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Wave/Particle Behavior

  1. May 15, 2005 #1
    I have seen a number of discussions and articles regarding the seeming disparity between the behavior of photons through the traditional "two slit" experiment. As I understand this issue, quanta of light will interact in a reinforcing/cancelling wave interference pattern until the apparatus is configured to allow determination of the path taken by the photon. Even when this capability is not used to determine which path has been taken, the quanta now scatter in a particle-like manner.

    I have read a number of critical examinations of the variance between these two behaviors, identifying the problem of a photon's ability to follow both paths when no determinism of path is possible while each will follow a single path when the potential is present - even when the photon will not encounter the apparatus allowing this determination until well after passing through the mechanism allowing the photon to pass along one or both paths.

    If my understanding to this point is correct, I would offer an observation for consideration: It would seem that a photon, travelling at C, would experience no subjective temporal duration between emission and absorbtion (based on the relativistic effects on time passage). If this is the case, then both behaviors fit the statement that "a photon will follow all available paths as they will exist between emission and absorbtion".

    Within this model, if no mechanism is present for determination of a photon's path between its emission and absorbtion, the photon can travel along all possible paths and so generate the interference pattern suitable to a wave. The presence of a mechanism for determination at any point between emission and absorbtion would then cause the photon to travel along a determinable path, and so generate the observed scattering instead.

    It would seem that a photon's period of travel between emission and absorbtion is more an artifact of our own observational position rather than a state that would apply to the photon's own "subjective" temporal duration (this term is not used to suggest the photon has a cognitive faculty). Unless I have missed something, emission, transit and absorbtion should occur as a singular event without temporal duration existing for the photon.

    I would welcome any comments in this regard. Thank you all for your time.

    K. Hausman

    NOTE: This post is a duplicate of that entered within Dr. Kaku's forums area on the 8th of May. Having obtained no feedback in that area, the text has been reposted in the open forum area.
  2. jcsd
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