🔥 30 Shocking Facts About Non Renewable Energy (updated)

🔥 30 Shocking Facts About Non Renewable Energy (updated)

30 Shocking Facts about Non-Renewable Energy

Written by Stanley Udegbunam || Dec 14, 2020

shocking facts about non-renewable energy


You might have a little idea about renewable energy, its major sources the multiple arguments in support of or against this energy type.

But they are still some salient things you probably don’t know about non-renewable energy.

In today’s article, we’ll be looking at 30 shocking facts about renewable energy.

We will cut across various available non-renewable energies and obtain individual facts these different non-renewables as we move along. 

Without further ado, let’s get started.



non-renewable resources facts

Coal is a solid form of fossil fuel that is burned to create energy.

Coal is classed into four types:

  • Anthracite
  • Bituminous
  • Sub-bituminous and
  • lignite
  1. Over 80% of the energy total energy consumed by human is derived from fossil fuel.
  2. Carbon is the main element in fossil fuels.
  3. The quality of coal is given by the level of carbonization. Carbonization is the process that ancient organisms undergo to become coal.
  4. Wyoming, West Virginia and Kentucky are the leading states that produces coal.
  5. 2% of the nation’s electricity is generated by burning coal because it has been relied upon for many years.
  6. Peat is often not listed as a type of coal since the use of it as an energy source is limited today. It is the lowest rank of coal and has gone through the least amount of carbonization.
  7. Anthracite is the highest quality of coal; it is dark and shiny and found deeper in the Earth.
  8. The fossil fuel industry has a very high net worth.
  9. Out of all countries, China produces the most coal by far. In fact, it has been the largest producer of coal for the last three decades, producing more than 3 billion tons of coal each year.
  10. Coal is America most abundant fossil fuel.


non-renewable facts

facts about non-renewable energy

Oil, often called petroleum is a liquid fossil fuel.

It is present in dark brown, yellow, or even green.

 Oil refining is the conversion of crude oil into useful products like fuel oils and diesel.

11. Oil wells are dug 6,000 – 20,000 feet below the surface.

12. Oil platforms are some of the biggest manmade structures in the world!

13. 7% of America’s total energy consumption comes from petroleum.

14. Fossil fuel subsidies exceed the budget allocated to global healthcare.

15. Since fossil fuels are finite resources that are being rapidly depleted, no one knows how much is left.

16. Texas, Alaska, and California are leading states that produce petroleum.


interesting facts about non-renewables

This is a fossil fuel in the form of a gas.

 To reach natural gas, some companies use a process called fracking or hydraulic fracturing.

17. More than 50% of the nation’s home uses natural gas.

18. Methane and ethane are the most common types of gasses obtained through this process.

19. In the United States, Industries are the largest consumers of natural gas hence, it is used to create new things.

20. Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fossil fuel compared to gasoline.

21. Natural gas is a colorless and odorless gas. Preservatives are usually added to give it odor so it could be detected in case of gas leakage.

22. Propane, another liquid form of fossil fuel only accounts for 1.6% of the nation’s energy.

23. Propane is mostly used in rural areas and farms due to its portability.

24. Fossil fuels cause the biggest environmental damage!


Nuclear power shocking facts

AFRILCATE – shocking facts about non-renewable energy

Nuclear power is energy released from the radioactive decay of elements. 

Nuclear energy is a popular way of generating electricity around the world.

25. Uranium is the only non-renewable natural energy source that is not a fossil fuel.

26. Nuclear power plants use a very rate type of Uranium called U-235.

27. Nuclear power plants produce electricity through nuclear fission, the process where the nucleus of an atom splits.

28. United state leads the world in the production of nuclear energy.

29. Nuclear power plants do not pollute the air or emit greenhouse gases but produce radioactive material that can be extremely toxic.

30. Nuclear fuel rods are still radioactive after use.

Now…Over to You!

