By H. Dekker
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Extra resources for Classical and Quantum Mechanics of the Damped Harmonic Oscillator Dekker
Even without a return address we are confident that, with a little effort, we can trace a given letter back to its sender. If this makes sense to you, consider the following experiment, performed by Pfleegor and Mandel in 1967. 1— The Pfleefor-Mandel Experiment. Two Lasers, One Photon The light from two lasers making a very small angle with each other was incident upon a screen (Figure 3-1). The experimental arrangement was such that individual photons could be detected by sensitive photomultipliers arranged along the screen.
By its nature, such an object occupies a definite location in space. It is either “here” or “there,” but never both. A wave, in contrast, spreads over an extended region. We are therefore led to design an experiment that asks whether light can be in two different places at the same time. The method is to place two detectors at widely separated locations, illuminate them both with the same light source, and ask whether they click at the same instant. Within the particle picture of light, they should not.
At any rate, it is clear that this point of view, while obviously requiring a severe revision of our ideas, is nevertheless not so radical as others that could be imagined. But is it correctIn 1978 the physicist John Wheeler 6 proposed a means of testing it: the so-called delayed-choice experiment. This experiment has recently been performed. Its result implies that no revision of this sort can be sufficient: the conspiracy theory's attempt to soften the crisis in understanding posed by the wave-particle duality is doomed to failure.
Classical and Quantum Mechanics of the Damped Harmonic Oscillator Dekker by H. Dekker