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Proceedings Paper

Single photons have not been detected: the alternative photon clump model
Author(s): Emilio Panarella
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Paper Abstract

There continues to be a common belief that the registration of single photographic grains or emission of single photo electrons at a time validates the assertion that the interference and diffraction patterns are built through the contribution of individual photons (hν). A careful analysis of the past literature indicates that these experiments actually were not able to ascertain that one photon at a time interacted with the photo detector. This paper reviews a series of experiments carried out during the early eighties, which suggest that the simultaneous presence of multiple photons (multiple units of hn) makes possible the registration of a single photographic blackening spot or the emission of a single photoelectron. The congruency with the paradigm of "wave-particle duality" is now better maintained by assuming that the photons, after they are emitted and then propagate from the source, develop the "bunching" property, which we proposed as a "photon clump" in 1985 and explained with a plausible extension of the Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 August 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5866, The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?, (4 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.637651
Show Author Affiliations
Emilio Panarella, Physics Essays (Canada)


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

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