I’m really fascinated by how China produces more than 3 billion tons of coal every year (fact 9).

Despite the fact that non-renewables are readily available, I still think clean energy (renewables) is the way forward in energy generation.

What about you?

Which of these facts fascinated you the most?

Do you think renewable energy can completely replace the non-renewable forms of energy?

Share your thoughts and answers with us in the comment section below.

facts about renewable energy sources

30 Interesting Facts About Light (updated)

30 Interesting Facts About Light (updated)

31 Interesting Facts About Light

Written by Stanley Udegbunam || Dec 14, 2020

facts about light


You must be familiar with light.

You see light every day from the house, office, and even the sun. There is even light radiating from the device you are reading this from right now.

In today’s article, we’ll be looking at some really interesting but not so popular facts about light.

Without further ado, let’s get started.


  1. The study of light is known as Optics.
  2. Light is made up of energy and it travels in a straight line.
  3. Light travels very very fast. The speed of light in space is approximately 300 million meters per second.
  4. Sunlight takes an average of 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach the earth.
  5. Light travels faster than sound. That’s why you see lightning before you hear thunder strike.
  6. Fireflies and glow worms emit their own light. This ability is called bioluminescence.
  7. The speed of light changes when traveling through different objects.
  8. Objects in light’s path cause light to either bend, refract or get absorbed.
  9. Shadows are formed when objects block the pathway of bright light.
  10. Light beams are made of zillions of tiny packets of light, streaming through the air. These discrete packets of energy are called photons.
  11. Depending on the amount of energy released, the photon will be of different frequencies and therefore colors.
  12. Of all the forms of radiation and light on the electromagnetic spectrum, humans can only see a small range of light called visible light.
  13. Visible light makes up less than one ten-billionth of the electromagnetic spectrum, which stretches from radio waves to gamma rays.
  14. The lowest frequency of color humans can detect on the electromagnetic spectrum is red.
  15. Violet is the highest frequency of color humans can detect on the electromagnetic spectrum.
  16. The spectrum of colors visible to insects is a little higher in frequency than what we humans can see.
  17. UV lights are often used by forensic scientists to see details that are not seen by the naked eye.
  18. Although humans cannot see UV light, some insects have the ability to see it.
  19. Plants use energy from sunlight to produce their own food in a process called photosynthesis.
  20. Some species of birds use ultraviolet markings to differentiate between males and females.
  21. Light energy travels in waveforms.
  22. Light energy is also a type of kinetic energy because it involves the motion of particles.
  23. Butterflies are thought to have the widest visual range of any animal.
  24. Traveling at the speed of light, you could go around Earth 7.5 times in a second.
  25. Blue lights have a calming effect on human beings. In countries such as Japan and Scotland, the streetlights switch to blue at night. This has resulted in lowered cases of crime and suicide.
  26. Light energy is always moving and can therefore not be stored.
  27. Isaac Newton discovered that when light passes through a prism, it disperses into different colors. These colors are abbreviated as ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet).
  28. Reindeers rely on UV light to spot lichens that they can eat. According to an article in New Scientist, this adaptation occurred in response to their migration to Arctic regions over 10,000 years ago.
  29. The “golden hour” just after sunrise and before sunset, produces the prettiest shadows and colors for photographs.
  30. Some objects appear colored. They reflect certain colors of white light and absorb the other colors. The light reflected in the eye is the color you see.
  31. Long exposure to light from your computer screen, phones and sunlight have a negative effect on the eyes. It’s advisable to get a photochromic glass/lens if you intend to spend long hours on such devices. It is also a shield from the sun’s UV rays.
visible light facts

AFRILCATE – Interesting facts about light

Now…Over to You!

I’m really fascinated about how different species of birds use UV marking to differentiate between males and females (fact 20).

And also fact 24, which says you can travel around the earth 7.5 times in a second if racing at the speed of light.

What about you?

Which of these facts fascinated you the most?

