Optik 248 (168) (2021)
AbstractThe photon is typically regarded as a unitary object that is both particle-discrete and wave-continuous. This is a paradoxical position and we live with it by making dualism a fundamental feature of radiation. It is argued here that the photon is not unitary; rather it has two identities, one supporting discrete behavior and the other supporting continuous (wave) behavior. There is photon kinetic energy that is always discrete/localized on arrival; it never splits (on half-silvered mirrors) or diffracts (in pinholes or slits). Then there is the photon’s probability wavefront that is continuous and diffractable. Acknowledging that the photon has two identities explains the photon’s dual nature. And wave-particle duality is central to quantum mechanics. Understanding it leads to new insights into the photon’s constant velocity and its entanglement with another photon.
Archival historyArchival date: 2022-06-10
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