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Proceedings Paper

Four-dimensional photon cavities
Author(s): K. B. Wharton
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Paper Abstract

The question "What is a photon?" motivates an analysis of the interface between quantum field theory and non-relativistic quantum mechanics (QM). Despite the predictive success of quantum field theory, it retains many non-relativistic concepts while throwing out the one aspect of QM that might give a spatially-well-defined answer to the original question. A novel approach to quantizing relativistic wavefunctions is then discussed, leading to an identification of the electromagnetic vector potential as a possible single-photon wavefunction. The key missing ingredient is a relativistically-correct measurement theory, in which a photon can be partially constrained/measured everywhere along a closed 3-D hypersurface in 4-D space-time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 August 2007
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6664, The Nature of Light: What Are Photons?, 66640P (31 August 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.758277
Show Author Affiliations
K. B. Wharton, San Jose State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6664:
The Nature of Light: What Are Photons?
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Al F. Kracklauer; Katherine Creath, Editor(s)

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