Share your thoughts and answers with us in the comment section below.

thomas edison light bulb facts

33 Shocking Facts about Renewable Energy (updated)

33 Shocking Facts about Renewable Energy (updated)

33 Shocking Facts about Renewable Energy

Written by Stanley Udegbunam || Dec 14, 2020


You might have an idea of what Renewable Energy is, its major sources, and why it’s gradually gaining acceptance across the globe.

But they are some amazing things you probably don’t know about renewable energy.

In today’s article, we’ll be looking at 33 shocking facts about renewable energies, and trust me, they are all worth knowing.

Without further ado, let’s get started.


  1. Renewable energy can be said to be a gift from the creator because it comes from sources not created by humans but naturally bestowed upon mankind.
  1. The best fact about renewable energy lies in its name, “renewable” which means that it is constantly replenished. Major renewable energy sources are solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and biomass.
  1. More energy from the sun falls on the earth in one hour than what is used by everyone in the world in one year.

This is really mind-blowing. If we maximize the energy from the sun, we can provide enough power for the entire world.

  1. Renewable energy creates roughly three times more jobs than fossil fuels. A national study shows that job creation in clean energy outweighs fossil fuels by a ratio of 3-to-1.
  1. Statistics shows that in every 1 hour, 2 wind turbines are built in China since 2017.
  1. 50% of the energy used in the United States of America is sourced from biomass. This makes biomass the largest U.S. renewable energy source with more than 200 existing plants providing electricity for 1.5 million American homes.
  1. Costa Rica successfully generates more than 98. 53% of its electricity using different sources of alternative energy. It has sustained itself by generating energy from its rivers, volcanos as well as wind and solar power. The residents still drive gas-powered cars, but the electrical grid used 98% renewables for the year.
  1. Solar Impulse 2 was the first plane powered by renewable energy sources.

It flew 40,000km from Abu Dhabi to Hawaii in 2015 and completed the first circumnavigation of the globe with no fuel making it the longest solo solar flight ever achieved in aviation history.

It’s also the first solar plane to have crossed the world’s two biggest oceans.

  1. General Electric (G.E), an America-based company reveals the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine, Halide X with a capacity of 12MW.

It is nearly 900 ft tall and each blade is more than 300ft long, which is almost a football field in length.

It is estimated to generate enough electricity to power 30,000 homes.

  1. The world resource base for geothermal energy is larger than the resource base for coal, oil, gas, and uranium combined.
  1. The Geysers Geothermal Complex located 115km north of San Francisco is considered the biggest geothermal installation in the world.

It has 18 power plants with an active production capacity of 900MW and an installed capacity of 1,517MW.

The Geysers Geothermal Complex accounts for 20% of the green power generated in California and considered one of the most reliable sources of energy in the state.

  1. 71% of the planet is made of water hence it’s the most used renewable energy source.

It is estimated to have the capability of producing enough power to meet the needs of 3 million people.

  1. Water wheels were among the earliest forms of generating hydro-power.
  1. The Three Gorges hydroelectric power plant in Yiling District, China is the largest hydropower station in the world. It provides a whopping 22,500MW. It is a traditional hydropower facility sourcing its water resource from the Yangtze River.
  1. Renewable sources of energy get fewer subsidies compared to fossil fuels.

Despite the negative effect of non-renewables on the environment, they still get four times more subsidies compared to renewable sources of energy.

  1. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable sources of energy like hydropower, wind and solar do not directly emit greenhouse gases. The only emission they produce is indirect like the ones resulting from manufacturing parts, installation, operation and maintenance but it’s still very minimal.
  1. An efficient wind turbine can generate enough electricity to power 1,400 homes. A typical onshore wind turbine with a capacity of about 2.5 to 3 MW can produce more than 6 million kWh in a year.
  1. The World’s Largest Dam, “The Itaipu Dam” Provides Both Brazil & Paraguay With Electricity.

