Journal Article Detail Page

American Journal of Physics
published by the American Association of Physics Teachers
written by Mark Beck
While the classical, wavelike behavior of light (interference and diffraction) has been easily observed in undergraduate laboratories for many years, explicit observation of the quantum nature of light (i.e., photons) is much more difficult. 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 description in which individual photons are incident on the beamsplitter. More explicitly, we measured the degree of second-order coherence between the outputs to be g(2)(0) = 0.0177±0.0026, which violates the classical inequality g(2)(0)>=1 by 377 standard deviations.
American Journal of Physics: Volume 72, Issue 9, Pages 1210 - 1219
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Quantum Physics
- Foundations and Measurements
- Quantum Experiments
- Instructional Material
= Laboratory
Categories Intended Users Ratings
- Pedagogy
- Application
- Educators
  • Currently 0.0/5

Want to rate this material?
Login here!


Format:
application/pdf
Access Rights:
Available by subscription and
Available for purchase
Restriction:
© 2004 American Association of Physics Teachers
PACSs:
01.50,Pa
42.50.Ar
Keywords:
photon experiment, quantum interference
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created October 6, 2005 by Blake Laing
Record Updated:
May 20, 2009 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 1, 2004
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
M. Beck, Am. J. Phys. 72 (9), 1210 (2004), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.1737397).
AJP/PRST-PER
M. Beck, Observing the quantum behavior of light in an undergraduate laboratory, Am. J. Phys. 72 (9), 1210 (2004), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.1737397>.
APA Format
Beck, M. (2004, September 1). Observing the quantum behavior of light in an undergraduate laboratory. Am. J. Phys., 72(9), 1210 - 1219. Retrieved September 18, 2014, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.1737397
Chicago Format
Beck, Mark. "Observing the quantum behavior of light in an undergraduate laboratory." Am. J. Phys. 72, no. 9, (September 1, 2004): 1210 - 1219, http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.1737397 (accessed 18 September 2014).
MLA Format
Beck, Mark. "Observing the quantum behavior of light in an undergraduate laboratory." Am. J. Phys. 72.9 (2004): 1210 - 1219. 18 Sep. 2014 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.1737397>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Mark Beck", Title = {Observing the quantum behavior of light in an undergraduate laboratory}, Journal = {Am. J. Phys.}, Volume = {72}, Number = {9}, Pages = {1210 - 1219}, Month = {September}, Year = {2004} }
Refer Export Format

%A Mark Beck
%T Observing the quantum behavior of light in an undergraduate laboratory
%J Am. J. Phys.
%V 72
%N 9
%D September 1, 2004
%P 1210 - 1219
%I American Association of Physics Teachers
%C College Park
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.1737397
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Beck, Mark
%D September 1, 2004
%T Observing the quantum behavior of light in an undergraduate laboratory
%J Am. J. Phys.
%I American Association of Physics Teachers
%V 72
%N 9
%P 1210 - 1219
%8 September 1, 2004
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.1737397


Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

Save to my folders

Contribute

Similar Materials

Featured By

Quantum Exchange
Nov 20 - Mar 31, 2010