I don't see why this was closed: Does a single photon have a constant cross sectional energy?

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    $\begingroup$ Well, using non-standard 'cross sectional energy' probably helped. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    May 25, 2020 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ yes “cross-section” has nothing to do with energy storage. $\endgroup$ May 25, 2020 at 23:29
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster , I added detail in the body of the question to help explain. How many parts does a photon have to be mixed up with? $\endgroup$
    – Jason
    May 25, 2020 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero , so you've closed the question without understanding how a photon's electric and magnetic field carries energy? Without understanding that there is a finite energy in one "wave" of the field? Not understanding this doesn't make the question unclear or missing detail. $\endgroup$
    – Jason
    May 25, 2020 at 23:56
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    $\begingroup$ With due respect: I understand perfectly well how the electric and magnetic fields carry energy. This is unrelated to the concept of cross-section, as used in physics. See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_section_(physics). Maybe you mean “energy density” or something like this, but it is not clear what you mean by cross-sectional energy. $\endgroup$ May 26, 2020 at 0:15
  • $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero Pardon my frustration but wouldn't a physical meaning makes more sense when there is nothing about a colliding particles involved here? I didn't know or realize there would be confusion about that term which I am not very familiar with it. $\endgroup$
    – Jason
    May 26, 2020 at 0:28
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    $\begingroup$ Look... just take some time to think it through. Lots of people agree your question is unclear. Nobody is debating it may be clear to you but it’s just not to others. If you need/want help in clarifying the concept try the chat forum, but right now even with all the good will left in my day I just can’t make sense of what you mean. $\endgroup$ May 26, 2020 at 0:31
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    $\begingroup$ Jason, after reading your question, I see why it was closed, and after reading your comments here, I'm skeptical that my comment will help you understand (FWIW, I recommend that you reconsider your approach here in meta and on the main site). From what I read, your conception of a photon is inchoate at best. Have you taken the time to review the Q & A here related to the question "what exactly is a photon?". $\endgroup$ May 26, 2020 at 0:36
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    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because it is not using the closure of the other question to learn about the site policies. $\endgroup$ May 26, 2020 at 1:22

1 Answer 1


I have a degree of sympathy for your position, and had I seen the question before it was closed I would have posted an answer. But my answer would be that you have misunderstood what we mean by the term photon.

Have a look at my answer to Do photons truly exist in a physical sense or are they just a useful concept like $i = \sqrt{-1}$? Photons are only a useful concept when energy is being exchanged i.e. when the light is being created or absorbed. For a propagating wave they are rarely a useful way to describe the wave. Instead we would use the concept of a coherent state, and this state can be delocalised to an arbitrary extent so there is no single well defined spatial extent - it depends on the degree of delocalisation of the state.

So to answer your question here (as opposed to answering the question that was closed) your question was closed because it was based upon a fundamental misapprehension and therefore could not be answered. As I said at the outset I would have answered, but only to explain why the question was meaningless.


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