The Itaipu dam provides Paraguay with 76% of the country’s electricity while also generating 17% of Brazil’s energy needs every year.

The dam was nominated as one of the seven wonders of the modern world by the American society of civil engineers due to its size and output.

  1. Renewable energy investments are cost-effective. But when built they cost little to operate because the fuel is gotten freely from nature. As a result, renewable energy prices tend to be stable over time.
  1. Renewable energy improves power grid stability and reliability.
  2. The United States does not have any tidal power plants.
  3. More than 92000 turbines have been built in China, capable of generating 145 gigawatts of electricity.
  4. By 2025, the global renewable energy market is expected to be worth a whopping $1,512.3 billion.
  5. . Compared to other renewable energy sources, solar energy is the most readily available source of renewable energy.
  6. Geothermal energy is produced using the magma that can be found beneath the earth’s crust.
  7. Hydro-electric power is energy derived from fast-flowing water descending rapidly from a high point. That’s why hydroelectric stations are situated at waterfalls or dams.
  8. Large dams are considered detrimental to the environment because it disrupts river ecosystems, reduces natural flows, restricts access for humans and aquatic animals, and also harmful to wildlife.

  9. Tidal energy is energy gotten from the rise and fall of sea level. There are two existing large tidal barrages in the world today. One is in France and the other in Canada.
  10. Biomass is part of the carbon cycle. It is the only renewable energy source that’s carbon neutral and its energy is derived from the combustion of organic materials like wood pellets and forest debris.
  11. Biomass energy is not far from us as it seems. A common example of biomass energy in our local homes is the burning of wood to release heat for heating and cooking.

  12. Renewable energies are each location-specific. Some locations may have a lot of sun, wind, and/or hydro, while others may have very little. It’s meaningless to set up wind turbines in areas with low wind speed.
  13. Advancement in technology makes renewable energy more accessible, affordable and efficient.
  14. More than 60 countries are planning to bring their carbon footprint to zero by 2050 with the European Union (E.U) aiming to become the first climate-neutral economy.
renewable resources facts

Now…Over to You!

I’m really fascinated by Costa Rica running on almost 100% renewables (fact 7)

And also the solar plane project that flew for a whooping 44,000km without conventional fuel but just powered by renewable energy source (fact 8).

What about you?

Which of these facts fascinated you the most? 

Share your thoughts and answers with us in the comment section below.

facts about clean energy

🔥 wow.. 21 Mind Blowing Facts About Electric Eels (2021)

🔥 wow.. 21 Mind Blowing Facts About Electric Eels (2021)

21 Mind-Blowing Facts About Electric Eels

Written by Stanley Udegbunam || Dec 11, 2020


They are so many stories about electric eels across the web, some are true while others are based on assumptions.

We all know that the electric eel deliver a high amount of electric shock especially in defense mood, but is there more to this mysterious fish?

In today’s article, we’ll be looking at 21 mind-blowing facts about the electric eels.

Try not to get shocked as you read this and without further ado, let’s get started.


1. Electric eels are not actually eels.

They are member of the knife fish family and are more closely related to catfish than to the common eels.

2. Electric eels are carnivores.

They eat up other fish, amphibians and small mammals.

3. Electric eels are mouth-breathers.

They don’t rely on their gills to breath and they come to the surface every 10 minutes to breathe atmospheric air.

This makes them one of those few fishes you can actually drown in water.

4. Electric eels have about 6000-disc shaped cells called electrocytes.

These cells are responsible for producing electricity.

5. Electric eels can grow up to 8 feet in length and weigh up to 44 pounds.

Quite a large body dimension for a fish.

6. They are slender with snake-like body and they lack pelvic fins.

At first glimpse, you might think that the electric eel is a water snake.

This is because of the slender shaped body.

