave. Which means it should lose some energy upon interaction with its surroundings, right?

    1. FuelYourCuriosity
      June 30, 2017

      A photon is a packet of energy. It doesn’t even have a rest mass. Yes, it behaves both as a particle and a wave. Its particle like properties are explained using special relativity. Yes, photon does lose some energy upon interactions with its surrounding. Which is why it gets absorbed and the matter that absorbs its get heated(if the energy is sufficient enough). One form of energy simply converts to another form. Hope it answers your query!

    2. C Sai Kasyap
      July 2, 2017

      The photon is actually doesn’t have the mass it is the only thing in this world with that kind of existence. The query why it doesn’t have mass can be answered from Einsteins equation E=Mc2 if a substance has mass then it cannot reach the speed of light because if that particle had to reach out the speed of light then it must have energy and to provide energy we need to accelerate that particle but photon does not accelerate the very first speed with which it comes is the speed of light itself so when it comes with that speed then according to Einstein’s Equation that particle couldn’t have mass and that is true. But your question of Schrodinger’s Theory will be answered like this in the very beginning of discovery of light there were some properties which cannot be explained by the wave nature of the light then they came up with the idea of light as a particle then that theory could explain the remaining properties of light.That is how the light has got mass but the fact is the photons dont have mass .Hope you are stasfied with this explanantion.

  2. Rohit
    June 29, 2017

    What happens to photons after they reach Earth? Do they go on to different parts of the universe or do we trap it here on Earth?

    1. FuelYourCuriosity
      June 30, 2017

      Photons, by their very nature, are chunks of energy. When they hit an obstacle(either here on earth or somewhere in space), they get absorbed and that energy is used to heat the matter absorbing it. They first enter the outer layers of the atmosphere where the harmful radiations are screened by the ozone layer present over there. Those that make it through, we perceive it as sunlight. Also, the consequences on earth also depend on where exactly the photon is on earth. For example, beautiful auroras are formed in the sky when photons enter the poles. If they are too intense, however, severe blackouts occur.

      And the photons that are on a different path than our earth, go on forever until they are absorbed. Which is when we receive light from a galaxy or a star billions of light years away we know how far it is and for how long the light has traveled.

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