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Can there be massive photons? A pedagogical glance at the origin of mass

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Autor Robles P.
Autor Claro F.
Fecha Ingreso 2014-04-05T00:16:36Z
Fecha Disponible 2014-04-05T00:16:36Z
Fecha en Repositorio 2014-04-04
dc.identifier 10.1088/0143-0807/33/5/1217
dc.description.abstract Among the most startling experiences a student encounters is learning that, unlike electrons and other elementary particles, photons have no mass. Under certain circumstances, however, the light quantum behaves as if it did have a finite mass. Starting from Maxwell's equations, we discuss how this arises when light interacts with a charged plasma, or travels along a waveguide. The motion of such photons is analysed using kinematic concepts of special relativity, and we show how a cutoff frequency for effective propagation appears. Seeing how an environment may yield an apparent dynamic mass to the photon paves the way for later understanding: might the Higgs boson field provide other particles, such as the electron, with a mass? This paper is addressed to mid-level physics students, teachers and lecturers, requiring only a knowledge of classical electromagnetic and special relativity theories. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd. en_US
dc.source European Journal of Physics
Link Descarga dc.source.uri
Title dc.title Can there be massive photons? A pedagogical glance at the origin of mass en_US
Tipo dc.type Article
dc.description.keywords Finite mass; Higgs boson; Light quanta; Maxwell's equations; Special relativity; Cutoff frequency; Maxwell equations; Relativity; Teaching; Photons en_US

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