7. About 80% of the fish body contains the electrical organs and only 20% is devoted to the vital organs.

The body of the electric eel is composed of two major parts:

  • The Posterior Portion and
  • The Anterior Portion

The Posterior Portion accounts for 80% of the eel’s body and it contains the electrical organs.

The Anterior Portion contains the vital organs and it accounts for only 20% of the eel’s body.

It makes me wonder if the electric eel was designed solely for shocking purposes.

8. Electric eels can generate an electrical charge up to 600 volts in order to stun prey and keep predators away.

At this rate of energy dissipation, the electric eel can produce up to 1 ampere of current.

It is possible to produce electricity from an electric eel but consistency will pose a major challenge since the eel only releases its zap when attacked or when it senses danger.

9. Electric eels have poor eyesight.

They use the pulses generated as a radar-like system for communication and navigation.

10. Electric eels curl their bodies around larger or more elusive prey to concentrate their shocking power.

A very smart move. The electric eel understands that the more surface area in contact, the larger the shock delivered.

It explores this science to its advantage.

electric eel facts for kids

Reinhard Dirscherl / Getty Images 

electric eel facts

11. Electric eels can risk their lives and leap from water just to attack predators by pressing their chin against predators’ body.

By leaping, the eel delivers greater shocks and progressively electrify greater portions of the partially submerged target.

12. Electric eels lay thousands of eggs in a nest of saliva and hatches about 1200 embryos.


13. The electric shock produced from the electric eel is strong enough to knock down a horse.

This will give you an insight into how dangerous a single zap of an electric eel is.

14. The series of shocks delivered by the electric eel occur at intervals of one-millisecond.

So short a time interval, that it often looks like a long stretch of continuous zap.

15. Electric eels mate and reproduce during the dry season.

The female can produce up to 17,000 eggs.

16. Humans can suffer respiratory or heart failure if hit with multiple shocks.

A single jolt from an electric eel can incapacitate a person long enough to cause him or her to drown, even in shallow water.

17. Electric eels can’t shock themselves.

Scientists believe that its size enables it to withstand the shock of the current passes out of its body too quickly.

Nevertheless, it is still one scientific mystery yet to be answered.

18. A group of eels is called a swarm.

This is a very dangerous fish group and you don’t want to be found anywhere close unless you are the Aquaman.

19. When an electric eel releases high voltage, it becomes weak and takes some time to regain back its strength.

Seems like the best time to attack an eel is just after it releases very high voltage.

It feels so weak that subsequent zap within that time frame are just low voltage shocks and not strong enough to harm humans.

20. Electric eels’ lifespan is an average of 15 years.

Although, the female eels live longer than the male.

21. Even after death, electric eels can still produce electric shock for roughly 8 hours.

It’s not over until it’s truly over. So many people have fallen victims to the electric eels’ death zaps.

So even if you encounter a dead electric eel, you are advised to only touch it with insulated gloves unless you are sure that it’s been dead for over 8 hours.

Now…Over to You!

I’m really fascinated about the very last fact 21 (8 hours death shock span).

And also fact 7, which talks about a whopping 80% of the eel’s body all dedicated to the electrical organs.

How about you?

Which of these facts fascinated you the most?

Share your thoughts and answers with us in the comment section below.

interesting facts about electric eels

5 Important Uses of Transformer with explanations (updated)

5 Important Uses of Transformer with explanations (updated)

5 Important uses of Transformer with Explanations

Compiled by Stanley Udegbunam || Dec 09, 2020


Transformers are electrical devices that use electromagnetic induction to pass an alternating current signal from one circuit to another.

In a hurry and won’t be able to read through the complete article?

Here are the 5 important uses of transformer..

  1. Transformers are used to regulate voltage.
  2. Transformer mitigates power loss and increases energy efficiency.
  3. Transformer prevents DC from passing from one circuit to another.
  4. Transformer is used for Impedance Matching.
  5. They act as an electrical safety device by stopping the flow of current.

