Mach–Zehnder interferometer, Particle or Wave?
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20-05-2013, 07:24 AM
Mach–Zehnder interferometer, Particle or Wave?
I just wrote this blog in answering on another forum (which will remain nameless) on this "controversial" topic.

So just in case some of you are in the mood of getting some edumecation, I'm posting it here. Feel free to comment or ask question.

http://soi.blogspot.ca/2013/05/machzehnd...le-or.html

NOTE: no ads on this site, so I'm not trying to get more clicks, just in case some of you have foul thoughts. Smile
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20-05-2013, 08:18 PM
RE: Mach–Zehnder interferometer, Particle or Wave?
That's easy. An interferometer is much too big to exhibit quantum effects - so it's neither.

Next question!
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25-05-2013, 09:59 AM
RE: Mach–Zehnder interferometer, Particle or Wave?
(20-05-2013 08:18 PM)cjlr Wrote:  That's easy. An interferometer is much too big to exhibit quantum effects - so it's neither.

Next question!

It measures the intereference of a single photon, so it does exhibit quantum effects. That's the whole point.
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25-05-2013, 11:48 PM
RE: Mach–Zehnder interferometer, Particle or Wave?
(25-05-2013 09:59 AM)zaybu Wrote:  
(20-05-2013 08:18 PM)cjlr Wrote:  That's easy. An interferometer is much too big to exhibit quantum effects - so it's neither.

Next question!

It measures the interference of a single photon, so it does exhibit quantum effects. That's the whole point.

I was joking.

I know what an MZ interferometer is; I've designed them in optics classes.

It's just the thread title is ambiguous - it suggests the question refers to the interferometer itself (hence my answer). Meh. It seemed funny when I posted it.
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26-05-2013, 01:36 AM (This post was last modified: 26-05-2013 01:40 AM by Adenosis.)
RE: Mach–Zehnder interferometer, Particle or Wave?
I think the universe is stranger than we can suppose. Particles and Waves are two concepts we created to describe the reality we perceive. I do not think we are able to say anything about which one a photon is (or is most like).

A photon appears to have characteristics of particle and wave concepts.

they can push particles around, knock electrons out of orbits, which makes it seem more like a particle (much like how throwing a ball at another will cause a transfer in momentum). We also describe light by it's frequency (or inversely wavelength), which is clearly a attribute of waves.

Even though I do not believe a definite answer can be given, I lean towards waves. I believe the fundamental building blocks of nature are waves. Therefore a wave of energy traveling through space (as in, not associated with matter) interferes with a electron wave, causing the electron wave to shift to what we perceive as a higher energy level. That's my guess. I like wave functions.

So in short, I think the reality behind the interferometer is that, the photon wave can go all possible ways at once, but once it interacts with another particle, the wave breaks down (decoherence)

But really, fuck if I know.

2.5 billion seconds total
1.67 billion seconds conscious

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26-05-2013, 11:16 AM
RE: Mach–Zehnder interferometer, Particle or Wave?
(26-05-2013 01:36 AM)Adenosis Wrote:  I think the universe is stranger than we can suppose. Particles and Waves are two concepts we created to describe the reality we perceive. I do not think we are able to say anything about which one a photon is (or is most like).

A photon appears to have characteristics of particle and wave concepts.

they can push particles around, knock electrons out of orbits, which makes it seem more like a particle (much like how throwing a ball at another will cause a transfer in momentum). We also describe light by it's frequency (or inversely wavelength), which is clearly a attribute of waves.

Even though I do not believe a definite answer can be given, I lean towards waves. I believe the fundamental building blocks of nature are waves. Therefore a wave of energy traveling through space (as in, not associated with matter) interferes with a electron wave, causing the electron wave to shift to what we perceive as a higher energy level. That's my guess. I like wave functions.

So in short, I think the reality behind the interferometer is that, the photon wave can go all possible ways at once, but once it interacts with another particle, the wave breaks down (decoherence)

But really, fuck if I know.

Nah, that's about it.

'Particle' and 'wave' are just categories we made up.

"Everything is waves" is basically what string theory is. Vibrating strings ≡ waves, after all.
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