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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 69, Iss. 9 — Sep. 1, 1979
  • pp: 1309–1311

“Test for the nonexistence of photons” and “Photoelectric counting measurements as a test for the existence of photons”

Sherman Karp  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA, Vol. 69, Issue 9, pp. 1309-1311 (1979)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSA.69.001309


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Abstract

In recent articles by this author, [S.Karp, Statistical properties of ensembles of classical wave packets, J. Opt. Soc. Am. <b>65</b>, 421 (1975); S.Karp, Test for the nonexistence of photons, J. Opt. Soc. Am. <b>66</b>, 1421 (1976)], a radiation model was proposed that could lead to the identification of certain classical properties of the field, based upon photoelectric counting experiments. Mandel [L.Mandel, Photoelectric counting measurements as a test for the existence of photons, J. Opt. Soc. Am. <b>67</b>, 1101 (1977)] responded by asserting that “It follows that for any field for which a classical wave description exists, in the sense that the phase-space density ø({ν}), and therefore <i>P</i>(<i>u</i>), are non-negative it is impossible to distinguish between photons and light waves in photoelectric counting experiments.” This statement is based upon the derivation of similar photoelectron counting equations using quantum and classical techniques. It is the mathematically loose associations and subsequent rigid physical interpretation implied in relating the two equations that is under contention. It seems to us that the model-computation-effect approach to physics is still solvent. In particular, if we can model an effect as small as the radiation from an individual electron and produce a predictable effect, then the physics underlying the model must be seriously considered.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

Citation
Sherman Karp, "“Test for the nonexistence of photons” and “Photoelectric counting measurements as a test for the existence of photons”," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 1309-1311 (1979)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josa/abstract.cfm?URI=josa-69-9-1309


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References

  1. S. Karp, "Statistical properties of ensembles of classical wave packets," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 421 (1975).
  2. S. Karp, "Test for the nonexistence of photons," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 1421 (1976).
  3. L. Mandel, "Photoelectric counting measurements as a test for the existence of photons," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 67, (1977) 1101.
  4. R. M. Gagliardi, and S. Karp, Optical Communications (Wiley, New York, 1976), p. 62.
  5. C. W. Helstrom, J. W. S. Liu, and J. P. Gordon, "Quantum-mechanical communication theory," Proc. IEEE 58, 1578 (1970).
  6. S. Karp, R. M. Gagliardi, and I. S. Reed, "Radiation models using discrete radiator ensembles," Proc. IEEE 56, 1704 (1968).
  7. Since the experiment that we have proposed is difficult, we point out that the measurement time is proportional to the fourth power of the wavelength. Consequently, a reduction in wavelength of only two would decrease the time by sixteen.
  8. P. Frost, thesis, Stanford University, 1968, University Microfilm order no. 69–221, (unpublished).
  9. S. Karp and R. M. Gagliardi, "On the representation of a continuous stochastic intensity by poisson shot noise," IEEE Trans. (Inf. Theory) 16, 142 (1970).
  10. J. F. Clauser, Phys. Rev. D 9, 853 (1974).

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