|MadSci Network: Physics|
Diffraction grating resolution is mN, (N = # of lines and m = order), but that is true if the photon interacts with ALL the lines, even if the grating is orders of magnitude larger than the photon's wavelength. The std. model of a photon should only be true if the photon is infinite in the time dimension (Fourier Xform of an infinite sine wave is a frequency delta function). Both imply that a photon is large spatially or temporally. A double slit experiment increasing the distance between slits "ought to" show a decrease in interference, and the interaction "ought to" go to nil (lost in noise), and reveal the photon's "max. size". Has this ever been done (not seen in my optics texts)? As for time, the photon is maybe "long enough" (temporally) that the spectrum of its "envelope" is nil, but I've never seen any experiments that say so. I'd always assumed the photon was some sort of optical soliton wave (similar in concept to the matter soliton waves sometimes observed in canals), but now I'm having my doubts. Anything to do with quantum phenomena is likely to be counterintuitive, so analogies may be way off the mark. Lastly, has anyone ever published the actual equations for the spatial shape of the electric and magnetic waves of a photon for a given moment in time, or the full solution of the wave equation (spatial and temporal) for a photon. I presume the equations to be solved are Maxwell's equations in absence of current or charge, i.e. (D represents the Del operator) Del X E = - dB/dt , Del . E = 0 , Del . B = 0 , and Del X B = mu *epsilon* dE/dt where E and B are both functions of x, y, z, and t. The answer must of course be a traveling wave of some sort, but it need not be a simple single sine wave, and indeed could not be unless the photon was infinite in the time dimension.
Re: Just what is the size and shape of a photon?
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