Is the Existence of Photons Proven by Modern Quantum Optics?

In summary: A quote from that text "Of course it is wrong and unnecessary to describe light in terms of small localised particles. But photons are NOT small, localised particles. There have been people such as Willis Lamb who stated the opinion that the term photon is often used incorrectly and thus the terminology should be changed, but these people also clearly stated that the quantum theory of radiation is the right tool to analyze problems in quantum optics. They just think that the term "photon" is giving people a wrong bullet-like intuitive picture of what photons are - which is exactly what they are not."So what is wrong about antibunching as solid evidence that it is possible to prepare single photon states? It has been demonstrated
  • #1
ftr
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from wiki
"Although the photoelectric effect and Compton scattering strongly suggest the existence of the photon, it might alternatively be explained by a mere quantization of emission; more definitive evidence of the quantum nature of radiation is now taken up into modern quantum optics as in the antibunching effect.[30]"

That suggest that no individual photon has actually been observed. Is that correct?
 
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  • #3
Demystifier said:
I think spontaneous emission https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_emission cannot be explained without photons.

Modelling seems to be different than actual physical, see my edit. That is why I started hating orthodox QM and started loving Bohmian mechanics.:biggrin:
 
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  • #4
ftr said:
That suggest that no individual photon has actually been observed. Is that correct?
It's not correct.
 
  • #5
Demystifier said:
It's not correct.

I remember from many years ago in the research institute I used to work for had a million dollar ccd camera that was supposed to count photons. Do you know of an actual experiment.
 
  • #6
ftr said:
I remember from many years ago in the research institute I used to work for had a million dollar ccd camera that was supposed to count photons. Do you know of an actual experiment.

Not sure what you would call suitable for proving the existence of photons, but this is something I consider to be good:

Abstract:
"... For example, while well-known phenomena such as the photoelectric effect and Compton scattering strongly suggest the existence of photons, they are not definitive proof of their existence. Here we present an experiment, suitable for an undergraduate laboratory, that unequivocally demonstrates the quantum nature of light. Spontaneously downconverted light is incident on a beamsplitter and the outputs are monitored with single-photon counting detectors. We observe a near absence of coincidence counts between the two detectors—a result inconsistent with a classical wave model of light, but consistent with a quantum descriptionin which individual photons are incident on the beamsplitter. ..."

http://people.whitman.edu/~beckmk/QM/grangier/Thorn_ajp.pdf
 
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  • #7
ftr said:
That suggest that no individual photon has actually been observed. Is that correct?

No. We have instruments that can detect individual photons in experiments. See the paper @DrChinese referenced for an example.
 
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  • #8
Richard Feynman has been clear that photons exist as particles. We can hear them hitting the detector, click, click, click.
 
  • #10
You can find opinions for every nonsense you like. That doesn’t mean they would be relevant.
It is possible to describe the world without using the word “photons”, but you would need entities that every reasonable physicist would just call photons.
ftr said:
from wiki
"Although the photoelectric effect and Compton scattering strongly suggest the existence of the photon, it might alternatively be explained by a mere quantization of emission; more definitive evidence of the quantum nature of radiation is now taken up into modern quantum optics as in the antibunching effect.[30]"

That suggest that no individual photon has actually been observed. Is that correct?
No, it suggests some experiments from the 1930s and earlier can be described without photons. We don’t live in 1930 any more.
 
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  • #11
ftr said:
from wiki
"Although the photoelectric effect and Compton scattering strongly suggest the existence of the photon, it might alternatively be explained by a mere quantization of emission; more definitive evidence of the quantum nature of radiation is now taken up into modern quantum optics as in the antibunching effect.[30]"

That suggest that no individual photon has actually been observed. Is that correct?

So what is wrong about antibunching as solid evidence that it is possible to prepare single photon states? It has been demonstrated in experiments over and over again.

ftr said:

A quote from that text "Photons do not exist, according to Geoff Jones of the University of Sussex. Jones believes that it is ‘wrong, and unnecessary’ to describe light in terms of small, localised particles."

Of course it is wrong and unnecessary to describe light in terms of small localised particles. But photons are NOT small, localised particles. There have been people such as Willis Lamb who stated the opinion that the term photon is often used incorrectly and thus the terminology should be changed, but these people also clearly stated that the quantum theory of radiation is the right tool to analyze problems in quantum optics. They just think that the term "photon" is giving people a wrong bullet-like intuitive picture of what photons are - which is exactly what they are not.
 
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  • #13
ftr said:
you can find many opinions like that.

The responses to your question in the OP were not "opinions". You have been given references to actual experiments that detect photons.

Question answered. Thread closed.
 
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Related to Is the Existence of Photons Proven by Modern Quantum Optics?

1. Do photons really exist?

Yes, photons are particles of light and are a fundamental part of the electromagnetic spectrum. They are considered to be elementary particles and have been experimentally observed and measured.

2. How do we know photons exist?

Photons have been observed and studied through various experiments, such as the photoelectric effect and the double-slit experiment. These experiments provide evidence for the existence of photons and their properties, such as their energy and momentum.

3. Can we see photons?

No, photons themselves cannot be seen because they have no mass and do not interact with the human eye. However, we can see the effects of photons, such as light, when they interact with matter.

4. Are photons particles or waves?

Photons exhibit properties of both particles and waves. They have massless energy and can travel in a wave-like pattern, but they also behave like discrete particles when interacting with matter.

5. Do photons have a finite lifespan?

Photons do not have a finite lifespan as they travel at the speed of light and do not experience time. However, they can be absorbed or scattered by matter, which can affect their travel distance and lifespan.

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