Experimenting with the quantum world by S T Lakshmikumar

By S T Lakshmikumar

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The Mach - Zehnder Interferometer. gate the polarization of a single photon. 27. This arrangement is called a Mach-Zehnder interferometer where the light from the laser is split into two parts at the first beam splitter and recombined in the second. The laser intensity is reduced so that there is only about 1 photon in about 100 s. This actually means that the photon counter detects about 30 photons per hour. Two polarizers, one oriented in the vertical direction and the other in the horizontal are placed in the two arms.

Thus, sums of amplitudes can show destructive interference just like waves. In the case of the electrons present around a nucleus, the mathematical calculations show that the probability depends on the energy of the electron and the location. The probability for the presence of an electron of specified energy in a specific region of 54 Collective Behaviuor of Quantum Particles space around the nucleus may be very small. These values of the energy are “forbidden”. On the other hand, due to constructive interference of the amplitudes, the probability for some regions of space may be large.

It is possible to think of the Stern and Gerlah apparatus as similar to the polarizer for photons. It is possible also to arrange the system such that only one of the two possible orientations, either the ↑ or ↓ exits from the apparatus. The other is blocked. If two such systems with magnetic fields oriented in opposite directions are used, the beam should not pass 37 Experimenting with the Quantum World though both. We are assuming that the electrons have a particular direction of spin. The ↑ ( spin up ) particles passing through the first cannot pass through the second since it permits only ↓ (spin down) particles to pass.

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