Because of their dual nature as particles and waves, photons are often depicted as squiggly lines.
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe original artwork by Randy Russell.
Light is very strange. Sometimes it is best to think of light as a series
of waves. At other times, it is useful to think of light as a swarm of particles.
When we think of light as particles, we call those particles of light "photons".
Photons are the carriers of all forms of electromagnetic
(EM) radiation, not just light. The different types of EM radiation correspond
to different amounts of energy per photon. Gamma
ray and X-ray photons have
the most energy, radio
frequency photons have the least energy, while ultraviolet,
infrared, and visible
light photons have intermediate energies.
Photons travel at the speed of light, which is 299,792.458 kilometers per
186,282.4 miles per second)! Photons don't have any mass, nor do they carry an electrical charge.
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