Thought experiments suggest problem with published work

In summary: If it is a bad paper it damages the reputation of the researchers even to put it on arXiv. It would be good for all if the issues were cleared up. At this point it seems to me we really don't know if it failed peer review or just hasn't been published yet.If it is a bad paper it damages the reputation of the researchers even to put it on arXiv. It would be good for all if the issues were cleared up. At this point it seems to me we really don't know if it failed peer review or just hasn't been published yet.
  • #1
Gezstarski
15
6
A recent preprint ( https://arxiv.org/abs/2112.15157 ) seems to imply that the focussing properties of an optical system can depend on the bandwidth of the sensor, and even on that of the associated electronics! It is argued there that if the ‘frame rate’ of the sensor is very high, photons taking paths of different (optical) lengths through the optics will no longer be recorded in the same frame and so cannot interfere with each other.

I am not comfortable with the talk of photons interfering with one another – one should calculate the propagation as a wave and then evaluate the probability that a photon is absorbed, or interacts, at a given point – eg in a detector in the image plane. But the argument could be framed in terms of `radiation’ instead of `photons’ and it makes one think. Consider the following series of thought experiments:-

Suppose we have a system with a light source, a chromatic lens, and an imaging detector in the focal plane.

1) If the source of illumination were pulsed on the femtosecond timescale the spectrum would be broadened and the focal spot would be blurred by chromatic aberration.

2) If the light source was monochromatic and continuous but a shutter acting on the same timescale is introduced in the light path before the lens, then the effect must presumably be the same.

3) What if the shutter is after the lens?

4) What if instead of a shutter the detector is active only for very brief intervals?

5) What if it is continuously active but able to record the time of detection of every photon with femtosecond precision?

6) In (5) does the form of the recorded image depend on how you select the photons to include in the analysis – eg just those in short intervals like the pulses of a pulsed light source versus using all?

I believe that from (4) onwards the image is no longer blurred by chromatic aberration, but this implies that the logic in the preprint is ill-founded.

There are other issues with the remainder of the paper, but it would be good to get this one clear
 
  • Like
Likes ChanceLiterature and vanhees71
Science news on Phys.org
  • #2
Where was this published?
 
  • Like
Likes vanhees71
  • #3
Vanadium 50 said:
Where was this published?
This paper seems only on arXiv so far but one of the authors does have an extensive presence in the literature;

https://nanoptics.wordpress.com/publications/

The author is associated with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah.
 
  • #4
bob012345 said:
This paper seems only on arXiv so far but one of the authors does have an extensive presence in the literature;

https://nanoptics.wordpress.com/publications/

The author is associated with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah.
Sorry, I wrote "published" in error when trying to find a succinct header. It is a preprint and not yet published.
 
  • Like
Likes vanhees71
  • #5
Since the work isn't published, doesn't that that solve the problem? "These guys wrote a bad paper that failed to be published" - what is the problem here?
 
  • Like
Likes vanhees71
  • #6
Gezstarski said:
Sorry, I wrote "published" in error when trying to find a succinct header. It is a preprint and not yet published.
My suggestion is that you contact the lead author and discuss your concerns. The preprint invites you to do that.
Vanadium 50 said:
Since the work isn't published, doesn't that that solve the problem? "These guys wrote a bad paper that failed to be published" - what is the problem here?
If it is a bad paper it damages the reputation of the researchers even to put it on arXiv. It would be good for all if the issues were cleared up. At this point it seems to me we really don't know if it failed peer review or just hasn't been published yet.
 
  • Like
Likes hutchphd, protonsarecool, vanhees71 and 1 other person
  • #7
bob012345 said:
My suggestion is that you contact the lead author and discuss your concerns. The preprint invites you to do that.

If it is a bad paper it damages the reputation of the researchers even to put it on arXiv. It would be good for all if the issues were cleared up. At this point it seems to me we really don't know if it failed peer review or just hasn't been published yet.
Irrespective of the status of the paper, I would be interested in reactions to my series of thought experiments.
 
  • #8
It doesn't have to be femtosecond, just sufficiently short that the spectrum is broadened. And it doesn't have to be a mechanical shutter.
The real question is whether the focussing of a chromatic optical system can be affected by the brevity or otherwise of the intervals (frames) during which the image is recorded in the same way that it can by pulsing the incident radiation and so broadening the source spectrum.
 
  • Like
Likes bob012345
  • #9
Gezstarski said:
Irrespective of the status of the paper, I would be interested in reactions to my series of thought experiments.
Sorry, that is not how PF works. The paper needs to be published in a peer-reviewed journal before we can discuss it. Thread it now tied off (until the paper is published).
 

1. What is a thought experiment?

A thought experiment is a mental exercise used to explore and test ideas or theories without physically carrying out an experiment. It involves imagining a hypothetical scenario and reasoning through it to gain insight or make predictions.

2. How do thought experiments relate to published work?

Thought experiments can be used to identify potential flaws or limitations in published work. By imagining alternative scenarios or conditions, scientists can evaluate the validity and generalizability of the findings presented in a publication.

3. What are some common problems that thought experiments reveal in published work?

Thought experiments can reveal issues such as incomplete or biased data collection, faulty assumptions, or flawed experimental design. They can also highlight potential errors in reasoning or interpretation of results.

4. Can thought experiments be used to replace actual experiments?

No, thought experiments are not intended to replace actual experiments. They are a valuable tool for generating ideas and evaluating existing work, but they cannot provide empirical evidence or replicate real-world conditions.

5. How can scientists use thought experiments to improve their own work?

Scientists can use thought experiments to identify potential weaknesses in their own work and make improvements before publishing. They can also use thought experiments to generate new hypotheses or design more robust experiments.

Similar threads

Replies
4
Views
1K
  • Quantum Physics
Replies
2
Views
237
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Quantum Physics
Replies
9
Views
1K
Replies
6
Views
1K
Replies
14
Views
1K
Replies
18
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
841
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
46
Views
3K
Replies
2
Views
732
Back
Top