Welcome to my Blog!
Please feel free to post your questions regarding my experiment.
But, first please note a few general points:
0) For a brief description of the experiment please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afshar_experiment.
1) I can update my responses mostly during the weekends, so your patience is appreciated.
2) If you are writing a paper on my experiment, you can use http://www.irims.org/quant-ph/030503/ as a permanent reference for my pedagogical paper that contains the experimental details as well as most of the theoretical arguments.
3) Please read the above preprint, before posting a question. You may find your answer there.
4) This Blog is intended to address well-thought/researched questions related to my experiment. This is not an educational site! If you are not an expert in quantum mechanics (at least through QED) and physical/experimental optics, please ask an expert to take a look at your argument first, and if it is found to be technically rigorous, then by all means submit your question/comment.
5) Scientific objectivity is the direct opposite of irrational emotional ranting. In the interest of scientific methodology, I reserve the right to remove any inappropriate posting.
6) From time to time, I may edit the posts to make sure they are addressed to the correct individual and are at least readable (with all due respect to our non-English speaking friends).
7) The contents of this page are ***COPYRIGHT*** material, and quotations without reference to this source will be vigorously pursued by legal action.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Shahriar S. Afshar
In your preprint you accept and use the standard definition of the visibility V of the interference pattern:
V = (Imax - Imin) / (Imax + Imin)
where Imin is the minimum radiant flux at a dark fringe and Imax is the maximum radiant flux at a bright fringe.
In section 3.3 you argue that in order to determine V it is enough to measure Imin, since for an almost perfectly visible interference pattern Imin ≈ 0, and therefore the visibility V ≈ Imax / Imax = 1, "regardless of the actual value of Imax".
This reasoning from the definition of V above is so simple that it is hard to believe that it could be wrong from a mathematical point of view. But, from the point of view of experimental physics, it is so fallacious that it is hard to believe that anyone could have ever accepted it as true.
The fallacy is simple: since you pretend to be determining V from your experimental data you must provide the experimental error σV of your determination of the visibility. Standard error theory gives the estimate for σV in terms of the errors of Imin and Imax as:
σV2 = (∂ V/∂ Imin)2 σImin2 + (∂ V/∂ Imax)2 σImax2
Now, even if you have determined Imin to be very small with great precision, so that σImin is also very small, in your experiment you can't have any idea about the value of Imax and its error. Therefore, the only reasonable way to express your knowledge about Imax and σImax in your experiment is to say that Imax may have any finite value and that σImax is infinity!
Using the formula above for σV, the only possible conclusion is that in your experiment you have determined that the visibility of the interference pattern is V = 1 ± 1.
What is your explanation for how the light made the bizarre dance around the wire???
Comments are closed for this post.