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Interpretation of photon interference

  1. Dec 5, 2013 #1


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    I would like to hear comments about interpretation of photon interference in context with Pfleegor-Mandel experiment "Interference of Independent Photon Beams". There is a blog post about this experiment: http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2010/11/19/interference-of-independent-ph/. Original article is behind paywall but I googled and found a free version.

    I am using certain interpretation of photon interference and find it quite consistent with this experiment. My interpretation is that wavefunction actually describes photon source (photon source is undergoing evolution in time) but photon beam is just a passive transport of wavefunction to receiver. So evolution of source is continuous but transport of this evolution function is discrete (evolution function is encoded in photon ensemble consisting of discrete entries - photons). Receiver adjusts it's function of evolution as it receives photon beam by different responses to particular photon (absorption, reflection, transmission). Now interference effect is continuous adjustment of receiver’s evolution when two beams overlap in an "inconsistent" way.

    Is such an interpretation of photon interference in conflict with QM? Is there an interpretation that fits this experiment better?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I cant say I understand your interpretation but what about bog standard QM with a minimalist interpretation such as Copenhagen, the Statistical Interpretation, Consistent History's - indeed any interpretation really. If it conforms to the QM formalism, as it must, then any interpretation is valid.

  4. Dec 5, 2013 #3


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    Standard QM still admits two ways how to represent the formalism - Schrödinger picture and Heisenberg picture.
    Is there some interpretation that implements Heisenberg picture for photon interference?
  5. Dec 5, 2013 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    We don't develop new interpretations here.
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