If you want to know how transformers perform the different functions listed above, then the remaining part of this article will guide you accordingly.

1. Transformers are used to regulate Voltage

The main purpose of transformers is to step up or step down the level of voltage.

It steps up the level of voltage at the generation side before transmission and distribution.

In the distribution side, transformers step down the level of voltage for commercial or domestic use.

The power voltage required by various electricity users varies according to their needs.

Therefore, it’s ideal to ship high-voltage electricity from the power station and then step it down to lower voltages when it reaches its various destinations.

The energy an appliance consumes is directly proportional to its voltage usage.

uses of transformer in everyday life

uses of transformer – voltage regulation

2. Transformer Mitigates Power Loss and increases Energy Efficiency

In a transformer, when the voltage increases, the current flowing across the line reduces.

And when the voltage reduces, the current flowing across the line increases.

This brings us to the popular question:

How does a transformer increase voltage while decreasing the current?

Contrary to ohm’s law (V=IR), which tells us that:

voltage increases as current increases,

transformers do not follow the postulations of ohms law.

Ohms law is only applied to ohmic device like resistors.

The total power handled by the transformer must be the same on the input and output side.

This means that Pin = Pout and from Joule-Lenz Law, we know that P = IV


 Iin Vin= Iout Vout

Therefore, It’s logical that when the voltage increases, the current reduces so the power transmitted remains the same.

clear right?

To mitigate power loss, the transmission voltage needs to be stepped up.

This means that increasing the transmission voltage will help reduce power loss.

Again, this will lead us to another important question:

Why do high transmission voltages reduce power loss?

Consider an electric cooker that requires a current of 20 amperes at 240 volts.

The power required for operation will be:

P = I × V,

P = 20 × 240 = 4800 Watt.

This means the electricity transmission company, have to deliver 4800 Watt at the consumer’s end to meet this load requirement.

As this power travels through conductors over long distances, it will encounter some electrical resistance, assume 0.3 ohms.

Now, Let’s analyze 2 different cases:

Case 1: Transmission at 240 volts:

P= 4800 watts (as calculated above)

V= 240 volts,

I = 20 amperes,

Resistance of Transmission line= 0.3 ohm

Power loss = I2R = 202  × 0.3 = 120 watt.

The transmission company has to supply an additional 120 Watt to compensate for the power loss in the transmission line, so as to deliver exactly 4800 watts at the consumer’s end.

Case 2: Transmission at 11,000 volts (11kV):

If we decide to use an 11kV / 230-volt transformer to deliver the power of 4800 watts, then the current transmitted becomes:

I = P / V

I = 4800 / 11,000 = 0.436 watt.

Power loss here becomes I2R = 0.4362 × 0.3 = 0. 06 Watt.

The transmission company has to supply an additional 0.06 Watt to compensate for the power loss in the transmission line.

By simply raising the transmission voltage from 240 volts to 11000 volts, we are saving a net power loss of 120 – 0.06 = 119.94 watts.

Now, consider a real case scenario where a large amount of power (in megawatts) are being transmitted on a daily basis.

Without transformers, there will be a lot of power losses.

Therefore, transformers mitigates power loss by increasing transmission voltages which will cause a corresponding decrease in the transmission current.

transformer application

uses of transformer – mitigating power loss

3. Transformer Prevents DC from Passing from One Circuit to Another

Transformers only work with alternating current (A.C).

The device prevents direct current from passing the circuit.

Why do transformers only work with AC?

Transformers function only with alternating current because they create a changing magnetic field which will, in turn, induce a changing voltage in a coil.

This changing voltage makes it possible for current to be transferred across ends through the principle of electromagnetic induction.

Direct current, on the other hand, is steady, they don’t cause any change in magnetic fields.

Therefore, they will produce zero induced voltage.

4. Transformer is used for Impedance Matching

Among the various uses of transformer, impedance matching seems to be the least talked about because of the technicality of the term.

