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Proceedings Paper

A statistical analysis of single photon propagation: how quantum interference modifies the laws of motion
Author(s): Holger F. Hofmann
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Paper Abstract

Since the wavefunction of a photon only describes the probability of photon detection in time and space, it is impossible to derive uniquely defined trajectories describing the path taken by the photon between emission and detection. However, it is possible to test whether a particular set of trajectories is consistent with the statistics observed at different times for photons in the same initial state. Recently, I have shown that quantum interference effects between position and momentum can result in a violation of inequalities associated with motion along straight lines. Here, I present a more detailed analysis on the origin of the effect and its relation with other experimentally observable aspects of quantum statistics such as weak measurements and quantum tomography. It is shown that the interference pattern between a quantum state component of well-defined position and a quantum state component of well-defined momentum describes a modified causality relation between the positions detected at different times. The phase of the interference pattern is identified with the classical action of particle motion and the relation between uncertainty and causality is considered. The specific case of single photon wavefunctions is used to explain the possibilities and limitations of control at the ultimate quantum limit.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 September 2018
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10771, Quantum Communications and Quantum Imaging XVI, 1077115 (18 September 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2319573
Show Author Affiliations
Holger F. Hofmann, Hiroshima Univ. (Japan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10771:
Quantum Communications and Quantum Imaging XVI
Ronald E. Meyers; Yanhua Shih; Keith S. Deacon, Editor(s)

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