2009 Advanced Laboratories Conference Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Two-slit Interference, One Photon at a Time A
Abstract: To facilitate real comfort with both the physics and the apparatus, we have limited the sessions to groups of 3, and created double sessions.  We strongly recommend that you sign up for both A and B sessions.

Young's experiment of two-slit interference is a very convincing demonstration of the wave properties of light, and it makes possible a direct measurement of the wavelength of light.  In this version of the experiment, a special apparatus makes it possible to perform Young's experiment at a level of light intensity so low that light can be thought of as passing through the apparatus 'one photon at a time'.  Yet despite the detection of light at the single-photon level, displaying the particulate nature of light, the interference of the light persists, and the wavelength of the light can still be measured.

Participants will see, at level A, Quantitative Two-slit Interference:
  • how to 'open the cover' of the apparatus, and identify all of its parts
  • how to use a laser light source to trace the transport of the light from entrance slit, to double slit, to exit slit; how to use the 'slit-blocker', and how to move the exit slit
  • how to see the regime of single-slit diffraction, and how to see the emergence of the two-slit interference
  • how to use a photodiode system to map the two-slit interference signal quantitatively; and how this permits wavelength measurement
Abstract Type: Workshop

Workshop Documents

Workshop Document: Download the Workshop Document
Session: Session V - Parallel Workshops

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Dr. Jonathan F. Reichert
TeachSpin, Inc.
Phone: 716.885.4701