Foundations of Physics Letters

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 149–164 | Cite as

Is the one-photon state of an optical field a physical state?

  • Pierre Roussel


The effect of a photon-counting cavity inserted on the two arms of an interferometer is considered. Under given conditions, the disappearance of the interference pattern is expected. It can be taken as the signature of a one-photon state in the cavity. This effect which do not violate the principle of macroscopic locality is related to the status of the wave function and to the so-called role of the observer.

Key words

duality locality measurement observer 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    N.Bohr,Phys. Rev. 48 (1935) 697.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Proceedings, Ecole d'Eté des Houches 1964, Quantum Optics and Electronics, C. de Witt, A. Blandin, and C. Cohen-Tanoudji, eds. (Gordon & Breach, New York, 1965). See in particular the contribution by R.J. Glauber.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Proceedings, International School of Physics “Enrico Fermi 1969, Quantum Optics. (Academic, New York, 1969).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    C. Cohen-Tanoudji, J. Dupont-Roc, and G. Grynberg, inPhotons et atomes (InterEditions/Editions du CNRS, Paris, 1987.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    G.W. Series,Quantum Field Spectroscopy. (Nordita Lecture Course);Physica Scripta T12 (1986) 5.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    R.J. Glauber, Phys. Rev.131 (1963) 2766.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    P. Grangier, G. Roger, and A. Aspect.Europhys. Lett. 1 (4), pp. 173–179 (1986).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    P. Roussel, Phys. Lett.A133 (1988) 461Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    C.W. Helstrom, inQuantum Detection and Estimation Theory, R. Bellman ed. (Academic New York, 1976).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    P.W. Milonni,Physica Scripta T21 (1988) 102.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    N.M. Kroll in [2], p. 15.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    A. Posiewnik and J. Pykacz,Phys. Lett. A128 (1988) 5.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    M. Zukowski,Nature 336 (1988) 430.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    M. Zukowski, J. Pykacz, and A. Posiewnik,Phys. Lett. A135 (1989) 411.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    see M.A.B. Whitaker and J.G. Dennison,Phys. Lett. A133 (1988) 466 and references therein.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Roussel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Physique NucléaireUniversité Paris XI, CNRS, IN2P3Orsay CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations