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Proceedings Paper

Photons are fluctuations of a random (zeropoint) radiation filling the whole space
Author(s): Emilio Santos
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Paper Abstract

I assume that everywhere in space there is a real random electromagnetic radiation, or zeropoint field (ZPF), which looks similar for all inertial observers, so that the stochastic properties of the field should be Lorentz invariant. This fixes the spectrum except for a single adjustable parameter measuring the scale, which is identified with Planck's constant, so making the ZPF identical to the quantum electromagnetic vacuum. Photons are just fluctuations of the random field or, equivalently, wavepackets in the form of needles of radiation superimposed to the ZPF. Two photons are "classically correlated" if the correlation involves just the intensity above the average energy of the ZPF, but they are "entangled" if the ZP fields in the neighbourhood of the photons are also correlated. These assumptions may explain all quantum optical phenomena involving radiation and macroscopic bodies, provided the latter may be treated as classical. That is, we have an interpretation of quantization for light but not for matter. Detection of photons involves subtracting the ZPF, which cannot be made without a fundamental uncertainty. This explains why photon counters cannot be manufactured with 100% efficiency and no noise (dark rate), which prevents the violation of a genuine Bell inequality (this is the so-called detection loophole). The theory thus obtained agrees very closely with standard quantum optics if this is formulated in the Wigner representation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 August 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5866, The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?, (4 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.619611
Show Author Affiliations
Emilio Santos, Univ. de Cantabria (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5866:
The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Katherine Creath, Editor(s)

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