Chapter

The Duality of Particles and Waves: Photons

Christopher C. Gerry and Kimberley M. Bruno

in The Quantum Divide

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199666560
Published online May 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748646 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199666560.003.0003
The Duality of Particles and Waves: Photons

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This chapter discusses the dual nature of small particles, focusing on photons. Photons enable wave-like phenomenon, such as light, to exhibit the kind of behavior expected of particles. Unlike the electron, the photon has no mass, which in turn means that the position of a photon is not well defined. However, a photon can still have a well-defined direction of propagation, and it is this aspect of it that allows photons, excitations of the electromagnetic field, to behave like particles in an appropriate experimental arrangement. The chapter discusses single-photon experiments, delayed-choice experiments, and interaction free measurement.

Keywords: photons; propagation; electromagnetic field; delayed-choice experiments; interaction free measurement

Chapter.  8903 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

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