How do photons experience time?
Ethan Siegel
16616

Thinking out loud…If a photon can travel an infinite distance and not age, what is the red shifting, if not aging?

Is it that the photon itself is not changing wavelength, but to an observer it is?

Upon observation, that means that the photon’s past is somehow revealed upon detection…as we do use the degree of red shift to tell how old the photon is.

So, the longer it traveled to get to us, the redder, and, therefore, the older it is…as its speed is a constant.

How do I reconcile its loss of energy if it did not “age”?

Or, if a photon, in its own reference frame, did not move, and no time passed…is it that photons are standing still, and we are whizzing away at the speed of light?

That would not work, because not being in a vacuum seems to change the progress through media…so, that goes back to, seemingly, my attempt to account for a red shift and not losing energy as far as IT is concerned.

DOES a photon “know” it lost energy? IE: It “knows” it arrived instantaneously AND that it never moved….so, to a photon, it seems the location it was in just changed instantaneously…but does it feel “suddenly weaker”?

It lost energy along the long trip…gradually, but, to IT, what is that like, if it experienced no time, and, therefore, no way to progressively track progress so to speak?

DOES a photon ever finish its journey? It can be broken into parts…but, following the analogy of “knowing”, etc…would not it simply not experience ever moving or being, and then just not exist, without ever “knowing” that that all happened?

Is that why they seem to simply pop into and out of existence, along with positrons and electrons, etc…as a property of spacetime?

Like what you read? Give old01x a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.