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Proceedings Paper

Exploring divisibility and summability of 'photon' wave packets in nonlinear optical phenomena
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Paper Abstract

Formulations for second and higher harmonic frequency up & down conversions, as well as multi photon processes directly assume summability and divisibility of photons. Quantum mechanical (QM) interpretations are completely congruent with these assumptions. However, for linear optical phenomena (interference, diffraction, refraction, material dispersion, spectral dispersion, etc.), we have a profound dichotomy. Most optical engineers innovate and analyze all optical instruments by propagating pure classical electromagnetic (EM) fields using Maxwell's equations and gives only 'lip-service' to the concept "indivisible light quanta". Further, irrespective of linearity or nonlinearity of the phenomena, the final results are always registered through some photo-electric or photo-chemical effects. This is mathematically well modeled by a quadratic action (energy absorption) relation. Since QM does not preclude divisibility or summability of photons in nonlinear & multi-photon effects, it cannot have any foundational reason against these same possibilities in linear optical phenomena. It implies that we must carefully revisit the fundamental roots behind all lightmatter interaction processes and understand the common origin of "graininess" and "discreteness' of light energy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 September 2009
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7421, The Nature of Light: What are Photons? III, 74210A (10 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.828557
Show Author Affiliations
Narasimha Prasad, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri, Univ. of Connecticut (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7421:
The Nature of Light: What are Photons? III
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Al F. Kracklauer; Andrei Yu. Khrennikov, Editor(s)

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