I need to know "How do we know that a photon has some physical form before we observe it?" (by we I mean Physicists who working on quantum mechanics)

I think it's very clear، And I do not know how I can more clearly ask this question!. Can anyone ask this question more clearly?

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    $\begingroup$ Because the photoelectron effect shows there are discrete effects of light? Or one could have a long philosophical argument about what reality means. Kind of unclear what you are really asking, making it unclear how to clarify. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Feb 27 '18 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ For one thing, the question assumes that the notion of "physical form" makes sense for a photon, which it does not. So "how do we know?" has no answer, because it is not clear at all that "we know that a photon has some physical form", whatever the circumstances. $\endgroup$ – Stéphane Rollandin Feb 27 '18 at 15:30
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    $\begingroup$ Also, repeating something does not make it clearer. In the original question, the last two lines ask the same thing. And in this very question on meta, the last three sentences also repeat the exact same thing (while the first sentence exactly repeats the original question!). It is essential to be able to express an idea with different words; verbal constructs do not always mean the same thing to everyone. $\endgroup$ – Stéphane Rollandin Feb 27 '18 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Jon Custer The photoelectric equation is a classical equation (classical physics) In the future, I will try to ask a more precise question $\endgroup$ – OkaIki Feb 27 '18 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Stéphane Rollandin "For one thing, the question assumes that the notion of "physical form" makes sense for a photon," that is true, $\endgroup$ – OkaIki Feb 27 '18 at 17:28

Here's the thing with this site:

Asking (good) questions is hard.

It doesn't look like it at first, because if you don't think about it for too long then it feels like 100% of the emphasis is on the smart people that answer the questions, but that's not the case. If your question isn't well-posed, then there's a good chance that it won't be answerable, period, or that it will fall down on the first loophole, or that it will rely on faulty assumptions that are boring for answerers to address, or that it will be too waffly to even be a question to begin with, or that it will fall into one of a million possible pitfalls.

Asking a good question requires you to get your own thoughts in order regarding what information you want to get from other people. Intrinsically, we cannot ask your question more clearly for you because we cannot look inside your brain and figure out what's going on inside of it. You need to clarify those internal thoughts before you ask for external input.

That also includes listening to the feedback that's given on this site. If people tell you that your question relies on faulty assumptions, or that it uses terminology that is actually meaningless, and that this renders your question unanswerable (as is the case for the specific example you linked to), then the onus is on you to sort your question out and put it into shape.

If your response is to just throw your hands up and say "but it's clear to me!" then you're failing at your task: you need to transfer aspects of the chemical and biological structure of your brain (your core question) through to the chemical and biological structure of other people's brains using only text. If that didn't sound like a hard task earlier, it needs to do so now, because ultimately it's not going to do itself for you.

This probably sounds harsh, and it is. The core reason that it is harsh is the fact that Asking Good Questions is Hard, and that's an intrinsic feature of good questions (both on this site and elsewhere) that you need to learn to handle, because it's not going to go away.

  • $\begingroup$ there is no such thing as good or bad $\endgroup$ – OkaIki Mar 26 '18 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ @OkaIki Yes, there most definitely is. Just take a look at a variety of questions on the site. $\endgroup$ – Javier Mar 26 '18 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Okalki I'm sorry you don't (seem to) feel the need to meet this site's quality standards. As things currently stand there's nothing any of us can do to help. If you later decide to improve your posts, we can take another look. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Mar 26 '18 at 23:20
  • $\begingroup$ Good answer. I like how you point out the importance of well-posed question. Personally, I always try to, but not quite good at it, and I am still thinking hard how to ask about fundamental limit of thermometer (I still remember our chat in hbar, ha) $\endgroup$ – Shing Mar 28 '18 at 21:03

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