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Proceedings Paper

Further investigation of an integrated picture of photon diffraction described by virtual particle momentum exchange
Author(s): Michael J. Mobley
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Paper Abstract

An alternative picture for photon diffraction had been proposed describing diffraction by a distribution of photon paths determined through a Fourier analysis of a scattering lattice. The momentum exchange probabilities are defined at the location of scattering, not the point of detection. This contrasts with the picture from classical optical wave theory that describes diffraction in terms of the Huygens-Fresnel principle and sums the phased contributions of electromagnetic waves to determine probabilities at detection. This revised picture, termed “Momentum Exchange Theory,” can be derived through a momentum representation of the diffraction formulas of optical wave theory, replacing the concept of Huygens wavelets with photon scattering through momentum exchange with the lattice. Starting with the Rayleigh-Sommerfeld and Fresnel-Kirchoff formulas, this paper demonstrates that diffraction results from positive and negative photon dispersions through virtual particle exchange probabilities that depend on the lattice geometry and are constrained by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The positive and negative increments of momentum exchange exhibit harmonic probability distributions characteristic of a “random walk,” dependent on the distance of momentum exchange. The analysis produces a simplified prediction for the observed intensity profile for a collimated laser beam diffracted by a long, straight edge that lends conceptual support for this alternative picture.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 2013
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 8832, The Nature of Light: What are Photons? V, 88320L (1 October 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2023796
Show Author Affiliations
Michael J. Mobley, Grand Canyon Univ. (United States)
Arizona State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8832:
The Nature of Light: What are Photons? V
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Al F. Kracklauer; Hans De Raedt, Editor(s)

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