Impedance is a measure of the opposition to current flow within a circuit or electrical component.

It encompasses the resistance and opposition caused by the physical properties of components.

The maximum power transfer theorem states that the impedance of each component must be equal in magnitude in order for the greatest amount of power to be transferred.

Matching load impedance is critical to the functionality of the circuit, especially for maximum power transfer.

The simplest way to match load impedance in AC circuits is to use a transformer.

Impedance matching transformers is useful for the following reasons:

  • It helps tackle various issues caused by electrical impedance.
  • They have broadband which makes it possible to work with a wide range of frequencies.
  • It ensures efficient operations.
electrical power transformers

uses of transformer – impedance matching

5. They act as an Electrical Safety Device by Stopping the Flow of Electric Current

This is another important use of transformers in everyday life.

Transformers are commonly present in circuit breakers, where they utilize a switch to automatically interrupt the flow of electricity.

By so doing, they help to prevent damage that can occur as a result of high voltage.

Such transformers are called isolation transformer and have a 1:1 turn’s ratio.

Isolation transformers don’t step voltage up or down. Instead, they serve as safety devices.

What is a Photon? – The Best Explanatory Guide

What is a Photon? – The Best Explanatory Guide

What is a Photon? The Best Explanatory Guide

Compiled by Stanley Udegbunam || Dec 08, 2020

define photon



A photon is the smallest discrete amount of electromagnetic radiation.

In physics, the smallest possible unit of energy or any substance at the sub-atomic level is called a quantum.

Photons can be defined as a quantum of light or a quantum of electromagnetic radiation.

The plural of quantum is quanta. 

Imagine beams of sunlight radiating through your window on a hot afternoon.

According to quantum physics, a light beam is made of zillions of tiny packets of light, streaming through the air.

This tiny packet of light or energy is nothing but photons.

In other words, what we see as light is just tiny bundles of photons.

Photon is the basic unit of every light and always in motion.

They also travel at the speed of light, c = 2.998 x 108 m/s.

photons - beam of light

Beams of sunlight radiating through a window


Gilbert N. Lewis popularized the term photon for energy units.

Prior to this, Einstein has earlier published a paper where he modelled electromagnetic wave as light quantum using his photoelectric effect experiment.

Einstein’s light quantum theory was built upon the research of Max Planck on black body radiation from way back in 1900.

Nevertheless, it was Lewis who brought the term “photon” into common usage through a letter sent to nature scientific journal on December 18, 1926.

We can say that the term “photon” was birthed from the works of Gilbert N. Lewis, Albert Einstein and Max Planck.

In Greek, photon means light.

photon - light rays from window


Since photons are the basic unit of light, they exhibit wave-particle duality meaning they have properties of both waves and particles.

  1. They are stable and always in motion.
  2. In a vacuum, they move at a constant speed equivalent to the speed of light c= 2.998 x 108 m/s.
  3. They have zero mass and rest energy. They only exist as moving particles.
  4. Photons are electrically neutral. They have no electric charge.
  5. They are spin-1 particles which makes them bosons with a spin axis that is parallel to the direction of travel. This feature is what allows for polarization of light.
  6. They carry energy and momentum which are dependent on the frequency.
  7. They can have interactions (i.e. collisions) with other particles or electrons, such as the Compton effect in which particles of light collide with atoms, causing the release of electrons.
  8. They can be destroyed or created when radiation is absorbed or emitted.
photon of light


There are some photon facts that though, may look strange; they are actually worth knowing.

  • The photon is an elementary particle, despite the fact that it has no mass.
  • Photon cannot decay on its own, although the energy of the photon can transfer/created upon interaction with other particles.
  • Not only is light made up of photons, but all electromagnetic energy (i.e. microwaves, radio waves, X-rays) is made up of photons.
  • Photons are their own anti-particle. Meaning, Photon, and Anti-photon are nothing but the same particle.

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