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Photodetector in single-slit experiment

  1. Oct 17, 2006 #1
    I have a lay question that needs answering please.

    If a photodetector can display a single 'white dot blip' where a single photon has struck it, how can this be explained without requiring a physical size of the incident photon?

    Side Questions

    1) Does a photon of higher energy leave a smaller 'blip' than a lower energy photon would?

    2) Does a photodetector measure any properties of an incident photon other than its energy?

    3) Can a photon with a wavelength greater in size than the slit its passing through be detected by a photodetector?

    4) Will ZapperZ answer this post, chew me up, make me feel bad and enjoy bashing me for the nth time? (please don't answer this one :smile: )

    Anyhoo, answers appreciated, ty.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2006 #2
    Your detector either makes a blip, or doesn't. You can replace your detector with a surface divided into smaller detectors, but still each either blips or does not. If the photon had a definite size then you could make really small detectors such that if one detects the photon, an adjacent one detects it too. Nobody has demonstrated any such thing.

    1 - blips don't have an area, but they may have.. a "loudness" related to the energy.
    2 - yes, eg. can measure *when* the photon was inside the detector.
    3 - seems so.
  4. Oct 17, 2006 #3
    I can see where this thread is going,... wave or particle...
  5. Oct 18, 2006 #4
    Interesting idea frog. Is this being developed at present?
  6. Oct 18, 2006 #5
    I'm guessing no, because anyone who has studied enough physics needs no further convincing.

    Besides, any time I point to the evidence of progressively smaller CCD arrays, you would only say that the photon is smaller than the elements in the latest arrays. And someone else would come along and insist the whole test is invalid because another quantum effect comes into play..
  7. Oct 22, 2006 #6
    But, if two detectors blips, wouldn't this be interpreted as "two photons have arrived"?
    Wouldn't this mean the "the photon" is nothing else than "the blip of the detector"?
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