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Proceedings Paper

Tabletop demonstration of non-Interaction of photons and non-interference of waves
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Paper Abstract

Recently, Non- Interaction of Waves or the NIW property has been proposed as a generic property of all propagating electromagnetic waves by one of the authors (CR). In other words, optical beams do not interact with each other to modify or re-distribute their field energy distribution in the absence of interacting materials. In this paper, path taken to re-create CR's original demonstration of the NIW-property as an on-site tabletop experiment is discussed. Since 1975, when the NIW demonstration was first reported, several advances in lasers and optical component design architecture have occurred. With the goal of using low cost components and having agility in setting up on non-conformable platforms for general viewing, a compact arrangement for demonstrating the NIW property was envisioned. In our experimental arrangement, a beam multiplier element was utilized to generate a set of spatially separate parallel beams out of an incident laser beam. The emerging parallel beams from the beam multiplier element were then focused on a one-sided ground glass, the flat side being towards the beam multiplier. This flat side reflects off all the incident focused beams as fanning out independent laser beams, remaining unperturbed even though they are reflecting out of a common superposed spot. It is clear that there is neither "interference between different photons", nor "a photon interferes with itself", even within a region of superposed beams. In contrast, the ground glass surface (same silica molecules but granular or lumpy) was anticipated to generate a set of crisp spatial fringes on its surface as in the original experiment. The fringes are due to granulated individual silica lumps responding simultaneously to the local resultant E-vectors due to all the superposed beams and are scattering energy proportional to the square modulus of the sum of all the simultaneous dipolar amplitude stimulations. The dark fringe locations imply zero resultant amplitude stimulation and hence no scattering. Due to multi-longitudinal mode nature of laser module, the fringes appeared washed out at the backside of the ground glass plate. Experimental refinements followed by our views on whether the fundamental physics behind the generation of superposition fringes by photo detectors different from those due to a ground glass are briefly discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 September 2015
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9570, The Nature of Light: What are Photons? VI, 95701B (25 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2191014
Show Author Affiliations
Narasimha S. Prasad, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Chandra Roychoudhuri, Univ. of Connecticut (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9570:
The Nature of Light: What are Photons? VI
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Al F. Kracklauer; Hans De Raedt, Editor(s)

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