Double Slit/Photo Detection/Is it the SAME photon?

  • Thread starter Supaiku
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Photon
In summary, the conversation discusses the double slit experiment and whether it is possible to know if the photon that hits the screen is the same one that was fired. There are some misunderstandings about photons and the experiment, but the general consensus is that the photon that hits the screen can be considered the same one that was fired, though there may be philosophical and semantic arguments about the concept of "sameness" in this context.
  • #1
Supaiku
32
0
I was reading about the double slit experiment (it seems I always glean a better understanding every time I read, which shows how little I really get it in the first place), and I was wondering:
Is there some way for us to know that the photo that was fired (given a single photo experiment) is actually the SAME photo that hits the screen?
Perhaps I don't have a proper understanding of what photos are - if this is the case let me know.
But if I remember photons are absorbed and re-emitted all the time, right? Like light hits something and if it bumps and electron around then a photon is released?

If that is the case I don't see how you could say that the photon(s) that hit(s) the screen is/are actually the same one(s) that was/were fired if there are say... air particles, and and dust and whatever, not to mention some piece of plastic or metal to supply the slits...

Do I have a proper understanding? Close? Or do I totally not get it at all?
Thanks:)
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
You should probably read this, post #4: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=104715

Basically, your idea wouldn't make sense on a number of levels. For example, if you have a vacuum chamber there won't be air or dust. And the double slit experiment is not about the medium, it is about interference (usually self-interference).

As to whether it is the same photon or not: some of that answer is pholosophical/semantic. What is "the same"? Indistinguishable? Or do you imagine that every photon is unique and could conceptually be tracked in its travels? There are complicated issues in many ways, but the usual answer is: YES, it is the same particle.
 
  • #3
Thanks, I'll read that link and post again when I've understood photons a bit better:P
 

Related to Double Slit/Photo Detection/Is it the SAME photon?

1. What is the double slit experiment?

The double slit experiment is a classic physics experiment that demonstrates the wave-particle duality of light. It involves shining a beam of light through two parallel slits onto a screen, creating an interference pattern that can only be explained by the behavior of light as both a wave and a particle.

2. How does photo detection work?

Photo detection is the process of detecting and measuring the presence of light. It involves using a device called a photodetector, which converts light particles (photons) into electrical signals that can be measured. This is the basis for many technologies, such as digital cameras and solar cells.

3. Is it the same photon that passes through both slits in the double slit experiment?

According to the principles of quantum mechanics, it is not possible to determine which specific photon passes through which slit in the double slit experiment. Instead, it is believed that the photon exists in a superposition of states, passing through both slits simultaneously until it is measured.

4. Why is the double slit experiment important?

The double slit experiment is important because it provides evidence for the wave-particle duality of light and other fundamental particles. It has also led to further discoveries and advancements in quantum mechanics, which has had a significant impact on our understanding of the universe.

5. How does the photo detection process affect the outcome of the double slit experiment?

The act of measuring and detecting the photons in the double slit experiment can disrupt the interference pattern and cause the particles to behave more like particles than waves. This is known as the observer effect and is a key concept in quantum mechanics.

Similar threads

  • Quantum Physics
Replies
9
Views
825
  • Quantum Physics
Replies
18
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
685
Replies
17
Views
1K
  • Quantum Physics
Replies
2
Views
387
Replies
18
Views
2K
  • Quantum Physics
Replies
17
Views
903
  • Quantum Physics
3
Replies
81
Views
4K
Replies
5
Views
806
Replies
17
Views
1K
Back
Top