How many dimensions does light have?

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DanBrwn
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#1
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I thought of this question the other day. I came to the conclusion that light must only have two dimensions because it is not relative to time and has no depth but could be measured width and length ways in photon wave form. I really have no clue and would quite like to know. Does anyone think otherwise and if so could you explain?

Not according to string theory.

Taking dimensions as:
-Width
-Length
-Depth
-Time

Thanks




Here is a piece of pizza for your troubles :pizza:
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Bobifier
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Light exists in a space with as many dimensions as the universe.

For the light itself, assuming that by dimensions you mean the maximum number of numbers required to describe it, I suspect that it is the same as the number of dimensions it exists in + 1 for the energy of the piece of light you are looking at, but I am not a physicist.

Ultimately, I suspect that your question is poorly conceived. What do you mean by light? You might just as well ask how many dimensions air has - it depends which bit of air you are looking at and the number of dimensions of the space it exists in.

EDIT: There also seems to be a misconception running through this thread that light is a wave. This is demonstrably not true.
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Manitude
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The wave itself oscillates in two perpendicular directions and travels in a direction perpendicular to that, so it has three in that respect.

If you look at Huygen's theory of light one can argue that light takes up three spatial dimensions as it spreads out in every direction.
Looking at Einstein's word one could say that light does travel through time, but at a speed of zero.
I've heard relativity be explained as objects travelling at different speeds through dimensions. Either you travel quickly through time, or space. It's not quite like that though but let's not go into semantics.
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edwinemanuelposse
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i have an answer that doesnt really help u ha ha

in dutch wiki one day i was curious about fire... so yeah i googled it and then i got a wiki page that contained like 100 or even less words..... while a wiki about justin bieber in holland has 2 or 3000 words......

i was just curious and all the wiki could tell that fire is "a corosife progress of a certain material" and not one word more...than that...

i gues with the subject light its the same... u can not catch it...u ( almost ) cant studie it ( becuase it wont stand still.... and only u can project theories about the matter .....

in science fiction they say "light can slow down to almost 0 miles an houre" but scientist think this is bull...
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biain
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I'd say three if their weren't any forces acting acting on the photon and it was polarized(this is the normal way we think of a single photon) or four if for example, the photon was being bent through space and time through gravity.

Generally, I'd say the 4 that you gave in your example, as if light were able to pass through any other dimensions, it'd be able to travel from one position in the universe to another, anywhere else in the universe, instantaneously. That's my understanding of the higher dimensions but, I really don't have an in depth understanding of theoretical physics.

This short documentary really help me understand how dimensions work in an easy to understand way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCQx9U6awFw
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py0alb
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(Original post by Bobifier)
EDIT: There also seems to be a misconception running through this thread that light is a wave. This is demonstrably not true.
light is series of particles. each particle is a little wave :ciao:.a stream of particles is a bigger wave :happy2:. Hence light is a wave.
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!-Twisty-!
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(Original post by Bobifier)

EDIT: There also seems to be a misconception running through this thread that light is a wave. This is demonstrably not true.
Wave particle duality theory?
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Bobifier
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(Original post by py0alb)
light is series of particles. each particle is a little wave :ciao:.a stream of particles is a bigger wave :happy2:. Hence light is a wave.
This simplifies to "Light is both a particle and a wave". First of all, this statement makes no sense - it can't be two things at once. Wave-particle duality is refferred to as the idea that something can demonstrate both wave-like properties and particle-like properties. It is NOT the idea that something can be both things at once. In fact, it can only lead to the conclusion that light is neither a particle nor a wave since it fits into neither category.
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py0alb
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(Original post by Bobifier)
This simplifies to "Light is both a particle and a wave". First of all, this statement makes no sense - it can't be two things at once. Wave-particle duality is refferred to as the idea that something can demonstrate both wave-like properties and particle-like properties. It is NOT the idea that something can be both things at once. In fact, it can only lead to the conclusion that light is neither a particle nor a wave since it fits into neither category.

You're not really big into your quantum theory are you?
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astroju
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(Original post by Bobifier)
There also seems to be a misconception running through this thread that light is a wave. This is demonstrably not true.
Photons are regarded as both a wave and a particle at the same time. Both models are needed, because using only either can't explain things fully. The particle model explains the photoelectric effect, while the wave models explains refraction, diffraction...
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LiamSP
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(Original post by Bobifier)
This simplifies to "Light is both a particle and a wave". First of all, this statement makes no sense - it can't be two things at once. Wave-particle duality is refferred to as the idea that something can demonstrate both wave-like properties and particle-like properties. It is NOT the idea that something can be both things at once. In fact, it can only lead to the conclusion that light is neither a particle nor a wave since it fits into neither category.
Classical physics fan boy says what ?
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py0alb
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Seriously - whats with all the hate for quantum physics in this thread? Everyone who says something sensible gets neg repped. Is it all the same guy on a mission to revive the plum pudding model by force of personality?
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biain
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(Original post by py0alb)
Seriously - whats with all the hate for quantum physics in this thread? Everyone who says something sensible gets neg repped. Is it all the same guy on a mission to revive the plum pudding model by force of personality?
Haters gonna hate. Probably just one guy -1ing everyone in the thread out of spite. + 1 to counter trolls.
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zedeneye1
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Light is actually a particle(s) which flows in waves. It occupies volume. Meaning it has atleast three dimensions for sure.
Now we (scientists) dont know if how time applies to light particles (or any object that travels at speed of light).

From the mathematical equations and experiments we can prove that as u get closer to the speed of light, time starts to slow down. But apparently when light travels at the speed of light, nothing happens. It just travels at the speed of light.

From this info, I personally assume that light is independent of time. Or in other words has another dimension to it which gives it an edge over time. This means that light exists in more that 4 dimension which we can observe, namely height, width, length and time.

Thank you.
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Robinjh
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ohai I'm halfway through a philosophy degree and feel that qualifies me to add my opinion

Image
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GeorgePantos
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thinking out loud.. how many dimensions does a photon have..? 4..? 1..? or zero, maybe it has no dimensions and that fact causes it to break or disrupt our 4 dimensional experience/timespace , and thus experience this disruption calling it a photon.. which requires it to have energy..

when we destroy mass, we are making a zero dimensionless object.. i.e. nuclear bomb.. E=mc^2.. disruption in space-time..

another question, a photon imparts no gravity correct..?? still pondering.. ahh.. look at the butterfly.. I think I’ll hop and skip, in the grassy meadow.. sarcasm..)

__._,_.___
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pro prex
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HI it could be 3 dimensions becuase the fith one is space i dont know if space is irrelevant or not but i it is then it could be 3 dimensional
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