Question Video: Photon Symbol Physics • 9th Grade

Which of the following symbols represents a photon? [A] 𝜐 [B] 𝜈 [C] y [D] Y [E] 𝛶


Video Transcript

Which of the following symbols represents a photon? Lowercase 𝜐, 𝜈, lowercase y, uppercase Y, or uppercase 𝛶, lowercase 𝛾.

Alright, a photon, we can recall, is a massless particle that serves at least two functions. First, it’s the name we give to the smallest possible packet of light energy. So when electromagnetic radiation or light is transmitted from one location to another, we say that that happens via photons. But then a second function of photons is to serve as what’s called a force carrier. If we have two electrically charged objects, say this one and this one, then the way that there’s an electromagnetic force from one object to the other is via or by the exchange of photons.

In this case, the photon is not transmitting light but rather transmitting force, electromagnetic force. Anyway, the symbol we use to represent this particle is the lowercase Greek letter 𝛾. Among our answer options, we see that as choice (E), and so that will be our answer. It’s lowercase 𝛾 that represents a photon.

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